Father kills 2 children, hangs himself
Jul. 25, 1997
NEW YORK (AP) _ A man who had been raising a son and daughter alone killed the children, left their bodies on a bed surrounded with flowers and then hanged himself from a door frame Thursday.
The father, an Iranian immigrant, left notes throughout the family's Brooklyn apartment written in either Arabic or Farsi.
``Apparently he was a very disturbed person,'' said Deputy Chief William Taylor.
Acquaintances said the 51-year-old father took good care of his 10-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl despite some apparent financial hardships. Their mother is in the U.S. military, stationed elsewhere. Police would not confirm their identities and said they had not yet been able to locate the mother.
Police broke into the apartment after someone Taylor would only describe as a ``health professional'' found a message on his answering machine, apparently from the father, and called authorities.
``He was hanging from the doorjamb,'' Taylor said. ``We believe the children were suffocated or poisoned. They were lying on a double bed with flowers on the bed.''
Bill Mathison, a friend of the dead man's, said the father had been imprisoned in Turkey after the revolution in Iran, and that he had an adult daughter who had died in the fighting there.
Asked why the man might kill himself and his children, Mathison insisted: ``He was healthy, spiritually.'' But he added: ``The devil has his ways.''
The children often played at a nearby playground.
Parks worker Carmen Feliciano recalled that the boy recently told her ``they had no money, they shut off the lights.'' Feliciano also said the boy was highly protective of his little sister.
``She wouldn't do anything without her brother,'' Feliciano recalled. ``He would always tell her, `Don't leave the park without me.'''
Jacob Liebowitz, who runs a grocery store nearby, said the father bought cigarettes Wednesday but did not seem despondent.
Serena Glantz, who runs a manicure salon down the street, said ``the kids looked spotless. He was always well-dressed _ clean and nice.''