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Letter Says Dead Couple Killed With Children in Murder-Suicide

March 5, 1986

LEBANON, N.H. (AP) _ Letters apparently written by a couple who died in a fire with three children describe how they drugged and shot the youngsters, set their home ablaze and then killed themselves in frustration over the treatment of disabled veterans.

The letters received Wednesday by the Valley News in Lebanon and WMUR-TV in Manchester were believed to have been written by Caroline Hull and signed by her and Michael Dean.

Bodies believed to be those of Hull, 32, Dean, 43, and her three children, aged 4 to 11, were found Tuesday in the charred rubble of their home.

The similar handwritten letters, each six pages long, described events as though they already had happened. They said the two drugged the children with sleeping pills before Dean poured kerosene through the house, shot each of the children and Hull, torched the house and shot himself. It also said he blocked the driveway with their vehicles to hamper firefighters.

The authenticity of the letter, which contained many misspellings and grammatical errors, had not been verified by authorities.

″Instead of potecting us and our country’s handicapp, the ones that truly deserve it, they (the government) continue on helping those that care nothing for America,″ the letter said.

Dean’s mother, Ruth Little of Florida, told the newspaper Wednesday that after military service in Korea and Vietnam he was a pyschiatric patient at the VA hospital in White River Junction, Vt.

An official at the hospital told The Associated Press that Dean received $617 a month for a service-connected disability, but would not give specifics of the disability.

″Before the children all went to sleep, we gave them a drink of water, before bedtime, as always, but we dissolved about 30 sleeping pills in each glass. So they would be totally asleep. Then I helped Mike prepare the house, clothes were spred everywhere, the vehicles were parked blocking the driveway, so thehouse could burn completely,″ said the letter received by the Valley News.

″They I took sleeping pills. We all layed on our mattress, on cellar floor, which we had moved from our bedroom after the kids were asleep,″ the letter said. ″Mike poured kerosene all over the upstairs, and leaving a trail downstairs. A wet sheet was comeing out of the oil tank and a 55 drum container of kerosene filled in the cellar.

″He then proceeded to finish our planns. He shoot us all for fear the sleeping pills might not be enough. Then he layed beside me, and lit the fires, makeing sure for a minute the fire was burning upstairs. He then shot himself. We were all shot in the heart.″

Assistant Attorney General David Plourde would not say if any weapons were found.

A letter about the deaths also went to John and Kitty Hull of Wilder, Vt., parents of Caroline Hull’s late husband. A taped message went to her own family in Hartland, Vt.

″Again I stress the point that Mike and myself are now, and at the time of this action, totally sane. And gave this many hours of discussion,″ Hull purportedly wrote. ″We are now all free and have our peace together.″

″N.H. Live Free or Die,″ the letter ended, quoting the state motto that appears on New Hampshire license plates.

The letter said it was written because ″It is our last dieing wish, that you tell the story correct. For respect, and honor of us.″

WMUR and the Valley News gave authorities the letters and family photographs that accompanied them.

Change-of-address cards for Dean and Caroline Hull left at the local post office before the fire gave a forwarding address as ″deceased, took his own life.″ The cards were sent to the FBI for analysis.

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