Son Calls Murder Suicide in Hacienda Heights Mercy Killings – Sara Welch Reports

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“This is the classic ending of 3 people with terminal illnesses,” says son Jim Crabtree.

Jim Crabtree says his father had dementia — his mom was in chronic pain — and Jim’s wife suffered from early onset alzheimers — and he believes when his  84-year-old father opened fire he was performed a mercy killing at the couple’s home this morning.

“Yes, I’m sad to lose my wife,” says Crabtree.

This morning neighbors told us they heard arguing outside the Hacienda Height homes and then gunfire where investigators believe Dan Crabtree shot his 80-year-old wife Carol and 62-year-old daughter-in-law Rita — before turning the gun on himself.

Jim had dropped his wife off at his parent home as he did nearly every day.  The family described as great neighbors, had lived here for 50 years.

The couple watched Rita so Jim a nurse could earn money to care for her.

“So they would watch her in the morning. Dad would bring her to my house and drop her off and Dad would have paid caregivers watch her at my house,” said Crabtree.

“My wife didn’t know who I was. My wife didn’t know we were married. You try to help her and she yells, she screams, she hits you,” said Crabtree.

And Jim said the Alzheimer’s was as only getting worse.

His mother too was very sick and says his father, believing he too had early stage Alzheimer’s, ended their lives to end their pain.

“My wife had a problem with crying. Have you ever heard a person cry 6 to 12 hours at a crack uncontrollable,  you can only take that for so long,” said Crabtree.

“The pain and misery that comes from this dementia until you’ve lived it you don’t get get,” said Crabtree.

For more information on living with Alzheimer’s log on to

— Sara Welch, KTLA News

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