Saturday, 21 May 2016

'Act of Love': Doctor apparently kills cancer-stricken wife before killing self


A retired physician is suspected of fatally shooting his paralyzed and terminally ill wife before turning the gun on himself Wednesday in a shooting that one of the couple’s neighbours described as an “act of love” to relieve his wife’s suffering.

A home health care worker discovered the bodies of Marilyn A. Rudzinski, 68, and her husband, Dennis J. Rudzinski, 73, about 10:30 a.m. after she arrived at the home in the 2700 block of Newquay Lane in Bexley subdivision, said Chesterfield police Capt. Michael Louth.

Their deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide, Louth told Richmond News.

“He was just beside himself and didn’t know what to do,” said longtime friend Sally Ward, who lives a couple of blocks away. “We think that he was overwhelmed.”

“This was an act of love,” Ward added. “They were just a couple that were never apart. They were always together. You always used to see them, and they were never alone. They were always grocery shopping on Sundays together.”

Marilyn Rudzinski had stage IV melanoma cancer, which had spread down her spine, paralyzing her, Ward said.

“She actually didn’t get really bad until the middle of March, and they took her to the hospital,” Ward said, adding the couple had planned a trip to Florida this past January. “She was (at the hospital) for three or four weeks, and we were all worried to death about Dennis. He just said he was going to stay there with her and not leave, and he gave the people next door the keys (to his house).”

Ward said about an hour before the shootings, Dennis Rudzinski sent an email to all the neighbors in his loop of Bexley who had been providing material support for him and his wife, “thanking them for all the caring and all the food, but to stop bringing food. He said he appreciated all the love and care for Marilyn.”

The neighbors had been taking turns assisting the couple.

Ward said one neighbor observed that Dennis Rudzinski appeared extremely exhausted Tuesday, “and was inquiring with the neighbors about funerals and what to do. And they thought he was just thinking that (his wife) wasn’t going to last much longer.”