Deaths Of Elderly Mercer Couple A Murder-Suicide, Police Report — (The New Jersey Record)

SSRI Ed note: Elderly woman is prescribed Prozac, stabs first her husband, then herself, to death.

Original article no longer available

The New Jersey Record

June 5, 1994

Author: The Associated Press; Wire services

An elderly Mercer County woman plunged a knife into her husband 35 times before stabbing herself 50 times, according to autopsy results released by the Prosecutor’s Office.

Investigators said Friday they will wait for toxicology results to determine why Hazel Powell, 77, killed her 81-year-old husband, Mason Powell, and then herself. Results will not be available for several weeks.

Autopsy results show Hazel Powell’s knife wounds were self-inflicted.

The woman had wounds to her wrist, arm, leg, and neck, but the fatal stab was to her heart, authorities said. Mason Powell, a retired postal worker, had wounds to his back, chest, and head.

Mercer County Prosecutor Maryann K. Bielamowicz said Hazel Powell had undergone treatment for an emotional disorder. Law enforcement sources said the woman recently had a prescription filled for the antidepressant Prozac.

Medical experts said the elderly woman would have had to take the drug for at least three weeks to one month before any side effects would show up. [This is not accurate – SSRI Ed] The drug reportedly has been linked with violent and suicidal behavior in some patients.

The Prosecutor’s Office said there seems to be no other motive behind the murder-suicide.

The couple, who had been married for more than 50 years, were found dead in their home shortly before noon Thursday, police said. The murder-suicide took place sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, police said.

Officers were sent to the Powell home when one of the couple’s daughters called police. She phoned from a neighbor’s house after she couldn’t get into her parents’ home.

Record Number:  1648184