SON, 34, ARRESTED IN 2 AX SLAYINGS — (Chicago Tribune)

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Chicago Tribune 

May 31, 1997 

Author: From Tribune News Services.

A man found sitting on an island in a pond after driving his car into the water was arrested Friday in the ax slayings of his parents.   Michael G. Pepper, 34, was found at a pond at Smith College, about 50 miles from the middle-class home where his parents, John, 65, an engineer, and Eleanor Pepper, 64, an office manager, were found hacked to death

Sources close to the investigation said Pepper’s sister had been forced into a closet that was nailed shut before the 1 a.m. attack. She later broke free and called police.   The family dog also was slain. Its body was found in a cemetery where Pepper’s younger brother, killed in a 1982 auto accident, is buried.

At his arraignment on two charges of murder , Pepper was ordered held without bail and sent to a state hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

A forensic psychologist told the judge that Pepper recently had stopped taking anti-psychotic medication and the antidepressant drug Prozac.

Copyright 1997, Chicago Tribune