Weymouth Police probing deaths as murder-suicide — (Boston Herald)

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Boston Herald (MA)

August 18, 1992

Author:  SARAH KOCH []

Police yesterday were investigating an apparent murder-suicide by a Weymouth man who authorities believe shot his 63-year-old mother in her bed before killing himself. Gladys Russian, found covered with a sheet, was shot at least once in the chest. Her son, Mark W. Russian, 33, found lying on his back on her bedroom floor with a 9mm semiautomatic rifle inches from his hand, apparently shot himself in the left chest. A spent cartridge lay nearby, Weymouth Police Capt. Rodney Rumble said. Police also found an opened prescription for anti-depressants made out to Mark Russian, who had been unemployed and living at home for about three years. Autopsies are scheduled for today.

The deaths occurred between 6 p.m. Sunday and 5 a.m. yesterday, Rumble said. Gladys Russian’s mother, Agnes Zartarian, 90, rushed to a neighbor’s home for help after she found the bodies when she entered her daughter’s bedroom to wake her for work. “The grandmother was banging on the door and just saying, `Come, come, come,” said neighbor Eleanor Webster. “I went over and went into the bedroom and Mark was on the floor with the rifle next to him. Gladys was in the bed.” Police said the victims had no prior criminal records, nor had Gladys Russian taken out any restraining orders against her son. There were no signs of a struggle, and the house was secure with no signs of forced entry. “We’re looking into the background of these people trying to determine what led up to this tragedy and what caused the death of these two people,” Rumble said. Gladys Russian, who worked for the state’s unemployment office but expected to be laid off by month’s end, had one other child, Rhonda Russian, a Boston lawyer, neighbors said. The family moved into the home at 34 Century Road 27 years ago and never appeared to neighbors to have any problems. Webster, who has celebrated Christmas with the Russians, said Mark Russian appeared happy as recently as Friday, when he brought her some fresh beans from their garden. A friend, Jim Spear, said, “For anybody who knew Gladys, it’s a total shock. If there were internal problems, she never let anyone know about it.” Edition:  01 Section:  NEWS Page:  010 Record Number:  BHLD32788