Cops: Man stabbed wife, then set himself on fire — (Boston Herald)

SSRI Ed note: Man on Prozac starts to behave "irrationally", drinks, attempts suicide, then smashes his way into ex-wife's home, stabs her, sets fire to himself. Survives.

Original article no longer available

Boston Herald


3 May 1994

Despondent over a pending divorce, a troubled Medway father smashed his way into his estranged wife’s home, stabbed her three times and set fire to himself in a failed murder/suicide attempt early yesterday morning, Medway Police said.

Glen T. Mortimer, 35, a manager at Federal Express in Randolph, was listed in critical condition at UMass Medical Center in Worcester after rescuers pulled him semiconcious from his estranged wife’s burning Howe Street home.

Mortimer’s 31-year-old wife, Kathleen, was in good condition at the same hospital undergoing treatment for stab wounds to her back.

The couple’s two children, Allison, 4, and Kaitlyn, 6, were in their bedrooms at the time of the attack and were not injured, police said. They were being cared for by friends yesterday.

Police were called to the couple’s Cape-style home at 9 Howe St. around 2 a.m. yesterday after Mortimer allegedly smashed through a rear sliding glass door with a hammer and attacked his wife in an upstairs bedroom.

Two friends who were staying at the house to provide protection for Kathleen Mortimer escaped to neighbors’ homes shortly before the stabbing and called police.

The attack on Kathleen Mortimer came 12 days after she filed divorce papers against her husband of nine years.

Court records show that Kathleen Mortimer filed for divorce citing irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and was granted a restraining order barring her husband from physically abusing her. She also was granted custody of the couple’s two children and $1,300 per month in child support.

In an affidavit filed in support of that restraining order, Kathleen Mortimer said her husband had been despondent and irrational in recent weeks and had tried to throw himself out a second-floor window on March 26 while under the influence of alcohol and Prozac, which he was taking to treat his depression.

“He kept banging his head against the door crying for help,” Kathleen Mortimer wrote. “The police came and he was taken to Westwood Lodge in an ambulance. His blood alcohol level was .246,” nearly 2 1/2 times the legal limit for drunk driving.

A psychiatrist who examined her husband at the time later told Kathleen Mortimer that “Glen is a loaded gun and I am the trigger,” she wrote.

Neighbors, however, said Glen Mortimer appeared to be “the nicest person in the world” who doted lovingly on his wife and children. “I can’t believe he’d do something like this,” said one shocked neighbor. “He seemed to love his family so much.”