A Florida man facing a homicide charge told police that his wife was suffering from dementia and had asked him several times to kill her. Stephen Kruspe, who called 911 after shooting his wife of 42 years in the chest, was ordered to remain jailed without bond on Tuesday, The Sun-Sentinel reported.
Kruspe told police his wife, Pamela, who had been living at the Parkside Inn Assisted Living Facility in Boynton Beach since January, said, “I want you to kill me,” according to the report. Kruspe said his wife’s mental health had been deteriorating due to dementia.
According to an arrest report, Kruspe shot 61-year-old Pamela behind the facility at around 7:30 p.m. Monday, and hugged and kissed her before calling 911 to report the incident. The former high school teacher told police he had spent several days contemplating his wife’s alleged request, and that he would do anything “to get her where she wanted to be,” The Sun-Sentinel reported.
A neighbor told the news outlet that she believes Kruspe was carrying out his wife’s wishes, and that the two were inseparable during the 10 years she knew them.
“They were crazy about each other,” Jaclyn Tittsworth, the neighbor, told The Sun-Sentinel. “They’d run together, rode their bikes together. If one was at the mailbox, the other was the end of the driveway, waiting.”
Kruspe told police that Pamela was a great mother to their three children, but Tittsworth told the news outlet that the former marathon runner’s mental health had begun declining around six months ago. She said Pamela required assistance when brushing her teeth and bathing during a recent visit.
“I feel like the only plausible explanation for him doing this is because she asked him to do it,” Tittsworth told The Sun-Sentinel. “He would do anything she asked of him.”
Kruspe reportedly told police that his wife smiled as she fell to the ground, and that he hoped she was at peace.