The man accused of killing his two young children, wife and mother-in-law apparently also tried to kill himself and left two letters before fleeing to Western Massachusetts.

Thomas Mortimer IV, 43, was scheduled to be arraigned Friday in a Woburn court on four murder charges. He was arrested in Bernardston, a town of about 2,100 people near the Vermont border.

During a press conference Thursday after Mortimer’s arrest, District Attorney Gerry Leone detailed the “horrifying” murders that apparently stemmed from continuing arguments over finances.


Authorities said they believe the massacre took place Monday night or early Tuesday. According to Leone, when the slain wife’s sister called her cell phone Tuesday, Mortimer picked up and told her, “It’s going to be a while before she gets back to you.”

Leone also said that on Tuesday Mortimer called in sick to work and called his son’s school to say he would not be coming in.

Emergency workers forced their way into the home Wednesday morning after the aunt became concerned because she could not contact the family. Inside they found Mortimer’s wife and son “in a pool of blood” in the hallway. His mother-in-law was found under an Oriental rug in a nearby room and Mortimer’s daughter was found dead in her crib, Leone said.

All of the victims suffered from blunt trauma wounds from sharp objects.

According to Leone, Mortimer left letters at the home and wrote that what he did was “selfish.” The letters also included the stark admission, “I murdered my family.”

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