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One survivor in overnight Long Island hammer attacks

Only one victim escaped from the house where a son murdered his mother, sister and a family friend yesterday.
(Photo by Tony Webster via Flickr)
(Photo by Tony Webster via Flickr)

Only one survivor remained after a gruesome Long Island hammer attack in which a man beat to death his mother and sister and her friend, police said.

Bobby Vanderhall, 34, first used the hammer to smash through the basement door of his mother’s home on Perry Street around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday. He then found his mother, Lynn Vanderhall, 58, and proceeded to murder her in the kitchen, according to authorities.

His sister, Melissa Vanderhall, 29, was on the stairs when she, too, was beaten to death. It was at that moment that a friend ran from the house to get help, making a critical choice that likely saved her life.

Another family friend, Janel Simpson, 29, was not as fortunate, having been found upstairs where she became Bobby Vanderhall’s third and final victim.

The friend who escaped remains unidentified by media but is in stable condition at the hospital, NBC4 reported.

Bobby Vanderhall had already racked up a history of arrests for sex abuse and DWI, receiving his latest charges in the murders on Saturday. He has been charged with one count of attempted murder and three counts of second-degree murder and will be arraigned Sunday.