Westchester lawyer Sam Friedlander killed wife, kids before shooting himself
BY MATTHEW LYSIAK AND TRACY CONNOR
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
He shot his kids - then tucked them into bed.
Police revealed Wednesday that the Westchester County lawyer who wiped out his family in a twisted murder-suicide used a 12-gauge shotgun to blast his pajama-clad children.
Samuel Friedlander, who was in the midst of a bitter divorce, fired into the bodies of sleeping 10-year-old Molly and 8-year-old Gregory in their Cross River home.
"It appears they were covered up with the bedspreads that were on their beds after they were shot," New York State Police Maj. Michael Kopy said.
Friedlander, 50, used a table or chair leg to kill his estranged wife, Amy, 46, during the bloodbath early Tuesday.
Samuel Friedlander killed his wife Amy and and their children. (Richard Harbus).
"We believe she was bludgeoned in the bedroom," Kopy said. "We believe a struggle occurred. It was a struggle that cost her her life."
After he killed his wife and kids, he went down to the unfinished basement and fatally shot himself with the Remington 870. He did not leave a note.
The murder-suicide left the couple's friends shaken.
"Amy was not only a business partner but a personal friend and loving mother," said Deborah Bernstein, who co-owned a test-prep company with the slain mom. "She will be truly missed by us and the community at large."
Amy Friedlander's grieving relatives declined to speak with a reporter.
The couple was going through a divorce and living in separate bedrooms in the gray Colonial-style house, which was on the market for $799,000.
The Friedlanders home, where the family was found dead. (Richard Harbus)
They had been due in court Thursday, but the purpose was unclear.
Michael Borg, a close friend of Samuel Friedlander, said the 11-year marriage was "rocky from the beginning" because Amy's family did not like her husband.
He said rumblings of a divorce started about two years ago and the husband felthis wife was trying to turn the childrenagainst him and that he would lose custody.
He claimed she once took the children's clothes to stop them from attending a bar mitzvah with their father and stopped them from going to a Seder with him.
"I think it was just the constant berating," Borg said. "Everything he did she criticized. She belittled him in front of the kids."
He couldn't imagine why his "gentle" law school buddy killed the kids.
"I can't figure that out. The only thing I could think of is when he killed her, the switch went," Borg said. "It wasn't Sam who killed those kids. It was his body, but it wasn't him."
In your lifetime, try to be the person your pet thinks you are.
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
"The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals"
"Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!"
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