Tags: ketchup | bottle | murder | lid | tight

Man, 86, Allegedly Murdered Wife Because Ketchup Bottle Lid Too Tight

Image: Man, 86, Allegedly Murdered Wife Because Ketchup Bottle Lid Too Tight

Friday, 20 Sep 2013 07:01 PM

By Morgan Chilson

An 86-year-old Oregon man who allegedly killed his wife complained that she put the ketchup bottle lid on too tight, among other things, prosecutors said during the trial’s opening day.

Lawrence Loeffler, La Pine, Ore., is being tried for the murder of his wife of 39 years, Betty Loeffler, 83. Prosecutors called the killing a “calculated act,” The Associated Press reported, and offered a litany of complaints that Loeffler told officers the night of the killing in late January.

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Betty Loeffler was shot twice, once in the neck and once in the head.

Prosecutors pointed to the planning that went into the killing; they said Loeffler apparently unhooked the phone, got his handgun, and then “set a trap” to get his wife to go outside onto their deck before he shot her, the AP said. One attorney said the elderly man described the second shot as a “kill shot” to investigators so he would be sure she died.

Loeffler’s attorney, Jacques DeKalb, said his client was delusional at the time of the shooting.

During the 911 call, which was played for jurors Wednesday, Loeffler told the dispatcher that he was afraid for his life because his wife was threatening him, the AP said. The call was difficult to understand because Loeffler cried and screamed that he didn’t know what had happened.

KTVZ TV in Bend, Ore., said documents show Loeffler initially told investigators two separate stories about what happened. One was that he had been fighting with his wife about laundry. The second story was that his wife and daughter were plotting his death.

In a recorded interview played at the trial, KTVZ said Loeffler told investigators that he had to kill his wife or she would have killed him.

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Related stories:

Hospice Murder-Suicide: Husband, 86, Kills Wife, 83, and Then Self

Andrea Sneiderman Trial: Did Wife Get Boss to Kill Husband?

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