A tragedy in Wayne has made me think of someone I had not thought of in a few years.
What tragedy am I speaking of? The man in Wayne who shot his wife on Sunday afternoon with one of their children in the house. Then the man took his own life.
Main Line Media News: Update: Husband, wife identified in Wayne murder-suicide
Published: Monday, January 13, 2014
By Pete Bannan,
Radnor police are working with family members to help care for the children after an apparent murder suicide that took place on 300 block of South Wayne Avenue in Radnor shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday.
Radnor police were called to the home for the report of shots fired. Two people, Tim Rooney, 49, and Linda Rooney, 48, were found dead from gunshot wounds in a pool house at the rear of the property, according to police.
“It appears to be a domestic situation,” said Radnor Police Supt. William Colarulo.
An 8-year-old was in the main house at the time of the shooting. The couple had two other children, a 15-year-old who is in a boarding school out of state and a 17-year-old daughter.
Their names were Tim and Linda Rooney. I did not know them. From what I am reading she was some kind of high level executive with a pharmaceutical company.
Linda was also a mother of three children, two teenagers, and one child who is considerably younger. Now these poor kids are orphans and tainted by a tragedy not of their making which is so unfair.
From what Radnor Patch was reporting, Linda Rooney may have not only feared her husband, but apparently the marriage may have been in trouble.
Posted by Sam Strike (Editor) , January 13, 2014 at 06:51 PM
As the Radnor Township community grapples with a shocking murder-suicide that took place in a Wayne home on Sunday, Radnor Patch has received comments ranging from concern for the victim’s children to the shock of knowing that a firearm was within blocks of their own children and many at Radnor Middle School.
While Radnor Police have not yet revealed a motive in the killing, they have said that they believe that Timothy Rooney, 49, shot to death his 48-year-old wife, Linda, in the pool house of their home and then shot himself….based on documents that police found it appears the marriage “was in trouble” and that Linda “may have been fearful” of her husband.
I noticed that some people were hard on Radnor Patch Editor Sam Strike for in essence, doing her job and reporting this. This shows up in comments underneath the story when the news broke, but victims had not yet been identified. It is horrible news, but she did not sensationalize it. She stated what the Radnor Police had reported to the media in general. I know Sam, so this bothers me. She is not deserving of being castigated for doing her job. It was also all over the media like lightening.
By Wire Reports and NBC10.com Staff
| Monday, Jan 13, 2014 | Updated 3:42 PM EST
The incident happened in the guest house of a property at 319 S. Wayne Ave. in Wayne. The victims are identified as 49-year-old Timothy Rooney and his 48-year-old wife Linda Rooney. One of the couple’s three children, an 8-year-old boy, was in a bedroom of the main home.
Police say there were signs of struggle and that a note was left at the scene….The couple’s 17 year-old daughter came home to be with her younger brother. Another sibling is away at boarding school. Police are seeking to make contact with her.
The family, who is originally from Texas, moved to Radnor about a year ago, according to authorities.
This is all so senseless and tragic. It will undoubtedly get weighed down by another debate on gun control. I hope not. It is a weighty issue, but three children just became orphans. And like many other weighty issues in this country it is polarized by politics back and forth on both sides of the issue.
What is rattling around in my brain is a similar crime the spring of 2000. A woman I knew (and went to Shipley with) was shot by her ex-husband. And then he turned the gun on himself.
His name was Mark Biddle. Hers was Melinda Clothier Biddle. She was a neighbor of mine. I came home one day for lunch to find my neighborhood in lockdown, with police and media all over the place; helicopters swarming. The press had a field day because of the old Philadelphia names involved…likened it to High Society run amok.
A Violent End For Two With Notable Names Mark Hampton Biddle Fatally Shot His Ex-wife, Melinda Clothier Biddle, At Her Main Line Home. Then He Killed Himself.
By Patrick Kerkstra, Erin Carroll and Chani Katzen, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Posted: June 01, 2000
A divorced couple from the Main Line, members of two of the most prominent families in Philadelphia’s long history, died yesterday in an apparent murder-suicide at the woman’s home in Haverford.
Mark Hampton Biddle, 49, a lawyer whose ancestors include leading financiers and statesmen from the time of the American Revolution, shot his ex-wife, Melinda Clothier Biddle, shortly after 10:30 a.m. at their former family home in the 400 block of West Montgomery Avenue, police said. He then shot himself in the head.
Melinda Biddle, 41, a therapist, was a great-great-granddaughter of Isaac Clothier, one of the founders of Strawbridge & Clothier. The couple had three children.
The pair finalized their divorce in February, according to court records. Mark Biddle recently remarried and moved to St. Davids after selling a large property on Lancaster Avenue where he had lived for about a year.
Mark Biddle was an angry man that Melinda finally divorced. And it took a long time for her to get to her divorce. It was very difficult for her to do this. But before she died, she was finally happy. She was blooming. She loved her children, her garden, a career, her friends and neighbors. I remembered seeing her out with some of her female friends from the neighborhood and elsewhere and I was so happy to see how she how happy she was and excited about life again.
By Ralph Vigoda and Patrick Kerkstra, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Posted: June 04, 2000
As he did many mornings, Mark Hampton Biddle started Wednesday with a prayer for his new wife, Veruschka, in the bedroom of their Chester County home. The couple, married 31/2 months, then prayed together – another morning ritual – before getting themselves and the children ready for the day…..What Mark Biddle did less than two hours later, police say, was confront his ex-wife, Melinda Clothier Biddle, in the back of the Haverford house they had once shared. He shot her twice, then – seconds later – shot himself in the head, his body crumpling in the driveway.
And then, one Wednesday morning, Mark Biddle parked his car literally across the street from my then driveway and accessed his ex-wife’s home via the R-5 Septa train tracks. He used the train tracks as a path. He shot his former wife and then himself. That darn car sat there for days. I remember I finally called his old law practice and begged them to get someone, anyone to remove that car from our neighborhood.
What is wrong with this country? Clearly, Mark Biddle was never someone who should have had access to guns anymore than this Tim Rooney. Yet he did.
My one comment on this debate which wages over guns in our country is why there has to be more control over exactly who is allowed to literally bear arms. No one wants to interfere with an American’s inalienable rights, but part of this process should be a clean bill of mental health. And that should be something that should be periodically revisited as long as an individual owns guns. People kill. Guns can’t just do it on their own as inanimate objects.
So as I first heard the news reports of this tragedy in Wayne, I was instantly transported back 14 years to the sounds of helicopters swarming like we were on the set of M.A.S.H or something. I remember the chaos well because this is where I lived, and Melinda was my neighbor. I have not thought of her in a few years. Until this happened in Wayne.
I can only imagine how everyone in Wayne feels, and these were people that everyone was undoubtedly just getting to know because the family had only moved into the area within the past couple of years.
Human beings can be so cruel to each other and crimes like this will always be selfish in my mind on the part of the perpetrator. Ok, so it is human to be ungodly upset but to take another life? And then your own so you don’t have to deal with the consequences of your actions? And to leave the children you brought into this world orphaned? It’s hateful, wrong, tragic, and selfish.
I often think about Melinda’s kids and wonder where their lives have led them. I remember her son in particular as a little boy with reddish hair at the bus stop. Melinda’s kids were lucky because her parents were able to step in and take care of her children. And they are amazing and lovely people.
I guess life’s big lesson here is once again we are reminded of how life can change in a blink of an eye. I wish for a day when senseless violence like this ebbs away from our existences.
Appreciate those who love you and hold you dear. I know I do.