What really took 2 lives in Schaefer case?

TOCCOA — It is a mystery that may never get a satisfactory answer.

It will be discussed a while longer at kitchen tables, in chat rooms and other places where people ask questions. The names of the dead will resurface when cops discuss cases that stick with them. The funeral programs will be tucked away for someone else to find.

And when they turn up, so will the old questions. What happened? Why did he kill his wife of 52 years? What did the notes say?

Here’s what police say:

On March 26, Bruce Schaefer, 74, a longtime Atlanta stockbroker who’d retired to his boyhood mountain haunts, shot his sleeping wife, Nancy Schaefer, 73, a former state senator and a conservative political activist. Then he turned the .38-caliber handgun on himself.

The Schaefers were dead when their daughter found them in the bedroom of their Habersham County home. Investigators discovered a suicide note, as well as notes to each of the couple’s five children.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the case, is emphatic.

“This is as clear-cut a case of murder-suicide as you’ll see,” said spokesman John Bankhead. The state agency will close out its investigation after doing a few more interviews and running some toxicology tests — standard procedure in death cases, said Bankhead.

So case closed — or nearly.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution

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