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"She spoke glowingly about a recent trip to a resort in Mexico she had taken with Don and her son's family." Interviewed from his hospital bed at about p.m.
the day of the murder, Rowland told investigators about the root of the anxiety he'd been experiencing.
Donald Rowland would tell police he looked at the clock the exact moment he made up his mind. Rowland, an 88-year-old veteran and retired bank executive who'd lived the spotless life of a principled military man, decided that he and his wife of 64 years should die. when he carried through with the idea, using a large kitchen knife to stab and kill 86-year-old Betty Rowland while she slept on her side of the bed. In exchange for an admission of guilt, prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges all the way down to involuntary manslaughter.
He drank infrequently — a glass during nights out at the country club — and had been one of just a few people at his high school who'd refused to pick up cigarettes.
He and Betty raised four kids, and over 64 years of marriage, the family tree grew to include thirteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. His life." Betty was a lover of music, a piano teacher who played organ at church and at the services of military men who'd died.
The night before the murder, at about p.m., Rowland took for the first time a pill called Celexa, an antidepressant he'd been prescribed earlier that day.
He was under the impression, he told police, that the pill would help him sleep, something that had been scarce lately."I kept telling myself, 'You shouldn't do it,'" he said later. His attempt to use the same knife on himself did not go as planned; the pain was too much. The charges were first-degree murder and armed criminal action. Six weeks later, Rowland appeared in court again, a wispy-haired man with bushy eyebrows in a striped prison jumpsuit. Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane delivered the decision: a suspended sentence, with five years probation.