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Marine accused of killing wife with dementia told police she was ‘beyond help’


Marine Stephen Kruspe

Stephen Kruspe signed his wife Pamela out of her assisted-living facility in Boynton Beach to take her dinner on a Monday afternoon, police say.

Less than three hours later, Kruspe fatally shot Pamela and told a 911 dispatcher that his wife, who had dementia, “was beyond help,” according to police records.

New details about the couple and the March 27 killing have emerged through court and police records. They shed light on what police say led to the shooting and how authorities dealt with Stephen Kruspe in the aftermath.

Kruspe, a 62-year-old who served in U.S. , worked at the Jupiter Lighthouse until last summer, when he left to care for his wife full time, according to Kathleen Glover, museum assistant director. She described him as an exemplary employee. Pamela Kruspe, 61, a marathon runner and mother of three, also was a volunteer at the lighthouse.

Over the past year, Stephen Kruspe had twice admitted Pamela, his wife of 42 years, for treatment at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis; once in April, then again in May 2016, records show.

Also last July, police responded to a service call at the address of the Kruspe’s home in Lake Worth. The dispatcher described an emotionally distraught woman who was afraid “people were going to kill her.”

About three months ago, Pamela moved into Parkside Inn Assisted Living Facility, where she received treatment for her dementia, records show.

At 4:50 p.m. on the day of the killing, Stephen Kruspe, dressed in a blue button-up shirt and jeans, showed up at the facility and signed his wife out for dinner, police records show.

Later that evening, Kruspe checked his wife back into the facility. He walked out of a side door of the facility to grab his gun from his car, police said. Then he took his wife out behind the building, records show.

Just before 7:34 p.m., Kruspe shot her in the chest with a .45-caliber pistol, police said. Pamela faced him as he fired, according to the arrest report. Employees at the assisted living facility told police they didn’t hear the shot, dispatch records show.

Stephen Kruspe unloaded the magazine and set the weapon on a back patio railing behind the assisted living facility, police said. Then he called police. On the phone, he told a dispatcher his wife asked him to shoot her, police said.

She “was beyond help,” he told the dispatcher. It’s unclear if Kruspe was referring to the gunshot wound or her illness.

While Kruspe remained on the phone with a dispatcher, police organized across the street from the assisted living center, at Little League Park off Woolbright Road, just east of Interstate 95.

Police cleared the fields and helped direct traffic as dispatchers spoke with Kruspe.

By 7:43 p.m. police had Kruspe in custody.

In an interview with a detective after the shooting, Kruspe told police he spent several days contemplating helping his wife die and said he was willing to sacrifice anything to “get her where she wanted to be,” according to a police report.

Stephen Kruspe remains in jail without bond on charges of homicide.

Rvanvelzer@sun-sentinel.com, Twitter @RyanVanVelzer,


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