Both boys were found to have high levels of cyanide in their blood in addition to gunshot wounds to the head. It is assumed that due to the poison both children were unconscious during the police chase, and that either Susie or Fritz fatally shot them just prior to the explosion of the bomb. Police officers found Fritz alive among the wreckage; however, he soon died from internal hemorrhaging. The following day, June 4, the police searched the Klenner household and found numerous firearms , explosives , and prescription drugs.

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He topped the hill and saw police cars everywhere. Rarely had he seen so many at a crime scene. He parked on the opposite side of the street a short distance from the house and walked to the driveway. The confusion that had reigned earlier had subsided, and the house had been sealed off by Winston-Salem police.

Two patrolmen were guarding the foot of the driveway, where rescue squad members and several bystanders also had gathered. Gentry saw his lieutenant, Earl B.

Hiatt, usually called EB, arriving and waited for him. The two walked up the driveway, where they were greeted by Larry Gordon, the first deputy to reach the scene. Any thought Gentry had of a case easily cleared was dispelled when Gordon told them that three bodies were in the house, two women and a man, all shot several times, and no weapon in sight. He read the names of the victims from a pad, but neither Gentry nor Hiatt had heard of the Newsoms.

Gordon explained that jurisdiction was in question, and Hiatt and Gentry agreed they should proceed on the assumption that this was their case. More specifically, Gentry knew, the responsibility likely would fall on him. He was wearing blue jeans; a green, blue, and lavender plaid flannel shirt with long sleeves; and black corduroy house slippers with no socks.

He had been shot three times in the abdomen, once in the right forearm the only close shot , and once in the back of the head. He was just outside the arched entrance to the living room, and it appeared that he had been trying to flee when fatally wounded. Inside the circle were ashes and odd bits of scorched paper, some from an organic gardening magazine that apparently had supplied fuel for the fire.

In the living room, a large mirror over the fireplace at the end of the room opposite the archway reflected a macabre scene of disorder.

A wooden rocking chair lay on its side between the flickering console TV, tuned to a High Point station, and the door to the breezeway where Nanna had set up her temporary kitchen. A set of fireplace tools had been overturned. A bunch of red grapes lay on a Fortune magazine by a Winston-Salem telephone directory on a marble-topped table next to the chair.

On the telephone directory was a green plastic supermarket vegetable tray with raw cut cauliflower on it. A full can of spray starch stood on the coffee table. She was wearing a white skirt and a light blue-and-white striped knit top. Although investigators would not notice it immediately, her throat had been slit, a deep, two-inch gash just above the glasses that hung around her neck on a decorative chain.

She had two shallow stab wounds in the right side of her neck, a third in her right shoulder. More prominent were three deep stab wounds that penetrated her back. One, it later was discovered, had severed her aorta. A single shot in the right side of her chest had penetrated her liver, heart, and both lungs. She also had been shot in her left temple as she lay on the floor, the bullet passing through and lodging beneath her.

Her wedding band was bent, the finger under the ring cut and broken, as if somebody had tried unsuccessfully to remove the ring. Her engagement ring, with its three-quarter-carat diamond, was gone. One bullet, apparently a wild shot, had grazed the left side of her head.

A second hit her in the lower right side. The fatal shot struck her right temple, passed through her head, and lodged in her shoulder. She lay on the sofa with hands clasped beneath her chin, and many police officers who saw her were convinced that she had been praying when she was shot, although later evidence showed that she had been placed in that position after being shot.

Subscribe Yes! I also want to get the Early Bird Books newsletter featuring great deals on ebooks. Photo Credit: Lorillard Co. Another bullet passed through the archway, struck a piece of molding on the far side of the staircase, and plopped back onto the steps.

From the angle of the shots, most appeared to have been fired from near the breezeway door. A heavy gold-and-pearl bracelet worth thousands of dollars lay on the floor near the foot of the bed. More drawers were stacked in an upstairs bedroom that Nanna once had used, a bedroom decorated with photographs of important events in the lives of her two children and five grandchildren. On the stand was a china urn hand-painted with roses. Paw-Paw had brought the urn home one day wrapped as a gift for Nanna.

His walk-through of the house convinced Allen Gentry that this was not going to be an easily solved case. For one thing, the trail was cold. The murders obviously had occurred hours earlier, maybe a day or more.

And what was the motive? Clearly, this was no typical robbery. What robber would leave behind plainly visible cash and expensive jewelry?

The murders looked like executions to him. Why was the storm door broken, while a key was left in the back door lock? Had one of the victims been surprised by the murderer while entering the house? Why was another set of keys found between two of the cars? Was that footprint in the sand by one of the new windows at the back of the house significant?

Why had Florence Newsom been so savaged, a blatant example of overkill? Why had the fire been set in the hallway? Was it an attempt to burn down the house and cover the murders? Had the purpose of the fire been only to burn a specific item or items? Had the killer or killers come only to find and destroy such items? Why was the briefcase empty? Gentry realized that he would have to find the answers to many hard questions before he could put this case behind him.

Rob Newsom had arrived from Greensboro, driven by his friend Tom Maher, while Gentry was inside the house. He looked to be in shock. At times he sat with his head in his hands. Gentry introduced himself and offered condolences. He had a few questions. Basic things. How had he learned of their deaths? Rob told about his parents spending weekends with his grandmother, their plans to move in, the remodeling that had been under way.

Briefly, he went through the events of the day, his futile attempts to reach his parents, the call to the Suttons. Did Rob know why anybody might want to kill his parents and grandmother?

Had there been any problems, any unusual events in the family? Download Bitter Blood. Bitter Blood.


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Bitter Blood: A True Story of Southern Family Pride, Madness, and Multiple Murder



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