68 years of marriage ended in tragedy, when an 89-year-old woman was bludgeoned to death with a hammer, and her 90-year-old husband was sentenced to a little over 17 years in jail for having done the ghastly deed.
John Bunz apparently got into an argument with his sickly wife, Virginia, at their apartment in a retirement home, grabbed a hammer and proceeded to bash it into her head and arms. Not once or twice, but 30 times. Then he grabbed a pillow and shoved it over her face ‘to make sure the job was done’.
Then he grabbed a knife and apparently tried to commit suicide, by slashing his neck, wrists and above the eyes. Discovered by their daughter that morning, Virginia had died from the hammer blows to the head.
17 years is a virtual life sentence, considering his age, but since the severity and apparent violence of the murder would have reaped a longer sentence, Bunz copped a plea to a lesser charge- first-degree manslaughter, as opposed to second-degree murder.
Saying he was “.. extremely sorry about what happened,’ he also received an additional five years ‘post-release supervision’. As if he’ll live that long.
What’s so sad is that Bunz, a retired chemist, was supposedly a decent, good man prior to the murder/suicide attempt.
Although I’m convinced that he must have some mental issues, dementia for one, since a 90-year-old doesn’t just suddenly snap and bash his wife’s head in with a hammer; but court-ordered psychological evaluations proved he is mentally fit. And no-one seems to know what exactly set him off on such a violent path.
Detective Lt Richard S Walter of Amerherst Police said that nobody will ever know exactly what happened but that after they got up that morning the Bunzes started arguing over ‘her health care issues’.
He explained: ‘She gets agitated, he gets agitated. At some point, he gets a hammer from somewhere in the home. ‘It was an extremely violent crime scene.’
According to Frank A Sedita III, DA, the reason for the lack of leniency was because
‘This was not a mercy killing. This was not a gentle killing. This was not, as far as we know, part of any murder-suicide pact. ‘This was an extraordinarily violent act.’
Maybe we’ll never know, but it’s very bizarre how even older people are now turning to violence to settle scores.