Yesterday (Sunday 10/31), I was called by a member of my congregation and given the terrible news that his sister, her husband, and her son had been murdered. I sent out some PM's for prayers last night because things had to remain a little quiet but everything is now out in the open so I make this broader post. It appears that the husband's son from a previous marriage murdered his father, step mother, and oldest step brother. A younger step brother had been away singing with the HS ensemble at our worship yesterday morning and missed the murder though upon returning home found the bodies! The suspected perpetrator is in custody and will be charged with three homicides. If this series of events were not enough, word came this morning that one of the murdered husband's sisters was killed in an appearantly unrelated house fire in an adjacent community. Now that family has to mourn the sudden loss of two children through senseless tragedies and come to grips with the reality their grandson is a multiple murderer. The woman and her son who were killed were members of my congregation as is the surviving son (the discoverer) and most of her extended family. Her Dad has a serious case of Altzheimer's disease and is unaware of what has happened. I have never found a reason to be happy someone has that dreaded disease until now. The husband and his sister have no known church homes and thus we might be hosting up to all four of the funerals together. Your prayers for the families (and selfishly for me and my associate as we try to aid the families navigate these waters) would be greatly appreciated. I hope to use this thread as a sort of blog to help me vent some of the trauma of these events. Thank you in advance for reading the reports I will post. We met with the family today and got started on the planning of a funeral. It will be here at the building, in part because that is the families' wish and also because the funeral home could not hold all the folks. Ours is one of the largest public spaces in the central portion of our rural county. The county is so small and unsophisticated in these matters that yesterday (10/31) was the year's first murder. There had been a single shooting in '09 but otherwise it had been 9 years since the last one prior to that.