We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we really do not like to write about murders, suicides, or murder-suicides here on Above the Law. The loss of human life is tragic, and it is even more so when there are children involved.

But that being said, we have news today that Sam Friedlander, an alumnus of my alma mater, was involved in a dispute with his estranged wife late Monday night — one that led to her bludgeoning and the shooting of his two young children — before he decided to turn the gun on himself.

If you think the story can’t get any sadder, wait till you see how the law school handled it….

Sam and Amy Friedlander, 50- and 46-years old, respectively, were married in 2000, and Sam Friedlander worked as a solo practitioner with previous ties to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

In a news conference this morning, State Police Major Michael Kopy noted that Friedlander had begun “acting irrationally” in the past week. Thomson Reuters News & Insight has details on the murder-suicide that followed his alleged behavior:

Kopy said it appeared Samuel Friedlander, 50, argued with his wife Amy, 46, before beating her to death in their home in Lewisboro.

Toting a shotgun, he then entered an adjacent bedroom and shot his two children — Molly, 10, and Gregory, 8 — in the stomach, killing them as they lay together in bed.

Friedlander next headed down to the basement with the shotgun and shot himself in the head, police said.

The Friedlanders were reportedly going through a divorce, and the couple had been living in separate bedrooms in the same house. They were expected to appear in court tomorrow for a hearing related to the matter. The New York Daily News has more information on the couple’s troubled marriage:

A longtime close friend of Friedlander said the 11-year marriage was “rocky from the beginning” because Amy’s family did not like Sam.

He said rumblings of a divorce started about two years ago and the husband felt like his wife was trying to turn the children against him.

“I think it was just the constant berating,” said the pal, who did not want his name used. “Everything he did she criticized. She belittled him in front of the kids.”

When Western New England Law learned of the news, the administrator of the school’s Facebook page shared information on Sam Friedlander’s passing. Members of the school’s alumni base — including this one — weren’t exactly pleased with the manner in which his death was announced:

It seems that common decency prevailed, because the school’s status update was deleted within one hour of the last comment being posted.

Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends of the Friedlanders.

Ed. note: If you must comment, please be restrained, respectful, and appropriate. This thread will be moderated, inappropriate comments will be removed, and inappropriate commenters may be banned from future commenting. That said, reasonable people will disagree about what is inappropriate. Therefore, if you are a relative or friend of the Friedlanders, we urge you NOT to read the comments on this post. The comments are hidden; please do not affirmatively click on them unless you are willing to interact with Above the Law commenters. Thank you.

Westchester lawyer Sam Friedlander killed wife, kids before shooting himself in murder-suicide [New York Daily News]
Westchester man kills wife, kids and himself in murder-suicide [New York Post]
New York lawyer bludgeons wife, shoots kids, kills self [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]
Top New York attorney bludgeoned wife to death and shot two children while they slept before turning the gun on himself [Daily Mail]


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