Allen Claxton, 75, told police an intruder broke into his Connecticut home, killed his wife, Eden, and tried to choke him with a rope, authorities said. The story purportedly explained why responders found him with a rope around his neck — and why the woman was found stabbed to death, police said, the Stamford Advocate reported.
But investigators say Claxton’s injuries, as well as handwritten notes and emails, pointed to a murder-suicide plot that didn’t go as planned, according to NBC Connecticut.
Claxton called out to emergency crews from atop a staircase when they got to the Stamford home on June 11, authorities said, reported the news station They soon discovered Eden Claxton’s body in the master bedroom, next to a kitchen knife, investigators said.
Allen Claxton said he’d heard a noise that morning and went downstairs to check it out, police said. He felt something around his neck and then passed out, according to his account, the Advocate reported. He woke up to the sight of his 74-year-old wife bleeding, an arrest warrant said, per the newspaper.
Officials ruled the woman’s death a homicide, saying her throat had been cut, according to the Stamford Daily Voice. Police said Claxton was injured too, the publication reported.
But Claxton’s wounds — swollen eyes, a swollen tongue and other bruises — appeared to be from a “botched hanging,” doctors told police, NBC Connecticut reported.
Police also determined there were no signs indicating someone had broke into the home, the Advocate reported.
Investigators found emails and notebooks written by Claxton, before his wife’s death, that spoke of depression and murder suicide, News 12 and the Advocate reported. The writings also detailed his concerns over his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis, and possibly losing the couple’s financial stability. Police allege one of the Claxton’s emails said: “The only way out of it is to create a horrific event where we both die at the same time,” the news station reported.
Police learned Claxton had been planning a murder-suicide, not a suicide pact, authorities said, reported WFSB-TV. They allege he stabbed his wife before trying to take his own life — but the suicide attempt didn’t work, News 12 reported.
Claxton appeared in court Friday on a murder charge, the news station said. His attorney told the Advocate he plans to deny the charges at his next appearance in July.