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   Strategies & Market TrendsThe Economy Made Me Do It.

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From: Smiling Bob11/1/2009 12:52:41 PM
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Laura Rowley Money & Happiness
Laura Rowley, Money & Happiness
The Rage of Anxiety

by Laura Rowley
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Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2009, 12:00AM

The town of Chatham, New Jersey, a few towns away from where I live, is a bucolic suburb of historic homes and refined new mansions, with a population of 10,000.

The median family income is $132,000. Just 45 minutes from New York City, it's the kind of place where it helps to know somebody if you want to buy a home, because properties often change hands without ever making it to the real estate listings.

On the evening of Oct. 22, Father Edward Hinds, 61, pastor of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Chatham, was stabbed to death in the rectory. He was found when he failed to show up to celebrate morning Mass at the parish school, which some of our friends' children attend. The level of shock is difficult to express.

The police subsequently arrested Jose Feliciano, 64, the janitor at the church, a 17-year employee whose son graduated from the school and whose daughter is enrolled there. In press reports, both the priest and the janitor have been described as quiet, kind, amiable, caring and hardworking. Both were known to chat with neighbors while walking their dogs.

The previous pastor of St. Patrick's, Monsignor Ronald Amandolare, said he never saw Feliciano angry or violent. "He was loved by the kids, loved by the parents," Amandolare told the Star-Ledger of Newark. "He was a great, hard worker and very kind. You could call him in the morning, noon and night if anything broke … . You say, 'Jose, can you help me?' 'Sure, I'll be right over.'"

An attorney for the Archdiocese of Paterson told reporters that Hinds intended to lay off Feliciano because of financial problems at the parish. Feliciano had reportedly been beset with money and health issues -- "in and out of the hospital," by one account. The janitor had worked a second job in an electronics store, and lost that position earlier this year.

In 2004, the Felicianos moved from an apartment adjacent to the church to a home they purchased for $145,000 in a working-class city in Pennsylvania, 45 miles away. A neighbor said both Jose Feliciano and his wife, who also worked two jobs, typically left for work at 5:30 a.m. and returned home at 7:30 or 8:30 in the evening.

Obviously there is no excuse for the brutal and horrific attack on Rev. Hines. But I can't help thinking that both the victim and the alleged killer are casualties of a treacherous economy, which continues to batter the ordinary American while the experts proclaim recovery is upon us.

A recent study by researchers in California and London found the stress of recessions, particularly of unemployment, markedly increases rates of death from intentional violence. Looking at joblessness in the European Union between 1970 and 2007, researchers found each percent increase in unemployment raised homicide and suicide rates by 0.8 percent, respectively. An increase of 3 percent in unemployment, for example, is associated with a 4.5 percent increase in suicides, said the study, published in the journal Lancet in July.

"Suicides are just the tip of the iceberg," said lead author David Stuckler, Ph.D., of the University of Oxford and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in a statement. "Rising suicide rates are a sign of many failed suicide attempts and high levels of mental distress among workers and families."

The murder in Chatham makes me think about the millions of Americans who live in a state of perpetual anxiety, an illness or a layoff away from disaster. U.S. personal bankruptcy filings topped 1 million in the first nine months of this year, up 35 percent from the year-ago period, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. It's the highest nine-month figure since 2005, when consumers rushed to file for bankruptcy before stricter laws went into effect. The figures also saw a growth in middle-class filers -- those with associate and bachelor's degrees, and earnings of $40,000 or more a year.

Meanwhile, foreclosure-related filings are on pace to hit about 3.5 million this year, up from 2.3 million last year, according to a report this month by RealtyTrac. New defaults are surpassing the number of people helped by the federal mortgage relief program, which earlier this month reported that 500,000 homeowners had received assistance.

In addition, Moody's says that 2010 loan charge-offs by banks, on an annualized rate, are exceeding the levels of the Great Depression, and will increase in the coming year. In a related twist, analysts described why household balance sheets may recover faster than predicted: People are defaulting on their debts like crazy.

That means, in official economic terms, those obligations don't actually count as "debts" anymore. Apparently this is upbeat news for the larger economy -- a shiny veneer on a national edifice of crushed aspirations and heartache.

Heartache that now includes the tragic story of the priest and the janitor in Chatham.

(For an update on this story, see my blog.)

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From: Smiling Bob7/1/2010 10:45:33 PM
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July 1, 2010
Street Killings Prompt Police to Increase Overnight Patrols

The Police Department is increasing overnight patrols after a recent spate of killings on the street, mostly in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Normally, about 65 percent of all shootings take place outdoors, according to the police. But over the past 28 days, about 90 percent occurred on the street, leading the police to believe that high-visibility patrols could deter violence and catch criminals shortly after they act.

Police officials said the number of officers on the street from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in 23 precincts could double or even triple, using dedicated overtime funds.

“In all likelihood, the shift will continue through July 4 and beyond, unless shooting patterns suggest that we readjust again,” said Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the chief police spokesman.

The move comes as the police try to hold down the homicide rate, which is up 11 percent through the end of June. But department officials said they were battling their own success. The homicide rate last year was the lowest since the department’s switch in 1963 to what it considered a more reliable system of tracking killings.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the preponderance of street shootings suggested that “enforcement and aggressive strategies” might have an impact.

“We’re always concerned, and we do everything we reasonably can to deploy our resources,” Mr. Kelly added.

At the start of the recession, many wondered whether economic forces would propel the city toward “the bad old days” around 1990, when killings peaked at 2,245. Those fears have not been realized. As of June 27, there had been 221 killings this year.

Citywide, major crime over all was down 1.3 percent, but there were some notable increases. Rapes rose 13 percent, and shootings were up 7 percent. Grand larceny fell 7 percent.

Thomas A. Reppetto, an author and the former president of the Citizens Crime Commission, said he had seen the homicide rate rise in the first half of previous years, only to come down again. “I would suspect looking at these figures and the past years that we will end up at about the same level of crime in 2010 as we had in 2009,” he said. “Not necessarily in every category, but overall.”

But the police must act swiftly to address emerging patterns, Mr. Reppetto added.

Robert Johnson, 50, a cook, said he had noted an increase in violent crime around his home near Broadway Junction in Brooklyn. On June 20, a 31-year-old man was fatally shot across the street from a playground where he takes his grandchildren.

“The last year has been real crazy,” Mr. Johnson said, citing previous shootings on nearby Hull Street. “I come in a little earlier. When it gets dark, I take them in,” he said of the children.

In fact, the 73rd Precinct, where the park is, had 10 killings, as did the 81st Precinct, also in Brooklyn. The only precincts with more were the 75th, in East New York, Brooklyn, which had 15, and the 47th, in the north Bronx, with 11.

In the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on Wednesday night, three people were shot, one fatally, while watching a basketball tournament at Kingston Park.

Jamal Jones, 23, said he had organized the tournament, which featured star players from local high schools and drew a crowd of about 100. “It was ugly, people getting trampled,” said Mr. Jones, who sustained a graze wound to his arm. “They’re lucky, because it could have been a whole lot worse.”

Craig Powell, 42, a schoolteacher who has lived in the area for 36 years, brought his daughters, 9 and 7, to the park on Thursday afternoon. He said he long ago became accustomed to a rise in crime during hot weather.

“It’s just living in the ’hood, unfortunately,” he said. “You just hear about it and pray it doesn’t happen to you and yours.”

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From: Smiling Bob6/18/2011 11:07:26 AM
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Pa. man clubs family to death with bat, kills self

The Associated Press

WARRINGTON, Pa. - Authorities in suburban Philadelphia say a man clubbed his wife and young son to death with a baseball bat before committing suicide on a set of train tracks.

Warrington Township police Officer Ken Hawthorn says 44-year-old Christopher Moyer called 911 on Friday night to say that he had killed his 39-year-old wife, Irina Moyer, and their 7-year-old son, Dylan.

Christopher Moyer's car was found parked behind a business near the train tracks. His body was found on the tracks in neighboring Montgomery County after he was struck by a train.

District Attorney David Heckler told the Bucks County Courier Times that police found a bloody baseball bat in the home, and there are indications that the family may have been having financial problems.

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From: Smiling Bob1/25/2013 10:11:01 AM
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Tide Thefts Leave Colo. Retailers Airing Dirty LaundryBy ABC News | ABC News Blogs – 2 hours 42 minutes ago

Tide Thefts Leave Colo. Retailers Airing Dirty Laundry (ABC News)

ABC News' Gio Benitez ( @GioBenitez) and Hana Karar ( @HanaKarar) report:

Retailers in Colorado are cracking down on Tide laundry detergent thefts by locking up the product and hiring undercover security guards to patrol their aisles.

The Colorado Retail Council hopes that such measures will help protect retailers from people who are shoplifting laundry detergent at an alarming rate.

"It's a very large problem that we have to spend a lot on and, unfortunately, that cost gets passed on to the costumer," Chris Howes, president of the Colorado Retail Council, said.

Police in Colorado are searching for a man they believe has stolen more than $8,000 worth of Tide laundry detergent in the Ft. Lupton area in Weld County. Police said the male suspect has been caught on surveillance video knocking off six different stores, taking Tide and expensive face lotions.

Tide is one of the most recognized laundry detergents with its bright-orange container. With a retail price from $10 to $20, Tide has become liquid gold on the streets. It can sell on the black market for half the price and it's impossible to track.

"Tide is highly recognizable, it's very difficult to trace and it's easily resold," said Brad Garrett, ABC News consultant and former FBI special agent.

In March, cameras caught a man stealing more than $6,000 worth of the product during the course of 15 months near Minneapolis.

"Tide is a staple item," Lt. Brad Pyle of Prince George's County, Md., police told ABC News in March. "Everybody uses it day in, day out. And it's the most popular brand, so they can move it and get a lot of money for it."

The National Retail Foundation found last year that 95 percent of companies were victimized by organized retail crime.

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From: Smiling Bob5/4/2014 8:06:25 AM
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When poor parents can't afford diapers, babies wear dirty diapers longer

MCT: Laurie Skrivan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
KeYanna Roddy changes the diaper on her son, Byron, his sixth of the morning, on April 9, 2014, in St. Louis. Because of many medications from his open-heart surgery, Byron can go through 10-15 diapers a day, putting a strain on Roddy's limited budget.
1 day ago By Nancy Cambria of St. Louis Post-Dispatch






They are the first line of defense against infection and disease — and are even linked to preventing depression and violence.

Desperate people will sometimes steal to get them.

No, this is not a story about illicit pills or drug abuse. It's about disposable diapers, an item the poor need desperately.

Researchers are starting to realize "diaper need" not only causes obvious health problems for children, but leads to depression in moms and poor social and developmental outcomes for the child — even child abuse.

It is estimated that disposable diapers can cost up to $100 a month for one baby. On average, a newborn goes through eight to 10 diapers a day, said Melinda Ohlemiller, CEO of Nurses for Newborns.

Nurses with the organization see the diaper need firsthand with their clients but can offer minimal help.

To provide diapers for their mostly poor clients, Ohlemiller said, the organization would need 8,000 to 10,000 diapers a day. But the agency can supply only about 12 diapers to established clients on an emergency basis.

One of its clients, Catalina Martinez of Overland, Mo., said she was unable to work after having her second child. It's been difficult to afford diapers for a newborn and a toddler on her boyfriend's salary. She's had to keep a diaper on her child longer than she should.

"I even have tried to get my oldest one to potty train. But she wouldn't train yet."

Last summer a study in the medical journal Pediatrics identified "diaper need" among the poor as a growing health and psychological risk for babies and their mothers.

The study determined that as many as 30 percent of poor parents in New Haven, Conn., struggled to afford diapers for their infants. It further linked diaper need as a factor causing maternal depression, which can also lead to poor outcomes for children.

"There's just a great need ... and no one is calling attention to this," said DiAnne Mueller, CEO of Crisis Nursery, a St. Louis-area child abuse prevention agency.

Crisis Nursery workers sometimes go door-to-door in poor neighborhoods asking people what they need. The answer is almost always the same: diapers and formula.

Although formula purchases can be federally subsidized, diapers are not covered by food stamps through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC.

As a result, some food pantries are inundated with requests for disposable diapers. But the pantries don't get steady donations of them and don't always have them on the shelves. When they do, they fly out of the door, said Marcia Mermelstein, coordinator of the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry in St. Louis.

"We're giving people four to six diapers when in reality when most people buy a box of diapers, they're getting 24 or 48. It's like giving one tiny bar of soap a month. It's not enough, it's a token gesture," Mermelstein said.

Families will take what they can get, she said.

"They're taking diapers that are clearly too small and taping them together and using whatever they can."

Although charitable agencies see the diaper need, they can't make collecting and distributing diapers their first priority because it takes away energy and donations from their main services.

"Yes, we need diapers," Mermelstein said. "But in the great scheme of things, we are a food pantry and the highest priority is to give food for survival."

Some cities and regions have developed thriving diaper banks that collect and promote donated diapers and act as a clearinghouse to agencies like food pantries and community outreach centers.

According to the National Diaper Bank Network in Connecticut, about 100 established diaper banks operate nationwide. Happy Bottoms in Kansas City, Mo., for example, has distributed more than 1.5 million diapers to agencies that work with the poor.

But St. Louis is only in the beginning stages of developing such a resource.

Jessica Adams, a social worker, said she has filed the 501c paperwork for the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank and hopes to begin taking donations and making partnerships with agencies soon.

"I think the biggest issue in St. Louis is there's not a roundtable conversation going on about diaper need," she said. "So spreading the word to involve every agency will help everyone."

Adams said she realized the need after she went through a divorce with a toddler and three older children. Money was scarce, and she relied on food pantries to get by.

"I had to call family members for money for diapers," she said. "It's humiliating, absolutely humiliating."

Nurses for Newborns and Crisis Nursery workers hear of mothers rinsing out disposable diapers and reusing them. More commonly they see horrid cases of diaper rash.

Mueller said when a baby presents with bad rashes and even staph infections people unfairly conclude mothers are neglectful. But further questioning almost always reveals families are keeping the diapers on longer than they should because they don't have enough.

"Diapers are mandatory. They're not optional," said Ohlemiller. "And yet families are making really hard decisions: Are we going to buy diapers or formula or are we going to buy food? That stress is putting a lot of hardships on families."

Obtaining diapers can be more expensive for the poor because most don't have enough cash on hand to buy diapers in bulk at a cheaper cost per diaper. So they resort to buying smaller packages at higher prices. If a family lacks a working car, they often buy diapers at the local convenience store, where the price skyrockets.

Ohlemiller said cheaper cloth diapers are typically not an option for the poor who often lack working washers and dryers. Coin laundries often ban diapers in their machines for sanitary reasons.

Child care centers are another obstacle. Day cares often ban cloth diapers for sanitary and logistical reasons. Mothers using day cares are often in a double bind: They can't use cloth diapers, and if they run out of disposable diapers, they can't send their child to day care. Without day care, moms can't work.

Ohlemiller said families sometimes force toilet training on children who are not developmentally ready and fail, adding further stress in the household.

And the long-term issues of diaper needs are more chilling, said Mueller. Babies and toddlers with sore bottoms are cranky, so they cry more and bond less.

"What we see is a higher rate of child abuse," said Mueller. "The child is unable to be consoled, and the parent already has such limited resources both financially and emotionally. If the baby keeps crying and crying, it really gets to most anyone, so the risk of injury to the child is certainly much higher."

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From: Smiling Bob12/20/2014 7:39:05 PM
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Man charged with Doylestown false report in search for Montco killer, Bradley Stone

A Bucks County man has been charged with perpetrating a hoax that brought police to Doylestown in the search for mass killer Bradley Stone.

Friday, December 19, 2014 11:25PM
Bucks County authorities have announced charges connected to a false report in the manhunt for Bradley Stone in the hours following his killing spree in Montgomery County earlier this week.

Luke Sanderlin, 34, of Doylestown Township is charged with filing a false report, reckless endangerment and risking a catastrophe.

The Bucks County District Attorney says Sanderlin claimed that a man fitting Stone's description tried to carjack him. He allegedly told authorities that he fired a gun at the man, who then fled the scene.

Authorities say Sanderlin's story was all a hoax.

Bucks County District Attorney Dave Heckler says it brought numerous agencies away from Montgomery County where they believed Stone was hiding.

Hospitals and neighborhoods were put on lockdown.

Heckler says, "He caused an enormous amount of expense, anguish, anxiety, and some very real risks."

After Stone's deadly rampage Monday morning law enforcement swarmed the area around the four crime scenes: in Souderton where three were found dead and a teenage boy critically wounded; in Lansdale where two others were found dead; in Lower Salford where Stone killed his ex-wife and took his two daughters; and in Pennsburg where Stone dropped his daughters off with a neighbor before fleeing.

Stone's body would eventually be found Tuesday in a wooded area near his Pennsburg home.

However, Monday night while police continued to scour the area they received a report from Bucks County over of a violent encounter, possibly involving Bradley Stone.

It all started just before 8:00 p.m. at the Stonington Farm apartment complex in Doylestown, located near North Shady Retreat Road and Burpee Road.

Sanderlin allegedly told arriving officers that he was walking his dog when he was confronted by a man in fatigues and armed with a knife who demanded his car keys.

Authorities say Sanderlin claimed his dog bit stone, but he had a gun and fired three rounds at the suspect as he ran into a nearby wooded area.

K-9 units and helicopters from surrounding police departments were called in to search the area for Stone. In addition, residents were ordered to "shelter in place" while the search continued.

Authorities say they soon learned that Sanderlin's story was untrue.

Police say they do believe he fired his handgun and he does have a dog. But the rest is a lie.

The motive? The DA says attention for financial gain. The defendant allegedly desperate to raise money for a medical condition.

"The fundraising wasn't going well and we're contending that Mr. Stone's terrible crimes gave the opportunity for that 'something else' to happen," Heckler said.

Heckler says by coincidence there was an acquaintance of stone's in the same apartment complex. So they thought a sighting might be credible.

Sanderlin is currently being held on $250,000 bail.
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From: Smiling Bob2/11/2015 4:05:23 AM
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45,000 suicides annually linked to unemployment

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From: Smiling Bob8/26/2015 10:32:22 PM
   of 21
A man under arrest for robbing a bank in Michigan says he did it to pay for his one-year-old daughter's chemotherapy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 05:07PM
A man under arrest for robbing a bank in Michigan says he did it to pay for his daughter's chemotherapy.

23-year-old Brian Randolph was arrested back on August 14th - two days after police say he robbed a credit union.

Randolph's family says the crime was an act of desperation after his one-year-old daughter's insurance was abruptly dropped.

She suffers from a form of eye cancer and requires chemo once a month.

Randolph's girlfriend, Asia Dupree, says he didn't know what else to do.

"It's just too much. Like, you don't know what's going to happen. You're not sure if she's going to be able to keep her eye or if it's going to get removed or if she's going to be sick one morning ," said Dupree.

Police say Randolph told the teller he had a gun, but he never displayed one.

He is now facing numerous charges.

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From: Smiling Bob2/10/2016 8:52:18 AM
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Family dead in murder-suicide struggled with financial problems

Oak Forest police Chief Gregory Anderson describes the "gruesome" scene officers encountered inside a home where the bodies of two adults and a teenager were found on Feb. 8, 2016. (WGN-TV)

Nick SwedbergDaily Southtown

In many ways, the Joosts were pillars of their south suburban Chicago community of Oak Forest.

David Joost, a 54-year-old known for his wonderful singing voice, frequently sang solos in front of the congregation at the family's Tinley Park church. His wife, Margaret O'Leary-Joost, 55, helped people in crisis at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn as a licensed clinical professional counselor.

The couple raised two children: a 20-year-old daughter, Kathryn, who attends Millikin University in Decatur, and an 18-year-old son, Daniel, who was autistic and spent much of his time playing on the computer.

But, despite appearances, there were problems inside the Joost household.

They apparently led to Monday night's discovery of the bodies of the couple and their son inside their home in the 6600 block of Courtney Avenue, in what police Chief Gregory Anderson called the gruesome and horrific scene of a murder-suicide. The couple's daughter was away at school at the time.

At least one close relative of David Joost said she was unaware of any problems the couple may have had. But neighbors said they knew the Joosts had struggled financially for years. Court and tax records show the couple filed for bankruptcy twice in 2003 but refinanced their home in 2004 and obtained a release from the lender in 2007. Police said David Joost recently lost his job in Orland Park.

A father, mother and their 18-year-old son were found dead in their Oak Forest home Monday night in an apparent murder-suicide, police said Feb. 9, 2016.

(Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

At some point Friday or early Saturday, he apparently strangled his wife and son, both of whom were found in their beds, police said. The Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Margaret died of asphyxiation, likely due to strangulation and smothering, while Daniel died of asphyxiation from ligature strangulation.

David Joost's cause of death was listed as suicide by asphyxiation, hanging and incised wrist wounds, according to the medical examiner's office. Police said he tried to hang himself, slit his wrists and closed himself in the garage with the car running.

O'Leary-Joost had called in sick to work Friday, police said. When she didn't show up for work Monday, a co-worker went to check on her and saw what looked like blood coming from under the garage door. David Joost's body was found on the garage floor.

No signs of forced entry were found. Police did not recover a suicide note at the scene.

Investigators were talking to friends, family and co-workers to gather more information Tuesday, but police said additional updates about the incident are not expected. There was no history of domestic violence or police calls to the house, they said, and there were no signs in the house of any other trouble or crime aside from the three deaths, Anderson said.

Killings are unusual in Oak Forest. Since 2010, there had only been two other murder cases.

David Joost's family offered little insight into what might have prompted him to kill his wife, son and himself. He was the youngest of four siblings who grew up in the southern Illinois town of Steeleville.

"He was always popular in school and did a lot with music," said Kathy Mortenson, 70, of St. Charles, Mo., the oldest sibling. She said she did not know about financial troubles or any other problems the family was experiencing.

More than 15 years separate Mortenson and David Joost, she said. Their mother, Ruth Joost, died in 2011 at 90. Elmer Joost, their father, died in 1991, according to an obituary.

"I know that Mom and Dad took good care of him," she said. "They probably overindulged him when he was growing up."

Other members of the couple's immediate family declined to speak about the tragedy or did not return requests for comment left Tuesday.

Tribune graphics

Advocate Christ Medical Center issued a statement Tuesday morning about O'Leary-Joost: "Margaret O'Leary-Joost was a wonderful colleague and cherished member of the Advocate Christ Medical Center family. The leadership and compassion she provided to patients and colleagues every day will be deeply missed. We continue to hold her loved ones in our thoughts and prayers."

Neighbors said they were shocked to hear what had happened to the Joost family after seeing police cars parked out front of their home all night.

Next door neighbor Mary O'Malley said David Joost would sometimes seem deeply sullen, but other times he was happy and talkative when she encountered him.

"Sometimes, he would come over and talk to me for 20 minutes," O'Malley said. "He'd just keep going about how wonderful my kids are. He was very nice. And, at other times … he wouldn't even look up at me."

Margaret O'Leary-Joost was "always happy and nice," O'Malley said. The couple's son usually stayed inside and used the family computer, she said.

O'Malley said she thinks the family had financial problems for years. Several years ago, David Joost told her he could not afford to buy a canoe that he had wanted to get for his wife as a Christmas present.

"He seemed like a regular neighbor," said another nearby resident, Rich Butkus. "I had never suspected anything."

Butkus said he's known the Joost family since they moved into the house in 2000. The two families' children used to play together.

"Behind closed doors, you don't know what happens," he said.

Millikin University President Patrick White also released a statement expressing condolences Tuesday: "The Millikin University community is saddened by this news. Moments like these make us pause to evaluate what is important, and right now our focus is on helping support Kathryn. We extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Kathryn and her extended family."

The Joosts were members of the Zion Lutheran Church in Tinley Park. The Rev. Dave Peters, the pastor, remembers David Joost as a strong soloist in the choir and a great musical talent, a trait he passed down to his daughter. David Joost maintained a music blog and, at one time, had aspirations of managing artists.

Peters said David Joost was the most visible member of the family at the church.

"His wife was around for worship and times of gathering, but she was more connected to career and to home, as most good moms are," the pastor said.

Daniel Joost would spend time with several other autistic children who are members of the congregation.

David Joost was "trying to do things always with his son in mind" as he struggled financially, Peters said.

Joost's employment history was not entirely clear Tuesday, though the pastor said he held a number of jobs over the years. A message left Tuesday with one of his previous employers was not immediately returned.

The pastor said Tuesday that family members had not yet contacted the church about funeral arrangements.

Nick Swedberg is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown. Chicago Tribune's Megan Crepeau and Matthew Walberg contributed.

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To: Smiling Bob who wrote (19)8/17/2018 5:09:48 AM
From: Smiling Bob
   of 21
Financial issues plagued Chris and Shanann Watts 3 years before alleged killings

Chris Vanderveen
11 hrs ago

N.M. compound: Body of young boy identified

3 suspects arrested in killing of LA gang intervention worker

Video by NBC News

Three years before Weld County investigators believe Chris Watts killed his wife and their two children, the Watts family filed for bankruptcy with less than $10 left in their savings accounts, according to federal court documents reviewed by 9Wants to Know.

Chris and Shanann Watts jointly sought Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in June 2015 after amassing more than $70,000 of debt for unpaid credit cards, medical bills and student loans.

RELATED | Body recovered that is 'quite certain' to be Shanann Watts, search for girls' bodies continue

In a June 5, 2015 filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court in Denver, Shanann and Chris Watts reported their two savings accounts contained just $3.51 and $6.00, respectively. At the same time, their checking account contained a little more than $860.

Most of their debt stemmed from credit card purchases from such retailers as Furniture Row, Sears, Macy’s, American Furniture and Toys R Us.

By August 2015, a federal judge agreed to discharge most of their debt.

The younger of the couple's two daughters -- 3-year-old Celeste -- was born or on the way around the time the bankruptcy proceedings were happening.

RELATED | Husband of missing Frederick mom spoke to 9NEWS less than 24 hours before his arrest

Chris Watts was arrested late Wednesday night and is being held on suspicion of three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.

Full screen
A law enforcement source told 9Wants to Know that Chris Watts confessed to killing all three of them. During a press conference on Thursday morning, Colorado Bureau of Investigation Director John Camper told media it's believed the body of Shanann Watts has been recovered. They also have reason to believe they know the locations of Celeste and her 4-year-old sister Bella.

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