Tempe businessman James Butwin carefully planned the final hours of his life, leaving behind detailed suicide notes before he killed his family and took his own life, according to Tempe police.
On Thursday, the Pima County medical examiner identified the charred remains of James and Yafit among the five bodies discovered in a burned-out SUV found in the Pinal County desert Saturday. Tempe police on Tuesday said two guns were found in the Ford, which belonged to the Butwin family. Authorities are still working to identify the children.
At the time of the deaths, James Butwin was negotiating with creditors over millions in debts, managing a divorce and battling a brain tumor, according to records and interviews with those who knew him.
Butwin, a commercial property developer who Tempe police say murdered his family within hours of his 47th birthday last week, had debts that had spiraled to more than $18 million as the Great Recession unraveled his business.
Butwin and his partners were negotiating a delinquent $18 million construction loan, sources familiar with the matter said. Though others shared in the debt, Butwin could have been on the hook for the entire amount if they failed to settle the debt.
Additionally, Butwin owed on a home-equity loan and another loan that collectively were worth $1.5 million.
Sure, you may say, his brain tumor may have contributed to his depression and its violent finale. But how often have you read about a dying cancer patient massacring his family compared to how often you've read about someone drowning in debt doing the same?
No contest. This is GBC all the way.
Greenspan's Body Count stands at 222.