Jennifer Berman, who until last month was married to one of the most prominent real estate brokers in Palm Beach County, shot her two teenage children and herself Monday afternoon after warning, "It was the best thing for the family."
Reeling from a December divorce from 51-year-old Richard Berman, who says he's "created close to a half-billion dollars" in real estate over the past two decades, Jennifer Berman sent a friend a text message. "I'm going to kill myself and my children," she wrote.
Buoyed by her husband's wealth, Jennifer Berman, 48, hadn't had to worry about money for years. But following their separation, economic troubles closed in around the bewildered woman. Her home on Pershing Way was facing foreclosure, and she and her kids would have had to move in February, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Last April, she had to terminate her relationship with her divorce lawyer when she realized she couldn't pay him anymore. To pay for gasoline, the Post discovered, she had to sell her father's gold watch.
The murdered children, 15-year-old Alex and 16-year-old Jacqueline, were both talented musicians, and social media images convey a suburban family that appeared to have everything -- looks, wealth, security -- until Monday afternoon.
Yesterday afternoon, police released recordings of a batch of disturbing 911 calls. "It looks like she's laid in bed, but she doesn't have a face," one neighbor told the dispatcher upon discovering Jennifer Berman. "I think the girl's up in bed with her, but when I saw what was upstairs, I had to run back downstairs."
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"Oh, sh-t," Richard Berman told a 911 dispatcher after finding his son. "I was just touching his head. He wasn't waking up. His alarm was on; he wasn't waking up. There's blood in his ear."