A gunman who killed two firefighters in a Christmas Eve ambush in upstate New York told a parole hearing 20 years ago that he “couldn’t explain” why he had murdered his grandmother and was unsure if he would kill again.
William Spengler, 62, killed himself in the Dec. 24 ambush in which he laid a trap for first responders by setting his Webster, N.Y. home ablaze then opening fire on a volunteer fire crew.
Spengler was a violent ex-con who had spent 17 years in prison for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer in 1981.
During a parole hearing in 1989, he told the board that he “got along fine” with his grandmother. When asked why he killed her eight years earlier, he responded “I still haven’t figured that out.”
“It was a matter of just wanting to get out,” he said, according to a transcript of the hearing obtained by NBC.
When asked if he would kill again, Spengler responded “That’s the thing that does worry me. If you were capable of it once, are you capable of it again?”
Spengler’s parole was denied following that hearing, but he was released several years later. He went to live in Webster, and collected a cache of weapons before setting the trap for the firefighters.
CRAZED WEBSTER GUNMAN TOOK HIS OWN LIFE
He left a typewritten note describing his plan, Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said Tuesday.
“I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best, killing people,” the gunman’s statement read.