The father of the Westchester woman who was killed by her husband Sam Friedlander, who also fatally shot their two children before committing suicide himself, is fighting back at accusations that his daughter was emotionally abusive to Friedlander. Gary Perez told the Journal News that Friendlander made his daughter Amy get an abortion when she became pregnant with their third child, "He said he was too old to have more children. And when she got home, he not once did anything to help her. She was very upset, and she was having difficulty coming to terms with it. When she expressed this to her husband, he told her to 'deal with it.'" Perez also suggested that Friedlander was too interested in their 10-year-old daughter.
In an interview with the Post, Perez said, "He took inappropriate photos of Molly. Naked parts of her anatomy... It was awkward around young girls. He put himself in situations that were strange, like having play dates with Molly and a friend, including him. Instead of working, he’d come down and have a play date." He further explained to the Journal News, "I have affidavits from people who won't let their daughters in the Friedlander house if Sam's there alone with the kids. He did very strange things pertaining to young girls."
Police say that sometime around midnight on Monday night, Sam Friedlander, 50, bludgeoned Amy Friedlander, 46, with a leg from a piece of furniture in the master bedroom of their home in Cross River, NY. He also shot his children in their bedrooms with a 12-gauge shotgun (Perez says Molly's and 8-year-old Sam's bodies were basically blown away in half) before shooting himself in the basement. The couple had been in the middle of a divorce, but financial reasons (Amy ran a test prep service while Sam was a lawyer) compelled them to still live in the same house, with Sam in the guest room and Amy in the master.
Sam Friedlander's friends had conjectured what could have driven him to the violence, "I think it was just the constant berating. Everything he did she criticized. She belittled him in front of the kids" and "I can't put a handle on why he would take the lives of his kids but whatever it was was a result of years of emotional torment that he must have went through in that household." Perez said of his son-in-law, "He had a right to be depressed. He is a depressing person. He was not a good provider. He purposefully tried to reduce his income to lower the basis of his child support. He didn't want to pay anything. He quit a job with benefits just to go into his own business," adding, "I'm not going to have somebody besmirch my daughter's name. She was too good a mother and too good a person. Everybody says that about their kids and I know everybody has faults. But my daughter was one of the really nice people in the world. And Sam was just ... he tried to brainwash her for eight years. Then after the divorce started, she stopped taking it anymore."