Woman charged in deaths of 3 sons

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2004

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage woman was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of her three teenage sons.

Cynthia J. Lord, 42, is accused of shooting each of her sons in the head at their south Anchorage apartment Tuesday, court documents said.

She called police about 4:35 p.m. to report the deaths. Arriving officers found the bodies of 19-year-old Christopher Woods, 18-year-old Michael Woods and 16-year-old Joseph Woods, Sgt. Scott Jessen said.

"It was like a bolt from the blue," Jessen said. "No one expected anything like this."

Lord was scheduled to be arraigned in state District Court on Wednesday.

According to charging documents, Lord told police she shot Michael at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday while he slept on a sofa, and then covered him with a blanket.

Lord said she waited for Joseph to go to school, and then shot Christopher as he watched television, charging papers said. She moved his body into a bedroom and covered it with clothes, the documents said.

Joseph was shot from behind when he came home from school, the charging papers said. His body was found covered with blankets just inside the living room.

Lord called police from a nearby supermarket, telling the dispatcher her apartment door was open and the gun was on her nightstand, charging documents said. Officers met her at the store and she led them to the apartment, Jessen said.

Police found a 9 mm pistol on the floor of the master bedroom. Lord told them she bought it in October.

Lord told police she had a motive for killing her sons, Jessen said, but he would not give details.

Some of the family's neighbors said the brothers told them that their mother suffered from mental illness and had stopped taking her medication.

One neighbor, Homer Cole, said he watched from his window as Lord went after one of her sons with a golf club a few months ago. He said she kept to herself but sometimes erupted, accusing neighbors of being FBI agents who were trying to arrest her. The sons always defended their mother.

Cole said his own children were so upset by the deaths, they stayed home Wednesday.

"Those brothers were like big brothers to all the little kids around here. They'd play ice hockey with them, catch ball," Cole said. "I have nothing but good things to say about them. God rest their souls. They were good boys who didn't deserve what happened. They were loyal to their mom to the very end."

Lord, who doesn't have a lawyer yet, would not enter a plea in District Court, which doesn't have jurisdiction over felony charges, said Public Defender Barbara Brink.

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