Richard Berman, newly divorced from Jennifer Berman (right), found her and their kids, Alex (center), 15, and Jacqueline (left), 16, dead in their West Palm Beach home.
It looks like she’s laid in bed but she doesn’t have a face,” the shaken neighbor tells the
dispatcher of the suicidal mom. "I think the girl's up in bed with her but when I saw what was
upstairs I had to run back downstairs."
Richard Berman tells 911 that he was heading to the house after his "ex-wife said she was
going to harm the kids."
"She sent me an email that she did the best thing for our family," Richard tells a police dispatcher
as he called 911 en route to the home. "And then she sent her cousin a text that she was going to
kill the kids and herself."
Jacqueline Berman, 16, was an accomplished musician. Her father found her body and those of her mother and brother after getting an alarming email from Jennifer Berman, his newly divorced wife.
Richard and Jennifer Berman had only divorced in December, WPEC-TV reported, weeks after
Jennifer’s mother had died last fall. Their home, on Pershing Way just off the Lake Worth
Lagoon, was in foreclosure, the TV station reports, and the kids and their mother were to
move out in February.
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"Oh, s--t," Richard Berman says in the newly released 911 call after he finds his dead son in the house. "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."
The marital, and financial, woes in the family had existed for years.
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RICHARD BERMAN VIA YOUTUBE
One dead teen was 16-year-old Alexander Berman, a talented musician. It appears that he was shot and killed by his distraught mother, who committed suicide, say authorities.
Richard Berman originally filed for divorce in 2008 - 16 years after they first married,
the Palm Beach Post reported. The family was living lush for years, but by early last year, Jennifer
Berman was struggling to get by without her ex-husband any longer in her life. The mom-of-
two could no longer pay her divorce attorney in April and was in such financial straits, she
was forced to sell her late father's watch, the Palm Beach Post reported.
The family home had actually once belonged to Jennifer Berman's mother and had been in
foreclosure since 2010.
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"The husband has not paid the mortgage on the former marital home during the entire time
of the dissolution of marriage proceeding," read documents filed in court in May by
Jennifer Berman. "He has not contributed to the support of the wife or of the minor children.
In fact, he has refused to pay for toilet paper, buys food and supplies for himself and keeps
them where the wife and children cannot access them.”
Once a realtor, Jennifer Berman was forced to work 12-hour overnight shifts as a nurse to
make any income to support her children.
On Monday afternoon, police found the bodies of 15-year-old Jacqueline Berman, 16-year-old Alexander Berman and their mother Jennifer. The preliminary investigation suggests that Jennifer shot her own children and then turned the weapon on herself, say cops.
Richard Berman is a successful realtor who sells multi-million dollar
homes in South Florida.
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Neighbors recalled Jennifer Berman as a normal, loving mother — until recently.
“A couple of days ago, she was different,” Marian Sklodowski told WSVN-TV. “You could see it in
her face, there was something missing, something disturbed in her mind. The
conversation, the language, the eyes … something was missing.”
The teens were talented musicians attending the nearby Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of
the Arts, a prestigious arts high school in southern Florida. Alex played cello while his older
sister, a straight-A student, played violin.
Grief counselors were made available at the teens’ school this week as their friends and
peers come to grips with a tragedy of which police have yet to determined a motive.
"Going through a divorce, foreclosure, a lot of that stuff which, it's an upsetting thing when
you're going through a divorce and having to sell the beautiful house in this neighborhood,
and it's just, she just seemed like she had been upset lately,” family friend Brian McManus told
WSVN. "You can't fathom, you can't understand what's going on in someone's head for things like that to happen."
EXCLUSIVE: 'I'm not a terrible dad, they were the most dear things in my world': Dad of teenagers shot dead by mother hits back at claims his penny-pinching in divorce drove her over the edge
- Jennifer Berman killed her children Alexander 16, and Jacqueline, 15, at their upscale home in West Palm Beach, Florida
- Husband Richard, who discovered their bodies, has hit out at claims that he played a part in the tragedy by fighting her over cash in recent divorce
- But friend told MailOnline: 'Richard has been painted as a terrible father who did not care about his children.That is not true. That is so not true'
- Court records show Mr Berman, a realtor, laid no claim to the family home, paid for the lease on his wife's car and paid $600-a-month in child support
- But both had been hit extremely hard by the financial crash
- Mrs Berman was in process of selling home for $590,000 but there were still two mortgages on it for $700,000
- Mr Berman listed his monthly expenses in divorce papers as $4,700 a month but an income of $2,888
- A 911 tape released on Tuesday details the tense moments before and after Berman discovered the bloodied bodies of his children
But Mr Berman, a luxury home realtor, has hit back at suggestions his penny pinching as detailed in court documents was somehow to blame for his ex-wife's depressed state.
'What has been said it just so untrue,' said friend Jay Kaufman, speaking on behalf of Mr Berman.
'Richard has been painted as a terrible father who did not care about his children.That is not true. That is so not true.
'They were his world and he has lost the most dear things to him in the world. He is still struggling to take in that he has lost those who meant so much to him.