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Lost Children Book Series

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Infamous murder in Maryland involves adoptees!

You know everything happens for a reason. I just received the book “Sudden Fury” about an adoptee who killed his adoptive parents in Maryland. I opened to page 378 and saw this …"Early in 1989, Michael began searching for the natural parents and siblings he left behind when he was four. ‘I’d like to know where I’m from. All I know is I’m an Indian from somewhere.’” This book was published in 1989.

I have not read the book yet but I did read this: Michael’s adopted brother Larry confessed to murdering their parents alone and did not indict his adoptive brother Michael.

This is the news I found…

Cape St. Claire killer Larry Swartz dies at age 37

By ERIC HARTLEY, Staff Writer (2005)

Annapolis, Maryland - A man whose brutal slaying of his adoptive parents nearly 21 years ago became one of the county's most infamous murders, inspiring a book and a made-for-TV movie, died Wednesday night of an apparent heart attack, his former attorney said.

Larry Swartz, released in 1993 after serving nine years in prison, had moved to Florida, was married and had an 8-year-old child, said his longtime lawyer, Ronald A. Baradel. He was 37.

"It was like losing a son," Baradel said. "He and I had developed pretty much of a fondness. We'd been out of contact for a couple of years, but re-established contact a couple of weeks ago."
To protect the family's privacy, Baradel declined to say where in Florida Mr. Swartz was living.

On the night of Jan. 16, 1984, 17-year-old Larry Schwarz fatally stabbed his father Robert, a computer technician, in a downstairs clubroom. Kay Swartz, a teacher at Broadneck High School, was stabbed and bludgeoned with a splitting maul after being chased through the community. Her nude body was found next to the family's swimming pool.

County police arrested Larry, the oldest of the Swartzes' three adopted children, a week later after determining that his footprints were in the snow near his mother's body and a bloody handprint was his.

The police investigation found that Mr. Swartz suffered from a personality disorder and had suppressed his anger against his parents for years.

Robert and Kay Swartz were devout Catholics, and their household was described as one of strict discipline. Kay Swartz was unable to have children of her own, and her husband, an anti-abortion activist who picketed Planned Parenthood offices, was eager to adopt unwanted children.

Larry's sister Anne was at home during the murders, but his brother Michael had drug and behavior problems that had landed him Crownsville Hospital Center.

In 1990, Michael Swartz helped to murder a man for a jar of quarters. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. (note: this is the adoptee who is Native American)

Larry Swartz finally snapped one night after drinking in his bedroom. He first stabbed his mother, then attacked his father, who tried to stop him. After pleading guilty to second-degree murder, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was released Jan. 23, 1993.

The case inspired a book, "Sudden Fury: A True Story of Adoption and Murder" by reporter Leslie Walker. It became a New York Times best-seller. A 1993 television movie based on the murders, "A Family Torn Apart," starred Neil Patrick Harris of "Doogie Howser, M.D." as Larry Swartz.

Mr. Swartz died without any warning, Baradel said. An autopsy was planned and funeral arrangements weren't available. Baradel said he was always confident that Mr. Swartz could have a normal life if given the chance. He never thought the murders reflected Mr. Swartz's true character.

"It's not the kind of person he was," Baradel said.

[source: http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi...5/01_01-03/TOP]

photos from book

UPDATE to this post dated 1991: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-06-29/news/1991180034_1_michael-swartz-annapolis-stettler


13 comments:

  1. May he finally rest in peace.

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  2. May he finally rest in peace.

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  3. What you said is so misleading... Kay died in the home and was not hunted and then murdered by Larry. All of us who lived in the area and knew the family heard and believed the horror story of Kay running through the wooded area behind her home being pursued by a knife wielding Larry-but that WASN'T what happpened. Kay was killed in her house. Something snapped that night. Larry was a gentle, troubled soul. This event has haunted all who knew the family. I met Larry while his mother was on leave due to a detached retina. He was a kind and respectful kid. His sister was a sweet child. I pray that Larry found peace and love once he was released from prison. May everyone involved be remembered with love, understanding and may those who love them find peace.

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  4. I am not so sure that Larry is guilty. Highly suspect is the police interrogation; he was interviewed "long and intensively" after which he "finally" confessed, according to a show I've just watched on the case. Was an advocate present? False confessions happen more often than people would like to think under lengthy and harsh questioning by police. At the time of this case, little to no scrutiny was put to police and their methods of obtaining confessions, all the more sensitive when the suspect is a minor. Without an advocate present, I would not trust any result of an intense and determined "interview" of a minor. The proverbial red flag began to wave when it was revealed that Larry's flat affect after the killings was treated by police as a veritable guilty verdict. An abused child, it is entirely possible that Larry had trained himself to bury his emotions, particularly where his foster parents were concerned. Shock may also play a part in what may appear to others as an emotionless response. Even though he had confessed, Larry's account did not agree with that of the police. He remembers no chase through the snow in the woods, though the police assert this happened. Neighbors also have reportedly denied such a chase. How vigorously applied were the rules of forensics where those footsteps in the snow are concerned? Were they actually matched against Larry's or merely assumed to be his? How decisive is the palm print found on the glass door that was Larry's-- had he touched either parent after he found them? I would not rule out that he had. One's first instinct is to quickly check a person's responsiveness when you find them lying on the floor; Larry could easily have checked his foster father then touched the patio door. Finally, by all accounts Larry was the peacemaker of the family, shied away from violence, and was described as a gentle soul. The sudden onslaught of homicidal violence does not fit with his character. These are the questions that arise in my mind from just a brief glimpse of this case. I am sorry to hear that Larry is no longer with us. The only way a more satisfactory exploration of his possible innocence could be made is if he were still alive. This case does not rest easy in my discerning mind, and my scrutiny of it is not at an end.

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    1. Larry was never pushed by the police to confess. He gave 4 different stories within hours of talking to several people including the dispatcher on the 911 call. Forensic evidence proved it was his print on the door. He did not touch either of his parents after he said he found them dead. In one of the stories he told the police he said he didn't even know his dad was dead & that he only saw his mother out back when he looked out the dining room window, oh but wait, he said he saw her when he looked out the kitchen window-two different stories he told to two different people. And by proof of the layout of the house & where Kay's body was it was impossible for him to see her body while just looking out the kitchen the window without getting on the counter & looking directly below. And it was impossible to see her body at all from the dining room window. They found his clothes & shoes that had blood on them as well. It was the middle of the night, people were sleeping & Kay was unable to scream due to being stabbed in the throat prior to the chase so no one would have heard her. There's also plenty of physical evidence that proved there was a chase & it was not put into his head by the police. They found her hair & blood 1/4 mile from the house. Larry confessed that he committed the murders to his lawyer, yes, there was an advocate there. Also he confessed to numerous psychiatrists that worked with him. And he confessed in front of people when the arresting officer was placing the cuffs on him when he was officially charged for the murders. If you knew anything about what really happened you would know all this & also that he did not touch either parent when he "found them" as he said. Also if you knew anything about what abuse does to a person, a sudden onslaught of rage does & can occur. A typical murderer doesn't kill a person the way Larry did. The way they were brutally murdered is typical of a "personal" killing. Any crime show on tv nowadays talks about murders being personal because of the way the person was murdered. And Larry admitted me he had been drinking rum that evening in his room. That added to him being the way he was when he killed his parents I'm sure. Be sure you know your facts before you comment on things.

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  5. My heart breaks for these poor boys. They didn't stand a chance with these people. They had no idea how to raise young boys, and seemingly saw every "flaw" as a reflection of their poor parenting skills. I feel badly for Michael. Is he still in jail?

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    1. I do not know that status of Michael. We wish we knew.

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    2. Larry died in 2005 of a heart attack in Florida. Michael is deceased as well. No one knows what happened to Annie.

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  7. Is there anything about Larry's neighbors helping him cover up the chasing and killing Kay outside of the home. I heard that they felt sorry for Larry because they knew the Swartz's were not very nice too those children and they went to the police about all that they knew, and part of it was that Larry did actually chase his mother and finally end her life outside where she was posed. The neighbors helped convince the Judge and lawyers that Putxent Institution was for the BEST. Anything on that storyline.

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    1. Hi Dale, I wish I did know more about the outcome and any further investigation. If you do find out more information, we'll post it! Trace

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