A homicidal maniac — bent to “do what I like doing best: killing people” — left a chilling suicide note before torching his neighborhood and murdering two firefighters, police revealed this morning.
Cops also today said they’ve found a third victim of ex-con William Spengler Jr.’s murderous rampage, discovering a body, probably of his 67-year-old sister Cheryl, in the charred rubble of their home.
The Spengler siblings hated each other and lived on opposite ends of the house, neighbors said, and when she couldn’t be found yesterday, police feared the worst.
“We did locate apparent human remains in the ruins of the house at 191 Lake Road. The medical examiner has removed those remains,” Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said this afternoon.
Earlier today, cops disclosed that William Spengler — a loser mama’s boy who once spent 17 years in prison for beating his grandmother to death — penned a murderous three-page missive, telling the world why he turned a quiet lakeside neighborhood into hell on earth.
“I still have to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best: killing people,” Spengler wrote his suicide note, made public by police.
Spengler, 62, set his home — in the tight-knit, upstate town of Webster, just outside Rochester — ablaze early yesterday morning to lure volunteer firefighters to the scene. The gutless killer then methodically shot four of those fireman, two fatally, before blowing his brains out.
“There was no motive in the note…there were some ramblings in there,” Pickering said. “There was intelligence information that we obtained that our investigators need to follow up on. It spoke mainly that he intended to burn his neighborhood down and kill as many people as possible.”
Four whiskey bottles, filled with gasoline, were found unspent against his house, law enforcement sources told WHEC-TV.
Spengler ignited his deadly blaze with a flare gun that was recovered at the scene, the local NBC affiliate reported.
The sadistic killer was found with a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver, Mossman 12-gauge shotgun and a Bushman semi-automatic AR-15 rifle with 30-shot magazine, police said. Crazed gunman Adam Lanza used the same make of Bushman rifle in the tragic Newtown, CT shooting earlier this month.
As a convicted felon, Spengler had no legal right to possess guns so cops want to trace those weapons.
Police are exploring connections Spengler and his late mom, Arline, had to the West Webster Fire Department, officials said.
Spengler first torched his family’s home on Lake Road, where Irondequoit Bay meets Lake Ontario, at around 5:45 a.m. – then lay in wait for his unsuspecting prey.
Crouched like a sniper and armed with a rifle and a handgun, Spengler targeted responding firefighters from behind an earthen berm that gave him a clear shot, said Pickering.
“He took a position of cover to be a sniper to shoot the first responders . . . It does appear it was a trap that was set,’’ a grim-faced Pickering said.
It’s unclear why Spengler targeted the men, although he was having personal problems.
He lived with a sister he hated, neighbors said, in the same house where he had fatally bludgeoned his 92-year-old grandmother with a hammer in 1980.
Spengler’s beloved mother, Arline died in October. In her obituary, donations were directed to the “West Webster Firemen’s Association (Ambulance Fund).’’ It wasn’t immediately clear why.
“As far as motive, all kinds of speculation, and truthfully, we do not know. They’re trying to draw a nexus, I know, between the donations of the mother to the fire department. There could be a nexus to 33 years ago when Webster police arrested him for murdering his grandmother,” Pickering said.
“We are aware of it and trying to figure out the connection,” said a source with the sheriff’s office.
One of Spengler’s victims yesterday, 43-year-old Michael Chiapperini, was a volunteer with the West Webster Fire District and a lieutenant in the town’s police department, where he also served as a media liaison.
The selfless Chiapperini, who spent 20 years as cop, had spent time in Suffolk County last month, volunteering for Hurricane Sandy cleanup duty, officials said.
He had just been named a local “Firefighter of the Year.”
He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son who also worked with the volunteer fire department.
The other man killed was volunteer Tomasz Kaczowka, a 19-year-old 911 dispatcher and a community-college student with dreams of becoming a full-time firefighter.
“These people get up in the middle of the night to fight fires,” said Pickering, choking back tears. “They don’t expect to be shot and killed.”
Two more volunteer firefighters, Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino, were wounded by bullets. A cop suffered injuries from shrapnel. All three were expected to survive.
Hofstetter, who also works full time for the Rochester Fire Department, was hit in the pelvis and the bullet lodged in his spine. Scardino was hit in the chest and knee.
The firefighters had to fall back after shots were first fired, allowing flames from Spengler’s home to spread to neighboring houses.
Spengler then traded shots with officers who arrived with an armored truck they used to remove the injured, as well as people living nearby.
He was chased on foot from his perch, then killed himself before he could be subdued, cops said.
Four houses burned to the ground and four more were damaged by the time the blaze was brought under control.
Dozens of people had to be evacuated from the smoldering area on Christmas Eve.
During the gunfight, emergency radio communications captured someone frantically saying he “could see the muzzle flash coming at [him],” as Spengler fired.
The audio, posted on the Web site RadioReference.com, also had someone reporting, “Firefighters are down!” and saying, “Got to be rifle or shotgun – high-powered . . . semi or fully auto.”
It would have been illegal for Spengler, as a convicted felon, to possess any firearm at all.
Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn said he couldn’t help thinking about the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and other mass shootings in recent years.
“It’s sad to see this is becoming more commonplace . . . across the nation,” O’Flynn said.
At West Webster Fire Station 1, there were 20 bouquets on a bench in front. Another bouquet had roses with three gold-and-white ribbons saying, “May they rest in peace,” “In the line of duty,” and, “In memory of our fallen brothers.”
Gov. Cuomo asked New Yorkers to pray for the firefighters’ families, victimized by this “senseless act of violence.”
Last December, a 15-year-old boy doused his home in Webster with gasoline and set it ablaze, killing his father and two brothers, ages 12 and 16.
Source: NY Post