PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Police on Thursday identified the Peoria man they say stabbed his 65-year-old wife to death on the Fourth of July.
When officers responded to a 911 call early that morning, they found Dick Schenkel on the floor of the master bathroom. There was what officers described as a 6-inch kitchen knife next to him, according to public court documents. Schenkel's wife was on the bed. She had been stabbed several times and was unresponsive. She later died at the hospital.
According to the probable cause for arrest statement, Schenkel, 63, told an officer that he had stabbed his wife and himself. Police say he had several wounds and was taken to the hospital shortly after that brief conversation.
Police say Schenkel's 72-year-old sister was home that morning and ran next door to get help. According to police, "she saw Dick on top of the victim stabbing her in the chest." The autopsy revealed that she had been stabbed more than 30 times, according to investigators.
Police said in court documents that an officer spoke with the victim's daughter and learned that the victim had taken Schenkel to a mental health facility less than a week before the deadly stabbing.
"Dick has been extremely stressed out from the stock market recently and [the victim's daughter] believes this is what caused Dick to 'freak out,'" reads the probable cause for arrest statement. The document goes on to say that the daughter and the victim picked up Schenkel from the facility together. "Dick's demeanor on the way home was of a zombie, and he had no fight left inside him," the statement reads.
Police also said Schenkel is a recovering alcoholic and had recently relapsed.
As soon as he was released from the hospital Wednesday, Schenkel was taken to the Peoria Police Department and interviewed. According to police, Schnekel said he remembers both stabbing his wife and his sister walking into the bedroom. He also said he didn't know why he killed her but "stabbed himself because he wanted to die and knew what he had done was wrong," according to the interviewing investigator. Police say he admitted to having money issues and being stressed because of them but "reported having no problems with his wife."
A judge set a cash-only bond of $1 million.