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911 call: 'I just killed my wife'

Wire • Feb 15, 2013 at 1:07 PM

As his wife lay dead on the kitchen floor, Leif H. Mortensen told the 911 dispatcher he didn’t know why he had stabbed her.

The 72-year-old man said he had never before hurt his wife, Margaret. And they had not been fighting.

But he admitted he had killed her on Wednesday afternoon in their house at 4390 Kingpin Dr. The 74-year-old woman was pronounced dead by medics when they arrived at 2:41 p.m.

Mortensen called 911 at 2:25 p.m., first asking the Columbus police dispatcher if officers could come to his house. When the dispatcher asked why, he replied, “I just killed my wife.”

He told the dispatcher his wife was lying on the floor and that he would wait at the front door for police. When the dispatcher said officers were on the way, he thanked her and hung up.

Mortensen called back a few minutes later, telling another dispatcher, “You better send two vehicles over here because I tried to kill myself.”

In the second call, he sounded less shaken and was able to talk clearly but said he had stabbed himself in the throat. He used the same knife to hurt himself that he had used to kill his wife, he said.

“What caused all this?” the dispatcher asked.

“I killed her, I’m trying to tell you,” Mortensen said.

“Why’d you do that?”

“I don’t know why I did. I just did.”

When asked, he told the dispatcher it wasn’t an accident, that he meant to stab his wife.

“I just did, that’s all,” he said. “I don’t know why. I can’t explain that.”

Mortensen said he wasn’t taking drugs or drinking, police have said. Police filed a murder charge against Mortensen, who remained in Riverside Methodist Hospital in critical condition yesterday. He was expected to survive.


By Allison Manning - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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