5 Murders Laid to AF Veteran: Japanese-Born Wife, 4 Children Slain Times-Picayune New Orleans, Louisiana March 13, 1963
Manchester, N.H. (AP)-- An unemployed Air Force veteran, a medal winner, beat his Japanese-born wife and their four children to death early Thursday with a claw hammer, police reported. He was held on a murder charge.
Joseph M. Simichak, 39, who was given a medical discharge form the Air Force three months ago, stood in silence in court later as an innocent plea was entered in his behalf. He wore dungarees and a sweater. His hair was tousled.
He was taken to jail to await the April sitting of Superior Court.
Concord State Hospital said Simichak was taken there in late 1960 from Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, N.H., and later transferred to Chelsea Naval Hospital, for an emotional disturbance.
Tells police of tragedy
Simichak told of the tragedy when he walked into police headquarters at 4:25 a.m. He said his wife and children were dead.
Police went to his four-room tenement and found the victims in bed.
Nobuko Simichak, 38, the mother; and one son, Franklin, 4, were still breathing. They died later in Sacred Heart Hospital.
The lives of the others were snuffed out as they slept. Police found the bodies of Patricia, 3; Elizabeth, 2, and Katherine, 6 months, in bed.
Simichak served 17 years in the Air Force. He met and married his wife in Japan where Franklin was born. The other children were born in New Hampshire.
Simichak formerly lived in Newington, Conn.
He had an outstanding combat record in WWII. A tail gunner, he took part in many bombing raids over Europe with the 95th Bombardment group of the 8th Air Force based in England. Among his awards was the Distinguished Flying Cross, an Air Medal with three Oak Leaf clusters and the French Croix de Guerre.
Welfare sources said the family had been given surplus food. The Red Cross supplied clothing, furniture and food. Welfare officials described the children as polite and well-behaved.
Mrs. Simichak's maiden name was given as Nobuko Helen Hashimoto.
Early efforts to learn where she had lived in Japan proved fruitless.