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June 8, 2012 6:30 am

Murder-Suicide of Phoenix Jewish Family Develops

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While it has not been officially determined as such, police are convinced the case of James Butwin and his family was a carefully planned murder-suicide, the Tucson Citizen reports.

A charred SUV was discovered 35 miles in the desert outside of Phoenix, said to contain the bodies of James Butwin, his wife Yafit Butwin and children Malissa, 16; Daniel, 14; and Matthew, 7. Evidence uncovered in the investigation showed that the Butwins were in divorce proceedings, and James Butwin was battling a brain tumor.

The family were active members of the Jewish community in Tempe, Arizona.

“He was totally soft-spoken and a devout Jew. He was very peaceful like that, very even-keeled,” said Steffani Meyers, a lawyer who handled Butwin’s business deals from 2001 until 2007 according to the Tucson Citizen. “He was like, ‘Oh, it will work itself out.’ I never saw a flash of anger from him.”

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