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webster ambush

Firefighter Slayer Wasn’t Shy About His Horrific Past

This 2006 image provided by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department shows William H. Spengler Jr., 62, who served 17 years in prison for the 1980 slaying of Rose Spengler, 92, inside her home.  Authorities say Spengler set a house and car ablaze Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 in Webster, N.Y., and then opened fire, killing two firefighters and wounding two others. After exchanging gunfire with police, Spengler also killed himself.  (AP Photo/Monroe County Sheriff's Department ) William Spengler Jr.

Neighbors of William Spengler Jr., the man who fatally shot two firefighters on Monday before turning the gun on himself, weren't surprised to learn that he killed his grandmother with a hammer in 1980. He volunteered that information within fifteen minutes of meeting them, and even pointed to the staircase in their new home where he committed the crime. “He said, ‘I was on drugs and I wanted money for drugs and my grandmother wouldn’t give it to me,’” recalls Amy Warner, who bought the cottage next to Spengler's home with her boyfriend this summer. They tore out the staircase "because it was creepy," but didn't think twice about buying the house because Spengler had served his time. Warner is still giving her neighbor the benefit of the doubt. While he started a fire that destroyed her home and six others, she believes he set the trap early in the morning because he liked her boyfriend and knew he wouldn't be there yet.

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