Murder-suicide possible in deaths of ex-lawmaker and her husband

Conservative activist Nancy Schaefer was legislator, governor candidate

Saturday, March 27, 2010 7:00 AM
Last updated Monday, March 29, 2010 4:45 PM
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CLARKESVILLE, Ga.  - Former state Sen. Nancy Schaefer and her husband were found dead in their home in north Georgia and it is being investigating it as a possible murder-suicide, authorities said Friday.

FILE - In this March 4, 2005 file photo, Sen. Nancy Schaefer, R-Turnerville, left, talks with Sen. Jeff E. Mullis, R-Chickamauga, on the floor of the Senate at the Capitol in Atlanta. Former state Sen. Nancy Schaefer and her husband were found dead in their home in north Georgia and it is being investigating it as a possible murder-suicide, authorities said Friday, March 26, 2010.  AP Photo/Ric Feld, File
AP Photo/Ric Feld, File
FILE - In this March 4, 2005 file photo, Sen. Nancy Schaefer, R-Turnerville, left, talks with Sen. Jeff E. Mullis, R-Chickamauga, on the floor of the Senate at the Capitol in Atlanta. Former state Sen. Nancy Schaefer and her husband were found dead in their home in north Georgia and it is being investigating it as a possible murder-suicide, authorities said Friday, March 26, 2010.

Six GBI agents were at the home investigating at the request of the Habersham County Sheriff's department, GBI spokesman John Bankhead said.

The preliminary investigation is looking at the case as a murder-suicide, but he did not have further details.

Schaefer, 73, was a Republican who represented a north Georgia district for two terms. She was a prominent conservative known as a vocal opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage.

State Rep. Rick Austin announced Schaefer's death to a packed House chamber Friday night and led lawmakers in a moment of silence.

"Nancy Schaefer was a great lady, and she served Georgia and her constituents with honor and grace," Austin, a Republican from Demorest, said.

State Sen. Don Thomas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he knew the couple well and that he believed Bruce Schaefer was suffering from cancer.

"In those moments, you are not at your complete sanity," said Thomas, a physician and Republican from Dalton. "Some people figure the best way is to end it for both of you. They were married for so long. Loved each other so much. When you see somebody that you love so much, every now and then, you think the best way out of it is to go and be with the Lord."

Schaefer moved to Turnerville after more than three decades in Atlanta, where she was a former candidate for mayor. She was also GOP nominee for lieutenant governor in 1994.

In 1986, Schaefer founded a nonprofit foundation, Family Concerns Inc., which focused on opposition to abortion and the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

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Ga Values
27
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Ga Values 03/27/10 - 06:20 am
0
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Is this the woman that was

Is this the woman that was the head of the anti abortion movement?

justus4
113
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justus4 03/27/10 - 07:03 am
0
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This is a sad story. It
Unpublished

This is a sad story. It leaves one to speculate about why such things happen. Why someone would use such an extreme option to solve a problem.... no problem is that big.

fred1217
4
Points
fred1217 03/27/10 - 07:30 am
0
0
I don't think that now is the

I don't think that now is the time for politics. I'm not just saying that because Mrs. Schaefer was a Republican. I also thought that the cartoon that the Augusta Chronicle published with a "donkey" tap dancing on Senator Ted Kennedy's coffin on the day of his Funeral Mass was classless also. Times like these deserve civility. We used to have it; or at least I thought we did. My sympathy is with the families.

Kapa18
0
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Kapa18 03/27/10 - 07:50 am
0
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I too first want to offer my

I too first want to offer my sympathy to the family. I also want those who are fanatics understand the complexity of death. On one hand she would appose the death of the unborn, yet the complexity of her own emotions allowed her to make the decision to take the life of her's and her dieing husbands life in the privacy of their home. It was a choice...That's what Pro-Choice is about. Not aborting an innocent life, but the right to choose to do so. Because for me, I know that life is complicated and their are some choices you make alone. Have a child and yes, in some cases living are one of them.

Kapa18
0
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Kapa18 03/27/10 - 07:56 am
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justus4, no problem is that

justus4, no problem is that big to you...but for others yes!! This was a woman who was educated and who seemed to have her views of life and death centered and she even advocated for her veiws in plain sight. But as you can see, when it came to her own life her own personal dilema all that was voided. Pro-Choice people...understand it, life is so complicated...we must, we give people dignity and choice..They deserve it, even when it goes against what we believe, ultimately it is their choice.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 03/27/10 - 09:15 am
0
0
Unfortunate circumstances
Unpublished

Unfortunate circumstances certainly, but what stronger defense for choice can be made than hers? And what penalty can be created to prevent it? Anti-choice agitation only institutionalizes a lust for control.

Kapa18
0
Points
Kapa18 03/27/10 - 09:51 am
0
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Here, here Fd1962!! Being

Here, here Fd1962!! Being Pro-Choice, it saddens me that my views have been sensationalized and people think we are pro-abortion. Nothing could be further than the truth...In my perfect world no woman would ever have to make this choice. Yet, this is an imperfect world, and I know life and death issues and the question of what a woman does with her body are best left behind closed doors. And yes, sometimes she will make a decision that I would not or could not make, but it is her choice.

Austin Rhodes
2989
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/27/10 - 10:43 am
0
0
The carpets haven't even been

The carpets haven't even been shampooed at the CRIME SCENE and the anonymous harpies are at it in full force. So...we are to equate an ABORTION (total innocent child, helpless in the womb) to a terminally ill senior citizen making a decision to end their own life?

We have no indication (at this time) whether Nancy was part of this plan, or an unknowing victim, but that hasn't stopped the hooded harpies from any number of speculations.

At least at the AJC they turned the COMMENT feature off on the story. They need to do the same here.

OH...and to restate...many of us anti-abortion folks have no problem with a terminally ill (or terminally stupid) adult ending their own life if they so choose...just try not to take an innocent with you on the way out...

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 03/27/10 - 11:13 am
0
0
There are many dichotomies in

There are many dichotomies in human existence which we cannot resolve and tragedies we can never fix. That is where The Great Spirit comes in. Peace is the way. Love is the answer.

I cannot resist adding that Austin Rhodes does so hate being scooped. You folks were supposed to wait until Monday at 3 pm before kicking this thing around. Now if Charles Walker had died there would be no grace period in The Colossus of Rhodes' World.

GAterp
2
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GAterp 03/27/10 - 11:31 am
0
0
Maybe the Colossus of Rhodes

Maybe the Colossus of Rhodes can answer the question based on the quote in the article by the family physician. I was always taught that if you committed murder and/or suicide that you did not get into Heaven. Did the rules change since I was a little boy learning about my Christian Faith or are there now new rules?

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 03/27/10 - 11:31 am
0
0
It's reassuring that Austin
Unpublished

It's reassuring that Austin Rhodes would never indulge in tenuous speculation.

walkedit
34
Points
walkedit 03/27/10 - 11:39 am
0
0
Does anyone remember how

Does anyone remember how there were mysterious deaths of political figures who were anti Clinton Administration? Just saying they need to look at all angles before assuming suicide was involved.

fd1962
26
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fd1962 03/27/10 - 11:39 am
0
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And where is the draconian
Unpublished

And where is the draconian Chronicle purity patrol today? Exhausted from sending me dire warnings about calling someone a 'simpleton?' Here's an even bigger crackpot than ME calling other commenters 'anonymous hooded harpies.' Another pass for the conservative fringe.

Austin Rhodes
2989
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Austin Rhodes 03/27/10 - 11:57 am
0
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You think I am on the

You think I am on the "fringe"? That is a hoot. I am hated by both sides of the extreme, so I think that puts me in a pretty good place. Yeah..."anonymous harpy" seems pretty apropos. And while you are free to say whatever you want, be man enough to own what you write. If Cain can do it, it can't be that hard.

Austin Rhodes
2989
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/27/10 - 12:05 pm
0
0
...and again...can some of

...and again...can some of you folks at least WAIT until the authorities declare what happened and how before you condemn any of the people involved? Nancy (a friend of mine) could have been sitting in a chair with her back to this when it happened.

Or, maybe they went out together...who knows?

I mean REALLY. Sheesh...

And the day Walker goes...whatever we say, we will be saying about a man who was convicted violating the public trust, NOT just someone with whom we had political differences. (which is ALL you can say about the Shaefers)

Jack Ruffin died recently, go look up what I wrote about him. I can assure you it was more relevent and less shrill than what we see here from some of you.

Back to story
0
Points
Back to story 03/27/10 - 12:12 pm
0
0
My respectful condolences to

My respectful condolences to the family at this sad time.

Austin Rhodes
2989
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/27/10 - 12:13 pm
0
0
GaTerp...yeah...according to

GaTerp...yeah...according to who teaches you...the rules change on a regular basis, or they don't.

Since I couldn't care less about what you (or anyone else) thinks about religion, it isn't worth discussing. You might as well debate your favorite flavor of ice cream.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 03/27/10 - 12:15 pm
0
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The Chronicle format policy
Unpublished

The Chronicle format policy obviously encourages anonymity or else they would not structure it in that fashion. Why do Chronicle employees post behind anonymous names also? They are trotted out whenever the management feels compelled to defend something. Many posters on here have known me personally for years. Check the archives if you are stalking, if you know how.

GAterp
2
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GAterp 03/27/10 - 12:47 pm
0
0
It's Butter Pecan! And

It's Butter Pecan! And thanks for trying to answer my question. Good try but no cigar.

AutumnLeaves
10250
Points
AutumnLeaves 03/27/10 - 01:44 pm
0
0
Austin wasn't scooped. I read

Austin wasn't scooped. I read his comment on this topic last night on another site, although he didn't mention their names it was easy to find a story with the key words in a Gainesville online newspaper and determine who it was about. There is an investigation going on in these deaths and no one KNOWS who did what to whom. Condolences are in order, but nothing else is.

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/27/10 - 02:52 pm
0
0
Condolences are in order,

Condolences are in order, certainly. And the specifics of this sad event don't really matter, now do they? It's certainly not up to us to speculate about what happened, tho' we can always count on some people to lurch across that line of compassion and civility into complete boorishness.

May they both rest in peace and experience the mercy of God who loves them perfectly.

corgimom
38384
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corgimom 03/27/10 - 03:08 pm
0
0
Kapa, the same thought struck

Kapa, the same thought struck me too.

And Austin, yes, we ARE supposed to equate it. Just as anti-abortionists do not distinguish between abortions that are necessary to save the life of the mother or to terminate a pregnancy that has zero chance of survival. Picking and choosing, are we? Suicide is ok, euthanasia is ok, murder is ok, but abortion is not? You get to decide when it's ok, but others don't?

Kapa18
0
Points
Kapa18 03/27/10 - 03:06 pm
0
0
Austin Rhodes, did you even

Austin Rhodes, did you even read the article before going into denial? Her husband was suffering from cancer, this has also been reported before. If read closely, we aren't discussing abortion, we are discussing CHOICE and how her personal choices didn't line up with her political views. This is not rocket science, they were completely devoted to each other...suicide in cases like these are not unusal. Do you need us to spell it out for you, he begged for mercy...she gave it to him and then took her life. Grow up, this is the real world!!

Kapa18
0
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Kapa18 03/27/10 - 03:11 pm
0
0
GAterp, then your teaching

GAterp, then your teaching needs to be corrected!! Since we don' decide who gets into heaven, we are not given the information on what decided who get or not. Since we are involved in the decision making process, what good what would it to know who. We'd only screw that up. That like most of life is left to a higher power bigger than you and me, and I thank GOd for that!!

Kapa18
0
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Kapa18 03/27/10 - 03:12 pm
0
0
walkedit, all death is

walkedit, all death is mysterious, as it should leave us to consider our own.

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/27/10 - 03:37 pm
0
0
Corgi and Kapa, you are both

Corgi and Kapa, you are both are still very much misled and mistaken. Intentionally taking someone's life, even your own, even the life one not yet born, simply has not been given us to do except in very specific circumstances such as self-defense or defending the life of another. Why else is murder considered a crime, um, EVERYWHERE? It's people like you two who pick and choose concerning who is protected by that law.

And even the Catholic Church does not teach it is wrong if attempting to save the life of a mother results in the death of her unborn child. It's just not ok to go specifically after the child, even one that has no chance to survive outside the womb or would appear to offer only a burden to others. It still has a natural lifespan that is it's right to live out, no matter how short or limited. Who are you to decide it has no value or purpose? God? Some superior being or intellect? Just because you took part in creating it? Simply because you "can"? Really, what gives you the moral right to kill anyone, even yourself? The United States government? Do you honestly think "legal" is the equivalent of "moral right"? Was slavery ok too as long as it was "legal"?

Why can't you guys get that stuff through your heads? There's no need to keep being wrong about what pro-lifers believe, you know. You can become informed and stop attributing such utter nonsense to people who believe human life should be protected and defended from conception until natural death.

And that doesn't mean we must use heroic measures that simply prolong the process of death. But it does mean you can't starve people or deny them adequate hydration simply because they aren't likely to be more functional than a doorstop.

Examine your morals, people. If anyone's life is less valuable or not worth allowing to continue, even your own, then no one's is. What the Nazis did from that foundation should have been an object lesson for all human history, but, oh how quickly we have forgotten.

And that is why we are in such a huge mess in our society today. For a huge percentage of us, life no longer matters with any consistency, not even our own.

Fiat_Lux
16422
Points
Fiat_Lux 03/27/10 - 03:41 pm
0
0
GAterp, I don't remember

GAterp, I don't remember reading or hearing that "that lady" did anything one way or the other. And how are you privy to what the Almighty is doing about "that lady's" eternal destination?

You're writing some pretty offensive and arrogant stuff, you know, and you make Christians look stupid and rotten.

Quit it!

GAterp
2
Points
GAterp 03/27/10 - 03:55 pm
0
0
Fiat, I'm no more privy than

Fiat, I'm no more privy than you are. These kinds of things happen every week and nobody wants to talk about them. It's not arrogant to talk about life & death at all. And maybe Christians are a bit stupid and in some cases very rotten. But that's life and we have to forgive stupidity and rotten behavior, if we are indeed Christian. I really don't have to quit anything just because you say so either.

devgru1
0
Points
devgru1 03/27/10 - 06:32 pm
0
0
GAterp, humans perception of

GAterp, humans perception of religion has ruined many individuals.

sassygirl12
1
Points
sassygirl12 03/27/10 - 06:42 pm
0
0
you know what really ticks me

you know what really ticks me off is when a woman does not want a man anymore and then they have to go and kill them for no apparent reason. if you want to kill yourself fine but please leave your spouses alone to raise your kids that God blessed you with.stop being so dang selfish and for once put the rest of your familys feelings ahead of yours. i just dont understand why these men have to kill these women too. do they not care anything about the kids they are leaving behind for someone else to raise. and i am not talking about this couple there kids are older but all the other kids out there that have no mommy or no daddy because daddy wanted them to suffer too.stupid jerks!!!

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