The large, white, TV news vans with their long, parabolic antennas were no longer parked in front of Glendale City Hall Monday night. For the last week, the vans had become a fixture of city hall since the tragedy of July 30, in which police believe Glendale resident Catherine Murch took the lives of her two children and that of her own that morning.
The bodies of the Murch family , the , and the dozen or so reporters who crowded this small municipality for days moved on to other, perhaps bigger stories.
In a nearly empty city hall (only a dad with his boy-scout son were in attendance), the Glendale City Council met for its regular meeting Monday night, with several topics to address, but not first without being briefed by Glendale Police Chief Jeffrey Beaton on the events that transpired throughout last week.
Beaton said he was very proud of the efforts of the Glendale police and staff who assisted the Major Case Squad of St. Louis in the investigation.
“I think all the officers involved acted in an exceptional manner,” Beaton said. “It is evident to me that we have great quality officers. They did what they were supposed to do. Everyone was more than willing to do anything that we needed them to do. No one complained about vacations being cancelled and didn’t care when they went from working eight hours to putting 12-hour days.”
Beaton added that the first responders to the scene, which included him, handled the tragic and unusual situation well.
“No one wants to walk into a scene like that,” Beaton said. “However, they acted how they were supposed to. As you can imagine, it was a very stressful week for the police department and the community as a whole, but I think our staff and personnel did an exceptional job.”
Although police said they believe the version that the crime was a murder-suicide, Beaton said both the Major Case Squad and Glendale Police would still be examining every piece of new evidence that comes in. He said the investigation may continue for weeks.
“We remain committed to this investigation,” Beaton said. “We want to get a clearer picture of what happened in that home that morning.”
Beaton said that he understood the public had a lot of questions about why the husband, Mitchell Murch, was at home and was not able to do anything about the shooting.
“Until you are that individual put in a situation like that, you don’t know what happened; you don’t know what it’s like,” he said.
Both Mayor Richard Magee and council members praised Beaton, city staff and the Major Case Squad for the handling of the situation.
“I would like to commend you, the police force, and our fire personnel and all of the Glendale’s staff for a job very well done,” Magee said. “...because of your leadership--and that of the case squad--I think our community was in mourning but never felt threatened at all.”
Magee told Beaton that if he felt like he needed a few days to recover, he was welcomed to take some time off.
“I still have a lot of work to do, I will save that for another day,” he replied.
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