Mental illness eyed in massacre

Craig Noce, who was renting an upstairs room at the McAndrew home in Upper Merion, called 911 when he heard disturbing sounds of breaking glass and screams begging him to call police.

A silence followed that he described as “eerily quiet,” according to details released yesterday in the triple murder of parents and a brother allegedly at the hands of Joseph McAndrew Jr. on Saturday night.

Police found McAndrew standing in the driveway with his pants and shoes covered in blood and scrapes to both forearms. Inside, in the kitchen, were the bodies of Joseph’s twin brother, James, and parents, Joseph Sr., 70, and Susan, 64.

“Clearly from the number of wounds, from the nature of the defensive wounds and from what we saw at the scene, there was a struggle between the two brothers and James was making an effort to both stop the attack and to get away,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said at a press conference.

Several knives were also recovered, along with a bloody 18-inch samurai-style sword believed to be the murder weapon.

Ferman added that while Penn State graduate James McAndrew was described as a “shining star” with a brilliant future and his brother’s “greatest advocate,” suspect Joseph McAndrew was an unemployed “loner” who struggled after high school.

A preliminary hearing for McAndrew, held without bail, is scheduled for March 15.

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