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Friends: Father in Fayetteville murder-suicide showed no signs of violence

Posted November 4, 2009

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— Friends of real estate developer William "Billy" Maxwell Jr. said there was nothing in his behavior to suggest he might become violent.

Maxwell, 47, killed his family at their house, 314 West Park Drive in Fayetteville, on Monday, police said. The victims included his wife, Kathryn Maxwell, 43, daughter Connor Maxwell, 17, and son Cameron Maxwell, 15.

On Monday afternoon, Maxwell and a business partner, George Rose, had an appointment. Rose, a longtime friend, went by the Maxwell home beforehand. Rose said he knew something was wrong.

“He was obviously under some sort of strain. We felt like it was something the family needed to deal with. There were other family members there to help,” Rose said.

Rose said he doesn't know what the problem was, but he assured the Maxwells that he would do anything he could to help.

The Maxwell family Friends: Maxwell didn't seem violent

Hours later, family members went to the home and found the four dead, police spokeswoman Theresa Chance said.

The family attended Snyder Memorial Baptist Church. Friends said the siblings were involved in the youth ministry and the youth choir, and their father was a deacon.

“That guy loved his family. He wouldn’t have done anything, if he was thinking right, to hurt his family,” Rose said.

Maxwell also worked with local developer John McKinney. McKinney said Maxwell had been dealing with some personal issues, though he didn't know the details.

“He was a private person. He didn’t like to talk about anything,” McKinney said. “He never said anything to me about being depressed. He’d like to have control of things.”

McKinney said Maxwell had voiced concerns over the economy and that the country was heading in the wrong direction.

Both men said there was nothing in Maxwell’s behavior to suggest he might become violent.

Rose said he didn't think Maxwell was under any undue stress from his business or finances.

“You’re not going to find any kind of dirt on him because he was a very good man,” McKinney said.

One of Maxwell's developments was involved in a lawsuit, but his attorney told WRAL News that it is nearing a settlement favorable to his company.

In reaction to the deaths, Haymount United Methodist Church canceled all youth activities for Wednesday in order to have a special youth worship gathering.

Funeral services for the Maxwell family will be held on Friday at 1 p.m. at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, 701 Westmont Drive in Fayetteville.


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  • tarheel4life Nov 5, 2009

    "It is sad that his bad business decisions left him in a selfish situation that he had to do that to his family so they would not suffer from his embarrassment."

    Where does it say anything about that?

    We've yet to see anything about a possible motive...am I wrong?

  • Teddy Nov 5, 2009

    My thoughts and prayers for every family member. This is so tragic; how can people judge that man when they have no idea what happened. There is only one that can judge, not us humans. I hope they all rest in peace.

  • beas Nov 5, 2009

    Wow! So many comments about what a bad person he was by people who didn't know him. You can't judge a person by a news story. You don't know what was going on inside of him. People who knew him didn't know because he was a private person according to his business partner. There is nothing said about a bad business deal. In fact, there is a comment that it was working out in favor of the company. Something must have snapped inside of him that was out of character for him. We don't know and we never will. Let's stop all the judging and comments about what a bad person he was and pray for his family and friends who are grieving at this time.

  • See Chart Nov 5, 2009

    Yes, Life does get that bad for some people and sadly
    most people that do Psychotic events,do not realize a way
    out of their imaginations,it's called "Mental Illness".
    Thinking a thought is just a thought,acting on it is a
    Psychosis, Sadly it appears this Father kept his symptoms
    way down there to himself,he was most likely "not the quiet
    type" he was silently seething in anger.

  • discowhale Nov 5, 2009

    No violence!?

    Didn't the original story say Mr. Maxwell shot through a window of his home, but his family "calmed him down" and "convinced him to get help" or some such wording?

    I'm a gun owner, I own pistols and rifles, I even have my NC CCH and carry 90% of the time, so I'm NOT an anti-gun type. But, shooting out even ONE of the windows of your home "seems" violent to me. It's not the norm. Breaking anything in anger or confusion is indeed an act of violence.

    If nothing else, this story should be a cautionary tale for everyone, about paranoid behavior and strong behavioral changes like Mr. Maxwell had in the last few months. If your loved ones need help, YOU need to get it for them. If you LOVE them, you will have then checked in somewhere for 72 hours.

    Mr. Maxwell was beyond trusting to get help for himself. Make sure this doesn't happen in your life. Not to this extent, but been there, done that in our family.

    My prayers for everyone involved.

  • doubletap357 Nov 5, 2009

    ct1642, where in the article does it say he made bad business decisions? Was that in a different story? No where does it say that his business was failing or having any problems at all.

  • garnertoy Nov 5, 2009

    countess you dont know what happened in a split second to his mind only god can judge peace to the family and friends

  • countess Nov 5, 2009

    It is so sad to look at the smiling faces of the children and wife of this man ,and then think of the horror they must have felt at the time of their deaths by his hand...If someone was at the house earlier in the day and knew there was a problem then someone must have known what was going on. Not to say that they could have known that he would kill the family and himself but from the sounds of the articles that I have read, it was pretty bad that afternoon. No amount of second guessing will bring back them back but what a selfish person he must have been. I have no pity for him but my heart goes out to his family and his church community who continue to say what a good loving father and husband he was. GUESS WHAT??? HE WASN'T!!!!!!

  • ct1642 Nov 4, 2009

    It is sad that his bad business decisions left him in a selfish situation that he had to do that to his family so they would not suffer from his embarrassment. Such a tragic situation that he made that mistake to make that decision on ending it according to what I read he had a loving suportive family. What a horrible selfish person, obviously he had the people at church and the community fooled about him being a loving family man because if he was he would not have taken that route if he wanted to end it he should have not taken them with him because of his mistakes. I pray for the family members and the people that put their faith in this man and the family members left beind may God be with you all and strenthen you through this difficult time.

  • Just Once Nov 4, 2009

    Hard to imagine life getting that bad. Ok - why would you ever kill your family? If I shoot myself, ok. Some of my insurance pays off and they are better off (in your sick mind).

    Why kill the kids? There is nothing that bad. What a horrible tragedy and waste.