Local News

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

Posted November 4, 2009 3:05 p.m. EST
Updated November 4, 2009 5:49 p.m. EST

— 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.

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.