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Copyright © 2016 Albuquerque Journal
George Daniel Wechsler had threatened at least two previous ex-girlfriends.
In 2002, a month after he broke up with his 18-year-old girlfriend, she told police he sent her an email that said he wished she would die. Then she called police when she saw him sitting in a car in front of her work, carrying a gun, a video camera and binoculars.
Wechsler was arrested and charged with misdemeanor stalking, harassment and assault on a household member. The woman wasn’t hurt.
Seven years later, another ex-girlfriend reported to police that she feared for her life due to his actions and threats.
Both of those women were afraid, but not hurt.
That pattern changed this week.
On Monday evening, Wechsler, 45, broke into his ex-girlfriend’s Four Hills home and waited for her to return with her three children, ages 5 to 9, said Police Chief Gorden Eden in a press conference Tuesday. Eden said that, when they arrived home, Wechsler shot them and then himself.
One of the children died at the scene; the other two died at the hospital or in the ambulance. Their mother was still in critical condition Wednesday. Wechsler was unconscious by the time officers arrived and died at the hospital from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It is unclear exactly what led Wechsler to do what he did, but a police spokesman said the mother had recently ended their brief relationship and told him to stay away from her and her children. She didn’t want him to give the children Christmas presents.
Police haven’t released any of the victims’ names, but said they plan to do so today.
Series of incidents
Police reports and court documents reveal Wechsler’s domestic violence issues with women. They also show ongoing depression, medication issues and suicide attempts.
In 1998, he threatened to kill himself after talking to an ex-girlfriend, although it’s unclear what they were talking about.
Then, in 2002, Wechsler showed up armed at his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend’s workplace.
The woman told police she felt like her life was in danger. “He wrote in the email he wished I would die, and then shows up at my work with a gun, waiting for me,” the woman wrote in a statement.
She got a restraining order, but dropped it a couple of months later.
Shortly after he was charged with stalking, Wechsler tried to kill himself on his birthday by inhaling exhaust fumes in his car.
Four and a half months later, his ex-girlfriend had moved in with her new boyfriend, but Wechsler continued to threaten to shoot her, according to another police report. The couple moved to try to remain safe.
In 2003, Wechsler pleaded guilty to stalking and assault, and was sentenced to one year and six months of probation, according to online court records.
In 2009, yet another ex-girlfriend, 21, had a problem with Wechsler. The two had worked together at the Regional Correctional Center on Fourth and Roma NW.
In an interview with the Journal, the woman said that, after she and Wechsler broke up, he told her he could not live without her. Later that day, she almost crashed her car because her brake lines had been cut, she said.
She said he filed for a restraining order against her, but was denied, and then she filed one against him.
On her petition for a restraining order, she wrote that she considered him dangerous, and that he had damaged her car and put her “physical safety and life in danger.”
Mom fought for kids
Several years later, Wechsler met the woman he would later shoot in Four Hills. The woman had divorced from the children’s father in 2015; the couple had two boys, ages 5 and 9, and a 6-year-old girl. The father appeared to maintain a strong presence in their lives and the former couple kept up a friendly relationship on social media.
The woman broke up with Wechsler recently and, in November, he told friends and officers he was suicidal and was taken to a hospital for an evaluation.
Around 6:30 p.m. Monday, he broke into the woman’s home, armed with a gun. Eden said the woman did everything she could and fought to save her children, pulling one of them out of the house while she was already critically injured.
She is the only witness to what happened and police say she is still unconscious in the hospital. Police had never been called to her house before.
Wechsler comes from a large family of seven brothers, including Nick Wechsler, a television actor known for roles in “Revenge,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and other shows. Nick Wechsler’s agent did not respond to emailed questions.
On Wednesday afternoon, at least one of Wechsler’s brothers could be seen taking a couple of cats from Wechsler’s white single-wide trailer in a mobile home park near Menaul and Washington NE.
He declined to comment on the tragedy.
The woman who filed a restraining order against him in 2009 said that, while Wechsler was never abusive to her during their yearlong relationship, after they broke up, he began to scare her.
“I had put it all in the past and for the most part forgot about it,” she said. “Occasionally, I looked over my shoulder if I saw a car that looked like his or if I was in his neighborhood. Seeing this on the news brought back those emotions.”
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