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Police: School killer told wife he molested family members

Story Highlights

• School gunman's suicide note says he was dreaming of molesting children again
KY Jelly found in classroom where he shot girls, five fatally, on Monday
• Gunman said he molested relatives 20 years ago, but family said it knew nothing
• Pennsylvania police investigating motive for Amish school rampage
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(CNN) -- Pennsylvania schoolhouse killer Charles Carl Roberts IV told his wife he molested young relatives 20 years ago and was dreaming about molesting children again, police said Tuesday.

Investigators talked to relatives and analyzed suicide notes as they tried to determine what made Roberts barricade himself inside the tiny Amish school, tying up girls and shooting them -- five fatally -- before killing himself Monday.

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller said Roberts may have targeted the school for its girl students and -- given various items found in the school -- intended to molest the children. (Watch police describe the molestation confession -- 1:34 Video)

Roberts brought KY Jelly lubricant to the schoolhouse where the assault occurred, but there is no evidence that the victims were sexually assaulted in any way, Miller said.

"It's very possible that he intended to victimize these children in many ways prior to executing them and killing himself," Miller said. (Read more from Miller's description of how a dad planned the attack, bought supplies and became a killer)

Police found a checklist in Roberts' truck that "matches the evidence found and recovered in the school," Miller said.

The list included tape, eyebolts, a hose, bullets, guns, binoculars, earplugs, flashlights, wood and candles; many of the items were checked off.

A 2-by-4 board of wood found in the school had 10 large eyebolts that were spaced about 10 inches apart, Miller said.

"It's important to note that we had 10 victims at that time that were in the school," he said.

Roberts "became disorganized" when police arrived at the schoolhouse and "shot himself in the head as [police] were coming in through the window," Miller said.

Roberts also wrote in suicide notes that he was mad at God for how his baby, Elise, died just 20 minutes after being born prematurely nine years ago, Miller said.

Many of the details police revealed Tuesday came from interviews with Roberts' wife, Marie Roberts. She told investigators that she spoke with her husband by cell phone Monday and he said, "'I am not coming home. The police are here,'" Miller said. (Watch police describe timeline of crime -- 6:42 Video)

In a note left for his wife, Roberts mentioned an incident 20 years ago, but it wasn't until he spoke on the phone with her that he revealed he had molested two female relatives who were between the ages of 3 and 5 at the time, Miller said.

"Roberts mentioned in his suicide note that he was having dreams of molesting again," Miller said.

Miller said both sides of Roberts' family were interviewed, including his parents, and his wife, and they said they had no knowledge of any molestation by Roberts affecting any family member or anyone else.

Police said they have not yet spoken to the relatives whom Roberts said he molested.

Miller identified the five girls killed as Naomi Rose Ebersole, 7; Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12; Marian Fisher, 13; Mary Liz Miller, 8, and her sister, Lena Miller, 7.

All had been bound, and were shot in the head at close range.

Police said Roberts released 15 boys and three women with infants and then told the remaining female students to line up in front of the blackboard. Roberts tied the girls' feet together.

Initial reports indicated one of the victims was a teacher's aide, but that was not accurate, Miller said.

Five other girls -- ages 6 to 13 -- remain hospitalized, all but one in critical condition.

Bedside vigils

Two girls critically injured in the attack died early Tuesday, hospital and state police officials told CNN. The other three victims -- two girls and a teenager -- died soon after the attack, Miller said. (Watch what happened in schoolhouse, community's reaction -- 2:21 Video)

At Hershey Medical Center, a 6-year-old girl remained in critical condition Tuesday and a 13-year-old girl was upgraded from critical to serious condition, said hospital spokesman Sean Young.

Families of both girls were maintaining a vigil at their hospital bedsides and the 13-year-old was "exchanging non-verbal communication" or "eye-communication" with her family, said another spokesman, Matt Wayne.

"There is reason for optimism, but at the same time it would be conjecture to say she's out of the woods, so to speak," Young said.

It was the nation's third deadly school shooting in a week, following the killing of a 16-year-old girl by a 53-year-old man in Bailey, Colorado, and the shooting death of a principal at a school in Cazenovia, Wisconsin.

Speaking during a visit to a school in Stockton, California, President Bush said Tuesday he was "saddened and deeply concerned" by the recent school shootings.

"Our school children should never fear safety when they enter their classroom," Bush said.

Jack Meyer, a member of the Brethren community living near the Amish in Lancaster County, said local people were trying to follow Jesus' teachings in dealing with the "terrible hurt."

"I don't think there's anybody here that wants to do anything but forgive and not only reach out to those who have suffered a loss in that way but to reach out to the family of the man who committed these acts," he told CNN.

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  • Naomi Rose Eversole, 7
  • Marian Fisher, 13
  • Lina Miller, 7
  • Mary Liz Miller, 8
  • Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12

    Five other girls remain hospitalized and have not been named

    Source: Pennsylvania Police

        How to help

        The Nickel Mines School Victims Fund
        c/o HomeTowne Heritage Bank
        P.O. Box 337
        Strasburg, PA 17579



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