A Pennsylvania woman is now facing murder charges after police in Montgomery County say she shot her parents in the head and cut up their bodies with a chainsaw. Verity Beck, 49, is charged with first-degree murder and third-degree murder in the deaths of her parents, Reid and Miriam Beck, prosecutors announced in a press release.
Investigators found her father Reid Beck, 73, decapitated and covered with a blanket, his feet sticking out. “Eight severed pieces” of her mother Miriam Beck, 72, were discovered in white trash bags inside a 55-gallon trash can, authorities said.
Authorities said Verity Beck’s brother contacted them when he had not heard from his parents victims in more than a week and last spoke to his mother on Jan. 7. Radio silence was unusual, police said — the brother usually communicated with his mother every day, either through texts or phone calls.
The brother “stated that he had exchanged text messages with both of his parents’ cell phones during the past ten days, however he had no voice contact with his parents during that time period.” He said he also texted his sister during that period of time, police said.
A resident of the nearby city of Jenkintown, the brother drove by his parents’ Abington home Tuesday night, he allegedly told investigators. The lights were off inside but his parents’ vehicles were parked outside. He allegedly returned to his own home and decided to go back with soup for his sister, who also lived at Reid and Miriam’s house — Verity had allegedly complained over text about being sick earlier on Tuesday.
But the brother made a horrifying discovery, according to the complaint.
Entering the family home with a key, he discovered a body — later identified as Reid — under a bloodstained blanket. He called out for his sister, who entered the living room, documents stated.
The brother said they spoke for approximately 30 minutes. Verity allegedly said things at home had “been bad,” and when he told her she had to call the cops, she said she needed “more time.” Verity allegedly did not clarify what happened to their father, and the man did not ask about their mother, although he believed she was also dead.
The brother called 911, investigators said. Abington police arrived and “officers immediately noticed a strong odor of decomposition in the residence,” the complaint stated.
Police asked Verity her parents’ whereabouts, documents stated.
“They are dead,” she allegedly said.
Authorities found the bodies separately.
“The male was decapitated,” investigators wrote of Reid. “Partially under this deceased body was a furniture dolly that had appeared to have been used to assist Verity in moving the deceased male.”
Authorities said they found Miriam in the attached garage. She had been cut up and put in white trash bags, which were stuffed into a 55-gallon trash can. The body parts were covered in pillows, investigators claim.
Near Reid’s body was a chainsaw. Investigator determined the device, which featured “biological materials in the chain portion,” had been used to cut up at least some of the body parts.
Citing “marks” on the carpet in a bedroom, authorities believe some of the dismemberment happened there. Detectives found a pillow with powder burns and a hole. This was consistent with someone shooting a gun through the pillow, they said. Investigators believe that the murder weapon was a revolver because there were no fired cartridge casings at the scene.
Authorities claimed to find three revolvers in the home. Two of them, both Charter Arms .38 caliber models, were registered to Verity, but a third firearm, a.38 caliber Smith and Wesson, returned no record of ownership, they said.
Investigators determined Verity Beck likely killed her parents on Jan. 7, based on the son’s last voice contact with his mother and there being unread newspapers from that day outside the home. Authorities believe someone was trying to break into the wall safe in the second-floor master bedroom, based on drill marks on the safe and the presence of nearby tools, the complaint stated.
A doctor determined that Reid’s detached head had a single gunshot wound on his forehead above his left eye. Miriam had a single gunshot wound to the back of her head, the autopsy showed.
Defendant Beck is held without bond at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. Authorities ask that anyone with information call Abington detectives at (267) 536-1100, option 4.
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