In numerous previous posts on this blog, I have discussed suspicious deaths occurring in our area that have been clustered around some particular person, family or entity (the latter often a real estate development of some sort) in ways too coincidental to be statistically random. (See, for example, “Boot Ranch”). In recent months, a new set of these kinds of deaths has become apparent.
This latest group of deceased persons clusters very tightly around my ex-husband, in that all of them were very close lifelong friends of my ex-‘s. Two of the deceased, Kathy and Michael Stein, were brother and sister. Another, Allen Land, was Kathy Stein’s ex-husband. The fourth, Leonard Strackbein, was a lifelong close friend of all the other victims, as well as being a close buddy of my ex’s.
The Stein siblings’ father, a lifelong close friend of my former father-in-law’s, happens to be the doctor who delivered my ex-husband and his late sister. Kathy Stein was particularly close to my ex-husband all her life—like a sister to him, in fact. Notice from her obituary that at the time of her death, Kathy was the girlfriend of Paul Oestreich, who happens to be the current Fredericksburg Police Chief; Paul is also a close, lifelong friend of my ex-‘s and like a brother to him.
The local police, my ex-husband, and my ex-‘s family have all quietly put out the word that Kathy’s death was a suicide. Remember how the policeman who came out to document the cutting of my fence as discussed in my recent “Ugliness” post mentioned a “suicide” that had just occurred? This was on December 4, 2011, so the officer was no doubt referring to Kathy, although he never mentioned her name, or the fact that she was the girlfriend of his boss. Furthermore, I never saw anything in any of the local newspapers or on any of the local news broadcasts about Kathy’s death. Normally, the suicide of a police chief’s girlfriend is considered newsworthy, so this omission itself is odd, to say the least, particularly when it comes so soon after the sudden deaths of both her brother and her ex-husband as well.
I’m also concerned that there may be additional sudden deaths related to these that I don’t even know about. Several of my recent local newspapers have been stolen before I could see them, and I’ve been prevented in various ways from replacing them, leading me to wonder if they contained other obituaries for other persons whose names I might have recognized as having been closely connected with my ex-husband.
There have been a great many suspicious deaths of persons close to my ex-husband over the years, beginning (at least as far as I know) with the violent death of his own sister at age 16, and including the deaths of his close friends Robert Carter and Jimmy Brown, whom I’ve blogged about here before. (See “Jimmy Browns” and “My Story” at the beginning of this blog.)
For the record, I myself have no inside or personal knowledge about any of these deaths; all I know about them is what information has been given out by the obituaries shown here, my ex-husband, his family and friends, and local law enforcement. (Note: All obituaries shown here are taken from the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.) Frankly, given the number of people close to my ex- who’ve suddenly turned up dead over the years, I’m very glad not to have any additional information about them. I freely admit that some of them may be from natural causes. However, I do have enough of an understanding of basic statistics to know there are simply too many of these deaths for all of them to be considered random occurrences.