GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — A man charged with fatally stabbing his wife and adult son in their suburban Phoenix home told investigators he carried out the killings out of a fear he had given his wife HIV from prostitutes he used to frequent and out of concern about what would become of his jobless son.
Investigators said in court records that Eugene Maraventano, 64, believed his wife, Janet Maraventano, 63, was ill and feared she might test positive for cancer or a disease he had given her from prostitutes he slept with when he worked for a rail line in New York.
Eugene Maraventano, who planned to kill himself after killing his wife, wondered what would become of his son, Bryan Maraventano, 27, after his suicide, explaining that his son played video games all day and had no girlfriend or job, according to a court document filed by police. Bryan Maraventano lived with his parents.
Police say they haven't yet been able to confirm whether Eugene Maraventano had HIV or whether Janet Maraventano had any ailments that her husband said he was worried about.
Eugene Maraventano made several unsuccessful suicide attempts after the killings and called authorities Saturday to say he had carried out the stabbing deaths a few days earlier, police said.
"I killed my wife and I killed my son," the police document quotes Maraventano as telling a dispatcher.
Maraventano acknowledged getting a 14-inch knife from the kitchen of his two-story stucco home in Goodyear and going into the upstairs master bedroom, where he stabbed his sleeping wife twice. He then attacked his son after the son answered a knock on his bedroom door from his father, according to the police record. The knife was found on the nightstand in the master bedroom.
Maraventano was treated at a hospital for injuries he suffered during his suicide attempts and is now in jail on $2 million bail. It's unclear whether Maraventano has an attorney.
He told investigators that he and his wife hadn't been fighting the night of the killing.
Neighbors said Maraventano and his family were "friendly" and "really nice people" and they were shocked to hear of the killings.
"There was nothing negative to associate with Geno and his family," said Phil Wesson, who lives two houses away from the Maraventano home. "There was no sign of anything for me. I knew him as the most likeable guy."
Nicole Schwartz, another neighbor, told Phoenix TV station KSAZ that she was "in shock ... that something like that would happen in our neighborhood."