N.J. Cops: 'Stress' May Have Caused Ruth Zucker's Alleged Rage

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS 2) — Residents at the Greenbriar Whittingham retirement community are baffled as to why a 75-year-old woman “might” have killed her 80-year-old husband.

CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reports on this story of marriage and murder.

To outsiders, the 50-year marriage of Harvey and Ruth Zucker seemed unbreakable.

“A loving couple, as far as we could tell,” neighbor Stuart Singer said.

Leon Hander told CBS 2 he remembered the card games and the golf games.

But behind closed doors there was a pressure cooker of stress that police said may have led Ruth Zucker to stab her 80-year-old husband, Harvey, to death on Wednesday night.

The couple’s son came to visit and found his father lying in the living room with a number of stab wounds to his chest, and his mother covered in blood.

The unexpected violence came as a complete surprise to neighbors in this exclusive gated senior community.

“Very much surprising, very chilling and very disturbing to all of us,” Marge Geffner said.

“More than surprising, shocking, because there’s no violence in our community,” Eugene Steinberg added.

Police haven’t released an official motive yet. But Harvey Zucker was in failing physical health and people who know the family tell CBS 2 that Mr. Zucker’s health was a source of stress in the house.

“We never expected it. It’s not a pleasant and very strong arrangement, but evidently there was something between them that we didn’t know about,” Hander said.

Ruth Zucker has pleaded not guilty and underwent a psychological exam on Friday. She’s currently being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center on $200,000 bail.

The case is being handed over to a grand jury. They expect to hear it in approximately six to eight weeks.

Watch & Listen LIVE