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A MAN plotting revenge against his ex-wife after an acrimonious divorce dressed up as Santa and murdered at least eight people at his former in-laws' Christmas Eve party.

It is feared the remains of Bruce Pardo's ex-wife and her parents are among the ashes of the home in Covina, California, which Pardo set on fire using a bizarre home-made device that sprayed flammable liquid.

Investigators ended their search for other possible victims early today and planned to return to the scene later.

Pardo, 45, who killed himself hours later, had no criminal record and no history of violence, according to police, but he was angry following last week's settlement of his divorce after a marriage that lasted barely a year.

Pardo chose to exact his revenge at the annual Christmas party his former in-laws held at their home in Covina, a quiet suburb 25 miles east of Los Angeles.

In past years, a neighbour dressed as Santa Claus and entertained guests. But the neighbour had moved away and there was no Santa - until Pardo arrived at about 11.30pm.

The massacre began when an eight-year-old girl answered the door. Pardo, carrying what appeared to be a large present, pulled out a handgun and shot her in the face, then began shooting indiscriminately as about 25 party-goers tried to flee.

The gift-wrapped box Pardo was carrying contained a pressurised homemade device he used to spray a liquid that quickly sent the house up in flames.

When the fire was extinguished early yesterday, officers found three charred bodies in the living room area.

A 16-year-old girl who was shot in the back and a 20-year-old woman who broke her ankle when she escaped by jumping from a second-storey window, remained in hospital today.

None of the dead or missing has been identified.

After the shootings Pardo went to his brother's home about 25 miles away.

Police were called there and officers found Pardo dead from a bullet to the head.


KILLER: Bruce Jeffrey Pardo
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 26, 2008
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