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I won't be coming home; AMISH KILLER'S CALL TO WIFE I molested young girls 20 years ago.. I'm having dreams of molesting again.

Byline: RYAN PARRY in West Nickel Mines

THE crazed Amish school gunman rang his wife minutes before the massacre to say he had molested two young girls 20 years ago - and was tormented by dreams of doing it again.

Charles Roberts, who shot dead five schoolgirls and left another five fighting for life, called wife Marie to confess he had sexually abused two relatives aged five and three.

The dad of three told her he repeatedly dreamed about the vile assault and felt he wanted to do it again. Finally, as police surrounded the school, he simply told her: "I'm not coming home" - and hung up.

Yesterday police said Roberts, 32, may have initially planned to molest the 10 young girls aged between six and 13 that he seized at the single-room schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Officers have discovered he had a sexual lubricant and several pairs of the flexible plastic strips similar to those used by the US army to bind the hands of prisoners.

Roberts also had a quantity of supplies and a variety of weapons that suggested he intended to withstand a lengthy siege. Instead, as police attempted to negotiate a surrender, Roberts lined the girls up against a blackboard, chained them together - then shot them in the head. As officers tried to burst through doors he had blockaded, Roberts killed himself.

Three girls died in the school. Another two died in hospital early yesterday. Of the other five, four were last night in a critical condition and the fifth was said to be "seriously ill". Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller yesterday released details of one of the rambling suicide notes that Roberts left Marie and his children.

It detailed the anguish he felt after the death of their newborn girl Elise in 1997. The note said: "I don't know how you put up with me all those years. I am not worthy of you. You are the perfect wife, you deserve so much better.

"We had so many good memories together as well as the tragedy with Elise. It changed my life forever. I haven't been the same since. It affected me in a way I never felt possible. I am filled with so much hate. Hate toward myself hate, towards God and unimaginable emptiness. It seems like everytime we do something fun I think about how Elise wasn't here to share it with us and I go right back to anger."

The note also talked of molesting the two young relatives at a time when he too was still a child.

Mr Miller added: "Roberts states he had dreams about doing what he did 20 years ago again and in those dreams he wants to do those things again." Roberts gave Marie more details of the assault when he rang her from the school. He said he had attacked "minor relatives" who were aged three and five two decades ago.

Police yesterday said there was no evidence Roberts had tried to molest the schoolgirls before shooting them.

And his relatives said they knew nothing of any sex abuse incidents from his childhood.

Milk delivery driver Roberts lived less than a mile from the West Nickel Mines school in a tiny rural hamlet of deeply-religious Amish families. On Monday morning, he dropped his daughter, seven, and son, four, off at a bus stop before driving to the school.

Roberts, who also has a baby son, released about 15 boys and several women from the Amish schoolhouse. Then he barred the doors with desks and planks of wood before launching his terrible attack.

Police yesterday named the five dead victims as Naomi Ebersole, seven, Anna Stoltzfus, 12, Mariam Fisher, 13, Mary Miller, eight, and Lina Miller, seven. The injured girls are aged between six and 13.

Roberts is thought to have been preparing for a siege for two weeks. He was found with a pistol, a shotgun, a rifle, a stun gun, two knives and 600 rounds of ammunition.

Wife Marie issued a statement that described him as a caring father. She asked people to pray for the families of the dead - and for her family.

Marie added: "Our hearts are broken, our lives are shattered and we grieve for the lives lost."

Lois Fiester, a relative of Roberts, said: "They're a fine Christian family. It's ironic and heartbreaking."

Yesterday the Amish families, who shun the trappings of the modern world for an austere lifestyle based on Bible teachings, were still struggling to understand the tragedy.

Ron Doutrich said of the children: "You used to hear them laughing, shouting and playing." John Stoltzfus, an uncle of victim Anna, said: "If this can happen at an Amish school. It can happen anyplace."

Local pastor Jim Davis said the tragedy was even causing the community to question its faith.

He added: "People are asking 'God, why have you forsaken us?'

"This is innocence lost. But wherever people are, evil can reside."


HAUNTED BY DREAMS: School killer Charles Roberts with wife Marie' HORRIFIED: Amish family yesterday' INNOCENT: Schoolgirls play at another local Amish school
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 4, 2006
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