As authorities investigate a murder-suicide involving a Maine pastor killing his daughter, they have now begun reviewing old reports about the death of his first wife, who fell from a cliff 23 years ago.
The 1993 death of Greta Randall was ruled accidental, but Maine State Police are double checking reports from that case as they work to understand why Daniel Randall killed his 27-year-old daughter, Claire Randall, and himself last week in Hebron.
"We're asked all the time to explain inexplicable actions," said Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.
Police say Randall had recently completed a stay at a Portland rehab facility for alcohol addiction. During his stay, his second wife filed for divorce.
But Randall did not exhibit any troubling signs, according to the rehab facility's director.
Two days after he completed the program, Randall purchased a shotgun from Top Gun of Maine in Poland, according to WCSH.
"This was so milktoast in terms of being a classic customer," said Joe Cimino, the gun shop's owner. "He wanted to know a little information about a firearm, wasn't in a hurry."
Cimino told WCSH that he would not have sold him the gun if he had known about his recent rehab stay, but that information does not come up in a background check.
Hours later, Randall entered the Hebron home of his estranged wife Anita, and his daughter Claire, shooting Claire three times in the bathroom. He then shot himself.
Police have not been able to determine a motive.
"When we have a homicide, we look as much as we can into the background," said McCausland. "What comes out at us very quickly is this 1993 death of his first wife, Greta."
Randall's first wife died when she fell on rocks at Two Lights park in Cape Elizabeth. Investigators are taking a second look at police reports and medical examiner's reports to learn more about Randall.
"It was an unusual event, and we wanted to make sure we covered that base," he said.
At the time of Greta Randall's death, Daniel Randall was pastor of the First Parish Congregational Church in Saco, Maine.