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Murder-suicide claims Christie team member, spouse

DENVILLE, N.J. (AP) -- A member of Republican Gov. Chris Christie's transition team and her husband were under "enormous stress" in the weeks before he fatally shot her and then killed himself, their daughter said.

Lorraine "Lori" Bramhall told the Daily Record of Parsippany (http://dailyre.co/1ygUkQt ) that John Bramhall believed his wife of 54 years, Joan, was suffering from dementia.

Lori Bramhall disagreed with the assessment, saying her mother could be "forgetful" but there were no apparent changes in her personality.

But longtime friend Keith Pierson told the newspaper that Joan Bramhall did appear to have some mental issues. He said she recently asked him whether President Richard Nixon, who died in 1994, was still alive, and he sometimes noticed she had a "vacant" demeanor.

Former Christie Official Found Dead

Authorities have not said what might have prompted the murder-suicide in the couple's Denville home. A medical examiner ruled Joan Bramhall's death a homicide, while John Bramhall's death was ruled a suicide.

A family member found the bodies Thursday morning and called police.

Joan Bramhall was a former Morris County clerk who was well-known in Republican political circles. She retired in December.

In a statement, Christie hailed Bramhall as an "outstanding public servant but an even better person" who would be sorely missed by family and friends.

"She was an extraordinarily selfless and generous person to friends and family alike. She honored me and Mary Pat with her friendship for the last 20 years. We considered her a dear friend and we are terribly saddened by her tragic passing. We send our condolences to Joan's family," he said.

John Bramhall, a successful builder of high-end homes, was laidback and loved to go on hunting trips, friends told the newspaper. When his wife retired after 15 years as county clerk, she said the couple hoped to travel and cruise to Alaska.

Lori Bramhall said that she and her father were estranged and that he had obtained domestic violence restraining orders against her and three of her adult children Wednesday. Those orders were dismissed Friday.

"My father said I wasn't allowed to talk to my mother. I loved my mother, and she loved me," Lori Bramhall said, noting that her parents at various times had raised all six of her children because she was dealing with substance abuse problems.

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sedunning August 09 2014 at 4:36 PM

this should be about them and the affects of aging and dementia. The lead picture should not be Christie.

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8 replies
Richard August 09 2014 at 4:22 PM

Liberal tolerance if they were democrat this would not be news anything to smear even the deaths of people to exploit for a political agenda shameless liberals full of hate

Flag Reply +41 rate up
35 replies
lakota6020 August 09 2014 at 4:16 PM

The comments on here is bordering on ignorant... anyone who has had to deal with their loved ones slide into dementia knows that this man must have loved his wife very much. The daughter is a admitted drug addict that her parents had to raise HER children through out the years. The father had to have a valid reason to put a restraining order on the very children he helped raised, did they put hands on him, threaten him, did they want his wife to be put away, it appears that the couple lived together.. loved together and died together. May they find peace and perhaps love that they didn't get from their children here on earth. Politics be damned.

Flag Reply +33 rate up
11 replies
xpphil12 August 09 2014 at 4:48 PM

Liberals make me sick.

Flag Reply +30 rate up
23 replies
punnster August 09 2014 at 5:07 PM

It takes a particularly low life to use a tragedy like this politically.

Flag Reply +22 rate up
2 replies
BoB punnster August 09 2014 at 6:25 PM

well it is AOL?HUFFPOST!, the liberal democrap sounding board!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
4 replies
kcarthey punnster August 10 2014 at 7:20 AM

I agree and I continue to view those who continue to bring up Vince Foster's suicide and tie to to the Clintons often calling it murder in the same light. Those same Conservatives are still bringing Foster up nearly two decades after the tragedy and will double their accusations if Hillary runs for President. Scum.

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Carla August 09 2014 at 4:07 PM

This story brought tears to my eyes... so sad. I don't get why people do this.
My prayers go out to their daughter. family and friends.
God bless them all.

Flag Reply +19 rate up
5 replies
Iselin007 August 09 2014 at 4:29 PM

Tragic story.

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markcz82 August 09 2014 at 4:44 PM

Maybe Christie will do the same and save us all alot of time and trouble.WE CAN ONLY WISH!! it would be so.

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22 replies
Karen Moore August 09 2014 at 4:25 PM

Such a tragic story. My thoughts and prayers that loved ones may find peace.

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1 reply
denise Karen Moore August 10 2014 at 12:59 AM

Karen ... WHY does no one question how many times it is a MALE doing this kind of vicious crime. Why don't they kill themselves and spare their families? WHY are MALES so predominant in school shootings, mall shootings, rape, animal abuse ... the list is endless.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
dbmauk denise August 10 2014 at 1:24 AM

your question has been studied at length for years & conclusions drawn.
suggest you do the research and learn why certain crimes are gender specific.
I mean no disrespect to you but if you do the work you will better understand the answer.
why is it that women murder their own children and seldom do men committ such horrific acts?

Flag 0 rate up
DanD August 09 2014 at 6:33 PM

Sounds like John was a NUT for a long time, and yet no one thought to insure he had no guns? Sad....

Flag Reply +8 rate up
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