Mother Commits Tragic Murder-Suicide
She played the violin like a prodigy. Her brother was an equally talented cellist.
But behind this beautiful music was a turbulent home life that would end in unthinkable tragedy for these gifted siblings.
Their mom, Jennifer Berman, had just been through a long and nasty divorce from her husband, Richard, a successful realtor in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Few in the outside world could have guessed that 16-year-old Alex and his 15-year-old sister, Jacqueline were living in the midst of such turmoil, or that their home was in foreclosure.
It all came to a tragic end this week with a troubling 911 call from Richard Berman.
Berman: "My ex-wife said that she was going to harm the kids, and that I should get over there."
Berman: "She sent me an e-mail that she did the best thing for our family. Then she sent her cousin a text that she was going to kill the kids and, and, and herself."
When Berman entered the house, his worst nightmare was realized.
911 operator: "Are the kids okay?"
Berman: "Oh, this can't be real."
Mom had fatally shot both children before turning the gun on herself. Richard Berman was on the scene, crying on his phone.
J.J. Kaufman, Richard Berman's friend, said, "How you recover, I don't even know. He lost everything that's important to him, and everything that meant anything."
How could Jennifer Berman have done such a thing? She was said to be depressed over the recent death of her mother, and financial pressures stemming from the divorce.
Now, a troubled mother is gone along with her two extraordinarily talented children. A tragedy that will surely be remembered as the day the music died.
The grieving father is asking mourners to make donations to the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach where the children studied music.