Police say two weekend murder-suicides eerily alike

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis Police say they believe lovers' quarrels turned deadly twice this weekend.

"As a neighbor when you know something like that is happening sometimes you think they are getting ready to split and someone is going to be safer but the thing is when someone gets ready to leave that is when they’re most in danger," said Jordan Howard.

Howard is with the Family Safety Center. She said while you can't always stop domestic violence, you can plan to reduce the risk of a lover's quarrel turning deadly.

"It’s really important to have a plan when you’re leaving, to keep you safe because it is the most dangerous time," said Howard.

Neighbors said at one time, Tom and Margaret Swearengen's relationship appeared to be picture perfect, but according to a neighbor the wife recently told friends her husband had a problem. They said before Swearengen could get out, her husband shot her then turned the gun on himself.

"Just having two back to back like that is very shocking we’ve had our fair share of murder suicides but its always shocking when it’s an older couple because it’s not what you expect," added Howard.

Shortly after the discovery of the Swearengens, police said they found the bodies of another husband and wife on Waldron. Police told WREG again the husband shot and killed the wife, and then took his own life.

Howard said neighbors can and should use their voices to try to help couples if something seems off.

"Just going to that person and letting them know that you’ve picked up on somethings that don’t seem particularly right or healthy in relationship and you’re there for them if they do want to talk," added Howard.

Neighbors said they don't know how long the couple may have been dead inside of the home. Over on Waldron, the man and woman were found by relatives. Police still haven't identified the couple.

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