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The Nation

October 08, 1987

The man accused of killing his wife and six other family members in Elkland, Mo., may have planned the slayings to benefit through life insurance or inheritance, authorities said. Although James E. Schnick has been charged with murder in the seven slayings, officers have refused to reveal a motive behind the shooting spree, originally blamed on the suspect's teen-age nephew, who died in the shootings. An investigator in the case said it appears Schnick may have had a plan behind the shootings, as opposed to impulsively killing his family the morning of Sept. 25. Schnick, 36, of Elkland, has confessed to the slayings, officials said.

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