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Wisconsin spa rampage: Husband said he would kill her, and he did

October 22, 2012|By Matt Pearce
  • According to reports, Radcliffe Haughton, 45, burst into the day spa, killing three people including his estranged wife before shooting himself.
According to reports, Radcliffe Haughton, 45, burst into the day spa, killing… (Darren Hauck / Getty Images )

Zina Haughton wasn’t supposed to see or hear from her husband again for four years.

He had slashed her tires and fought with her in their Brown Deer, Wisc., home, court records stated. And according to a petition for a restraining order she filed in Milwaukee County in early October, he had threatened to throw acid in her face and set her on fire with gasoline.

“He said he would kill me if I left him or ever contacted the police,” Haughton, 42, said in court papers.

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Less than two weeks later, police said, Radcliffe Haughton, 45, walked into the Brookfield spa and hair salon where she worked on Sunday and killed her in a mass shooting that left two other women dead and four more women wounded, one critically. Haughton then shot himself to death, according to authorities.

The pair is survived by two of their children. 

On Monday, the Waukesha County Medical Examiner identified the two other dead as Cary L. Robuck, 35, of Racine, and Maelyn M. Lind, 38, of Oconomowoc. In a statement, the Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee said it didn’t have permission to release more information about the four wounded, whose families had requested privacy.

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Their identities were slow in coming after the chaotic shooting had separated many of the salon patrons from their belongings in the 9,000-square-foot building with many small treatment rooms, police said Sunday.

But police, friends and acquaintances were already piecing together a picture of a troubled man in a sometimes abusive relationship with his wife.

Last year, police in the Milwaukee suburb of Brown Deer responded to the Haughtons’ home and confronted Radcliffe Haughton, an ex-Marine, in a 90-minute standoff without arresting him. Officials told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel they think they saw Haughton with guns inside the house, and it remains unclear why he wasn’t taken into custody. Police said he pointed something that looked like a barrel at his wife, who was standing outside with the officers who had responded.

In early October, Brown Deer police arrested Radcliffe Haughton on suspicion of harassing his wife at the salon. Shortly afterward Zina Haughton sought the restraining order.

Radcliffe Haughton then began to fall into a funk, Geoffrey Lee, his anatomy professor at the Milwaukee Area Technical College, told FOX6-TV. His mood continued to worsen after the four-year restraining order against him was handed down on Thursday and he called Haughton, who was “on the verge of tears.”

Two weeks ago, he had taken a test he couldn’t finish.

“He tried taking the test,” Lee told FOX6. “I could tell he couldn’t focus. After five, 10 minutes, he couldn’t focus, so he turned his test in. As he turned his test in, I said, ‘Why don’t you do it Friday?’ and he looked really sad. At that point, I gave him a big hug and I said to him, ‘You look like you could use a big hug.’ ”

Haughton never showed up for a makeup test on Friday. Two days later, he was found dead, along with his wife and two others, at the Azana Salon and Spa.

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