Struggling Children’s Book Author, Wife and 3 Children Found Dead at Home: Reports

October 8, 2019 Updated: October 8, 2019

Reports on Tuesday said that a Massachusetts man who was found fatally shot along with his three children and wife was “unemployed and going crazy.”

According to his Facebook page, Joseph Zaccardi was identified as one of those who were found dead at home. Also found dead were his 40-year-old wife, Deirdre Zaccardi, and their three children: 11-year-old Alexis and 9-year-old twins, Nathaniel and Kathryn Zaccardi, reported People magazine.

Joseph Zaccardi, 43, was a children’s book author and apparently was struggling. In April 2017, he announced he published his third book, “All Mixed Up,” which is available on Amazon.

“Purchasing a copy will obviously help to promote the book, but simply spreading the word about its release would be extremely helpful too!” he wrote on social media. “Again, thank you for everybody’s support and encouragement with each book I do! Without the support of family and friends, an individual’s hopes or dreams can only go so far.”

Dierdre worked as an office manager for EMI Strategic Marketing based in Boston.

EMI posted a tribute on its Facebook, saying its employees were distraught after the family was found dead.

“A ready smile, optimism in the face of the most daunting of projects, a raft of recipes for her beloved holiday Cookie Swap, a happy story about one or all of her three children—these memories and more will remain,” the company wrote.

“In her nearly 20 years at EMI, she brought kindness, friendship, caring and a can-do spirit to our community. May we all honor her memory by embracing those values every day,” EMI added.


District Attorney Timothy Cruz said that officers discovered the five after receiving a 911 report of a medical emergency in Abington, WCVB reported.

A family member went to pick up one of the children and found a woman on the couch before calling the authorities.

“All of the deaths appear to be the result of gunshot wounds,” Cruz told the station. “This appears to be an isolated incident. There is no current threat to public safety.”

Abington police chief David Majenski also said it a “horrific event no one should ever see.”

Meanwhile, officials told the Boston Herald that the incident was an apparent murder-suicide.

Neighbor Wes Cobb, 75, said he was stunned as it’s a “very quiet neighborhood.”

“If you’re gonna commit suicide, don’t take your kids,” Cobb explained to the newspaper. “Leave your kids alone. I don’t understand why people do that.”

Facts About Crime in the United States

Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) (pdf).

The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.

The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.

Police tape is shown in Toronto, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
Police tape is shown in a stock photo (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)

The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.

While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend. Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.