Man accused of beating mother, sister, friend to death

Lynn Vanderhall, Melissa Vanderhall, Janel Simpson

The man accused in the bludgeoning deaths of his mother, sister and a third woman is due to be arraigned in court Sunday.

Bobby Vanderhall, 34, was arrested on three charges of murder in the early morning deaths of his mother, Lynn Reichenbach-Vanderhall; his sister, Melissa Vanderhall; and Janel Simpson, who was visiting the home. Her daughter was a physician's assistant. Her mother Lynn spent decades teaching children at daycare.

"The family right now is distraught", said Juanita Johnson, a cousin of the Vanderhalls, on Saturday.

What has been described in news reports as a "rampage" took place inside the residence on Perry Street.

"He went to the garage".

'He went to the garage, he obtained a large hammer.With this hammer, he broke through the basement door'. "With this framing hammer, he broke through the basement door".

Police say he used that same weapon to attack everyone he saw, including a fourth woman, 29-year-old Candace Murray. However, the latter managed to escape and flagged down a passer-by who called Hempstead police for help.

Candace Murray
Candace Murray

The survivor, who wasn't identified, was hospitalized in stable condition.

Bobby Vanderhall, 34, was charged with murder in the deaths of the three women after police found him sleeping in a auto nearby.

He had a record of arrests for drunken driving, drug possession and sexual abuse, according to reports.

Relatives say he was a friendly and athletic kid whose mental and emotional problems got worse after the sudden death of his father.

He was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, commanding officer of the Nassau County police homicide squad, told Newsday that Vanderhall's mother had recently kicked him out of the house.