EDMONDS, Wash. — A 73-year-old Edmonds man has been charged with murdering his wife at their home in late July.
John Carroll Shipley is accused of murdering his 66-year-old wife, later identified as Susan Shipley. She was found dead after 911 dispatchers received a call at 4:49 p.m. from John Shipley about an emergency at his home, informing them that he had attempted to murder his wife, according to charging documents.
Court records also state he told dispatchers that he was waiting for police to come and kill him and send him to hell.
John Shipley told dispatchers while on the call that he was possessed by demons. He also said that he had been possessed most of his life but did not realize it until April, according to charging documents. During the call, he said that he was a “sub-human.”
Before John Shipley identified himself to dispatchers, he told them that he had killed a mother of two adopted kids and a grandson, court records state.
When dispatchers asked John Shipley where he was, he told them that he was in the living room with his wife, charging documents state.
When officers arrived, they found a “chaotic” scene with a woman dead, but “it was unclear what had caused her death,” according to police. John Shipley was found sitting next to his wife, according to court records.
Officers said they found a knife on Susan Shipley’s neck and another knife nearby.
John Shipley was detained and taken to the hospital for an evaluation.
While being evaluated at the hospital, John Shipley told a doctor that he had “asphyxiated” his wife because “satanic demons” instructed him to do it, charging documents state.
Once John Shipley was medically cleared and spoke with detectives, he admitted to killing his wife, court records state.
Shipley also told investigators that he had to call the police because of what he had done and wanted them to “destroy” him because what he had done was brutal, court records state.
Charging documents state: “Mr. Shipley went on to explain that he had been under demonic influence and had been seeing strange events since his birthday of this year.”
When asked by a detective if what he (Shipley) did was wrong, he said “‘I, I mistreated her immensely. She, uh, she tried to uh, she did everything she could to make my life a good one.’”
According to charging documents, Shipley told his wife in part that it was “judgment day.”
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office informed investigators that Susan Shipley’s autopsy showed her death was caused by “asphyxiation due to strangulation.”
While a knife was found in Susan Shipley’s neck, the medical examiner said it was not the cause of her death. The manner of her death was ruled a homicide.
According to court records, it was not the first time officers had a run-in with John Shipley. In February, officers were called near 234th Street Southwest and 97th Avenue West in Edmonds for a man, identified as John Shipley, standing naked in the street. According to police, he was in a “catatonic state and unresponsive” during that incident.
Law enforcement found out that John Shipley had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder after the incident, court records state.
John Shipley faces a charge of second-degree murder with domestic violence. His bail, which was arranged in July, is set at $1 million.
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