POSTED: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 11:41am
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 11:48am
(CNN) — Murder-suicides, by their very nature, leave a mountain of unanswered questions. When the killer pulls the trigger first on his victim and then himself, he takes with him to the grave the reasons that compelled the angry, desperate act.
Not so in the case of Radcliffe Haughton.
What prompted the 45-year-old former Marine to open fire at a suburban Milwaukee salon Sunday -- killing not just his wife and two other women, but also wounding four others -- was foreshadowed in no uncertain terms by his estranged wife just three days earlier.
At a restraining order hearing Thursday, the wife, Zina, begged the court for protection, saying her husband would surely kill her.
With her voice shaking, she outlined how he'd threatened to throw acid in her face. How he accused her of cheating on him. How his red jot jealousy terrorized her "every waking moment."
"Things have gotten so bad. We need to separate," she said at the hearing, according to a recording obtained by CNN affiliate WISN. "We need a divorce before you hurt me. I don't want to die."
The judge sided with her. Haughton was ordered to stay away from his wife for the next four years. He was forbidden from possessing a gun.
But on Saturday, he bought a .40-caliber handgun from a private seller. Wisconsin law only requires background checks for purchases from a dealer.
And he waited.
The next day he would take her life.