Police release new details about Jenkintown double murder

Verity Beck is charged with murder and is being held without bail in the death and dismemberment of her parents.

Friday, January 20, 2023
Police release new details about Jenkintown double murder
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When officers breeched the door and made their way inside, Verity Beck walked down the steps with her hands raised.

JENKINTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Police released new details Thursday about what investigators encountered when they discovered the bodies of a couple in their Jenkintown, Pa. home.

Verity Beck, 43, is charged with first-degree murder and third-degree murder and is being held without bail in the death and dismemberment of her parents.

Verity Beck

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said police arrived at the home on the 1100 block of Beverly Road on Tuesday night.

That's where 73-year-old Reid Beck, a retired Training Director Steamfitters Local Union 420, and 72-year-old Miriam Beck, a former Lower Moreland High School nurse, were found dead.

According to the criminal complaint, their son arrived at the home earlier in the night and saw what appeared to be a body under a blanket.

Investigators say he talked to his sister for about 30 minutes. Police say Verity Beck lived at the home and told her brother that things there had "been bad."

Her brother told Verity that she needed to call the police, investigators said, and Verity responded that she needed "more time."

The brother left, returned to his home, and called 911, police say.

Abington police responded to the home but soon realized they would need a tactical response.

"They used drones and threw in a camera which was able to search most of the area," said Abington Police Chief Patrick Molloy.

When officers breached the door and made their way inside, Verity Beck walked down the steps with her hands raised.

"She just confirmed that her parents were deceased and she was concerned about her cats and dogs. They were the only words that she uttered," Molloy said.

A chainsaw was located near one of the bodies and both victims were in "various stages of dismemberment."

"What they discovered, you can't unsee that," Molloy said of his officers.

The coroner determined both victims died from a gunshot wound to the head. Several firearms were recovered from the home, Steele said.

"Whether they were sleeping or not, you just hope that they were," Molloy said.

Police also say officers found a large safe in the second-floor primary bedroom that had drill marks on it. Investigators say it appears someone without a key or combination had been attempting to access it.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators believe the couple was likely killed on January 7 after finding unread newspapers with that date. That was also when their son last had voice contact with his mother, investigators said.

The couple's son told authorities he believed he was texting with his parents the past week. Authorities believe it was his sister who was using the phone.

A motive for the killing is not yet known.

"I'm completely stunned. It's a quiet neighborhood. Quiet neighborhood, friendly kids all over the place, lots of dogs, a great neighborhood, place to raise your kid," said neighbor Linda Cranney. "I'm stunned."

Miriam Beck retired from her job as school nurse at Lower Moreland High School in 2018 after 20 years.

"The district was made aware of the passing of a former employee, Miriam Beck. Mrs. Beck was employed at Lower Moreland High School as a School Nurse from 1998 to 2018. At this time, our thoughts and sympathies are with the Beck family," the Lower Moreland School District said in a statement to Action News.

Former colleagues of Reid's said he was someone who made everyone comfortable.

"Just a friendly nice man. When you think back and reminisce, he taught a generation of apprentices," said Jim Snell, business manager of Steamfitters Local Union 420.

Community members said the Becks were model parents, friends and full of joy.