Wife charged with murdering husband of 41 years in Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (WPVI) -- Police say a Lehigh Valley woman allegedly stabbed and killed her husband of 41 years.

Helen Buchman of Bethlehem, Pa. lived next door to Roger Herencia and his wife Kathleen. She says they kept a quiet life.

"They were by themselves. They were alone all the time. They had no visitors, no friends, nothing," Buchman told Action News Tuesday.

Kathleen, 58, has been charged with murdering her 66-year-old husband by stabbing him repeatedly in the chest and back on Sunday.

Court documents revealed that she confessed to the crime saying she became enraged after her husband told her he didn't need her anymore and was kicking her out of their apartment.

Buchman says that sounds odd to her because Roger Herencia was frail and sickly.

In fact, Buchman says Helen often spoke of feeling trapped because she was the only one there to care for her ailing husband.

Buchman also says it seems like the only time Kathleen smiled was when she was away from her apartment.

"She would seem so happy when she was out. When she'd come home, she'd knew she'd have to face the same thing all the time. Being with him, taking care of him, cooking and all that, she just seemed very lonely and depressed," Buchman said.

Buchman says she heard the Herencias argue from time to time, but she does not believe it ever turned physical.

And local police say they have no record of domestic incidents involving the two.

Now, Helen Buchman says she simply can't believe her friend faces the likelihood of going to prison.

"It hurts me. It's hard for me to keep it inside because all of us knew her and I think it's very, very sad," Buchman said.

Other tenants of the Valley Park South Apartments say nothing like this ever happens here.

"Last night, I was thinking about it. It just made me feel a little uncomfortable," neighbor Cheryl Landino said.

"It is really disturbing. You think this is a nice, secluded, little area and to have something like that happen here is pretty scary," neighbor Elaine Bentson said.

Kathleen Herencia was treated for self-inflicted cuts to the arm and legs after the murder took place. She's since been taken to the Lehigh County Jail where she's being held without bail.
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