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Thursday, September 20, 2007

[PA] A note from slain deputy's wife, Amy - "...I fear my life every day."

If you follow the links to these articles below, ask yourself, how many people knew that Amy's life was in danger, AND how much can police agencies be aware of and still have the officer on the streets?

How much can police agencies know about the threatened life of an officer's spouse without stepping in to protect her?

Lehigh Deputy Derrek Duh's BOSS regarding Amy Duh and the resulting protection from abuse orders:

"When the PFA is withdrawn,
it becomes none of my business,"
said Lehigh County Sheriff Ronald Rossi...

The pressure was on Amy to WITHDRAW the orders because while they are in effect Deputy Duh could not carry a weapon, so could not work as a deputy or officer. That sheriff would be the power behind the protection order.
Does he sound like he cares about Amy?
was supposed to protect Amy

if not the Sheriff?
The Express-Times
September 18, 2007
..."I am writing this letter to let the police know if anything happens to me (Amy Duh) I would like to tell you that Derrek Duh has threatened my life many times. I was told he will shoot me, stab me or beat the s--- out of me anyway to kill me. I have many reports with Bethlehem Township police station. I have two PFAs on him. He had to turn his guns in but he still carries a gun with him. I don't know where he got it from. So if one day you find my body and I am dead, Please, Please look at Derrek Duh. And please make sure my son Garrett Duh is put with my parents for a better life. Their names are Ronald and Beverley VanBuskirk Please help me and my son." Signed Amy Duh "I wrote this because I don't know if one day he will snap and kill me. I fear my life every day."

Statement issued by Lehigh County Sheriff Ron Rossi
"This morning, Derrick Duh, an employee of the Lehigh County Sheriff's office was found dead, along with his wife, Amy, in their Bethlehem Township home... This is a tremendous personal loss to myself and the staff of the Sheriff's office. We ask that you respect

the privacy of our office

and the families in this difficult time of grieving."

Officer used service weapon in murder-suicide
Amy Duh asked for PFA to be withdrawn so husband could return to sheriff's department.

Allentown Morning Call, PA
10:42 PM EDT, September 19, 2007
Two weeks ago, Amy Duh tried to save her marriage and her husband's law enforcement jobs. Tuesday she died for the effort. On Sept. 4, Duh asked a Northampton County judge to lift her protection-from-abuse order against her husband, Derrek. She said they had decided to go to counseling...
"I would prefer
it withdrawn
if possible
so he can have
his job back"...

Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden rescinded the PFA... With the order lifted, the part-time Tatamy police officer and Lehigh County deputy sheriff got his service weapons back... "When the PFA is withdrawn, it becomes none of my business," said Lehigh County Sheriff Ronald Rossi...
Six days later, Duh, 35, followed through on one of his many threats to kill his 33-year-old wife...

Couple had abusive, volatile relationship
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Sarah Cassi scassi@express-times.com.
The Express-Times
...Amy Duh said Derrek Duh would repeatedly call and send her text messages, verbally harass her and her friends and reroute calls from her phone to his phone... "He said he hopes that I die and that he was going to make me and my friends disappear"... In April, Amy Duh wrote Derrek Duh pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot himself. "I was afraid he was going to turn it on me and my son so I took my son outside away from the situation"...

Valley lawman kills wife, himself
Bethlehem Twp. couple had fought so much in recent months that both filed for protection orders.

The Morning Call
By Matt Assad matthew.assad@mcall.com and Michael Duck
September 19, 2007
..."You're going to have to pick [your grandson] up at school today," Duh told Beverley VanBuskirk in a tone so matter-of-fact that she didn't believe he was serious. "I just shot Amy"... Amy Duh, 33, a former dental assistant who most recently worked at a nursing home in Fountain Hill, filed for divorce in May...
"When I was going to leave in April, he pulled out a gun and said he was going to shoot himself... When I dropped my son off to him, he verbally harasses me in front of our son, saying he was going to kill me"
... Derrek Duh, who has worked part-time as a Tatamy police officer for 18 months in addition to his job as deputy sheriff, also filed for protection from abuse on May 17. Both of the couple's filings that day were dismissed a week later, but Amy's second protection filing, in July, was granted... One friend called Derrek Duh a loving father, Tatamy Police Chief George Achenbach described him as a good policeman, and Deputy Fire Chief Hasonich said he felt only confidence when entering a burning building with Duh... Denise Rogers, who used to work with Amy Duh, remembers her as a beautiful woman everyone liked. "Amy was like the nicest girl. She never did anybody any wrong," said Rogers, who still works at the same Salisbury Township dental office where Amy Duh worked at the time of her wedding. "We used to have so much fun," Rogers said. "We would go out all the time, her and I. We were like best friends"...

Cops were frequently called to home
Derrek Duh argued with his wife and his girlfriend. Tatamy-issued weapon used in crime.

Thursday, September 20, 2007
By BEVIN MILAVSKY bmilavsky@express-times.com
The Express-Times
...Mary Hazzard, assistant administrator for Cedarbrook, Lehigh County's nursing home where Amy Duh worked in the Fountain Hill facility, said Amy was always smiling and respectful... "We're certainly going to miss her. We're all still in shock and disbelief that this happened to one of ours"...

Psychological tests needed for cops
Letter to the Editor
The Express-Times
September 20, 2007
...I have to question how Derrek Duh was a deputy sheriff for Lehigh County and a part-time police officer for Tatamy after his wife filed two protection-from-abuse orders. Amy Duh's allegations in the PFAs should have been enough for Lehigh County and Tatamy to further examine the mental health of their employees... They are paid with tax dollars to abide by the law and protect those in their charge, which is a huge responsibility. This tragedy might have been averted had Derrek Duh not been left to his own devices, if continuous psychological screening had occurred... Juliann Skrapits...

Girlfriend says cop talked about plan to kill wife
Thursday, September 20, 2007
By BEVIN MILAVSKY bmilavsky@express-times.com
The Express-Times
The girlfriend of the part-time law enforcement officer who fatally shot his wife and then himself Tuesday morning said he was obsessed with killing his spouse. Michele Andreacchio, 28, of Bangor, said Derrek Duh was increasingly focused on Amy Duh's demise. "He constantly threatened it," she said. "We'd be out doing something and then out of nowhere he'd say, 'I have the perfect way to kill her.'"... She begged him to go back on the medication, but he told her he no longer needed it since she made him happy... he started carrying his service weapon around the house and was paranoid someone was out to get him. He also drank a lot, she said, often downing a quart of coconut rum a day...
She said she warned Amy Duh about the threats and told Derrek's family she had found suicide notes he wrote. "I told enough people that he was going to do this," she said. "And now that he did it, it's almost like, 'I told you so.'"...
Though Andreacchio listened to her boyfriend's rants about killing his wife, she never worried his wrath would be turned on her. "I was his confidante," she said...

Note: The news printing of Amy's note added "(sic)" where there just a couple of spelling errors. If she was HERE which she is NOT and I was her friend, I could point them out to her - but she's GONE and with her note published I know she'd expect a friend to fix it. So I did. I am so sorry for the families and loved ones involved. However the involved law enforcement agencies need to be held accountable for looking the other way.
In Tacoma Washington there was a $75 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit for the city & police brass knowing that our police chief was threatening his wife before he killed them both. Like the sheriff above our city said "It's a private matter."

What is different here?

Sometimes legal action is the ONLY THING that changes a rotten way of doing things. It may be the only thing that will.


  1. im actually one of her cousins i would like to inform that despite all thats happened that garrett my lil coz. i call him is doing fine with my aunt Bev. and Ron. hes into football and this is the note he wrote at funeral: Dear mom, thank you for taking care of me i love you. have a happy mothers day. your the bestest mom in the world. your very nice. i like you

  2. The note is beautiful, and it is really good to know that Garrett is where Amy wanted him to be. I'm sure he is surrounded with so much love.
    If they would like to talk to another maternal family taking care of 2 children from a police murder-suicide - please let me know. You look at the children in these situations and amid the deep (deep) grief you have to pause everyday and give thanks that the children made it through. So many don't.
    God bless Garrett and your Aunt Bev & Ron.
    I hope they file a wrongful death lawsuit if they haven't already. That forces change. It's not about the money, but trying to make good come out of a tragedy. There are still many like Amy.

    They send me their "in case I am killed" letters.

    Amy's breaks my heart.

  3. It's now 2011 and still I can hear Amy laughter...her smile could light up a room.I remember her don Garrett standing so alone at his mothers viewing, though surrounded by family he was at that moment truly alone. I pray do often for Amy who is gone and for her son that forever in his heart he feel her loving presence.

    What happen was senseless and preventable. No one should be given back their weapons who actively voiced killing. It was evident this person was suffering grave emotional problems to the point he voiced his intents to kill. Our laws failed to protect Amy....a beautiful woman and loving mother. Now a son will grow up without his mother and a loving mother will never see her son grow up.

    God bless you Garrett and live life with the same happiness and joy your mommy did.

    And Amy, you will truly always be missed. You touched our hearts and filled us with your laughter....love you Amy!

    Wendygail Fox


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