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David H. FLOOD





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Parricide
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: January 6, 1991
Date of arrest: 7 days after
Date of birth: 1946
Victims profile: His wife, Rosemary Flood, 42; Todd Novotasky, 18; Keri-Lyn Novotasky, 17; and Keri-Lyn's boyfriend, Michael Fadden, 21
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Lehigh County, Connecticut, USA
Status: Sentenced to four consecutive life terms on May 1, 1991

Murderer signs life away Weisenberg killer gets four life sentences

By Debbie Garlicki - The Morning Call

Thursday, May 2, 1991

David H. Flood signed his life away yesterday when he put his signature to papers admitting he killed his wife, two stepchildren and the boyfriend of one of the children.

Flood, 45, pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to four consecutive life terms in state prison.

Lehigh County Judge David E. Mellenberg repeatedly asked Flood if he understood what he was doing and if he realized the chance of getting his sentence commuted is "next to nothing."

"Having heard all of that, is it still your intention to plead guilty of your own free will?" Mellenberg asked.

"Yes, sir," Flood said quietly.

Flood was charged with the Jan. 6 shootings of his wife, Rosemary Flood, 42; Todd Novotasky, 18; Keri-Lyn Novotasky, 17; and Keri-Lyn's boyfriend, Michael Fadden, 21, in Claussville Road, Weisenberg Township.

Flood spared another stepchild, Stacey Novotasky, who turned 16 yesterday. She is living with her father in Connecticut.

Flood was apprehended Jan. 13 in Glastonbury, Conn., where the family had lived before moving to the Lehigh Valley.

Flood confessed to police and left numerous notes around the house explaining how he killed the victims, where he left the murder weapons -- a .45-caliber pistol and .22-caliber sawed-off rifle -- what he was thinking, and who should be notified among the survivors.

District Attorney Robert Steinberg said the plea agreement for life sentences was proposed by Flood's public defenders, William Wismer and Michael Brunnabend. Steinberg said he talked about the plea with state troopers who investigated the case, Fadden's mother and Ted Novotasky, the father of the Novotasky children. All consented to the plea agreement.

Fadden's mother, Lorraine Fadden of Connecticut, told Steinberg she was satisfied with the plea as long as Flood would never get out of prison.

"It's difficult, quite frankly, to turn down four consecutive life sentences," Steinberg said after the hearing. "It's going to be his own living hell. Every day of his life he will live with the fact he killed his family. This quickly and appropriately brings this to a conclusion."

Flood, dressed in a light gray suit and white shirt, told Mellenberg he wanted to spare remaining family members the pain and grief of a trial.

"I'm sorry it happened," he said. "I'd rather just go on with life and let them go on with life."

Wismer said Flood spoke with a pastor who visited him in the county jail and decided to plead guilty. "That changed his whole frame of mind about everything, including his own life," Wismer said.

After killing the victims, investigators said, Flood paid the rent on their house and left notes about who should be contacted. He called his wife's employer and said his wife wouldn't be at work.

Stacey Novotasky was at work at the Roy Rogers restaurant in Trexlertown. She called the house to get a ride home from work, andFlood picked her up. He drove her to Connecticut, saying the family was looking for a house there and would be moving.

Flood drove back to Pennsylvania and spent three days in the house with the bodies.

He left an envelope in a neighbor's mailbox. Inside were two envelopes.

One contained a note instructing the neighbor to call Ted Novotasky and to tell him not to bring his daughter, Stacey, to the house. The other envelope was addressed to state police.

The note to state troopers told them to go to the house. "You will not like what you see," the note said.

Troopers went to the house and found two dead dogs in the unlocked garage. The dogs had been killed with blows from a hammer. Rosemary Flood and Todd Novotasky were found in upstairs bedrooms. Keri-Lyn Novotasky and her boyfriend, Michael Fadden, were found in the basement where they lived.

While troopers were recounting what they found, Stacey Novotasky, who was sitting in the spectators' section of the courtroom, began crying. She and her father left the courtroom and didn't return.

During the hearing, Mellenberg asked prosecutors about a motive. Trooper Francis J. Karvan said Flood told police that he and his wife had an argument the night before he shot her. Flood said his wife threatened to leave him.

In the morning, he shot her in their bed. Flood went to the basement where he shot Keri-Lyn. When Todd Novotasky returned home, he shot him.

The last victim was Michael Fadden, who came home later.

On one of the notes he left behind, Flood said he "wanted everyone to go to hell together."

Mellenberg asked why Flood spared Stacey Novotasky. Karvan said Flood explained that Stacey "never wanted anything and never gave anybody any trouble. She was always good. Something in his head just told him not to hurt Stacey."

In one note, Flood wrote, "The bills are too much. We are about to lose everything."

Wismer told the judge that Flood's friends in Connecticut said he loved the children very much and always wanted a better life for them. Flood's life started to fall apart after he moved to Pennsylvania, according to Wismer.

"It was like sweeping the ocean back with a broom," Wismer said, adding Flood's problems came crashing down on him.

After the hearing, Lorraine Fadden said she had no inkling that Flood was capable of murder when her son moved to Pennsylvania with his girlfriend and the rest of Flood's family. "They were always in the hole, I knew that," she said, adding Rosemary and David Flood often argued about who was spending how much and who was paying the bills.

When Rosemary and David visited friends in Connecticut at Christmas, "they were all so happy together," according to Fadden. She said she saw a videotape of the Floods that was taken by friends during the holiday.

"There was nothing to indicate that David would commit murder," she said.

The plea bargain may be over, but for Fadden and Ted Novotasky, legal battles continue. The two are trying to get access to the Weisenberg house to get their children's belongings and things they had purchased.

Fadden said that after the shootings, the landlord changed the locks to the house. Since then, she and Ted Novotasky have been trying to arrange a date with the landlord to retrieve their children's personal items.

"We have made a good five or six trips to Pennsylvania to no avail," Fadden said.

The landlord, she said, wants them to make a list of the items they want to take.

Fadden and Novotasky have hired a local lawyer to try to get the items and have spoken with Steinberg about their plight.

Steinberg said he had hoped the landlord and the victims' survivors could meet yesterday to arrange to move items out of the house. But the landlord's lawyer said the landlord, who lives in New York, was out of town, according to Steinberg.

Fadden said she will return to Pennsylvania soon to get items in police custody and hopes she then will be able to get into the house.



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