A Startling Acknowledgement
As investigators searched the house they came across another alarming discovery. In the upstairs master bedroom they found Joan's body lying across the blood-soaked bed with the bloody axe on the floor nearby. The officers believed that she was dead, since it was unlikely that she could have survived such a vicious attack. Joan's face was unrecognizable and her skull cracked to the point that her brain was visible. Yet, to their amazement she wasn't dead at all. In fact, she wasn't even unconscious.
The emergency medical technicians (EMT) were called in and began working on Joan immediately. While the EMT were administering to her wounds, Detective Bowdish saw that Joan was conscious enough to respond to questioning. He then proceeded to ask her who might have been responsible for the attacks. Joan's jaw was broken so she could not talk, yet she was able to nod her head up and down and move it from side to side to answer questions.
When asked if her son Jonathan attacked her, Joan responded no. However, according to court documents, when asked if her son Chris did, she "forcefully, adamantly" indicated to Detective Bowdish and the paramedics with an up and down nod that it was indeed Chris who attacked her. In fact, she indicated several times thereafter that Chris attacked her; it was reported in the court documents.
Once the paramedics were able to stabilize her for transportation, Joan was rushed to the hospital where she later underwent twelve hours of lifesaving surgery. In the interim, Jonathan was notified of the attacks while at the Navy base where he was stationed in South Carolina. A reporter called Chris at his dorm room hoping to elicit a comment about the attacks, and Chris said this is how he first learned what happened to his parents. At the time of the call, Chris was some 200 miles away at the University of Rochester.