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Apr 4, 2016 4:58 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Woman Found Dead At Residence Monday Was Suspect In 2008 Killing At Same House

Southampton Town Police investigate the scene of a death in North Haven Village. ALISHA STEINDECKER
Apr 5, 2016 7:28 AM

UPDATE: 5:10 p.m. Monday

Town Police Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa has identified Margaret Jean Burke, 83, the owner and resident of the Payne Avenue home, as the deceased person. Her death was an apparent suicide by gunshot, according to Det. Sgt. Costa, though a medical examiner report is pending, and the incident is still under investigation.

A family member reported Ms. Burke’s death on Monday afternoon, she said.

The house was the scene of another gunshot death, on August 31, 2008. Ms. Burke’s mother, 100-year-old Jessie Burke, died after she was shot in the back of the head while sitting in a chair, working on a crossword puzzle, according to authorities. Her daughter said she had stepped out to do errands on the Sunday morning and returned to find her mother dead.

Investigators never made an arrest in the case, though they conducted dozens of interviews. They made it clear they believed they knew who was the most likely person responsible for the shooting: Margaret Jean Burke. Following all of the interviews, one investigator said every single person had been ruled out, adding, “The only person we haven’t reached a comfort level with is Jean Burke,” referring to the victim’s daughter, who shared the house on Payne Avenue with her.

But Ms. Burke steadfastly maintained her innocence and was never charged in connection with the case. “There is no way in the world that I murdered my mother,” she told The Press in April 2009. “In fact, for me to just say that now, I feel like somebody has taken a razor and ripped my insides to shreds.”

She also expressed frustration at the unsolved case and police’s lack of progress in making an arrest.

Ms. Burke had said detectives accused her, point-blank, of committing a “mercy killing”—hoping to save her three siblings the burden of caring for their mother if “something were to happen to me.” She rejected that notion, saying Jessie Burke had become less mobile in her late 90s but was not suffering from any serious illness and led a comfortable and enjoyable life.

Jessie Burke’s murder was the first in the history of North Haven Village.

Original Story:

Southampton Town Police and the Suffolk County medical examiner are investigating an apparent death at a house in North Haven, though no information has been released yet.

Police tape blocks access to the two-story house at 36 Payne Avenue—which was the scene of a homicide in 2008, for which no arrest has ever been made—but investigators on the scene have so far declined to comment on the situation.

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Cased Closed.
By candyw (20), wainscott on Apr 5, 16 10:29 AM
That would be "Case" Closed.
Not that it really matters.
But I do wonder is she left a note.....?
By candyw (20), wainscott on Apr 5, 16 9:53 PM
Yes - Please find the note or the diary and the confession to the murder of the mother. Unless there was a suicide note - how was it determined to be a suicide so quickly? OR consider that they were both murdered.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Apr 7, 16 4:52 PM