A Father Lifts His Burdens

A tale of tragedy turns into a multiple murder

The dazed father's story sounded plausible. On Aug. 3, Lawrence DeLisle, 28, took his family for an evening ride along the Detroit River. The two older children, Bryan, 8, and Melissa, 4, sat in the back of the family's 1977 Ford station wagon. Snuggled beside them in a child's safety seat was Kathryn, 21 months. While DeLisle drove, his wife Suzanne, 32, sat in front with nine- month-old Emily, also in an infant's seat.

As their car neared the river on Eureka Avenue in Wyandotte, a Detroit suburb, DeLisle complained of leg cramps. He backed the car away from the street's...

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