No motive discovered in Pa. murder-suicide

May 28, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Police, family and friends say they may never know what happened between the Chambersburg couple who were found shot to death Monday in what police are labeling a murder-suicide.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Jeff Stine said no note was left in the Greene Township home before Lawrence W. Cuff Jr., 52, shot his girlfriend, Janine R. Goodyear, 33, several times with a .357-caliber revolver and then took his own life.

Autopsy results established that Goodyear was shot around midnight Monday. Cuff then shot himself in the neck two or three hours later, according to the autopsy report.


Stine said police are still investigating the double shooting, including interviewing family, friends and neighbors to determine a cause.

The bodies were discovered around 2 p.m. Monday in the living room of the one-story brick home at 4453 Sycamore Grove Road by Cuff's 18-year-old daughter, Tatum, who then called police.

The couple had lived in the home, owned by Goodyear, for about three years.

Cuff's ex-wife, Barbara Spoonhour Cuff, of Fayetteville, Pa., said their daughter tried to call her father Monday, but when nobody answered the telephone she decided to drive over to see him.

"She and her father were very close," Cuff said.

The Cuffs had been separated since September 1991 and were divorced on April 24 after 29 years of marriage.

Though Cuff said she and her ex-husband had their differences in the past, they had become "very good friends" in the last few years and she said he was a good father to their 18 and 29-year-old daughters.

"I will miss him very much. He will always have a place in my heart," she said.

In the last conversation Cuff had with her ex-husband a few weeks ago, she said he didn't mention having any problems and wasn't aware that anything was wrong between him and Goodyear.

"I couldn't tell you what happened," she said. "He wasn't like that . . . . Something must've happened. He must've snapped or something."

Cuff filed a protection from abuse order against her husband in 1991 after he threatened to kill her if he found out she was with another man, according to court records.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office was ordered by the court to confiscate two handguns - a .357-caliber magnum and a .38-caliber pistol - from Cuff after the protection from abuse order was filed.

Cuff did not violate the order but he appealed the weapons confiscation and obtained a court order to get them back. The weapons were returned to Cuff in 1993.

Shocked after hearing the news, neighbors of Cuff and Goodyear, who described the couple as friendly and willing to help out, have one question on their minds - why?

"What's the reason?" asked Maxine Black, who lives three houses down. "I think we're entitled to know what happened . . . . It would be reassuring if we knew."

Cuff was a retired federal worker at the Defense Logistics Agency at Letterkenny Army Depot and a former part-time police officer in Chambersburg for about 20 years until the mid-1980s.

Goodyear, a 1982 graduate of James Buchanan High School in Mercersburg, Pa., worked as a packer at Defense Depot Susquehanna, Pa., of New Cumberland.

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