On November 16, 1987, three days after being fired from a brokerage house for embezzling funds, the 45-year-old investment banker son of Academy Award winning actress Mercedes McCambridge went on a murder-suicide spree in his home in Little Rock, Arkansas. Police found Markle's 45-year-old wife, Chris, in the third floor master bedroom, sprawled across a king-sized waterbed, shot three times. In the childrens' second floor bedroom, Markle's 12-year-old daughter, Amy, shot four times in the head and chest, lay in bed next to her 9-year-old sister, Suzanne, who had been shot five times. After killing his family, Markle descended to the first floor study, pointed a .38-caliber pistol to one temple and a .45-caliber gun to the other, and took his own life. A rubber "Freddy Krueger" mask (believed to have been worn by Markle during some of the shootings) was found near the body. A tape of Nightmare on Elm Street was in the VCR. A two line handwritten note stating that he had killed his wife and children was on a desk in the study.
McCambridge, an Oscar winner for her supporting performance in the 1950 film All the King's Men, and well-known as the demonic voice of the possessed little girl in The Exorcist (1973), was visibly moved at the funeral service in Little Rock attended by then Arkansas' first lady Hillary Clinton. Afterward, McCambridge quickly went on the legal offensive to block the publication of a bitter 13 page handwritten letter left to her by Markle. In April 1989 the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled against the actress and made the damning document part of the public police file. In the letter, dated October 1987, Markle exonerated McCambridge from any financial wrongdoing in his scheme to divert funds into her account, but indicted her as a mother. It read (in part): "I was essentially raised by live-in maids and relatives...I was conceptualized to save a bad marriage...I watched you try to kill yourself twice. You have never been there for me when the chips were down. When I cried on the phone you called me a "snivelling wimp"...Is this clear to you? That you have hurt every member of my family. That you have hurt me; that I stood by you under some really adverse conditions and that you have never done anything but manipulate me for your purposes...You were never around much when I needed you so now I and my whole family are dead -- so you can have the money. Funny how things work out, isn't it?" McCambridge, 87, died on March 2, 2004 of natural causes.