James Butwin Death Ruled Suicide; Wife and Three Children All Killed by Gunshots

Categories: Death Valley
Pinal County Sheriff's Office
The SUV that contained the bodies of the Butwin family, who all died from gunshot wounds.
The Tempe Police Department's theory that the five bodies found in the Vekol Valley this weekend were victims of a murder/suicide continues to check out.

Yesterday, the Pima County medical examiner identified the two adult bodies found in the SUV in the desert as James and Yafit Butwin, and sure enough, the medical examiner says dental records indicate that the three other bodies were the Butwins' children -- ages 7, 14, and 16.

Tempe Police Sergeant Jeffrey Glover says the medical examiner's office has also informed police that all five of them died from gunshot wounds.

James Butwin's death has been ruled a suicide, while the deaths of his family members have been ruled homicides.

Glover said yesterday that blood and bullet casings were found in multiple rooms of the home, although there was no definitive answer as to where each of the family members died.

Two guns were found in the Butwins' SUV, matching the caliber of the bullet casings found in the home.

In that SUV, four of the bodies were found in the rear compartment, and one adult body was found in the backseat.

Two "suicide" notes from James Butwin exist, Glover says, although neither of them detailed exactly what he was going to do.

Still, Glover says the notes are consistent with the murder/suicide investigation.

One of James Butwin's business partners called Tempe police over the weekend, asking them to check in on the Butwins after James Butwin mailed a letter to him with instructions on how to run the business.

Police still haven't been too specific about it, but it was enough to cause concern with the business partner.

The other note, which Glover referred to as "more specific," was left by James Butwin in his office. It wasn't really addressed to anyone, but Glover says it looked like it was meant for other family members.

Asked whether police were sure a "violent drug cartel" had absolutely nothing to do with this -- as Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu suggested -- Glover said that theory was "ruled out on our end."

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office still hasn't publicly changed its stance of simply mentioning the Tempe family's murder/suicide among its other theories.


Vekol Valley Bodies ID'd as Tempe Residents; Bullet Casings and Blood Found Inside Home

Paul Babeu Claims He Made "No Conclusions" in Case of Bodies Found in Vekol Valley

Tempe Police Pretty Sure Bodies in Vekol Valley Are From Murder/Suicide, Despite Paul Babeu's Blame-the-Mexicans Announcement

Paul Babeu Jumps to Apparently Wrong Conclusion: Tempe Cops Say Five Burned Bodies in Vekol Valley Resulted from Murder-Suicide, Not Drug-Cartel Activity

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You're really that arrogant as to think that you "know the mindset" of hundreds of thousands of American citizens, just because you know what they do for a job? You got a God complex I don't wanna understand, sugar.


who said I was looking for an excuse? I am trying to understand his mindset, I already know the mindset of the police.. 


I blame the Neo-Nazis.They made it look like a jewicide.


you missed the point of what I was saying...this has nothing to do with Babeu as much as I despise him.

Haddie Nuff
Haddie Nuff

Sadly it isn't just Babeu that pulls this crap.  Everything bad that happens is blamed on illegals and drug cartels.  Remember the "There is substantial evidence that the fires were caused by illegals"? And there are lots more of this kind of BS.  It not only is acceptable to the average Arizonan, but it allows whichever LEO to rapidly close the case with little to no investigation.  I've long wondered about the rancher that was murdered about the same time that SB1070 was signed into law.  Was that case open for even two days?  After all, there are footprints leading back toward the border, so it must be illegals!  We allow this kind of thing, and we make heroes out of our JT Readys out there, then express shock when it turns out to be something else.  Rip crews? Yeah, I suspect there's a lot of that going on, but how many are dressed in camouflage, go out as militia and are US citizens? It's time to wake up and realize it isn't just illegals that commit crimes in Arizona. 

jimmer byu
jimmer byu

The bodies were found in the rear compartment, and one adult body !


Case closed!  The only thing left now is for Babeu to resign,and every lawman in AZ should be demanding it!  I'd love to see ''someone'' request and receive all of the information, to include the phone numbers and the supposed names of the ''party'' which Babeu claims supplied his office with info suggesting that one of their family members, and his friends performing illegal activity, were the ones found in the burned SUV?  My bet is the lying, bald headed dude made the whole thing up!   So how about it you AZ lawmen, call this creep out and clean your house...


Why are you immediately looking for an excuse for the guy?? If he was law enforcement you'd be singing a different tune, wouldn't you?

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