Tragedy divides relatives of slain family


Their families were united by marriage but are now divided by death.

Three days after state troopers found the bodies of Steven, Kathy and Linda Lessard in their Lake Peekskill home, relatives on both sides were trying yesterday to make sense of Steven Lessard's murder-suicide.

Kathy Lessard's older brother, a retired police officer, traveled from Baltimore with his wife and son to confront a crime scene familiar in its horror but made strange by the personal connection.

The tableau, he said, left him wondering "what was wrong that this happened?"

Steven Lessard's mother, meanwhile, was in her Florida home more than 1,100 miles away, attempting to reconcile the loving "all-American boy" she raised with the family annihilator he became - and hoping her son wouldn't be remembered as a monster.

The unexpected violence also divided the Lessard family itself.

Although Steven Lessard bought burial plots at Rose Hill Memorial Park in Putnam Valley, his family will not be buried together.

Instead, Kathy Lessard's siblings are planning to return her to her hometown of Baltimore, where the mother and her 14-year-old daughter are set to be buried near Kathy Lessard's parents after a funeral Mass on Tuesday.

Steven Lessard, however, will get no ceremony. His cremated remains will eventually be interred in a family plot in his hometown of Evanston, Ill., his mother said.

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