In a harrowing family tragedy that unfolded over four decades ago, a New Jersey man convicted of fatally shooting his parents and two younger brothers has been granted parole after serving 45 years in prison.
MAN RELEASED ON PAROLE AFTER 45 YEARS FOR 1976 FAMILY TRAGEDY
Harry De La Roche, now 64 years old, was released from South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton on June 29 and transferred to a residential community program after the family tragedy. The parole decision, which was made on May 17 according to state corrections officials, marks the culmination and end of a long and controversial legal family tragedy.
MOTIVE BEHIND THE 1976 FAMILY TRAGEDY IS STILL A MYSTERY
The gruesome incident of family tragedy took place in 1976 when De La Roche, then an 18-year-old freshman at the Citadel Military Academy in South Carolina, returned home to Montvale for Thanksgiving break. The family tragedy started when he tragically ended the lives of his mother and father, Harry Sr. and Mary Jane De La Roche, as well as his brothers Eric, 12, and Ronald, 15. While De La Roche initially confessed to the killings, he later recanted his statement in court, claiming that he had only killed Ronald, who he accused of being responsible for the rest of the family tragedy. However, a Bergen County jury found him guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in 1978, resulting in four concurrent life sentences. The motive behind the family tragedy remains unclear, though acquaintances of the family have cited alleged bullying endured by De La Roche both at home and during his time at the military academy as potential triggers for his shocking actions.