The East Norwich man who fatally stabbed his wife — a cancer patient at the time of her killing, according to sources and social media posts — inside their apartment Sunday also stabbed himself and remained hospitalized Tuesday, Nassau police said.
Wendy Ginsberg Ducker, 61, was identified by police Tuesday after family members were notified of her killing. Her husband of 16 years, Warren Ducker, 67, faces second-degree murder charges. The hospital says he remains in critical condition.
Wendy Ginsberg Ducker was treated recently for uterine cancer, according to a source. She had pleaded on social media about a month ago for money during her treatment.
“Due to some debilitating side effects I am experiencing from my weekly chemotherapy, I have found it hard to work consistently right now at my part-time job of 19 years as a mental health peer specialist facilitating weekly self-help peer support groups for adults recovering from mental illness,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page. She said she thought she had been successfully treated for the cancer earlier in the year, but it returned in July. “As a result, it’s a challenge to cover the bills.”
In January, Warren Ducker posted a photo with his wife on his Facebook page and Wendy Ducker commented, “Even after 15 years of marriage (21 years together), he’s still able to surprise me . . . but he has been so supportive and loving during this past trying two months dealing with get [sic] rid of my cancer. Love feeds on love.”
Family members could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Nassau Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, the commanding officer of the department’s public information office, said the victim had more than one stab wound from a knife.
“The wounds do not appear consistent with that of a mercy killing,” LeBrun said, declining to elaborate on a motive. “He had self-inflicted stab wounds to himself.”
Warren Ducker was in the intensive-care unit in critical but stable condition at Nassau University Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said. He has not yet been arraigned.
When married on Sept. 16, 2000, the couple both worked for the nonprofit Mental Health Association of Nassau County — she as a peer counselor for one of its programs and he as an entitlements advocate, according to a wedding announcement published in Newsday.
An official at the association on Tuesday would not confirm the Duckers’ employment and referred all questions to police.
Warren Ducker called 911 on Sunday about 1:40 p.m. and when police arrived at the couple’s apartment at the Heatherwood Communities apartment complex on Pine Hollow Road they found his wife, who was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Ducker was transported to the hospital.
Mary Stilley, a longtime neighbor, expressed sorrow at Wendy Ducker’s death, describing her a “sweet” and “kind.” Stilley said she knew Wendy Ducker had been ill recently but didn’t know the specifics.
“Oh my God, why would he do that?” Stilley, 81, said at the door of her apartment Tuesday. Stilley said she didn’t hear any commotion Sunday until she saw police and ambulances outside her window and saw Warren Ducker, who was bloodied, and being led away in an ambulance.
“He didn’t seem like an evil man,” she said.