New York murder-suicide: Tension between exes, "but no one expected this"

A murder-suicide in New York that left two Dutch women, a 6-year-old Dutch boy and an American dead, left the family of victim Linda Olthof from Deventer with a lot of questions. The 47-year-old actress had a difficult relationship with her American ex-husband, and the two were fighting over custody of their 6-year-old son Jimmy, but no one expected that he would kill her and their young son, Linda's brother-in-law Mike Dijkhuis said to De Stentor in a WhatsApp conversation.

"Linda was there [in New York] just over a week, I think. What I understood is that she was invited for dinner at her ex-husband and his current wife. What happened after that? We do not have any information about that", Dijkhuis said to the newspaper. 

According to the American media, 39-year-old American James Shields was involved in a years-long conflict with his ex-wife Linda Olthof about their son Jimmy. They report that Linda wanted Jimmy to live in the Netherlands almost permanently, and Shields could not accept that. During a visit from Linda and Jimmy, so that Shields could see his son, Shields shot and killed them both. He also killed his current wife, 38-year-old Saskia also from Deventer, before committing suicide.

According to the police in the New York district of Queens, an American acquaintance of Linda and her son tried to make contact with Linda on Monday evening, but couldn't reach her. He called the police when he still couldn't reach her long after the dinner with her ex should have ended. 

Dijkhuis did not want to go into Linda and Shields' relationship in his conversation with De Stentor. While they were fighting over custody of Jimmy, Shields was allowed to see his son in Deventer and New York, he said. "I can not tell too much about that, but I know they were looking for the best solution for Jimmy. Naturally tensions arise in this type of thing. But no one expected this", Dijkhuis said. "It is difficult to tell more, because the police investigation is not yet complete, and we were given the order to talk about this as little as possible."

Linda and Saskia came from the same Dutch town, but did not know each other from the Netherlands, according to Dijkhuis. Linda's father and eldest sister traveled to New York. 


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