An autopsy of McLendon's mother, however, did not support his claim that she was ill.
On March 10, McLendon shot his mother to death while she was asleep in the home that they shared. He then set fire to the home and took four guns and more than 200 rounds of ammunition and set out on his 24-mile shooting spree.
Four of the nine other people McLendon shot were relatives, on the front porch of his uncle's home. He shot his grandmother as she came out of the door of her mobile home in response to the gunfire next door.
Following is the full text of the letter from McLendon that was found in his mother's mailbox after the fire:
Letter from Michael McLendon
Moma was very sick. Had lung cancer I think. So I put her out of her misery. She wanted to die with her dog's and she did. I put the dog's to sleep as well. I couldn't leave this world not knowing what would happen to our dog's. Moma didn't know what hit her. I shot her while she was asleep. She never knew what hit her. Nor did the dog's.
I'm sorry! But Moma had suffered enough. And so have I. Some of the people who made us suffer will pay.
I had planned to put this off for a while but Moma got suspended today. Wasn't her falt. You know moma always worked hard ... She said she didn't care and was relieved and She was. I carried her to get some Beer and walked around for a while out side, moma Loved it there.
For me I've been miserable for a long time and can't take it no more. Moma could have gotten on at Wayne Farms. But that would have finished her. I couldn't stand by and see that happen.
Please For Give me,
The letter was obtained by The Dothan Eagle through an Alabama Open Records request.
Photo: Family Photo