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Suspect's Ex-Wife Says Unraveling Began in '90s

Reported by: Marissa Cleaver
Last Update: 6/03 8:19 am
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The ex-wife of the man accused of killing abortion provider Dr. George Tiller paints a picture of an unstable man obsessed with the issue of abortion.

“It was a very selfish, mean, cruel, horrible thing to do,” Lindsey Roeder said Monday about the alleged actions of her ex-husband, Scott Roeder, who was charged Tuesday with first degree murder in the doctor's shooting death.

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Authorities suspect 51-year-old Scott Roeder of walking into a Wichita church on Sunday and shooting Tiller to death.

"Our hearts go out to the Tiller family. Our hearts go out to the church and the community of Wichita,” she said.

Lindsey said the allegations against Scott seem to be the end of his unraveling. It started in the mid '90s.

"There has to be mental illness there. He couldn't cope with day to day life," she said. "He couldn't cope with the struggle of paying bills. He couldn't cope with not being able to make ends meet.”

Lindsey said Scott quit his job and joined the anti-tax, anti-government movement. He soon joined pro-life groups, protesting abortion clinics across the metro.

"In ‘94 he was really so intensely obsessed with all of this. He had to see it and read it and look at it all the time,” said Lindsey.

In 1996, Scott was arrested for having explosives in his trunk. Lindsey said he planned to blow up an abortion clinic.

She filed for divorce.

Lindsay and the couple's 22-year-old son had little contact with Scott until recently.

On Friday, Scott called and insisted on going to the movies and dinner with his son. His son relented.

"He's just devastated and embarrassed. He thinks could I have done something to stop my dad,” she said.

Lindsey added that she and her son do not share Scott’s views.

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