Tom Lynch has waited for years for Tuesday to arrive.
That is the first day of what may be the only attempt in a North Carolina court of law to find the truth surrounding the sensational Klenner-Lynch family slayings.It's been more than five years since Lynch, a dentist from Albuquerque, lost his two young sons in a fiery explosion in Guilford County that ended a bizarre killing spree claiming nine members of two families - including Lynch's mother and sister.
There was no criminal trial to resolve the killings, which revolved around Lynch's ex-wife, Susie Newsom Lynch, and her cousin and lover, Frederick ``Fritz' Klenner.
The end came June 3, 1985, when Susie Lynch and Klenner, a 32-year-old survivalist with a yen for exotic military weapons, died in the explosion of the Blazer they were riding in on N.C. 150 near Summerfield.
Susie Lynch or Klenner set off the bomb that ended their flight from a caravan of law enforcement officers who were trying to arrest Klenner. He was wanted in the deaths of Tom Lynch's mother and sister in Kentucky, and Susie Lynch's parents and grandmother in Winston-Salem.
Tom and Susie Lynch's sons, 10-year-old John and 9-year-old Jim, were found in the back seat of the Blazer: Each boy had been poisoned and shot in the head.
In 1987, Tom Lynch filed three lawsuits claiming he is entitled to Susie Lynch's share of her families' estates because she helped kill her grandmother, Hattie Newsom; her parents, Robert W. Newsom Jr. and Florence Sharp Newsom, and James and John, her two sons by Tom Lynch.
Guilford Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Albright dismissed the suits in 1988. But the N.C. Court of Appeals set aside Albright's decision and ruled that Tom Lynch is entitled to make his case in court.
``We're back to square one,' said Arthur Donaldson, Tom Lynch's lawyer. ``We're back to the beginning to prove it.'
On the other side of the courtroom will be Susie Lynch's brother, Robert Newsom III of Greensboro, who controls her estate. Newsom, an assistant public defender in Guilford County, estimated last year that Susie Lynch's portion of the estate was worth about $380,000.
Efforts to reach Newsom for comment were unsuccessful.
The trial is expected to display, for the first time, all the evidence collected by law enforcement agencies on the crimes in North Carolina and Kentucky, where Tom Lynch's mother, Delores Lynch, and his sister, Janie Lynch, were murdered in July 1984.
A Kentucky grand jury, which heard some of the evidence in 1985, concluded that Susie Lynch and Klenner killed them.
This week, Tom Lynch will try to prove that Susie Lynch took part.
``We have the law enforcement agencies cooperating 100 percent,' Donaldson said.
Another contention Tom Lynch will try to prove is that one of his sons lived at least a fraction of a second longer than Susie Lynch did when the bomb exploded June 3, 1985.
By proving either that Susie Lynch was a conspirator in the murders or that one of the boys lived longer than his mother, Tom Lynch would stand to inherit money Susie Lynch would have received from her parents and grandmother.
If Tom Lynch proves that his ex-wife helped plan or carry out her family's murders, then Susie Lynch would not be eligible to receive any inheritance from the people she murdered. Under the law, criminals can't benefit from their wrongdoing.
In that case, Susie Lynch's inheritance would pass to her children. With their deaths, it would pass to Tom Lynch.
Even if Tom Lynch fails to prove that Susie Lynch took part in the murders, he still could win the case by proving that either one of his sons lived longer than Susie Lynch. That's because the child would have become the beneficiary of her estate, even if for a second. Tom Lynch would then become the beneficiary of that child's estate.