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Neighbors shocked after Palm Springs man stabbed more than 140 times, killed

Joan Burke, 61, being held without bond on murder charge
A Palm Springs woman was arrested for first degree murder after police say she stabbed her husband more than 140 times.
Posted at 4:03 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 22:44:56-05

PALM SPRINGS, Fla. — A Palm Springs man is dead after police said he was stabbed more than 140 times by his wife. When police arrived to the couple's home, they found the victim on the floor in a pool of blood.

Now a Palm Springs woman is behind bars on a murder charge after she bludgeoned her husband to death with a meat cleaver, police said.

Investigators identified the woman as Joan Burke, 61.

It happened earlier this month at their house in a quiet neighborhood along Anna Lane in Palm Springs.

No one appeared to be at home Monday morning, but pieces of caution tape and evidence markings were left on the front door.

"I was in my kitchen and I see the flashing red lights of, like, firefighters and stuff like that," neighbor Isabella Jaramillo said.

According to the arrest report, the suspect's son called police after he came home and made the discovery.

"It’s crazy to think that somebody could do that to somebody else and we don't know anything about it," Jaramillo said.

When police arrived, they found his stepfather, Melvin Weller, 62, dead on the kitchen floor. Officers also described seeing blood stains on the wall, cabinets, counter tops and knives in the sink.

A Palm Springs woman was arrested for first degree murder after police say she stabbed her husband more than 140 times.
Police say Joan Burke lived on this street with her husband when she stabbed him to death.

A medical examiner later determined the victim was stabbed more than 140 times. He also suffered a fractured skull following a brutal blow to the head. Neighbors are shocked and are still trying to come to grips with the disturbing details.

"He was always pretty friendly if he passed by, and if me and my dad were outside he would just wave to us and that's it," Jaramillo said. "He was pretty friendly though."

Police said they found Burke awake lying in bed. She refused to speak and was taken to a hospital for an evaluation. Investigators said she also suffered several cuts to her hands from stabbing the victim repeatedly.

Detectives are still working to determine a motive. Burke remains in jail without bond.