SYDNEY, Australia -- The sister-in-law of suspected mass murderer Christopher Wilder, who killed himself when U.S. police cornered him Friday, said Saturday the family was surprised of the accusations because her brother was 'the perfect gentleman.'
'The first we heard of anything at all was on Sunday, March 25, on the radio. It said something about American police looking for him and that there were fears he wouldn't appear in Manly Court,' Valerie Wilder said in Sydney. 'My husband, Stephen, Christopher's brother, flew to America about a week later. He is still there.
'I can't believe that Christopher could have done these things. There is such an air of unreality about it all,' Mrs. Wilder said in an interview late this week.
'Chris has always been the perfect gentleman with me, and my kids adored him,' she said.
Wilder, 39, shot himself with his own gun in Colebrook, N.H. when police on a massive manhunt approached his car. Wilder was accused of posing as a photographer and killing beautiful women, mostly aspiring models.
The FBI has connected him to 11 women. The bodies of four of them have been found. Four are still missing and three survived.
The suicide may result in his Australian family losing $350,000 it posted in a Sydney court last year.
Wilder was scheduled to appear in the Manly (Sydney) Court April 3 on charges of assaulting two 15-year-old girls on Dec. 28, 1982. He failed to appear.
His father, Coley Wilder, raised $150,000 in bond and an uncle, Anton Jericevich gave $200,000.
A Sydney court will decide whether Wilder's father and uncle will have to pay the bail.
Wilder left Australia to live in the United States in 1969 where he started a profitable construction and electrical contracting business.
'All we can do is try and live with each day at a time,' Valerie Wilder said.
Wilder's father was an American serviceman who married an Australian woman while on leave during World War II.
The family moved back and forth between Australia and the United States for some time, before finally settling in Australia in the late 1950's.