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Accused Killer Behaved Oddly

The parents of John C. Salvi III, the man charged with killing two women at abortion clinics in the Boston area last month, said Friday that their son had a long history of strange behavior, and that they regretted not getting psychiatric help for him.

At a news conference here Friday, Anne Marie and John C. Salvi II said their son had once imagined an evil black bird in their living room, had held prayer vigils to ward off evil from his own apartment and had disrupted a Mass last Christmas Eve. The clinics were attacked six days later, on Dec. 30.

“If we had gotten help for him, maybe this terrible tragedy might never have happened,” the elder Salvi said in a prepared statement.

Salvi’s court-appointed lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., has indicated that he may use an insanity defense.