Father: 'I Have to Try to Forgive' Man Wonders If He Could Have Prevented Son's Murder in Gurnee

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Byline: Mark Spencer Daily Herald Staff Writer

As the shock of his son's murder begins to shift to grief, Terry Lowe wonders if he was given a fair chance to protect his child.

Only after a shotgun blast killed 14-year-old Alex Lowe did his father learn - through news media accounts surrounding the murder-suicide in Gurnee, he says - that his former wife's husband had a violent streak.

"I never in my wildest dreams would have left him there if I knew he (Daniel LaMere) had these problems," the visibly shaken father said at his Lake Forest home.

Terry Lowe, 46, says he was jolted by news that a fight on Memorial Day weekend last year led Nancy LaMere to seek a restraining order against her husband.

He questions whether his ex-wife covered up problems in her home because of their ongoing custody dispute over Alex. She never offered any clue of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Daniel LaMere, Lowe said.

Further, he questioned whether a court-appointed psychiatrist, who recommended Alex live with the LaMeres during the school year, fully investigated the conditions in the home.

A Persian Gulf War veteran, Daniel LaMere was troubled around the Memorial Day holiday by recollections of friends who died in the war, friends and neighbors have said.

Now Terry is treasuring memories of his last weekend with his son - an unforgettable trip to the Indianapolis 500, where they got a close-up view of a big crash right in front of their seats. The vacation ended Monday morning when he returned Alex to his mother at her Gurnee home.

It was later that night that police believe Nancy, Alex and 10-year-old Lauren Manks were killed by gunshots to the head. Police say Daniel LaMere then sat on the couch next to Alex and turned the gun on himself. LaMere's 2-year-old son Ryan was the only one spared in the triple murder-suicide.

Lowe said he had tried not to quiz Alex about home life with his ex-wife, not wanting his son to feel like a spy. But looking back, he is left second-guessing whether he missed signs that something was amiss there.

Lowe and Nancy LaMere had been involved in bitter custody battles over the years. All through Alex's grade-school years, Lowe had custody of him.

He supported his son's passion for playing hockey by enrolling him in local leagues. …