Man diagnosed with cancer kills wife and hangs himself

A small community in the north of Portugal is in shock after 70-year-old José de Sousa killed his wife and hung himself only a day after he was diagnosed with cancer.

It all happened during the early hours of Thursday morning (January 29) at the couple’s house in Mancelos, Amarante, reports Jornal de Notícias.

Having refused an operation after being diagnosed with intestinal cancer a day earlier, the man went into the room where his wife Maria Leonor Sousa, 68, was sleeping, and slit her throat.

He then called GNR police to tell them what he had done before hanging himself in the house.

Once the authorities reached the couple’s house, they were both dead.

It was a tragedy that no one saw coming, reports the newspaper.

“My mother did not want to die – my father murdered her,” daughter Manuela Conceição told JN.

She explained that her father did not want to be operated on and even “forced” her mother to sign papers so that he could be discharged from hospital and go home.

“The news just messed with his head,” she said. “I don’t see any other explanation”.

Neighbours said that Maria Sousa was a “saint” who stood by her husband “no matter what”, although he, who worked all his life as an agricultural salesman, was known to become violent with her “occasionally”.

JN reports that the bodies are going to undergo autopsies today and that the funerals will be held tomorrow at the chapel in Pidre, Amarante at around 11am.

The news comes just a few days after the Resident reported on a horrendous week for domestic violence, in which four women died at the hands of violent partners (see story: https://www.portugalresident.com/four-women-die-in-one-horrific-week-of-domestic-violence-in-portugal)