Pasco County deputies say a man who claims to have difficulty handling rejection reacted negatively to unrequited love last week, leading to the stabbing death of his roommate.
Warren Joseph Birkbeck was arrested last Wednesday after authorities say he stabbed roommate Denise Cook several times early that morning. The pair were living as roommates with a third unrelated individual at the home in Holiday. The third roommate is not alleged to have been involved in the situation.
Authorities say the trouble began around three o’clock in the morning when Birkbeck heard Cook speaking with a male over the phone. A confrontation ensued, and Cook screamed at Birkbeck to get out, they allege. They say he then went to the kitchen, retrieved a knife, and killed Cook.
Afterwards Birkbeck allegedly approached the third roommate, 85-year-old Lillian Meyer, and confessed to the crime. They both called 9-1-1, and Birkbeck was arrested at the scene without incident.
Birkbeck has an extensive history with the criminal justice system beginning with a manslaughter conviction in his native state of Massachusetts. He was released from prison in New Hampshire two years ago for cutting the throat of his estranged wife in 2000, serving out his sentence of probation in Florida since the fall of 2015.
According to state records, Birkbeck was faithfully checking in with his probation officer while living in Florida. The terms of his parole required him to participate in substance abuse programs and mental health counseling, and state records indicate that he has otherwise remained free from legal problems prior to the events of last Wednesday.
Birkbeck was booked into the Pasco County Jail on one count of premeditated murder and one count of violating his parole. The 72-year-old Boston native is being held without bond.