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An 83-year-old Tonawanda woman has been arrested in the slaying of her 89-year-old husband.

Phyllis Eson was arrested late Monday afternoon in the beating death of Norman Eson.

“The blows were bad but it’s also the fact that he was an old man,” said Town of Tonawanda Police spokesman Joseph F. Carosi. “It takes a lot less to cause the death of a person who is of that age than a young, virile person.”

Carosi said a motive has not yet been determined. He added that the judge has sent Phyllis Eson in for a forensic investigation.

“Because of her age, he wants to have her checked out and make sure she fully understands the charges and gravity of the charges,” Carosi said.

At the request of the landlord of their home, on the 100 block of Hawthorne Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda, police checked on the residence at about 10 p.m. Sunday.

When they arrived, Phyllis opened the door and had blood on her clothes, police reported.

Norman Eson was found on the floor, where he had been lying dead for several hours.

An autopsy determined Norman Eson died from trauma due to blunt force blows to his head.

“She was nasty; he was senile,” said the landlord, who is related to the Esons and asked that his name be withheld. “I have no doubt that Phyllis killed Norman.”

He later called Phyllis “a loose cannon.”

The landlord, who lives next door to the Esons, called 911 while visiting Ohio Sunday over the holiday weekend. He said it was a welfare call – he was concerned about Norman’s wellbeing because Phyllis did not treat him well.

“She was born nasty, I think,” he said, adding that she often blew small issues out of proportion.

The landlord compared Phyllis killing Norman to someone killing a baby. Neighbors said Norman suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

Norman is described as a friendly retired pharmacist, not capable of taking care of himself but also not frail or totally helpless.

“He could walk and talk and eat,” the landlord said.

A neighbor today said of Phyllis Eson: “The last time I saw her, she was getting in an ambulance and had blood all over her nightgown.”

She only met Phyllis once, at a cookout near the end of June, and never met Norman. She said Phyllis “didn’t seem nasty.”

The Esons’ pistachio-green house sits on a quiet, unassuming neighborhood, between the Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Company and the Kenilworth Playground park.

The area is situated two streets off of Niagara Falls Boulevard, just over the Tonawanda border and near the University District of Buffalo.

One neighbor said there is rarely police activity on the block and “it is not a trouble neighborhood.” He said the Esons were good neighbors.

Two chairs sit on the front porch of their house.

“They were old and she couldn’t handle taking care of him,” said one Hawthorne Avenue resident. “She had some aggression issues.”

The couple hails from Canada; both were born in Toronto. They “have only been in the States for a short time,” according to Carosi.

Neighbors said the Esons moved onto Hawthorne in April or May.

Public records show the Esons have also lived or owned residences in Florida in addition to Rochester and Vancouver, B.C., and they have family living in East Amherst.

The landlord said Phyllis was born into wealth and wasn’t sure if she had ever had a job.

Phyllis Eson will face one count of murder when she appears in court at 4 p.m. Monday.

email: amansfield@buffnews.com