Twenty-two months ago, a 54-year-old Northern Virginia salesman shot his wife in their Fairfax County home and then killed himself.

It was an act the couple's daughter could never accept, so yesterday, according to authorities, 29-year-old Edna Linn McDaniel killed herself with a drug overdose. Arlington police ruled her death a suicide.

McDaniel, a nightclub singer who once performed at the Shoreham Hotel, on one occasion mentioned her parents' deaths, which were ruled murder and suicide, according to MarionDikeman, resident manager of Potomac Towers Apartments, 2001 N. Adams St., Arlington, where she lived.

"She kept saying it didn't happen that way -- that some day she was going to tell me the whole story," said Dikeman. "But she never did -- and I never asked her."

McDaniel left a note in the living room of her apratment: "No funeral I want to be cremated. Please water my birds," Dikeman said. McDaniell had two pet parakeets and two finches.

She left her telephone book open to names of her doctors and friends "in case [whoever found her] wanted to call anybody, I guess," said Dikeman. "

Dikeman and two other building employes found McDaniel unconscious in bed shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday, while checking her apartment at the request of her worried psychiatrist.

Dikeman said she quickly called for help, but McDaniel went into convulsions and died before reaching Arlington Hospital.

It was not the first time McDaniel had attempted suicide, according to the apartment manager.

A few months ago, she barricaded her door with a bookcase and took a drug overdose, said Dikeman. McDanielspent days in the hospital. At times she didn't answer her apartment phone.

"She seemed to be depressed a lot," said the resident manager. She was pretty much by herself."

McDaniel took the drugs between 5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. yesterday, police said.

The building employees found her lying on her stomach, dressed in a nightgown and bathrobe, Dikeman said.

Her parents died on Oct. 15, 1978, when her father, Linwood S. McDaniel, a hospital equipment salesman, killed his wife, Edna, 50, and then himself with a pistol. They had lived at 7105 Idlywood Rd., Fairfax County, for 15 years. The couple's surviving child, John, 28, lives in California, Dikeman said.