The police emergency line rang at 5:50 Saturday afternoon and a man identified himself to the operator as John William Beane and said he had just shot his son.
Gaitherburg ambulance attendants found 26-year-old John Cole Beane lying on a blood-drenched kitchen floor, but neighbors, told of the slaying, said their sympathies were with the father. "It's a miracle," ane of them remarked, that it had not happened sooner.
They said the son was a drug addict and the father "a fine, gentle man" who had been worried sick about him.
Other sources said the younger Beane's final years had been spent feeding his addiction by demanding money from his father, a retired government worker, and his mother, who ran a beauty shop in their home.
"I think his parents were scared of him," said Conard Mills, a family friend who had employed the younger Beane for a nuber of years.
On Saturday night, the elder Beane was charged with murder and released on $25,000 personal bond.
Less than five months ago, the parents, driven by their son's demands for money, had filed trespass charges against him to get him out of their home, according to court records. But in January, when the case came to court, they relented after the younger Beane agreed to join a local drug rehabilitation program. According to a source close to the family, John Cole Beane never joined.
At the end, this source said, he was on Dilaudid, a synthetic painkiller that police describe as the latest street substitute for heroin. It comes in capsules but can be melted down and injected into the veins. Beane was buying mor than one capsule a day, the source said. The price was about $38 apiece.
Beane used to cash checks from his father for just that amout at the Sand Trap Lounge in Gaithersburg about once or twice a week, according to the bar's owner.
Beane a strapping, blond-haired man more than 6 feet tall, had been at his usual hangout next door to the Sand Trap Saturday afternoon a few hours before he was killed, according to friend. "He was sitting with another guy," recalled the friend, who requested anonymity. John was mellow. He was high."
The friend had met Beane at the Montgomery County Detention Center, wherr Beane had servedabout a year after pleading juilty to attempting to break intoa local pharmacy.
"I was surprised he was in there because of drugs," the friend said this week. "He had too much smarts for that."
He was like a boy on high diving board, wanting to jump but afraid," said the source. "it was like he was saying, 'I want to give up my drug habit, but I don't dare.'"
No one could say how the drug problem began drinking around the age of 15.
It was also at that time that his schoolwork began a drastic decline. He had been a good student in ninth grade, according to officials at St. John's College High School, in Washington. But the cext year he transferred to Gaithersburg High School, where his absenteeism soared and his grades dropped, officials said.
he attended two other high schools after that, but did not graduate, sources said. He ultimately took a high school equivalency test and received his diploma.
By 1973 he was working for Conrad Mills as a construction laborerm and Mills considered him a good worker, dependable and "as strong a man as I've ever seen.
"he smoked pot then," Mills said this week, "But he was not hooked into anything bad."
As the years went by, Beane became less dependable and more addicted to drugs, Mills and his wife, Irene, recalled.
In 1977 Mills agreed to employ Beane as part of a work-release program at the county detention center, but "his (work) days would end a little early he had to go downtown and get a fix," said Mills.
His work release finally was revoked and Beane completed his sentence last September at the detention center, according to court records.
Beane sometimes talked with Mills of wanting to kick his habit and sometimes of why he took drugs."He told me it was pure pleasure 'nothing like it in the world,'" Mills recalled.
About two months ago, Beane came to Mills'home asking for money, but Mills said he refused him.
No one interviewed could recall an instance of actually seeing Beane become violent, but one source close to the family said that last December Beane had "beaten up" his father.
The father a, gray-haired, bespectacled man of 56, sometimes told his neighbor, Carroll Brown, that "johnny was messing up, that he wished he'd straighten out," Brown recalled Sunday. But the elder Beane never said more.
Baene and his wife politely, but firmly refused to talk to a reporter this week at their home at 20 e. Deer Park Dr., in gaitherburg.
Sources close to the family said that last Saturday the son had gotten up early, awadened his mother, demanded money and got it. Later that day, he confronted her in the driveway, wanting more. When she refused and drove off, Beane chased her in his and drove off, Beane chased her in his car, but gave it up when they stopped for a traffic light and she threatened to call police, the source said.
Shortly thereafter, back at home, beane waskilled.
"he was as nice a guy as you wanted to know when he was straight," Connrad Mills mused as he talked of the younger Beane yesterday. "but he just had to have his kicks."