John Spincken, 37, died after jumping 100 feet from a New Jersey bridge with his two children in his arms — but his Facebook posts show no darkness
An apparently disgruntled New Jersey father leapt to his death on Monday with his two young children in his arms in what police have called an attempted murder-suicide — but the man’s social media posts show a different side of the once-doting dad.
“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of how I lived in, or the kind of car I drove … but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child,” John Spincken, 37, wrote of his oldest son in a November 2014 Facebook post.
Police are still working to determine what drove Spincken, of Pequannock, New Jersey, to jump from an overpass and into a wooded area near the Wanaque River on Interstate 287 after an argument with his wife.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, but his sons, ages 1 and 3, are expected to survive.
In December 2014, Spincken wrote on Facebook of another nearly-fatal experience one of his boys endured, explaining in a lengthy post about an incident in which his youngest son stopped breathing and was only saved thanks to his father.
“Although I cannot remove the horrific image of my frantic wife holding my lifeless blue son, I am grateful of my instinctive reactions as well as caring neighbors and a fast acting EMT squad. I’ve never performed CPR in my entire life nor have I ever takin a CPR class,” Spincken wrote.
“I instinctively saved Frankie’s life with a few simple breathes of my own and was able to buy him enough time before our neighbor, which is a nurse, could help in reviving him,” Spincken wrote. “All of this happened within a matter of minutes which felt like an eternity.”
When Spincken’s youngest son made it home from the hospital, he shared his gratitude and relief with his Facebook friends, writing in December 2014, “We thank you all for your prayers, love and support through this difficult time.”
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His posts paint a different picture of the man who police said jumped about 100 feet off of the structure this week, carrying both kids. They do not hint at any family problems.
In March 2014, he shared an inspirational quote that read, in part, “Maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more vitality, is your way of thinking.”
(Spincken’s family did not immediately provide a comment.)
Pequannock police Capt. Christopher DePuyt previously told PEOPLE that police received a call from a friend of Spincken’s wife claiming that Spincken had threatened to harm his children.
In July 2003, Spincken was sentenced to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to violating a domestic violence restraining order and unlawful possession of a weapon, NJ.com reports, citing court records. It is unclear who filed the restraining order.
But Capt. Depuyt previously told PEOPLE that Monday’s incident marked the first time the Pequannock Police Department has been called about a domestic dispute involving Spincken.
Authorities were left stunned that the boys survived the fall, Depuyt said.
“They did make contact with some trees and foliage on the way to the ground, and the theory is that that helped break some of the fall. But short of that, it’s a miracle that they survived,” he said.
When officials responded to the scene just after 8 p.m. Monday, Spincken’s body was in a wooded area under the bridge, Depuyt says, and the children were conscious and crying nearby.
The man’s Facebook page is filled with photos and sweet videos of his children. In August 2016, replying to a comment on a photo he posted of both of his sons, he wrote, “Not a day goes by that I don’t feel grateful and appreciative.”
Among other posts, Spincken celebrated Father’s Day last year by quoting Elizabeth Stone: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” He celebrated Mother’s Day the previous year with a shout-out to his own mother and his “beautiful” wife.
Spincken’s earliest available Facebook post about his sons, from October 2013, is similarly gushing.
“I’m a dad!” he wrote. “Best feeling in the world!”