Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Medical examiner confirms Irwin Jacobs shot and killed his wife, and then himself

Irwin L. Jacobs and his wife Alexandra L. Jacobs are shown in this undated family photo. Courtesy of the Jacobs family

ORONO, Minn. -- Prominent Twin Cities businessman Irwin Jacobs shot and killed his wife, Alexandra, before turning the gun on himself, the Hennepin County medical examiner confirmed Friday, April 12.

According to the medical examiner’s office, Alexandra Jacobs died of multiple gunshot wounds; the manner of her death was described as a homicide. Irwin Jacobs’ manner of death was suicide; he also died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Their bodies were found Wednesday morning in their Lake Minnetonka mansion. They were both 77.

“Our family is shocked and devastated by the death of our parents, Irwin and Alexandra Jacobs,” the Jacobs family said in a statement Wednesday night. “We are heartbroken by this loss, and we ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”

While police officials have not detailed the events around the couple’s death, multiple media outlets previously reported that the couple died in a murder-suicide.

One family friend told the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune that Alexandra Jacobs “had been in a wheelchair for the last year or so and had signs of dementia. Irwin was just distraught over her condition.”

The couple had been married 57 years and had five children. Their bodies were discovered at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in their Orono home. Orono police said later Wednesday that no suspects were being sought.

Jacobs, who had a stake in the Minnesota Vikings in the 1980s before selling his share, gained notoriety nationally in the 1980s as a corporate raider who bought out underperforming companies at a profit. He was known to some as “Irv the Liquidator.”

He also ran several Minnesota businesses over the years, such as Grain Belt brewery, boat maker Genmar Holdings, household products maker J.R. Watkins Co. and Jacobs Trading Co., which specializes in liquidating merchandise.

Raised on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, Alexandra Jacobs was an artist and an advocate for children with disabilities, supporting such groups as the Minnetonka Center for the Arts in Wayzata and PACER, which helps children with disabilities and their families.

She raised her five children, including a daughter with special needs, and supported her husband and maintained their home.

A celebration of the couple’s lives will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday at the Lafayette Club in Minnetonka Beach.

The family is requesting memorials in lieu of flowers, which may be sent to the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation, PACER Center, Minnetonka Center for the Arts and Special Olympics.