Man Accused of Killing Novato Woman was Hothead, Acquaintances Say

Prosecutors say Rodney Hill repeatedly stabbed Novato resident Catherine Houghton in a hotel lobby in Littleton, N.H., in what officials have called a random attack.

In the wake of the stabbing death of a Novato woman, neighbors of the accused killer are describing him as having a short temper, according to an Associated Press story.

Police say it is unknown what motivated the attack on Catherine "Kitty" Houghton on Monday night at the Hampton Inn in Littleton, N.H. Prosecutors say the suspect, Rodney Hill of Vermont, and Houghton were strangers who happened to be registered at the same hotel.

Houghton, 70, lived in the Indian Valley area of Novato and served on the board of the Indian Valley Associates, a homeowners group. She also served on the board and sang for the choral organization SingersMarin.

The AP story said Houghton was a trustee at a small New Hampshire private school from which she graduated in 1960 and was a retired business counselor with the U.S. Foreign Service.

Share your thoughts about Houghton's passing below, and feel free to upload any photos. If you have digital images and would like to pass them on to the editor, e-mail brent.ainsworth@patch.com.

Attached are some TV reports from New Hampshire.

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Avanti Monty January 31, 2013 at 08:39 AM
This lady knew 14 languages, had a PHD from Stanford ,a pilot, a trustee , an active outstanding worthwhile citizen of the Novato community from all accounts , murdered by an insignificant piece of excrement . . How unjustly horrific and infuriating is that
Steve B January 31, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Another tragedy in this lawless nation. I have a modest proposal that Obama must act about the proliferation of knives and outlaw them. Only police and military should have them. It simply does not matter that these tools are used properly 99.99% of the time by lawful people, these tragedies must stop!
JBW January 31, 2013 at 05:21 PM
A simply disgusting use of this message post, you should be ashamed of yourself. "Share your thoughts about Houghton's passing below..." Using this for political sarcasm, really? You are really a funny person, I bet the woman’s friends and family will really appreciate you input. Perhaps you should note lawless and classless...talk about a sick individual.
Steve B February 03, 2013 at 02:38 PM
A "modest proposal" is a form of political sarcasm to clearly bring out the root point. First used in England where a politician suggested eating the children of Ireland to ward off the massive hunger they were facing. Of course, preposterous, but some were actually listening! My point with my "modest proposal" is obviously not clear enough for you. There are crazy people out there in society that have histories, will repeat them, but should be behind bars or in an asylum. The tools these knucleheads use such as guns, knives, machettes are never going to dissapear. What can disappear are the nuts.
Steve B February 03, 2013 at 02:56 PM
A"thinking person" knows this is a persuasive technique called a "modest proposal." I do know what happened to this woman is a damn tragedy. Also, what happened in Connecticut and Colorado and Utah. Our society needs to stop protecting hothead, crazy, angry nuts and deal with them before they do the inevitable. This killer's friends who say he was a hothead could have prevented this terrible slaying. Who do YOU know that is a hothead? What are you going to do about them? Admittedly, I distance myself from hotheads, nuts, and criminals... As a regular person, I just dont have the tools to deal with them. Some productive discussion in the wake of these tragedies would include how to handle future offenders, many were known to be disturbed BEFORE their crime. That is my point, I just didn't spell it out.


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