Lately in the news, there is an upsurge of fathers killing their families. This trend is indeed scary to every family at some level if you stop and think about it. Everyone who lives with a mentally ill person must be wondering some place in his or her minds about how far one must be pushed to do the unthinkable.
In May there was the Chicago family in the SUV where the mom and three children where shot to death and the father wounded. Upon further investigation, it we found out that the father Christopher Vaughn had shot his own family in cold blood. What made him turn to murder? He could have made so many choices that day. Why did he think he needed to end their lives so horribly?
In June, there was the disappearance of the pregnant mom Jessie Davis whose 2-year-old son was safe at home alone and the investigation revealed that the father Bobbie Cutts of both children had something to do with the murder of the pregnant woman. This one had a history of violence but he appeared to be such a nice upstanding man to some people. It is almost as if he led two different lives.
Mid June revealed that a pro wrestler had also killed his wife and son and then committed suicide. Pro wrestler Chris Benoit strangled his wife and smothered his son before hanging himself in his weight room. The son was seven years old, how do you strangle a seven year old? Neighbors say the family appeared to be a happy one, but one must wonder how happy could they really be.
It documented; that women kill their offspring as well I am not picking on men here so. It is just lately that it has been the fathers killing their own families. Have you ever heard of a woman killing the entire family? I am sure there are but why have not we heard of this? Perhaps it is because men are supposed to be the ones who take care of their families while women are supposed to be the nurturing type.
Susan Smith of South Carolina back in 1994 said she killed her children because her boyfriend rejected her because she had children from a pervious relationship. She is the woman who strapped her sons into their car seats and let her car roll into a lake. It was clear to many that depression stemming from the rejection is what pushed her over the edge. No one holds fault here except for Susan herself her actions were her own doing. She herself made the misguided decision to drive her car in the water.
How about the Texan woman who drowned her children in the bath tub in 2001 one by one and then carried them to the bed and covered them with a sheet? Andrea Yates’s indescribable actions where caused by post partum depression. She is serving a mental hospital term that will keep her in jail for the rest of her life.
In May of this year another Texas woman Gilberta Estrada, killed her three daughters and then committed suicide. A baby girl is found hanging in the closet along side of her dead sisters, the baby survived. It is reported on cnn.com that this family lived in poor conditions. Was money a factor? I am sure it was but there is always state help for struggling families. This mother felt she was out of options and chose the unthinkable.
Lizzie Borden is only famous because she killed her stepmother and her father as well. She herself was an adult who lived with her father and his wife. Even if it was ‘just’ her parents, she committed murder and family members were the victims.
It has documented, with the women who killed their children that they have had some type of mental illness that pushed them over the proverbial edge. Will we find out that Christopher Vaughn, Bobbie Cutts, and Chris Benoit also have an unpublicized diagnosis of some type of mental illness?
Not every person with a mental illness will make the choice to kill his or her families, but it makes one wonder how someone can make that decision. Is any mental illness safer or less risky to make the decision to murder?
The results according to Karisable.com seem to indicate that a person with a mental illness is at no higher risk for committing a murder then a person without a mental illness is. The web site contents that a schizophrenic is 2,000 times more likely to commit suicide than harm someone else. I do not see any statistics on other forms of mental illness and their rates of murderous tendencies. I think we all assume that someone must be crazy to commit a murder.
I lived with a mental ill person for many years and he was not violent while in his psychotic events that I know of. He was scary yes, and made a comment in 2002 that we could carry on without our children, and that statement is what got me a protection from abuse order. He could not come within 500 feet of the children or me for a long time. One will never really know if he suggested doing away with these children, but since it was clear he was in the downward spiral, it is assumed that he would have inflicted harm. He was arrested within 24 hours of making that statement because he continually ignored police warnings, to have no contact with the children or me. However, he signed himself into a mental hospital thinking that I would drop the harassment charges and stop the protection from abuse order but it did not work. I had to protect my children at all costs and that is what I did.