Reflections of a Tragedy

It has been nearly four years since the murder of five of our eight grandchildren. Their distraught father who had been arrested and charged with assault/DV just a month prior, murdered them. I wrote what can be considered a fatality review of the event. In my research following the murders, I have been able to form an opinion about the profile of a person capable of such a dastardly deed. In any relationship, there are many moving parts and is most certainly multidimensional in that it takes more than one element to ensure its success or failure.

The most haunting of questions I had then and still to this day, is – why? Could it have been prevented? Well, the first question of why is probably the easier of the two to answer. And that is, his love for his family was malignant. It was malignant because he didn’t have the basic understanding of what love really was. It was an unrealistic expectation he had of his wife and without understanding what real love was, it was based on him getting his own needs fulfilled – it was a one-way street.

A disagreement with this person was to actually make him feel rejected and a typical reaction to that rejection was to at first, make his wife feel small. He did this by belittling her and isolating her from her support system. It evolved into hitting the walls and kicking and throwing the family pet across the room in fits of rage. Just like so many of the text books concerning domestic violence, this was a tactic to control her. In his mind, he was forcing her to love him but since he didn’t know what love looked like, his reactions to any opposing views were met with aggression.

His aggression didn’t translate into physical altercations with his wife – He used sex (forced) as a means to satisfy his desire to dominate instead of love. I also believe his behavior was escalating and when his wife made the decision to leave him, the unhealthy attachment he felt for her came to light. Panic ensued thereafter. He was the one now isolated and it drove him mad as the one he looked to for motherly support, to care for his every desire, was abandoning him. His mindset was that of, “my mother is leaving me!” Or “How dare she (my possession) leave me! Such distorted thinking can drive a person mad and translate into what the outer-world would probably view as jealousy when in fact, it was fear of being left behind and unloved.

It was fear of abandonment that guided his behavior all the years of their marriage and as they transitioned from their twenties into their thirties, it only become more of a malignant relationship – not based on love rather satisfying the needs of one. Of course, it takes two in a marriage to ensure it’s success (or failure) but it has to be two who are willing to adjust to the changes of the other – be dynamic in a sense. Further, all too often, couples adapt an unrealistic expectation of what love is and based on that expectation, become disappointed often. Why? Because we are all imperfect, some more so than others and without the compassion and willingness to change and adapt in the relationship, the failure of this marriage was decided long before he decided to end it all – taking his children with him.

His wife played a part as does every partner but this writing is about his part and will address hers another time. Bottom line though, it was he who decided to try maintaining control by going all in – taking the lives of those children and his own. It was not his life or the lives of his children to take.

A complete forensic look at the events prior to and after can be found in a book titled, “More Than Domestic Violence, The Insidious Story.”

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