Familicide and The Family Annihilator. It is understood John Hogan entered in-patient psychiatric care upon his return and has agreed not to try and contact his daughter. Ann Johnson Curry was over eight months pregnant when she and her two children were brutally murdered. In the weeks leading up to the killings, his room-mate reportedly noticed strange behavior from Blackman where he claimed to be getting messages from the Bible and believed the world was going to end. However, there have been cases of females who have committed very violent acts against her children. He had intended to kill himself as well (his particular delusion made him believe that the world was about to end but that by killing the entire Blackman family they would all ascend to heaven and keep the world from blowing up). But if anyone in a family is most capable and likely of snapping and killing the whole family, it's Mr. Patriarch. Are criminals responsible for their actions? The WWE’s Chris Benoit was a wrestling legend until June of 2007 when over a three day period he killed his wife and son before hanging himself with his weight machine. There is the tragic case of Andrea Yates who in 2001 in Houston, Texas, drowned all five of her children in the bathtub in her home before calling her husband and the police. Not every father who’s murdered their entire family has suffered from a massive brain injury, but at least one famous annihilator has. He may commit suicide after killing the others, or may force the police to kill him.” – Forensic Psychiatrist P.E Dietz (1986), As highlighted by Professor Jack Leven, Professor of Sociology and Criminology Emeritus at Northeastern University in Boston, the profile of a man who kills his family “is a middle-aged man, a good provider who would appear to neighbors to be a dedicated husband and a devoted father.”. This was the case in 2009 when Mukesh Suthar lost his job and murdered his wife, Varsha, and his his son before turning the gun on himself. aka pretext and plausible deniability used to cover up corporate and government covert action(s). A family annihilator is someone who kills the members of their own family in a short time period. Directed by Adam Kane. 53-year old Brian Philcox is another example of a self-righteous killer. Often no outward signs were visible to suggest anyone was in danger or that there was a risk of an individual taking such horrific actions. John Hogan was a 32-year-old man from Bristol with a wife and two children. They may believe they are not good enough or they not meeting his standards or beliefs. He is usually between 30 and 40 years old. Upon his arrest, he denied being John List until confronted with fingerprint matches. Bruce Blackman was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a psychiatric unit for treatment. He follows the more traditional view of the reasons behind male father figures killing their families being rage, revenge, and altruism. The anatomy of family murder - the patterns and warning signs. In 2008 he was acquitted of his son’s murder in Greece and in 2009 he was released from psychiatric care to return to the UK. They are very methodical and it is often planned out for a long time.” – Professor Jack Leven. Unfortunately this means this kind of crime and the death of entire families will continue to happen and it is a phenomena which has proved difficult to predict and almost impossible to stop,” is profoundly true, even when some efforts are made to intervene. Sign In My Account. Instead of trying to work his way out of the hole he completely snapped. Researchers also identified four common areas which may be the causes of such family murders; a breakdown in the family relationship and issues surrounding access to children, money worries and financial hardship, cultural honor killings and mental illness. Mothers are more likely to take the lives of their children, often believing they are saving them from a hardship and may then take their own lives, but they are unlikely to kill their husbands. In a television interview in 2002, John List claimed he did not take his own life as he wanted to be reunited with his family in heaven. There can be a revenge aspect where he leaves the mother alive to suffer after he takes the lives of her children, however, this is by far not the main reason, as perceived by some, for this type of murder. It is impossible to think your children are better off dead unless you are unable to see their perspective. The Family Annihilator is usually the father, son or brother of the victims, or a combination. Paranoia can manifest itself in a number of ways and the effects of untreated, intense paranoid delusions are often violent outbursts as seen in the case of family annihilator Chris Benoit, who believed that he was being followed at all times of the day. It's enough to turn a man into a murder. What makes one individual decide to murder their family before themselves is a question still being asked. List had fled but despite extensive searches, he could not be found. It’s supposed to be a safe haven, an enclave where we can feel secure.” – Professor Jack Leven. They are not carried out in the heat of the moment or in a fit of rage. He has categorized such family killers into two groups; the “livid coercive” killer who is motivated by anger and rage. They can be very successful people in their lives and not the kind of person who it is perceived would kill anyone never mind their entire family. Warning signs, if any, are difficult to spot and the modern-day nature of families and individuals to keep their lives private and their troubles to themselves only adds to the shock factor which such an incident does take place. Wrong, always. "Like anybody else that commits some horrible, horrendous act, and they do it based on emotion and immediate need or gain," he said, adding that after they get arrested, they confess and sometimes create an "alternative version of what … Mass murders are tragic crimes to begin with, but when a person wipes out their entire family it can be utterly devastating. Family annihilators are men who decide if they aren't happy, the rest of the family can't be happy... ever again. Should this marriage begin to fail maybe because of such controlling issues and the wife and children try to leave, a lack of control and feelings of humiliation could prompt such acts of violence against his family. They show control issues and may have abusive tendencies achieving their self-worth by exerting authority within the home. In 1989 the TV program ‘America’s Most Wanted’ became involved in the case and presented a show featuring his story along with an image of how John List may have looked 18 years after he was last seen. A family annihilator can be anyone in the family who murders most, if not all, members of their immediate family. The ferocity of the fire was intense and when fire crews did make it to the house it took 12 crews and several days to contain the fire and ensure the area was safe. Thanks also for the note on your book, I’m sure that will be a fascinating read and it is downloading to my Kindle as I type! Chillingly in the UK, statistics suggest that a child is more likely to be killed by a parent than by a stranger. What Should We Do With Teenage Psychopaths? Benoit’s family believes that his history of concussions from the multiple chair shots he took to the head in the ring played a big part in the horrific crime. Hi Janice, thanks very much for your comments, really interesting. Wrong. The psychiatrist signed commitment papers but did not insist that Bruce be taken for psychiatric observation. Chris Foster’s body was found entwined with his wife’s. Less extreme forms of domestic violence and child abuse are more common. For someone suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness a major life crises can be what finally pushes them too far. He murdered his wife and daughter before setting his farmhouse on fire. In ancient China, the "nine familial exterminations" was the killing of an entire extended family or clan, usually for treason.Machiavelli advocated the extermination of a previous ruler's family to prevent uprisings in The Prince. In the majority of familicide cases, it is the father who commits the act. The Family Annihilator is usually the father, son or brother of the victims, or a combination. This is a profile that appears to be quite different from more familiar profiles of mass murderers, serial killers and, spree killers. Termed by criminologists, the ‘family annihilator’, in most cases the killer takes his own life after the act. The rarity of cases coupled with most killers taking their own lives does not allow for research to take place into this phenomenon easily. Really interesting article. It is more expected in society and within the criminal justice system for a male to commit violent crime than a female. I always thought it was some form of suicide mission and he didn't want the family to deal with the aftermath so he would kill them too. This is the historic case of one of the most infamous monsters who destroy their families: Jeffrey MacDonald. As with most types of murderers, it’s impossible to predict the behavior of someone who's in such a fractured mental state they think taking their family members' lives sounds like a good idea. The bomb failed to go off and his ex-wife was unharmed. If suicide after the act fails, in most cases which reach a court, the perpetrator will almost always plead some form of insanity as a defense, however not all believe this is an adequate explanation for such acts. Family annihilators don't typically think through the end result -- potentially being arrested -- instead focusing on "the immediate need and gain of the moment," Garrett said. Gunshot, … Had he (the psychiatrist) done that, Bruce could have been diagnosed, medicated, managed and supported, and it is quite likely the tragedy would have been averted. Visit our. Reckless Speculation about Jeffrey MacDonald, O. J. 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The psychological profile of a family annihilator is a complex one and research is continuing to discover more information about the kinds of individuals and circumstances which can lead to such horrific and tragic actions. "The family annihilator should be seen as a specific category of murderer, for a crime which appears to be increasing," concluded Wilson. Is there any case in particular you feel is corporate/government cover up? After her return to the UK, she went missing until her body was found in marshland in Cumbria in 2004. Most mothers and fathers faced with money problems look to practical resources for solving their problem. Familicide of others. It is so sad to know that with the right support the path for Bruce Blackman could have been so very different. They found a total of 71 cases where 59 of the perpetrators were male and over half were between the ages of 30-40 years old when they committed the crime. Possibly the most chilling aspect of this case was the CCTV at the family’s home which captured Chris Foster walking through the grounds of his house with a .22 rifle, shooting the family’s horses and dogs and pouring 200 gallons of petrol around the outbuildings and through the house. It may be they fear social services may come and take the children away or circumstances involving the police or the legal system which they fear is a threat to their family. Most of the modern research about men who murder their entire families concludes that men, especially fathers, are finding it harder to cope with life on an every day basis. Required fields are marked *. The Crown Prosecution Service chose not to retry John Hogan for murder in the UK. They also tend to commit such acts in August because their children are not in school, Garrett said. Warning signs, if any, are difficult to spot and the modern-day nature of families and individuals to keep their lives private and their troubles to themselves only adds to the shock factor which such an incident does take place. In March 2009 he murdered his wife and four children before leaving numerous voicemails for family members and ex-colleagues, apologizing and expressing the shame he had brought upon his family was “too much to bear”. A sudden job loss brings with it the worry of financial security and a hit to many men's masculine need to provide for their family. If you asked them, what would they say? How Chris Watts’ Case Breaks the Family Annihilator Pattern. When we hear about shootings or other mass murder situations, we generally think about a lone gunman attacking a group of strangers. These are categories that can overlap and are still being developed and refined for categorizing cases of familicide. Both he and little Mia survived the fall with broken bones. In the US it is known as "family annihilation". The family annihilator: A profile 20 The female mass murderer 22 The female family annihilator 24 Summary 25 Chapter Two: Method and Case Studies 27 Current Study 27 Method 30 Preparation 30 Organization 31 Reporting 32 Case Summaries 32 Almarez, … In Leveillee’s 2009 study, they found that 68% of those who killed their family had a history of depressive symptoms and 38% showed borderline traits of a personality disorder. In 2011, Tuan Dao filed for bankruptcy after his marriage spiraled downward and he turned to gambling to cope. I was working in BC criminal court during the trial of Bruce Blackman who, as mentioned in the above article, murdered six members of his family while under the influence of schizophrenic delusions. Home Episodes Erica Kelley. When a woman commits a violent crime, it is often assumed they are either evil or insane. The case of Chris Foster in Shropshire in 2008 is a tragic and devastating example of this category of family annihilator. poverty, unemployment and family stressors, which include disagree-ments over money, sex and children. They were not known to the police or the criminal justice system; they often had good jobs, families, and friends around them. In a study published in the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, by criminologist Professor David Wilson and colleagues in 2013, researchers analyzed newspaper articles over three decades from 1980 to 2012 where cases of familicide were reported. In these cases, they kill, in their minds, to protect the family from the outside threat. Confessing openly to the murders she was convicted of first-degree murder at her first trial, however, this was later changed to not guilty by reason of insanity in a second trial and she was committed to a psychiatric unit indefinitely where she still remains today. In 2010 her older sister revealed the truth of what had happened to her sister. Your email address will not be published. Less than a month after Foster’s crime, another family annihilator struck in Southampton: he telephoned his estranged partner to tell her that their children had “gone to sleep forever.” Having smothered them, he hanged himself. It is curious there seem to be different types of 'family annihilators' with different motives. Graham Anderson then hung himself. A Taxonomy of Male British Family Annihilators, 1980–2012, Family Annihilation: The Crimes and Psychology of Familicide, Deadly Poisons, An Introductory Text for Forensic Investigators. Cases like that of Damian Rzeszowski are uncommon but sadly there have been several instances of men killing their families in the UK in recent years. There is no court case, no opportunity to find out why and whether or not this was a premeditated planned murder or an act which was spontaneous due to thoughts at that very moment. In recent years we are reading more and more tragic cases of individuals who have killed members of their own family; whether this is a father who murders his partner and children, This website uses cookies. Steven Sueppel was a 42-year-old former bank vice president on bail for embezzlement charges to the tune of $560,000 from his own bank in Iowa City, Iowa. NIJ hosts a forum to discuss the problem and the warning signs that foreshadow these events. One niece … Familicide is defined as one family member who murders other members of their family, commonly taking the lives of all. I will read such horrible stories in the news in a different light now. She then shot herself but survived. In 90% of the cases, the family annihilator is a male offender coming from a good, respectable family with no criminal record. “The family annihilator should be seen as a specific category of murderer, for a crime which appears to be increasing,” concluded Wilson. The support services for mental health sufferers and their families are not always there and when they are, the challenges faced with what is the right decision in terms of psychiatric inpatient treatment or keeping the patient in the community are immense and can so often be guided by resources and available budgets. With his car found at Kennedy International Airport, it soon became clear Mr. The Question of Why: Did Ted Bundy have Dissociative Identity Disorder? I think what is difficult as unlike many other crimes of this severity, most of the time here, the person responsible is no longer alive to answer any questions or give any insights as to why, and that makes research and understanding a harder task. Researchers have focused on any link between borderline personality disorder and familicide and while some evidence was found that could conclude a causal link, in such a rare crime it is difficult to draw any solid conclusions as to the role of such mental disorders within this crime. The Fayetteville, Georgia, police found anabolic steroids on the scene, and police believe that the drug may have had an affect on his behavior. It cannot be ignored that in an estimated 95% of cases the perpetrator is male and the ‘head of the household’. Police officers discovered the bodies of his family inside the family home on 7 December 1971 along with a note he had written to his pastor, expressing his concern that there was ‘too much evil’ in the world and he had taken the lives of his family to ‘save their souls’. Admitting the fraud and resigning from his position, he was distraught and devastated by the shame of his actions. The murder of 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed by her parents in 2003 in Warrington, Cheshire is one such example. Dear old dad, leader of the pack, head of the household, Mayor of Murder Town. These individuals often believe their family and especially their children are under some form of threat or they need protecting. He was a broken man in dealing with the actions he took on that day. He had beat his wife to death and led his children between the ages of 3 and 10 years old to the garage, where he tried unsuccessfully to kill them and himself with carbon monoxide poisoning. That gives the suspect "ready access to them," he said, and it also "buys them time. During the inquest into the boys’ death, it was concluded they were killed unlawfully by their father and the impending custody hearing may have played a part in Graham Anderson’s actions. The only survivors of the arson were his wife and his 13-year-old daughter who were away from the home. In 2009, 53 year old Robert Xie brutally smashed the bodies of five of his wife's family, including two children, with a makeshift hammer. As absolutely gutting as the reality is, While Mr. Anderson was known to have substance misuse issues there were no signs he was a risk to himself or the children and both families have been left shocked and devastated at his actions. In June 2008 in Cheshire, England,  he picked up his children on Father’s day for a day out and after driving them to a secluded spot in Snowdonia, South Wales, he drugged them and pumped exhaust fumes into the car, killing 7-year-old Amy Philcox and 3-year-old Owen Philcox and himself. The Blackman case was utterly tragic and it is so difficult when mental health is involved. On Aug. 13, 2018, Watts murdered his pregnant wife & two daughters. Part 2: The conclusion to the Narcissistic Family Annihilator, Jeffrey MacDonald. 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