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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

On the Murderer's Public Depiction in Suicide/Homicide

The recent suicide of a Los Angeles County attorney, before which he murdered his wife and son and tried to kill his daughter, was shocking but not unusual for there have been several in my area. Thereafter, especially when the perpetrator is prominent, newspapers describe their earlier positive deeds with their depraved final act being downplayed though no distress could justify it.
It would be of benefit that a psychological autopsy of these events be conducted, to educate the public that powerful unconscious factors can cause horrors but also to condemn their immorality in the strongest terms. For while suicide is nearly always irrational, so is the murder of innocents and particularly of children, acts for which no amount of earlier generosity can atone. That the murderers were evil and vile should represent their legacy, not goodness.

 

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