Monday 6 February 2017

Mass murderer kills 12 family members                                                   

There are very few crimes that are more horrific than mass murder—be it done by terrorists, disgruntled employees, by someone who simply hates everyone or by family members. Typically, the motive for mass murder is either revenge or selfishness. We like to think that we're safe with our loved ones. However the largest number of mass killings in the United States (as an example) occurs within the family. Second is the workplace, third is at schools however approximately as many as 30 percent of mass killings are within the family.

This article is about the killing of twelve persons by a man who was a member of two of the murderer’s family members whom he also killed. 

On December 31st of 2016, (New Year’s Eve) in the Brazilian city of Campinas in the State of São Paulo which is located in the southeastern part of Brazil, there was a party being held in the evening of the home of Isamara Filier, 41. She and her son João Victor, 8 along with thirteen relatives were also enjoying the festivities that were hosted by Isamara’s parents. Unknown to them, most of them would later die that night.

One person who was not invited t0 the party was Isamara’s estranged husband, Sidnei Ramis de Araújo, 46. He w0rked as a laboratory technician. It wasn’t known by the police on that fatal day if Araújo had a history of violence, or whether he had been known to physically harm or threaten his former wife before his attack on her home. Further, they didn’t know why he and his wife were separated. It is believed however that the former husband had been angry over a split with his wife and child.
 Just before midnight, the husband jumped over a fence surrounding the house, burst through a door and began firing his gun at his former wife as he berated her for taking their son from him.

He began shooting at the others in the house.  He used a 9 mm pistol to kill those in the house and he also carried two additional clips, extra ammunition, a knife and unspecified but unused explosives.

He killed nine of them. He set the home on fire and then killed himself.  Meanwhile four people survived the attack unharmed, including one person who managed to flee to a bathroom and phone the police when the shooting began. Three other people who were shot were hospitalized injuries at the Unicamp Hospital. However, at the time of this writing, one of them succumbed to her injuries.

The police stated that the gunman “possibly sought to take advantage of the commotion of New Year's Eve to disguise the shooting.”

 One neighbor told a local television that he and his family heard shots, but had thought they might be fireworks until one of the wounded ran to their property, bleeding and pleading for help.

 The explosives, a cell phone and an audio recorder found in a car that the gunman parked outside the home are all being looked at closely by investigators. They hope to see if a motive for the killing of his wife and child is in the audio recorder. Investigators analyzed the explosives in addition to a cell phone and audio recorder found in a car he parked outside the home to determine whether Araújo left any sort of message about his attack. He did. The gunman left a recorded message on his mobile apologizing for his actions before destroying as many of his relatives that he could including his wife and child in his murderous attack. The assailant took his own life by shooting himself in the head.

The people of Brazil were shocked when they heard of the massacre as many others were equally shocked around the world

Despite high rates of crime and violence in Brazil, including significant problems with assaults against women, the attack alarmed Latin America’s biggest country on a holiday associated with family gatherings.

Gun deaths are common in Brazil which includes heists, holdups and in confrontations among police, drug gangs and other criminals in Brazil, but targeted mass shootings are rare.

Why do husbands and fathers murder their families?

A family annihilator is usually the husband/father (certainly one of the family members) who kills the family unit, not just his wife or one of his children, but every member of the family. The motive for the crime may be clear or not; but the annihilation indicates that the family as a whole is the victim.

Known as "family annihilators", these mass killers in which most of them are men who appear to have a profound need for control that drives them to destroy their families when they can no longer provide for them financially or when their family has been divided by divorce or separation.

 With men who commit murder-suicides, there tends to be a catalyst such as a financial or personal defeat that they view as catastrophic, while women who kill loved ones are more likely to have a history of mental-health conditions like postpartum psychosis, such as in the case of Andrea Yates, the Texas mother who drowned her five young children in 2001.

It seems unfathomable that an ostensibly stable and loving man could kill the people he loves most; but unfortunately, it is more common than we may like to consider. More than one-third of women murdered in the U.S. are killed by male partners. Men are predominantly responsible for family murders, with 80 percent of fatal family violence committed by men, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics

In the aftermath of a family murder followed by a suicide, communities, police, researchers and others search for explanations. In difficult financial times, it may be natural to look for economic influences, especially when the killer has recently lost a job or has enormous financial problems. Campbell found that unemployment was a significant risk factor for murder-suicide but only when combined with a history of domestic violence. In other words, it was not a risk factor in and of itself but was something that tipped the scale following previous abuse.

As an example, last month, (December) Mark Meeks, 51 from Whitehall, Ohio killed his wife and two children after he lost his job. 

That case came just one week after Ervin and Ana Elizabeth Lupoe of Los Angeles committed suicide after killing their five children. The Lupoes wrote in their suicide note; “After a horrendous ordeal, my wife felt it better to end our lives; and why leave our children in someone else's hands?  We have no job and five children under eight years with no place to go. So here we are.”

In 1946, Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels and his wife killed their five children because (amongst other reasons) they didn’t want them to be raised by others.

Recent economic problems may produce increases in child abuse and neglect and domestic violence. In the subset of men who kill their entire families, there is a small increase in atypical familicide. These atypical cases are not the possessive, controlling husbands with guns. The familicides that are represented by men who kill their wives, their children and themselves are what the famous French sociologist Emile Durkheim called "anomic suicides." These occur when there are radical and significant changes in the person's social and economic environment. It is the state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values, as in the case of uprooted people and homeless people.

When the economy sours, family murders increase. When a man loses his job, he feels that his life is not worth living any more. In many such cases, the man isn’t satisfied with just killing himself; he wants to take his family with him. As the breadwinner in the family and as someone who's always felt responsible for the well-being of his children and spouse; he kills them all in order for them to reunite later in heaven. Of course, this motive is ridiculous but some of these misfits really believe in this possibility.

Comparing high rates of family homicide in the United States with the considerably lower rates in other wealthy countries, the United States has the most permissive gun laws of any industrialized nation. Three reasons why guns are used frequently is that they are more efficient than other weapons, they can be used impulsively, and can be used to terrorize and threaten everyone in range. A jealous substance abuser with a gun poses a particularly deadly combination of factors that will bring about death to anyone and possibly everyone within his rage.

Oddly enough, the United States experienced economic disruptions in 2001 and in the recession of 1990. However, they did not produce huge waves of violence, either in child abuse or domestic violence.

Most people who commit murder-suicide are non-Hispanic white males who kill their mates or former mates and or their families.  Prior domestic violence is the greatest risk factor in these cases. Access to a gun is a significant risk factor, as are threats with a weapon, or estrangement. However, a past criminal history is not a reliable or significant predictor in murder-suicides although it should be a factor to be considered if violence was a factor.

Ninety percent of the time, the best predictor of domestic violence is past behavior. Prior domestic violence is the greatest risk factor in these cases. Access to a gun is a significant risk factor, as are threats with a weapon, a stepchild in the home or estrangement. However, a past criminal history is not a reliable or significant predictor in murder-suicide.                              

The most common type of killer who murdered his family was a possessively jealous type. Many of these men who killed their wives or partners as well as those who killed their children and then committed suicide also seem to fit that profile.

The breakdown of relationships between men and their families can lead to a tragic chain of events. For example, when the woman says she's leaving her husband or partner and taking their children with her, the man is shattered. He feels he's losing control over everything in his life. If he feels he can't carry on in this world any longer without his family, he’s not going to leave his family behind to enjoy life without him. Often what is in their minds is; “If I can’t have them, no one else will have them.”

The proximate social and demographic factors that are related to all forms of family violence except sexual abuse are poverty, unemployment and family stressors, which include disagreements over money, sex and the parenting of their children. The economy always is another factor that is translated into family relations through poverty or employment or self-image or stressors.

There are certain factors that are found in almost every annihilation; especially the ones where the motive is revenge: There's a catalyst that is seen as catastrophic in the mind of the killer. The percipient is usually a nasty divorce or child-custody battle. There's a loss of a relationship.

There's an externalization of blame. The killer believes that the spouse is responsible for the destruction of the family unit. The children are killed because the husband blames the wife and he kills everything associated with her. Then the children have to be killed and finally the wife.

 Are these men mentally ill?

Men involved in spontaneous domestic homicides are more likely to have severe mental illness, a few previous felony convictions, lower intelligence and more cognitive impairment than seen in other types of murderers. These murders are committed in the heat of passion and generally involve the ingestion of drugs or alcohol. And they are often driven by jealousy or revenge following a separation or a divorce.

That's the saddest thing of all–we're not talking about psychotics. These killers don't suffer from schizophrenia or a profound thinking disorder or a serious form of mental illness. You can't say that they're psychopathic. They have a superego; they're remorseful, not manipulative or crafty. A person who plans methodically to kill his family is usually not insane because if he was; he'd be too confused to commit the crime. This intention to kill one’s family seems to come out of nowhere. It's shocking and you can't predict it since there really aren't any red flags disclosing a character or personality disorder that stands out to the extent that they are considered to be signs of insanity.

. Killing one’s family is not a normal response to a bad situation, no matter how horrible that situation may be. Some husbands/fathers escape their family problems by disappearing altogether.

Almost all of these killers have suffered long and cumulative frustrations leading to a prolonged despair. They don't go "crazy." The frustration grinds down their ability to cope with further frustration; that's why a particular incident may be the last straw; but it doesn't make them crazy.

There crimes are immoral and hideous from the point of view of a normal person.  However,  nobody ever said they were normal. Most of them are methodical and plan these attacks for months before the murder. They are chronically depressed; but the second and a very important facet of this situation is that they externalize blame. If they really blamed themselves alone, they'd take an anti-depressant or commit suicide. They may blame their spouse or he may also kill his co-workers too.

As an example, in 1999, Mark Barton killed nine fellow day-traders at two firms in Atlanta as well as his wife and two children. He left a suicide note with the bodies of his two children that said, “They would better-off dead.” Ultimately, the husband/father could no longer cope with his depression and frustrations.

 Social isolation is a factor to consider. Many of these killers have nowhere to turn to when they get into trouble. Many of these killers have traveled thousands of miles for a new beginning or a new start so they don't have any kind of support system in place.

But these killers are also the kinds of men who will not look for or accept help. They are the commander in chief and will not go to foot soldiers. They want total control and can't share responsibility.

Unfortunately these killers have access to guns and training in the use of them—which also explains why so many men do this. When women kill, they tend not to kill large numbers and are more likely to use poison or set on fire or strangulation when the husband is asleep. They rarely use guns. In England and Scotland, they have far fewer of these crimes; but most are committed with knives.  

Does the husband or father usually commit suicide in these cases? 

Suicide is on the mind of many of these killers but they don't always follow through. It's easier to kill others even if the others are loved ones than it is to kill one's self. Some of these killers are motivated to commit suicide but they can't follow through with it. Others commit suicide-by-cop and then occasionally you find a killer who can't even do that and he lets the states do it via capital punishment. Pardo, the Santa Claus killer in Brazil  certainly did not intend to kill himself,   That is plainly obvious since he had in his possession tens of thousands of dollars and an airline ticket strapped to his legs. However, when he set fire to his house, he burned himself severely and subsequently, he killed himself either because of the pain or alternatively, because he knew he couldn’t escape from the scene before the police arrived.  

Is there any way to see this kind of crime coming?

Men who kill their wives and family are some of the most chilling cases to make headline news and are a phenomenon that seems too incomprehensible to predict. Unfortunately, psychiatrists are like meteorologists—they are often wrong at predicting future behavior. On the other hand, the warning signs are there—but we are hesitant at using warning signs that are obvious in order so that we can help these people who are troubled long before they become troublesome. If we wait until they are in crisis, it's too late. We shouldn’t wait until a disturbed husband/father wants to commit murder. Help should have been provided years earlier.

Women should be careful early in the dating process—if they are dating a man who is unusually jealous and possessive. It isn't the women being cute and sexy that these men become attached to them. They see women that they can control. By the time these unfortunate women are getting a divorce or these men lose their jobs; that is when these men can become extremely dangerous to both their spouses and their children.

Frequently, wives and/or partners and family members have been subjected to violence but do not consider the possibility that their loved one would kill them. It is especially critical that they contact the authorities if they fear potential harm before it is too late.

Family members may lull themselves into a state of false beliefs thinking 'My son would never hurt me,' or 'my husband may have a short fuse but he would never seriously harm me.'  BIG mistake. Let me put in in another way. FATAL mistake.

Later I will give you examples of other mass murders. 

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