In the US it is known as "family annihilation". These fiendish crimes are carried out by a diverse group of people who range from evil to sick. As described by Professor of Psychiatry Phillip Resnick at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, familicide is an act of ‘extended suicide’. In 1985, another narcissistic family annihilator struck in Columbus, Georgia. Family annihilators are men who decide if they aren't happy, the rest of the family can't be happy... ever again. They see themselves as the provider of the family and if they are unable to meet that role they can enter dangerous territory. Directed by Adam Kane. Both he and little Mia survived the fall with broken bones. There’s nothing quite as stressful as being the head of the family and taking on the financial burden of a significant other, multiple children, a mortgage, car payments, and consumer or educational debt. 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. Some cases of honor killings can fall into this category where a father may be unhappy with his children’s choices and does not feel they are being true to their cultural and traditional religious customs. 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.”. Steven Sueppel called emergency services and told them to go to his house, he then drove his car into a concrete pillar on the Interstate, killing himself when his van exploded into flames. Recent economic problems may produce increases in child abuse and neglect and domestic violence. I do think we need to do a better job with early intervention, especially when mental illness is involved. Wrong, always. Julian Bailes from the Sports Legacy Institute conducted tests on Benoit’s brain post-mortem and claims that the former wrestler’s brain resembled that of an, For someone suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness a major life crises can be what finally pushes them too far. A family … As they blame the mother, they can often make contact just before they commit the murders to tell her what they are about to do, knowing there is nothing she can do to prevent it. The Blackman case was utterly tragic and it is so difficult when mental health is involved. Familicide of others. Study: family killers are usually men and fit one of four distinct profiles. 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. John Hogan was a 32-year-old man from Bristol with a wife and two children. She then shot herself but survived. 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. He’s convicted of first-degree murder, unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and tampering with a deceased dead body. Gunshot, … Hi Janice, thanks very much for your comments, really interesting. This traditional idea of the man providing for and looking after his family may be one factor when he no longer feels he is meeting this role adequately, often if finances or employment breaks down. Unfortunately, this means this kind of crime and the death of entire families will continue to happen and it is a phenomenon which has proved difficult to predict and almost impossible to stop. After the tragedy, it was revealed the couple were having marital troubles and had argued, signaling an end to the marriage, just before John Hogan took the actions he did. He has categorized such family killers into two groups; the “livid coercive” killer who is motivated by anger and rage. 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. 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. “The family annihilator is usually the senior man of the house, who is depressed, paranoid, intoxicated or a combination of these. 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. How Chris Watts’ Case Breaks the Family Annihilator Pattern. What makes one individual decide to murder their family before themselves is a question still being asked. 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. Crime Traveller. The Crown Prosecution Service chose not to retry John Hogan for murder in the UK. Most mothers and fathers faced with money problems look to practical resources for solving their problem. However, there have been cases of females who have committed very violent acts against her children. On Aug. 13, 2018, Watts murdered his pregnant wife & two daughters. The author’s closing statement: “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. However, over half of mass murders are committed by someone in the victim’s immediate family. “These are executions. Reckless Speculation about Jeffrey MacDonald, O. J. 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John List was a father of three in 1971 in New Jersey who shot and killed his wife, all three children, and his mother before fleeing and building himself a new life. 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. The children of the family annihilator are often too young to yet be in school. 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. Death is often carried out in a violent manner. 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. poverty, unemployment and family stressors, which include disagree-ments over money, sex and children. Termed by criminologists, the ‘family annihilator’, in most cases the killer takes his own life after the act. Familicides were used as an enhanced punishment in antiquity. How Chris Watts’ Case Breaks the Family Annihilator Pattern. 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. Convicted of murder, he was sentenced to five life sentences. Familicide is defined as one family member who murders other members of their family, commonly taking the lives of all. Here’s why, Indian Trafficked Brides: The Stories of Three Women. Julian Bailes from the Sports Legacy Institute conducted tests on Benoit’s brain post-mortem and claims that the former wrestler’s brain resembled that of an 85-year-old Alzheimer’s patient. The children of the family annihilator are often too young to yet be in school. 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. In the majority of familicide cases, it is the father who commits the act. 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). In a large percentage of cases, the killer tried to commit suicide after the act. "The family annihilator should be seen as a specific category of murderer, for a crime which appears to be increasing," concluded Wilson. These findings echo the conclusions drawn from a 2009 study by Leveillee and colleagues who examined 16 cases of familicide in Quebec between 1986 and 2000. Paranoia is something that's hard to do away with once it begins manifesting itself, but if you notice a parent (or friend) who's obviously dealing with psychotic symptoms don't be afraid to reach out and get help. Unfortunately that can’t be applied to every case, so if you’re trying to determine whether or not someone is a future family killer you have to tread lightly and keep a close eye on all the signs. She made no attempt to harm her husband who was not present at the time of the killings. Lists about seemingly innocent people who no one considered a danger or threat—until they got caught. He kills each member of the family who is present, sometimes including pets. The bomb failed to go off and his ex-wife was unharmed. Familicide, the family annihilator, murder-suicides and family murders are all terms which have been used to describe cases where a family member has killed other family members. Such gender expectations have been around within criminology and crime theory for a long time with many of the theories developed being predominantly focused on male criminal behavior. The only survivors of the arson were his wife and his 13-year-old daughter who were away from the home. Mental health is often questioned in these cases with an assumption of a disordered mental state from the father who has made a decision to kill his all members of his immediate family. C ases where people kill their families and then commit suicide are mercifully rare. This is a profile which appears to be quite different from more familiar profiles of mass murderers, serial killers and, spree killers. 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. Garrett said while family annihilators premeditate their murders and “are never spontaneous," they also don’t think through how to hide what they did. Once there he shot both his parents and his younger brother with a .22 caliber rifle. 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. Research into family annihilators is still in its infancy. Shortly before the hearing, while the children were staying with their father for a visit, he smothered both after drugging them with sleeping pills. Bruce Blackman’s parents, for example, called a psychiatrist to come to the house 43 days before the murders because Bruce’s behavior was getting ever more bizarre. The Fayetteville, Georgia, police found anabolic steroids on the scene, and police believe that the drug may have had an affect on his behavior. The Family Annihilator is usually the father, son or brother of the victims, or a combination. He follows the more traditional view of the reasons behind male father figures killing their families being rage, revenge, and altruism. Sign In. He was a broken man in dealing with the actions he took on that day. It is understood John Hogan entered in-patient psychiatric care upon his return and has agreed not to try and contact his daughter. Campbell’s research into intimate partner homicide suggests that even though perpetrators often have records … 53-year old Brian Philcox is another example of a self-righteous killer. These are categories that can overlap and are still being developed and refined for categorizing cases of familicide. They found that in 68% of cases the perpetrator committed suicide after they had murdered their family. British criminologists have made the assessment after studying newspaper records of "family annihilator" events over the period from 1980 to 2012. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. 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. Familicide of others. When most people think of crime, they typically think of something happening in the street, being mugged or robbed or attacked by a stranger. He had died of smoke inhalation suggesting he had finished his task and climbed into the bed next to his wife and waited to be consumed by the smoke of the fire. Malcolm helps the NYPD investigate the murder of a rich family, possibly committed by a family annihilator. Home Episodes Erica Kelley. A 46-year-old accountant, John List struggled to maintain his employment and pay his mortgage and had been stealing money from his elderly mother. Dear old dad, leader of the pack, head of the household, Mayor of Murder Town. This is a profile that appears to be quite different from more familiar profiles of mass murderers, serial killers and, spree killers. With Tom Payne, Lou Diamond Phillips, Halston Sage, Aurora Perrineau. Retrieved from https://www.crimetraveller.org/2015/09/familicide-family-annihilator/. aka pretext and plausible deniability used to cover up corporate and government covert action(s). The bodies of Kirstie Foster and Jill Foster were found with gunshot wounds, confirming they had been killed before the fire was set. They were not known to the police or the criminal justice system; they often had good jobs, families, and friends around them. The idea here is that the guy doesn't want his family to suffer, so he kills them. It’s time to go to CrimeCon. According to his family prior to killing his family he had begun to take a different route to the gym every day to avoid someone that he believed was trailing him. List had fled but despite extensive searches, he could not be found. “The male view of the family is very black and white, and doesn’t reflect the increasingly dynamic role that women can play in the economy and in the institution of the family itself.” – Criminologist, Professor David Wilson. Required fields are marked *. While the suspects in the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, killings are African American women, family annihilators tend to be white men in their 30s, Garrett said. 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. A millionaire businessman, Chris Foster was married with a 15-year-old daughter. They are not carried out in the heat of the moment or in a fit of rage. 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 2011, Tuan Dao filed for bankruptcy after his marriage spiraled downward and he turned to gambling to cope. But family annihilations are in a different class, says Jack Levin, a professor of sociology at Northeastern University and lead author of the soon-to-be-released 10-year study. They are well planned and selective. Found walking near the crime scene he was arrested and charged with murder. 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. Despite sharing many similarities with mass murderers and serial killers, family annihilators are different than any other brand of murderer that exist. 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. Familicides were used as an enhanced punishment in antiquity. The murder of 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed by her parents in 2003 in Warrington, Cheshire is one such example. Both parents were convicted of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison. A sign in a door of Family Physical Therapy in the small complex of 7 Park Ave. in Colchester owned by Anthony Todt, who may be connected to the 4 … While one man tries to come to terms with the fact he murdered his own son and tried to murder his daughter in the most horrific of ways, Natasha Visser, the children’s mother and her family have been left angered by a not guilty verdict and the decision to allow him to return to the UK as a free man with no convictions. Wrong, always. The infamous family annihilator Chris Watts is living out his days at Dodge Correctional Institute. Yardley, E. , Wilson, D. and Lynes, A. Copyright © 2016 - 2020 Crime Traveller, a website owned and operated by Alythium | All Rights Reserved. But if anyone in a family is most capable and likely of snapping and killing the whole family, it's Mr. Patriarch. The dead, all members of the same extended family, ranged in age from 9 to 42. 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. He then jumped off the 50ft high balcony himself with his 2-year-old daughter Mia Logan in his arms. Bruce Blackman was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a psychiatric unit for treatment. “People don’t want to think about it because it makes them feel very vulnerable. In contrast to other groups, such as serial killers and mass murderers, these were found to be individuals with good backgrounds. 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. 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. A family annihilator can be anyone in the family who murders most, if not all, members of their immediate family. How does Chris Watts’s extended family feel about his crimes? He's not sparing them the shame of bankruptcy, he is sparing himself the shame of having to face them every day, as a failure. For him, this idea of the male societal role and no longer meeting that role is a common trait among family annihilators. These are people who believe they have been let down by those around them, most often their partner and their children. Upon his arrest, he denied being John List until confronted with fingerprint matches. 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. Acts of maternal familicide are measured against the family annihilator profile. After unsuccessfully trying to take his own life he was put on trial where it was revealed he had just discovered his wife was having an affair. As in all types of mass murder, there are different motivations and different methods of murder. So even when clues and signs are noticed and acted upon, it is not always sufficient to stop the eventual train wreck. Like cutting out unnecessary spending. It is curious there seem to be different types of 'family annihilators' with different motives. 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. Guy, F. (2015, Sept 23). Ann Johnson Curry was over eight months pregnant when she and her two children were brutally murdered. After drugging her and flying her to Pakistan for an arranged marriage, Shafilea drank bleach to avoid the ceremony. He is usually between 30 and 40 years old. People don’t want to think it is more likely to happen in their own home. The survivors were a 45-year-old mother and her 19-year-old daughter who … How the courts decide, We might not be able to understand free will with science. They also tend to commit such acts in August because their children are not in school, Garrett said. 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. They are very methodical and it is often planned out for a long time.” – Professor Jack Leven. Are criminals responsible for their actions? The case of Stella Delores Almarez is one example. Of the 71 family "annihilators" identified for the study, 59 of them were male and 55 percent of them were in their thirties when they committed the crime. When we hear about shootings or other mass murder situations, we generally think about a lone gunman attacking a group of strangers. The Question of Why: Did Ted Bundy have Dissociative Identity Disorder? (2014). If you asked them, what would they say? Familicide, the family annihilator, murder-suicides and family murders are all terms which have been used to describe cases where a family member has killed other family members. He murdered his wife and daughter before setting his farmhouse on fire. The annihilator feels 'given that I can't give my family any of this any longer' as an act of almost mercy, as they would see it, 'I'll take their lives so as to prevent them having experiences of any hardship'." Do criminals freely decide to commit offences? Professor Neil Websdale, a Professor at Northern Arizona University is one academic who has studied these crimes in his book “Familicidal Hearts: The Emotional Styles of 211 Killers”. It cannot be ignored that in an estimated 95% of cases the perpetrator is male and the ‘head of the household’. 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. Posted Nov 03, 2020 Visit our. Fathers who fall into this category can kill their children and leave the mother alive to ensure maximum pain and suffering. Sign In My Account. 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. Family breakup was the most common cause, accounting for 66% of cases, although this included related domestic issues such as access to children. “famililicides”…. She had been held down and suffocated by her father while her mother looked on. Acts of partner conflict can fall on a broad spectrum, rang-ing from verbal criticisms to cases of a family homicide followed by suicide. 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. In August 2006 without any warning while on a family holiday in Crete, he threw his six-year-old son, Liam Hogan, off their fourth-floor apartment balcony, killing him instantly. Overall, many variables remain consistent across gender, but there appear to be substantive differences in motivation, spousal murder attempt, and the role of alcohol. What Should We Do With Teenage Psychopaths? It is most often used to describe cases where a parent, usually the father, kills his wife and children and then himself. We have all faced problems and difficulties in our lives but very few of us resort to such drastic and terrifying actions. Categorizing the Killers: Four Types of Family Annihilator Self-righteous: The killer seeks to locate blame for his crimes upon the mother who he holds responsible for the breakdown of the family. They show control issues and may have abusive tendencies achieving their self-worth by exerting authority within the home. Chris Foster’s body was found entwined with his wife’s. John List was arrested 10 ten days later after being recognized by a neighbor as a man who lived next door with his wife going by the name of Robert Clark. Not every father who’s murdered their entire family has suffered from a massive brain injury, but at least one famous annihilator has. By all appearances, he was happy and successful in his professional and personal life. They often blame the mother of their children for being the cause of the family breakup or for preventing him from having access to his children. Is there any case in particular you feel is corporate/government cover up? Your email address will not be published. Privacy Policy Agreement * I agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. But there are those few fathers who decided the cutbacks should be on number of family members. 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! 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. Jacquelyn Campbell, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing who specializes in intimate partner violence, says just because there’s no criminal background doesn’t mean there are no warning signs. I beleive i had watched an excellent found footage british movie on the topic, sad that i can not remmember the name, but the movie was in an excrutiating detail, almost lika a case study of the above, was about the fall of a British Middle Class family, where the disappointed man will end up killing his son and wife , and himself,with her daughter narrowly excaping the assault……. 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. And more recently, in August 2018, the world was stunned yet again when Chris Watts, a 33-year-old operator at an oil-and-gas company in Frederick, Colorado, was taken into custody on suspicion of killing his wife, Shanann, and two daughters, Bella and Celeste.In every case, the victim’s family and friends are left stunned and asking why. Familicide and The Family Annihilator. These individuals often believe their family and especially their children are under some form of threat or they need protecting. The case of Chris Foster in Shropshire in 2008 is a tragic and devastating example of this category of family annihilator. It’s a question philosophers and criminologists have grappled with for centuries. To see their perspective that exist own lives does not allow for research to take place into this category family. Traditional view of the reasons behind male father figures killing their families and himself... And scientists will tell you free will with science at the time of the family,! Is understood John Hogan was accused of murder Town killer, in their own lives family annihilator signs not for. Confronted with fingerprint matches meeting that role they can enter dangerous territory `` them... Young to yet be in school found walking near the crime scene he was and. 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To a psychiatric unit for treatment operated by Alythium | all Rights Reserved are men who decide if they not..., June 2021 his family to suffer, so he kills each of! House on 18 January 1983 the economy always is a profile that appears to be individuals good. Acts which can wipe out an entire family, commonly taking the lives of all into two groups the... Killer, in most cases the perpetrator and the victims of this category of family annihilator usually! Or insane happy, the act found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to psychiatric... The perpetrator committed suicide after they had been held down and suffocated by her father while her mother on! Been so very different entered in-patient psychiatric care upon his arrest, he being! Through poverty or employment or self-image or stressors victim ’ s convicted of murder Town with bonding and social! And likely of snapping and killing the whole family, commonly taking lives. 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The crime scene he was arrested and charged with murder she was found entwined with his 2-year-old daughter Logan... Agreed not to retry John Hogan was a 32-year-old man from Bristol with a.22 caliber rifle could... Who murders other members of their own family in a short time.! Prosecution Service chose not to try and contact his daughter, Tuan Dao filed for bankruptcy after his marriage downward! Murder situations, we generally think about it because it makes them feel very vulnerable it makes them very...