Murder-Suicide As An Exit Strategy

Pluto cardMost of you know I don’t watch TV but lately I’ve begun to. I feel like I have to put a disclaimer up when I mention this because I haven’t watched TV for 20 years so I don’t want to misrepresent myself as someone who is aware of trends in programming.

Last night I watched an episode of “Snapped” about a woman who murdered her fiance in 1995 in what many would call a crime of passion.  I was thinking about how things have changed.  These days people plan to murder others if and when certain conditions are met.  They have an exit strategy and harming others is part of it.

We see this in the news everyday. People killing others, then killing themselves. Taking your own life is one thing. Taking others with you – your partner, your children, your workmates or strangers is a whole other issue and it’s appalling.

My husband says he doesn’t understand it at all but I run across the mindset all the time in a wide variety of people. It’s the mother who is going to kill her children if she feels she can’t care for them or protect them. It’s the frustrated artist who can’t make a living doing what he love, who plans to go out and shoot people until a cop shoots him. It’s the woman (locally) who jumped in front of a truck on the highway a couple weeks.  What do you make of this?

We’ve got our friends and neighbors making plans to kill people if they decide they to want to die themselves. This is co common, I am sure there are people like this who read this blog. So who are you?  What is it that makes a person think they have providence over another person’s life?

As for the astrology, I’d point to Pluto in Capricorn and decay of society. We all see it happening but at some point we’re going to hit bottom, yes?

It’s possible for an individual to hit bottom on their own and come back up. You don’t have to wait for the people around you to adopt a new attitude to adopt one of your own. This can be an independent action (Aries) and the people who opt to head off in a winning direction become leaders.

What are people thinking when they kill themselves and take other innocent people with them?


38 thoughts on “Murder-Suicide As An Exit Strategy”

  1. “What are people thinking when they kill themselves and take other innocent people with them?”

    a means to an end. I would say there is a huge emotional upset and a string of events that make the person feel like they are no longer in control of the situation. Obviously this route is 1) taking control of the situation 2)an act of desparation toward a definite end 3) probably clouded by a lot of irrational thinking whether whole or in part to whatever the “devastation” is the person is feeling.

    I don’t think it is the right answer by any means. But I do understand it. I was involved in an abusive relationship in my early 20’s. Yes, in desparation I could have shot the guy with little to no guilt at the time just to get it to end. My emotions were through the roof at the time, I was isolated from a support system and my logic..under those circumstances..non-existant. Plus, my own suicide attempt, was a very desparate attempt to find a means to an end under a fury of emotional distress and illogic.
    Decay of society..yes, this is also a key factor.
    I swear as a society I think we get more numb to violence everyday. Just takes one story about a gunman in a school to cause a rise in this type of thing see it on TV, read it in the papers, and people under the same emotional distress read about it and think..hmm. These are not rational people we are talking about here. They may be historically rational but not at the time. They can be high functioning individuals who hit a wall in some way. I’m not making excuses, this is just my theory.
    When my oldest son was born there was a headline in the paper in the town about a woman who walked out on a country road with her infant son and a bible. She “sacrificed” him right in the middle of the road (stabbed him) saying that she was saving him from the world. She BELIEVED this. I don’t know what drew her to that point but before she was functioning at a high level in her community and the church. That was in 1992 and I can’t find reference to the story, but it was a lot like this one from Dallas in 2009.

  2. We are animals, seems we forget this. Don’t back wild animals into a corner.

    “What is it that makes a person think they have providence over another person’s life?”

    How is this any different from the government doing the same?

    How is this any different from our soldiers who are taking “providence”.

    There is a reason why you are brainwashed in boot camp, without 100% conviction you will fold like a lawn chair if you are not brainwashed.

    Society, geared towards the comfort and security of the top 1% has side effects, these normally show up as anger directed towards each other. Most do not understand where to direct that anger.

    When your mind can make things cut and dried, you will be amazed at what you can do. The hate, the killing, all that is easy.

    The hard thing for me was coming to grip with my own brainwashing, both by the military and society. To walk away from it, going off the deep end is easy, and it’s natural. It’s my animal instinct and it was easy to think I was honorable, even just and that feeds the reptile brain. My reptile brain is cut and dried, hot-cold, love-hate, it is a switch that only knows black and white.

    When you speak of your husband,( and I don’t mean to offend) I think of my reptile brain and how easy and comforting it was back when I let mine rule.

    Of course I’m not passing judgement on anyone, I just have this animal body with a reptile brain and try to wrestle control of it back from the enviroment I find myself in and own the power to control it. Sometimes with limited success.

    1. No offense taken, tatkins. I’m asking questions because I am interested in the answers and I appreciate you weighing in.

  3. @tatkins… it’s interesting to hear what you have to say because you have walked away & now you can see both sides of the coin. I don’t imagine that to be easy. May the you, you strive to be, become easier to find & keep =)

  4. “How is this any different from the government doing the same?

    How is this any different from our soldiers who are taking “providence”.”


    I thought about this a little bit and the difference I see is that the people I am describing want to die. They are dissatisfied or disappointed with their life and rather than just take their own life they take others with them.

    Say a person gets fired so they no longer want to live. Do they have to kill me too? What if I get fired but want to look for another job rather than kill myself?

    A mother can’t cope with hardship so she kills her children? A father can’t provide so he kills his children? I take issue with this. Your kid may be stronger than you are… do you mind? Why do you mind?

    I can get with the idea a person has a right to take their own life but what is it with this trend where people insist on going out with an attention-getting blaze of glory?

    I wrote this because I am truly upset with people killing their children because they don’t want to live. I would like if my writing this made someone see how repugnant this is.

  5. “No offense taken, tatkins. I’m asking questions because I am interested in the answers and I appreciate you weighing in.”

    Thanks Elsa, I didn’t know how you would take that, but I thought honesty was important. As you can see I am no stranger to cognitive dissonance or my reptilian brain.

    I have a deep connection with soldiers, but an even deeper distain for the policy that directs them. I remember back in 03, when we went into iraq, my reptile brain was swollen. How could I be here when they are there? The reptile brain is a hell of a drug, and man did I love it.

    Ignorance was bliss, and a sanctuary of sanity. I can no longer tell good killing from bad, I see terrible things and I understand how it can happen, it’s easy going off the deep end. The hard part is sitting on the bank and watching others.

    I think we all have it, the only question is what we do about it.

  6. I’m not sure (re. the question) but I just got my first TV of my adult life (someone else was upgrading). I keep forgetting to turn it on and watch it.

  7. I asked my husband what he thinks about this and he doesn’t think it should be called “murder-suicide”.

    “What should it be called?”

    “I don’t know. Heinous murder?” he spat. “It’s got nothing to do with suicide. Suicide is committed by people in despair who feel they can’t go on. These people don’t feel like that…”

  8. Avatar

    “I can get with the idea a person has a right to take their own life but what is it with this trend where people insist on going out with an attention-getting blaze of glory?

    I wrote this because I am truly upset with people killing their children because they don’t want to live. I would like if my writing this made someone see how repugnant this is.”

    Agreed and agreed… I can’t understand mothers like Andrea Yates or Susan Smith. I can’t get my mind around why those boys shot up the high school at Columbine… Timothy McVeigh and Jared Loughner are aliens to me. If I want to cap myself, that is MY business and I have the right to do so… I’ve dealt with my own father’s suicide, so I feel I can have an opinion on this…

    But to take out innocent lives “just because” you don’t want to live is the ultimate act of selfishness and a huge “F-YOU” to everyone else. A last act of bravado? I just don’t get it and I hate that people are doing this more and more…

    1. I empathize with you, Read_em_and_weep. I’ve wondered about why the columbine boys killed their schoolmates too. After reading a lot about how the boys were treated, it seemed to me that because they were ostracized without any valid premise, their sense of future opportunity disappeared into a vision of hopelessness. Their intelligence and individuality appeared to be valueless to their school community and when kids go through puberty, hormones fuel their intense emotions while they’re trying to make sense of the world and their current and future role possibilities.

      It’s illogical that children in their teens at the puberty age would come to such drastic and horrific conclusions for themselves and their community when they don’t know what things will be like after high school. After contemplating that for a while, the place I came to regarding what these teenagers felt might have been that the messages they were getting from the other kids, and possibly adult authority figures was that the high school life would just repeat itself in other environments- that it was level 1 of the model of how they were going to be cast and treated in their lives. They might have concluded that no matter what they have to offer, genius or idiot, they would be cast as the whipping post boys so to speak, and maybe they feared that life was only going to get worse and worse with this model as they got to the next levels of the model so that their imaginations ran wild about the “village idiots” being promoted to high paying jobs, respect, authority, etc, while they themselves with the intelligence they had to offer, would be subjected to lives of scrubbing cracks between floor tiles as someone barked continuously at them about how worthless they are and listed all of the things wrong with them.

      I can only guess this imagination about their future lives based on the gridlock of their present lives, spelled hopelessness and that if life is only going to get worse, they drew on these feelings and dillusions as their resentment grew to a point where they felt their schoolmate community was filled with the kind of people who are the cause of all of society’s problems. They could have just committed suicide but with they thought, the world would be a better place if they could remove as many of these people as they could from becoming part of the decision makers in the world who abuse other people entire lives.

      This seems like a similar conclusion that some religious people come to when they contribute in “holy war” or who go on suicide missions to take out a large group of citizens in an area where they believe the “evil” persons congregate. It seemed like that was a big part of the New York trade center bombing.
      They attacked the multinational congregration of financially successful people as part of the cause for depravity in third world countries being repressed from developing and making corporations responsible for polluting their water, and monopolizing their resources while they starve.

      It’s such a complicated subject, like the gun control subject also is. We don’t want crazy suicidal people to have guns, yet in disaster areas like Louisiana, with gons taken away from citizens there were lots of stories about military personnel raping both women and men, stealing their belongings and money, etc. So if we could trust authorities to represent their cause instead of acting from personal corruption then we wouldn’t have a problem, but the people who are supposed to be heroes are also corrupted, so the trust just keeps getting undermined as people act from a more animalistic and selfish place instead of doing what’s right.

  9. Gotta say..I agree with the your hubs on that one two. Looked at separately murder and then suicide is a lot different than looking at them together..

  10. This is a really interesting subject. I read an article a while ago about a groom who killed his bride, best man, then himself at his wedding ceremony after announcing to the guests that he had a “surprise” for them. There was a lot of speculation on his motive, and it was mostly assumed that the bride and best man were having an affair which caused him to go off the deep end. If that was indeed the case, I can only imagine he was thinking of revenge against the people that caused him pain. It wasn’t enough to kill himself if the people that ruined his life were still alive.

  11. Damn… well, there’s some psychology for ya. People who commit suicide and hurt NO ONE, and people who have to take others with them. I think the people who do it with no victims are truly depressed, and have lost all hope.. the ones who leave victims i think are filled with anger and thinks the world OWES them something they did not get. My 2 cents.

    1. Morgan, do you think the Columbine boys who shot their schoolmates felt that, even though they were not even adults yet? Do you have any thoughts about what motivated the Columbine boys?

  12. Maybe going on thin ice…but I think there is a distinction to be made here.
    On the one hand, you have people whose primary motivation is ending their own life–and they involve others via directly killing them too or endanger others via using them as the vehicle by which to end their own life.
    On the other hand, you have people whose primary motivation is to lash out, destroy or punish others–and they have decided that the need to punish/inflict is so great that they are willing to die to do it. (they may or may not *wish* to die…but their own death is secondary to the urge to inflict themselves on others).

    I think there is likely a (perhaps subtle) key difference in the motivation and reasoning between a suicide who wraps others in their ideation of despair versus someone externally fixated on taking out ‘the enemy’ even at the cost of their own life.

    One views death as a release–the other as a sacrifice…

  13. i believe some people allow bad spirits possess them. i call them walk-ins. some people are just out of their minds.

  14. I think sometimes murder-suicide may not be out of anger, but out of sadness and despair. The person committing suicide feels like ending their life is a relief, less painful than living. In that case, the person committing suicide may also feel responsible for others (like their children) and feel like they’re doing these other people a favor (for instance, they feel guilty for leaving a child without a parent and see death as a way out). I’m certainly not condoning it or saying that it is a rational way of thinking. I think it’s appalling. But that may provide some explanation. These people are trying to act like god and not respecting the people around them.

  15. I think they kill themselves after they murder because they don’t want to face society for what they’ve done.

    Not sure if they want to kill themselves as much as they crave killing someone else and realize they can’t continue life as usual. Their death is one big F-you.

  16. My ex was like that. Would even point guns and his finger at each of our heads. Told me how he would dispose of my body.

    I had to learn to shoot and fortunately I was naturally good at it. Then the next time he started getting squirrely I laid it out, as in you or me, it’s going to be me and the kids. I’ll shoot you without blinking.

    He said I was mean…awwww….>:-/

  17. Avatar
    White Chocolate

    4 years ago I was on the razor-edge or a murder/suidide situation. I was sick and tired of the abuse. I was ready to do anything to get out, including killing him. I don’t know if anyone can imagine being at that kind of choice point: kill or be killed?
    Think of the adrenaline that comes from rage. He bit a chunk out of my ear, Mike Tyson style, and I exploded and blacked out in rage. It seemed that I blinked and he was on the floor. Then I took a ceramic soapdish and smashed it on his head until he got up and ran. At that very moment, I was so full of rage that I felt that I could either keep beating him until he was barely hanging on (and go to jail) or I could walk out.
    I walked out. I figured he had f*cked up my life enough, why should I ruin my otherwise clean record?

  18. Avatar
    White Chocolate

    However, I definatly wouldn’t take innocent people, especially children, out with me. I’m glad I didn’t have children with that SOB!

  19. brizo I think you are right re. not wanting to face. I was speaking to my therapist about this today. His words “Can you imagine if they had the information you had? If they woke up and realized what they had done and what they had created?”

    Preservation of delusion, at any cost. I feel that in some people.

  20. White Chocolate, I can imagine.

    I did the same thing, snapped one day with a polypropylene step stool, of all things. He couldn’t getnear me to stop me. I was laughing like crazy. Hell, I WAS crazy.

    This was after he showed up in the kitchen with a gun because I told him to keep out of my spaghetti sauce. My youngest who was two or three ran out and flung herself around my legs and begged him not to shoot me.

    He came into the bathroom to continue the fight. I had gone there to decompress after I sent the kids out to play and there was the stool…

    He went to the neighbors covered in bruises and she laughed at him and told him he deserved it.

    It wasn’t long after that I left him.

  21. h, I agree. Most of their life is spent living a facade which other people readily help them with. (I was definitely an enabler as were his parents)

    They have very little experience of living with consequences because everyone has been cleaning up around them for years.

  22. Avatar
    White Chocolate

    brizo: I wish I had had that stool! Who knows how much damage you could have done!
    That’s good ass-kicking! You go, girl!
    And isn’t it interesting that when an abusive man finally gets his ass beat, he wants to cry like a litle punk?
    Good God! Doesn’t it just make you even MORE ENRAGED when LITTLE CHILDREN have to cry out, “Daddy, please don’t shoot Mommy!” I know you’re GLAD you left that SOB! I am, too, No person, man, woman or child, should have to deal with abuse from the people who “love” them.

  23. In our area,we have had 6 murder-suicides since December 2010. And on March 21, 2011 my dear childhood friend was killed by her cop husband while she was asleep. Since March 21 there have been 5 murder-suicide incidents on the south side. Big article in this mornings paper talking about these cluster events. Let’s get mental health issues out of the closet and deal with things in a practical manner.
    Any other astrological factors besides Pluto in Capricorn?

  24. I am sorry for your loss, mimi. 🙁

    Other factors are the pressure!!!!!!!! Increasing as April progresses by the way. 🙁 I am so sorry.

    1. It seems people like to think that we are a special species in the world, set apart from other species. It me, It is a rather dangerous construct.

      Think of our reasons for building walls and borders around our villages, fences around our lands and houses, keeping the shadows of the forest out. Walls, fences, boundaries that herd us into a pen we have made for ourselves thinking we were safe from the darkness and chaos outside. Our society and its attempts to “civilize” us so we can all live together in our little space.

      But Walls have 2 faces.
      Walls that freed us to feel save in numbers…also trapped our “animals” by walling up darkness and chaos inside too.

      Pent up energies being contained in such a small space can produce occasional explosions of energy outward…
      … or inwards…the animal gnawing at imaginary itches…self mutilating behavior. …us punishing the animal inside for not fitting in and wanting to get out…trying to leash the wolf gnawing its paw to get out of a trap.

      Most murder/suicides happen when the person has put up walls inside themselves. They are unable to reach a hand out to others out of fear of it being bitten…or kicked every time a person passes by. The cost of feeling safe. is isolation.

      I think that when murder/suicides take out other people, it seems to me like they are projecting their pain onto those that they perceive as being the cause.
      Its the child’s fault for the mother feeling like a failure or feeling trapped in a situation they feel they cant get out of.
      The Strangers’ fault in the school because the person cant feel a part of the whole…and because of their own past attempts to be a part were met with pain. Frustration… anger… helplessness at those that make them feel like failures or trapped in isolation. Trapped inside they walls they perceive are there.
      So they take back control by killing that which they think traps/binds them, so they can be free.

      The emptiness of all that anger and pain that follows when the person faces themselves realizing the pain did not stop and it now increased by despair. The horror that causes them to turn the destruction on themselves.

      I dont condone the act but I would like to think I can understand it somewhat. If you operate from this sort of viewpoint maybe we might understand the behavior a little bit however tragic. Its ok to condemn the act, but understanding has a power place at the table to preventing more tragedies like this.

  25. Frontal lobe dominance. Imprisoned in a perspective of hopelessness. Maybe control freaks, then once the deed is done, consumed by guilt. No opportunity to undo what has been done – Exists.

  26. I dont think it has much to do with guilt. I think that they are mad at the world, dont want to be in it, and are going to cause as much damage as they can before they go out of hatred. The more innocent the victims, the better, in their minds. Just to prove what a crappy place this is and further its descent into darkness.

    A few people have mentioned our animal nature as being a cause, but I can not make this connection at all. It seems to me to be a very human tendency.

  27. Libra Noir, You are probably right, in a percentage of occurrences. I still think, however, we, as humans, possess a beautiful innocence at some level. Even when our worst manifests, and we (forget), while in the subjectiveness of any particular experience, WHO WE REALLY ARE, what evil we all have inside ourselves, if we have NEVER learned how to manage it. It can be an ‘epiphany’ of sorts, but in such an extreme example, one without recourse.

    1. I was looking at it from a psychological perspective because thats how the original question was posed. The framework of my response was that of looking at it from their perspective. But Im having a hard time understanding where you are contradicting me, if at all.

      From a spiritual perspective, of course, we are all one, came from the same pure source and made from unconditional love. In the space of their extreme ignorance of this fact, I just don’t see how guilt can be present in that vibration.

  28. I just wanted to also mention a great area to research this for a lay person may be the experiments with putting perpetrators together with the victims; i.e. there are some successful incentives where people who (for whatever reason) come through it and do penitentiary time, describe what there perspective was and also the personal process unfolding into a greater self awareness, and seeking profusely FORGIVENESS for unforgivable action. Also P.T.S.D. in their childhoods, and identifying WHEN the trauma occurred in their development, making behaviours very specific, and driven deep into their subconscious, as a technique to survive some kind of intense emotional pain.
    What can POTENTIALLY occur if these people fall through the cracks and NEVER GET THERAPY to resurrect their buried past. The patterns must repeat themselves, and under the right circumstances they burst forth with a momentum unstoppable, like in cases like this! If only for the sake of understanding our human experience in terms of POTENTIAL extreme behaviour and deeds that might be attached to that.

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