I don’t know that anyone will ever be able to explain, at least to my satisfaction, how one individual can deliberately take the lives of several individuals causing such havoc in the lives of so many families.
I remember one of the first instances where this affected my life was when the DeFeo family in Amityville, Long Island were all killed by their brother. From this tragedy came the movie, “The Amityville Horror.”
Having been raised on Long Island, two of the children attended my same high school at the time and it stunned our student body. How could one brother decide to kill all his family members? How could it be that our fellow students wouldn’t be returning to school. And while I wasn’t extremely close to them, I did know them enough to say hello as we walked down the hall and engage in conversation.
After I became active in crime victims’ work, I remember another family whose daughter’s boyfriend killed her and then killed himself. What that family always struggled with was the inability to have someone take responsibility for her murder. They couldn’t complete the process of having justice served.
In multiple murders, as with the Long Island Railroad Massacre that killed so many including Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy’s husband, while severely injuring her son, Kevin, there are so many families affected by one person’s sole action.
This is not something you easily recover from. As in the case of the nursing home tragedy I am hearing about today in North Carolina, those families expected their loved one’s to die through natural means, but instead they have been catapulted into a national media event, as well as the shock of a sudden, violent death.
Whether the cause is fear, anxiety and worry of financial situations, or hate, anger and revenge toward another person, the ramifications of multiple deaths or murder/suicide is so long lasting and so filled with unanswerable questions that it wreaks havoc, lingering in the minds of their families’ minds which no one should have to endure.