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Monday, June 25, 2018

Florida is the third state with the most cases of murder-suicides

Por Kvothe

A recent study called The American Roulette, of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), a non-profit organization that studies violence in the United States, concluded that 663 people died in the United States during the first six months of 2017, about 11 cases per week, in incidents classified as "murders-suicides", said a note in El Nuevo Herald digital site.

Of that figure, the VPC reported that 367 people were killed and 296 committed suicide. The report says there is no national database to track murder-suicide cases, but cites medical studies that estimate that 1,000 to 1,500 incidents of this type occur each year in the United States.

The study, based on the monitoring of news reports, comes to light after recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that stated the suicide rate has been increasing in almost all states in recent years and is currently the tenth cause of death in the United States.

Florida is the third state in the country with the highest number of murders-suicides and deaths from these incidents, second only to Texas, with 37 cases and 84 deaths; and California, with 29 cases and 66 deaths, according to the study. In the first half of 2017, there were 25 incidents in the "state of the sun", which left 61 people dead. Jeremy Pettit, an expert in depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior at the International University of Florida (FIU), told El Nuevo Herald that murder-suicides are a public health issue as well as a society problem. However, there is little research on the subject, he said."

Until we ensure that mental health and suicide prevention are a priority at the local, state and national levels, suicide and suicide rates will probably continue to rise as they have in the past 15 years," said the investigator. Pettit also affirmed there are many reasons why someone commits suicide after killing another person, but added that in most cases, the decision to take his own life precedes the murder.

Citing the American psychologist Thomas Joiner, Pettit explained that murder and suicide come from distorted beliefs about mercy, justice, duty and other virtues. "For example, a man who has decided to end his life may believe that he has been terribly mistreated by others and, by his own distorted view of justice, decides to kill those who have done him wrong before ending his own life ", he said.

Another case may be that of a woman who decides to end her life and assumes the idea of murdering her children as a merciful act to avoid pain and suffering, Pettit said. Such was the case of Stephanie Hoover, from a small town in South Dakota, who killed her husband and son before taking her own life.

In a handwritten letter, Hoover explained that she decided to kill her husband because "she can´t take care of children alone, let alone keep them. They would lose the house and they would not have anything", and their son because "he is better in heaven with his mother, where I can take care of him and be at peace ".

On the high number of cases in Florida, the researcher believes that it is due to the population of the state, the third in the number of inhabitants according to the United States census.