By Carolyn Harris Johnson
Examines the tragic crime of familicide, the homicide suicide of kids and a father or mother within the context of a dispute over custody or entry. The trauma of this offence reverberates during the households, groups and throughout generations, inflicting psychological and actual affliction and social dysfunction.
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Extra info for Come with daddy : child murder-suicide after family breakdown
To the outside observer these families seemed to resemble hundreds of other families where the parents have separated. However, I believe the information gained from survivors indicates that signs of danger and risk were very evident in the circumstances preceding the offence, and in some cases the risk was apparent for years prior to the offence. These factors were particularly noticeable when the female partner tried to leave the relationship, as several reported trying to do many times before the final separation.
However, she recommended caution in accepting this because the data was obtained exclusively from police offence reports and depended on the perpetrator showing signs of mental disorder at the time of the homicide (1999b: 2–5). Police offence reports are brief and, by definition, are compiled by individuals not trained in the assessment of psychiatric conditions or mental disorders. Obviously, in the case of murder–suicide the perpetrator’s death prevents an accurate determination about their mental health at the time of the offence, or when the bodies were found.
The others had never been to court and believed there was no disagreement about their ex-partners’ contact with the children. Due to the lack of available information about the families of perpetrators or their whereabouts, I could not include data from the paternal side of the murdered children’s families. Thus I have not been able to present the paternal families’ perspective on the offence, the events which led up to it, or the aftermath. This lack of perspective, coupled with the absence of the perpetrators’ voices, leaves a large gap in the research.