Why Angry Men Kill
By Jack Levin 30/12/2009
Typically the motive in a family annihilation is revenge.
It is normally preceded by a nasty separation, divorce or child custody battle and the primary target is almost always the wife who is blamed by the man for all his miseries.
He decides to get even by killing everything associated with her and everything she loves.
There are also cases where a man sees a murder-suicide as altruism. He may have lost his job or be in debt and cannot provide for his family. He takes their lives before his life believing they are better off dead.
Most cases develop over years, not days, but there is usually a catalyst - a negative, life-changing event. It takes several factors working together. The vast majority of these murders are committed by men.
The reasons that men kill in divorce/custody situations are almost always anger and revenge, and not misguided altruism. This is especially true when the reasons for a divorce/custody dispute were complaints of abuse being committed by the man against the woman and or/child(ren). The current climate in family court forces the victims to remain in contact with the abuser when there is a child in common based on false propaganda and rhetoric. The truth of the matter is that abusers don't make good parents. (Especially deniers who claim they are "falsely accused") Also, the abusers are the ones who are most likely to kill. Until the legal system recognizes the plight of the victims and puts access to children as being more important than safety or well-being the death toll will continue to rise. Even if the abusers don't kill the victims, they live a tortured existance until the child is 18 and/or ages out of the legal system, tolerating the abuse or having to defend against legal abuse inflicted by an abuser engaging in a custody battle.
- Antisocial personality and/or an overly dependent personality
Alcohol and/or drug abuse
Lack of employment
Lack of education
Growing up in a violent/abusive home
Age disparity with the husband being significantly older
Child in the home who is not the partner’s biological child
Separation or threat of separation by the woman
History of sexual jealousy
Access to firearms
Threats of use of a weapon
Risks for murder-suicide, specifically, are: the man being white and older than the woman, being married, a pattern of pathological jealousy, a history of battering, depression and suicidal ideation, and a threat of separation. The key distinguishing factor between murder-suicide and the more usual form of domestic homicide is the presence of depression and suicidal ideation. Guns are the most common weapon used in murder-suicides(Violence Policy Center, 2006)based on the fact that if you shoot someone, the gun is right there for the shooter to commit suicide.
For more information on this:
Will He Kill?
Family Safety Current Trends – About Domestic Homicide and Murder-Suicide
Violence Policy Center: When Men Kill Women
Violence Policy Center: American Roulette - Murder-Suicide in the United States