Thursday, April 12, 2012

Parricide



                We have all been in arguments with our parents, maybe even told them we hated them at some point out of sheer anger. But murdering them is not something any of us would consider doing. Unfortunately sons, daughters and step children do kill their parents and there are numerous reasons they do so. The term used is parricide and it is defined as “the act of killing one’s parent or other close relative. Some reasons for doing so range from mental illness to result of abuse to the parents not liking their girlfriend or boyfriend. Regardless of the reason I think it is an interesting topic that is worth taking a look at. First of all a lot of the times the people committing parricide are minors. The fact that someone has the ability and will power to murder the very person who brought them into this world and supports them is extremely disturbing. When looking up information on parricide I came across a few different cases that showcase different motives for the crime of parricide.

                The first case is an example of when mental illness leads to parricide. Although the person was older when she killed her parents it is still parricide. 47 year old Kathleen Marie Van Scoik had a history of mental illness and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was not taking the medicine that was prescribed to her. She was under the impression that her parents were stealing money from her and were going to have her committed into an institution so she devised a plan. She invited her 71 year old mother over with the intention to murder her. When he mother came over she stabbed her and then got at ax and chopped at her neck until “the gurgling sounds stopped.” Once the crime was committed she calmly called the police and told them what she had done. In this case when you take a look back at this woman’s history it seems that this tragic murder could have been avoided. She had been treated before and was showing progress but after a divorce, a death of her only son and then the death of her second husband her disease just got worse until she finally snapped.


                The second example of parricide that I came across is a case that truly baffled my mind. Sommer Loren Brooks was only 22 when she murdered her mother over a fight about CHORES.  Sommer and her mother got in an argument about chores when she snapped. They got physical and after a brief struggle in the backyard she tied her 52 year old mother up and kept her in the basement. After spending a night tied up Sommer’s mother knew what was coming and asked for her daughter to just give her sleeping pills to get it over with. When the pills did not work Sommer was extremely enraged and proceeded to bludgeon and torture her mother with an ax until she died. After the murder she went out with friends who reported that she acted completely normal and happy. It wasn’t until later that night that she confessed to a friend who then convinced her to call the police. Two months before trial Sommer committed suicide after a few failed attempts while being held in jail. This story is astonishing but it gets crazier. Before the murder even occurred neighbors heard the mother screaming and called the police. The neighbors thought the sounds were coming from the woods so the police came up empty handed after a brief investigation.

                The last example is of parricide that stemmed from the person being abused. In 2011 a 17 year old boy shot his mother and step-father. He reported that his mother had been abusing him his entire life which resulted in the murders. From most of the information I came across it seems like the reason children kill their parents is mostly because of abuse. When they can prove that they were abused it is also more likely that the court system will be more lenient on them. I think in these cases it’s sad that they were abused but the ways they go about murdering their parents are truly disturbing. 


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4 comments:

  1. This is a very disturbing subject. The example with the girl who beat and killed her mother with the ax is just horrible. I could never imagine intentionally hurting either of my parents in any way. They have done so much for me, and raised me well. They are really two of my best friends, while still doing their job as disciplinarians. I understand how people with mental illnesses could do it, but I don't know how any other person could kill their parents.

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  2. I have heard about kids killing their parents but never knew there was a term for it, so this is a very intriguing post. Kathleen who killed her mom, that was a scary and disturbing story. All of that could of been avoided if she was just taking her medication. if she was mentally ill, she should of received way more care, especially for the loss of her son and her husband. The sommer case is just crazy, people have some serious issues, killing and torturing your mother because of chores, that is just horrible. Even if a child is abused there are other ways, positive ways to go about the situation. I do not think killing the parents is the best solution these people can come up with, even if they hate them so much there is always counseling and therapy or something else.

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  3. I have read a couple of books about teens that have killed there parents and some of them killed over the most trivial things. I could never imagine killing anyone especially my parents. I think that it is really disturbing that Sommer could just go out with her friends and act like nothing happened.

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  4. The first thing that comes to mind is the Lizzie Borden, the woman who killed her parents with an axe. Just like it is unimaginable for a parent to kill their child, it is the same reasoning that a child would not kill their parents. The last case emphasizes that after years of abuse from his own mother, he saw the only way that it would end would be for him to kill his tormentor, his own mother. The examples where the parents were killed so brutally over nonsenses are the most disturbing examples. I have argued with my mother and father so many times I can not even count. The thought of harming them has never crossed my mind because I know at the end of the day they love and care for me. Mental illness can play a role in this like the first example. In cases like those the person can not be held accountable to the full extent of the law.

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