Saturday, January 4, 2014

A New Breed of Killers: Family Annihilators by Sara Niles

Mass shootings, spree killings, and family homicide appear to have reached alarming levels in the United States, if the national news is any indication.

Mass murder by the FBI serial murder typology
is the murder of four or more people at one time, occurs in the United States every 2 weeks, and incidences of mass shootings appear to be on the increase, with over 20 having made the national news during Obama's presidency alone.

It is both frightening and awful that strangers kill strangers, who have done nothing to harm them; yet it is even more alarming to see family kill family, in mass shootings, and targeting acts of murder that includes children. The annihilation of one’s own family has become so commonplace, that a term was coined in order to label it: ‘family annihilator’.
The coining of the term “family annihilator” which has been used on television programs such as Criminal Minds has been credited to Park Dietz
Park Dietz  the famed forensic psychiatrist who testified in high profile cases such as that of Jeffrey Dahmer, The Unabomber and Andrea Yates; usually on the side of the prosecution.

A man or woman, who chooses to commit mass murder, serial murder, or spree murder, is usually a violent societal deviant; and in the absence of mental illness, such people are extremely ego-centric and often narcissistic individuals who expect the world to satisfy their needs. Regardless of whether their particular ‘world’ is comprised of one person, or includes groups and subgroups, these people feel entitled to wreak vengeance upon the center of their world, if they are pushed far enough. They feel entitled to commit murder as a final act of perverted vengeance, and they often do not have the type family bonds that prevent them from doing harm to even the most innocent of victims, their own children.  In domestic violence situations, sometimes a family annihilator steps out of his or her own dark world and invades ours. The FBI definition of a mass murder is the killing of four or more people (not counting the killer), and a family annihilator kills close relatives, even his or her own children.
Two days after Christmas, this past year, on December 27th, 2013, in Lockport, LA, Ben Freeman killed his newest wife, then proceeds to his ex-wife’s parent’s home, where he kills his former mother in law, shoots two other former in-laws, and proceeds to a third destination and kills another person; bringing the total injured and killed to  seven, by the end of his rampage:rampage

There have been many cases like Freeman’s, some much worse, such as the family killing spree of James Rupert in 1975, in which he killed 11 family members on Easter Sunday, the  Easter Sunday Massacre
On Christmas Day, 2011, in Grapevine Texas, a man dressed  himself as Santa and killed six of his family members during a Christmas party, before killing himself: Father Kills family dressed as Santa

It is most likely Freeman expected to kill his former wife and his children, but they were not home. The individual, who can murder family members and especially their own children, is a strange monster in society; an aberration of a human so far removed from normal, that they become fascinating in their deviance. People want to know why a person can do such a horrible thing, and what type person can obtain educations, like normal people, ambitiously pursue careers, like normal people, and impress their friends and co-workers-once again-like normal people; yet be so far from normal.

The  FBI identified traits that are common among serial murderers that also fit into Dr. Robert Hare’s Psychopathy Check-List, revised (PCL-R), and those traits are also held in common with many individuals with a pattern of extreme domestic violence: charm,  exaggerated sense of self-worth, lack of true empathy, and resistance to the acceptance of blame ; among a plethora of other traits.

These men or women are great actors, who manage to take on the role of being a caring and giving person, a romantic, and a devoted parent; when in fact, the deep love of others that gives such a role legitimacy, is sadly missing. By the time the victims discover this discrepancy, the abuser is heavily invested in the relationship and refuses to let go. They tend to delude themselves into a feeling of being wronged by others, and become obsessed with the idea of punishing those who have wronged them, at all costs. Once men, or women like this reach the point of no return, their own emotional ‘tipping point’, it is often too late, because they set out to kill.