High Number of Murder-Suicide Cases Unusual

Experts perplexed by four cases of murder-suicide in one month

By Sarah Grieco
|  Monday, Jul 11, 2011  |  Updated 10:30 AM PDT
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High Number of Murder-Suicide Cases Unusual

In Lakeside, a 63-year-old man was arrested for reportedly killing his wife then attempting to kill himself.

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Experts say the recent murder-suicide pattern in San Diego is unusual, according to North County Times. There have been four murder-suicides in 31 days, leaving 13 San Diego residents — six of them children — dead.

The three incidents in Chula Vista and one in Oceanside since May 24 are unusual to have in such a short period of time, according to experts.

But each case is different, said Dr. Alan L. Berman, director of the American Association of Suicidology in Washington, D.C. He said nothing happens in any systematic way with these types of events.

A study published in 2009 showed that previous incidents of domestic violence often precede murder-suicide cases. Another risk factor is access to guns, said experts.

"Prior domestic violence is by far the No. 1 risk factor in these cases," Dr. Jacqueline Campbell of John Hopkins University said.

Read the full story at North County Times.

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