Scorned Victims of Murder

There are victims of serial killers and atrocious murderers whom no one cares about. Their names are known. Their connections apparent, their pain obvious, and yet the public at large still ignores them and many even point fingers and gossip. These victims rarely matter to anyone but each other. They are the killer’s family and friends.

The family and loved ones of convicted killers are treated with extreme disrespect in most cases and even abused physically, emotionally and mentally (including cyberbullying) and no one cares. No one does anything about it. I scoured the Internet for hours and found only a handful of articles and videos on the subject. The family members of killers go through an immense pain not unlike the death of a child or loved one. If the death penalty is on the table, the loss of a child is no different for them than other parents. They are left with feelings of horror, grief, denial, outrage, misery and confusion with no one to turn to but each other. Why is their pain any less significant?

Can you imagine how Isaac Zamora’s mother must feel? He is a delusional spree killer from Washington who killed several innocent people, including women and cops. His neighbors, people he liked. Isaac suffers from severe Schizophrenia. For years his mother begged for help. She committed him, she monitored him, she told his doctors of his violent, abusive and unusual behavior. Nothing was done. Or not enough was done. She feels the grief of each person her son killed and the grief of losing him twice. She lost him to mental illness and to murder. Her agony is doubled, tripled that of other involved in the case as she bears it from all directions. No outpouring of public empathy ours her way. She is threatened. She must always be careful and fears for her life at times.

Victim’s assistance programs aren’t offered to the killer’s family.  They are left alone to cope. The public rarely recognizes them positively. An article on CNN states; “In the aftermath of a massacre, questions and criticism are frequently directed at the parents, spouses and children of the accused. The public sometimes sympathizes, often criticizes and even goes so far as to blame family members for the actions of their kin.”

What the hell is going on here?

Many people may point to the fact that it is always close family members who provide the weapons, as in the case of school shooter Adam Lanza, whose mother financed his arsenal. That argument makes no sense, however, when faced with quotes like this about killers; “The more psychopathic they are, the better they are about hiding it.” from violence expert, Sandra Brown. Professional psychologists the world over tell us people are hardwired to believe and protect their kin, even when it comes to facing hard evidence. The human mind still wants to find a solution for the one we love. People must realize that there will always be someone, somewhere who loves that heinous murderer and should not be punished for that.

Experts agree that killer’s families are victims as well. A USA Today article on the subject stated: When young people turn violent, we naturally turn to parenting to explain what went wrong, even though research suggests that hidden, often undiagnosed mental health problems — as well as perpetrators' relationships with peers, teachers and others — can play a much bigger role.

Tragedy Compounded: Killers Parents Become Instant Pariahs
Killers Families Left to Confront Fear and Shame

1 comment:

  1. The first thing that comes to mind as I read this brief post is Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who spent a year preparing for what many consider the worst school shooting in history. Eric had a website where he threatened to kill former friend Brooks Brown. This was brought to the police, and of course nothing was done. Even the day of the shooting, lives might have been saved, had the police moved in sooner instead of leaving the children to fend for themselves and find their own escape route.

    The stigma attached is that people who commit horrendous crimes come from broken homes and ultimately are designed to fail, so it comes as no surprise when they commit acts of violence. But of course, this is not always the case.

    All too often, other key players in the game are not held liable for their role. The act itself becomes what as Tool stated in one of their song lyrics "One big festering neon distraction," until the media throws something else in our face after that 15 minutes of fame has passed.

    My point is, many families do care and do take the necessary steps to correct ill behavior in potential sociopaths and we love to point the finger at them like they are the monster. Meanwhile, the professionals are never considered accessories. How is knowing someone's violent tendencies and doing nothing any different than being the getaway driver in a car like an Eileen Huber any different?

    I'm rambling. It's 7am. I barely had coffee. I wish our system was different. Its beyond the point of broken and if something happens to promulgate change in my lifetime, I will be surprised.

    On a side note, some of the people at my job are on cash assistance and the state I live at provides little to no resources for them to succeed. You might say we are setting them up for failure. One can argue there is unlimited demand and limited resources, but that doesn't change a thing.

    Maybe if we took more proactive steps to make the world a better place instead of pointing our proverbial finger and saying that's the bad guy, and lynching the families of the killers like a Salem Witch Trial for raising such a bad seed, part in parcel to the media's sensationalism, things will be different. Unfortunately, solving problems doesn't make money, reporting death and destruction does.


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