This past Saturday morning, 25 year old Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, Jovan Belcher, fatally shot his girlfriend 22 year-old Kasandra Perkins, after an argument in their home. Belcher then drove to Arrowhead Stadium, where he fatally shot himself in the head while in the stadium's parking lot.
Belcher and Perkins left behind a 3 month old daughter named Zoe who is now in the custody of Belcher's mother. Zoe will never know her parents. At three months old it is doubtful that she will have any recollection of being held in her mothers arms or comforted by her father's touch. There is no doubt that her father was a disturbed young man who made a selfish decision, and as a result she must some day be forced to reconcile his actions. Being saddled with the stigma surrounding her parents murder-suicide is a forgone conclusion. I can only assume that Belcher did not consider what effect his actions would have on his infant daughter, who will live the majority of her life as an orphan.
There are an estimated 1500 murder-suicides in the United States each year.
Research reveals the following:
Fathers who kill their children, then themselves, are usually older than the mothers.
Older couples in murder-suicides are more likely to have medical illnesses.
Older men are more likely to kill themselves.
Younger couples are more likely to have a history of verbal discord.
Firearms are the favored weapon.
Victims are overwhelmingly female.
Estrangement is typically the biggest contributing factor.
There are two types of people whose behavior could set off alarms.
The first is a middle aged man who is facing separation or estrangement from is wife or girlfriend, is depressed and has access to firearms.
The other is an older male who acts as the primary care giver to a spouse or significant other who is ill or debilitated. Often times he has a sickness of his own that had been recently diagnosed, severe depression, and access to firearms, according to a study done by Dr. Scott Eliason which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.
Sometimes people want to kill themselves because they believe that someone has stopped loving them. Then that person becomes the target.
"A person who is miserable about the loss of affection in their life achieves compatibility again with this person by execution," said Dr. Frank Campbell, the executive director of the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center in Louisiana. He's been studying suicide for more than two decades and travels around the world to investigate suicide scenes.
"When one commits murder-suicide, they create acceptable consequences to them, they are now with that person in a way they can control," Campbell said.
This is by far the most disturbing information that I have ever read. Jovan Belcher seemed to be living the dream, a career in professional football, a million dollar contract, a beautiful family, and the endless possibilities that come with having your whole life ahead of you. Unfortunately he found some of the ups and downs that came with his life, too much to bear. Living life in a state of reality is not easy for those of us who choose to do so. But, like my father once told me, " If you don't control your circumstances, your circumstances will control you". Controlling your circumstances does not mean murdering someone and then killing yourself causing irreparable damage to the innocent people who are involved, and there are always innocent people involved in some way, shape or form. Belcher's mother is now the only parent that her Grand daughter will ever know.
According to the research, the profiles of those who commit these acts of violence involve women, guns, and depression. Perhaps 3 of the most complicated subjects known to man. However, we must gain some insight into a man's decision to destroy a woman that he loves because there is no feeling of reciprocity. This is an insane, irrational choice that benefits no one. It is impossible to solve a problem by killing it. The only result is tragedy, and pain. Suicide is never a way out, just a way into a place where your pain on earth will multiply exponentially, and never end.
Jesus is the answer to the question, and the positive solution to your pain. If nothing else, we must always remember two things, he didn't create life for us to take it away, and he will never put more on us than we can bear. During our times of brokenness, we must trust in him and not in our own understanding. We are not people people but he is a perfect God.