Murder-suicide in Frederick County, Maryland

Earlier this month I blogged about the number of mass murders going on lately.  Well last Saturday the bodies of a mother, father and three children were found in their home in Middletown, Maryland which is located in Frederick County, Maryland.

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According to the Frederick County police the father, Christopher A. Wood murdered his wife and three children and then killed himself.

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It came out today that Mr. Wood was struggling with mental illness and was $450,000 in debt.

According to the police:

At a news conference this afternoon, authorities released a raft of new details about the slayings, describing a scene more ghastly than what had been known since the bodies were discovered Saturday morning.

According to investigators, Francie Billotti-Wood, 33, and the couple’s 5-year-old son, Chandler, were each shot twice in the head. Chandler’s younger brother, 4-year-old Gavin, was shot three times; daughter Fiona, 2, was shot once.

After they were shot, the children’s throats were slashed nearly to the point of decapitation, officials said.

Wood left six separate notes — one to each of his children, one to his wife, one to his parents and sister, and one that described his daily frustrations and the family’s financial trouble.

This is so sad.  After shooting his children he slashes their throats.  Damn that’s cold and heartless.

Wood, a youth soccer coach, was paid $97,000 as a sales accountant for CSX Corp. His wife, who taught liturgy to children at their church, stopped working several years ago to be a stay-at-home mother.

Several experts said slayings of entire families by fathers and husbands are often associated with economic hardship. Some men get to the point where it becomes impossible to tell family members that they’re going to lose the house or that the kids can’t go to college, said Richard J. Gelles, dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice and an expert on family violence.

“If you have built your identity around that you’re the breadwinner, you’re the backbone, and that becomes unglued, it undermines your sense of self,” Gelles said.

My prayers go out to the Wood family.

You can read the following articles for additional information:

Staggered by Family’s Destruction

In Notes Left in Family’s Killings, Md. Man Details Debts, Depression

Slain mother had blogged that husband under stress

The Frederick NewsPost has complete coverage of this murder-suicide:

Tragedy in Middletown

New details in slain Middletown family case

Agencies teach warning signs, causes of domestic violence (A must read)

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