Saturday February 22, 2020

Slipping Into Darkness: the unpalatable truth about ‘familicide’

After a week when a father murdered his wife and three children, a look into the minds of what criminologists call ‘family annihilators’

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor

4th September, 2016
Undertakers arrive at the Hawe family home in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan Picture: Colin Keegan

Of all violent crimes, those that involve a husband killing his own children and his children’s mother is one of the most difficult to comprehend.

The most common explanation is that they must have snapped, or lost their mind in a moment of insanity. And that it’s something so rare nobody will ever understand it.

The truth is slightly less palatable.

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