On Friday, March 17, Christine Adewunmi took her three daughters, eight-year-old Lauren, six-year-old Samantha, and three-year-old Kate to a remote Missouri camping ground. The 37-year-old was suffering from bi-polar disorder and had planned to admit herself to a psychiatric ward. Now it is clear that her emotional difficulties had already consumed her. Believing that she was suicidal and in danger, her concerned husband filed a missing person's report.
A day later, the lifeless bodies of Adewunmi and her three daughters were discovered. She had shot each of her children in the head before taking her own life. The shocking crime recalls a similar 2006 murder in which a father suffering from bi-polar murdered his five-year-old twins. David Crespi of Charlotte, N.C., revealed that his battle with mental illness led to horrific thoughts of murder. He told ABC:
I thought about killing other people. They were irrational, random, crazy thoughts that horrify me.
These same thoughts may have plagued Adewunmi. It is common that parents who have thoughts of endangering their children are too ashamed to seek help. Perhaps the answer to Friday's murder/suicide lies with Crespi's motive. The long-suffering father was watching his two youngest children, Tessara and Samantha, when he had a dangerous revelation:
It just came to me. There is no future. There is nothing. And that's the way it's all aligned for them to die.
By the time his wife came home he had stabbed both of them to death. It was not until Crespi was imprisoned that he began to receive sufficient psychological treatment. It was revealed that he was misdiagnosed with depression, which is why his initial efforts to get better failed. Unlike Adewunmi, Crepsi called 911 after commuting the murder and, though he was on suicide watch, he never attempted to end his life after the murders. Yet, at the time of the case, Dr. Maria Oquendo, a psychiatrist, explained why in some instances parents kill their children before committing suicide:
They feel that they don't want to abandon their children, so they will take their children with them.'
In an exclusive interview with Oprah, he was asked why he killed his children instead of himself. He revealed: I tried it before, and I promised my wife I wouldn't do it again. To which she responded: I wished you had promised her not to harm your daughters. Crepsi agreed stating: I wish I had too.