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SamIAm's avatar

What do you do if your child grows up to be a murderer?

Asked by SamIAm (8633 points ) January 11th, 2011

I don’t know if this question really has an answer…

Between the Arizona shooting this past weekend, and last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I’ve been thinking.

Do you know anyone who has had to deal with this? Have you personally had to deal with anything like this?

How do you cope with something like that?

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11 Answers

anartist's avatar

Jefgrey Dahmer’s parents did a very difficult but brave thing. When he was murdered in jail, they offered his brain to medical science in hopes of discovering something about its makeup that made Jeffrey what he was.

Mostly I would be in agony, both for the families of my child’s victims and for the horrible fate of my child becoming what he or she became. And I would tear myself apart with guilt because maybe I could have done something to prevent his or her twisted growth into a monster. And I would feel shamed before all the world. Without strong family support, I might kill myself.

Meego's avatar

I’m not sure. I think similarily those parents that have children that are or have been actively involved in criminal activity may have somewhat of the same feelings if they are at all normal. If my child acted criminal in any manner I would feel bad for all parties involved, usually criminal activity never is without a victim. That being said murder is the worse and I would definatley express my most outward disgust to my child and their actions and make sure they repay to the victims families in anyway even if it had to be the death of my child. I really think teaching understanding to my child at that point would be #1 on my list as well as taking responsibility for their actions, and making sure there was justice for all involved.

Pandora's avatar

I don’t know what I would do but I would probably feel devastated and horrified at the pain he/she has caused some other family. I would probably feel guilty wondering if there was something I could’ve done to prevent this. Unfortanely there aren’t sudden cures for mental illness. From what I understand he was mentally ill and even kicked out of school because other students didn’t feel safe around him. Trying to self medicate with street drugs didn’t do him any favors either. His parents probably didn’t feel safe around him either. It is a tradegy for anyone to go through.
I for one would probably need counseling after something like that. I would have a hard time dealing with the fact I helped create a life that took other lives. I would probably feel,angry, sad, confused and cheated.

laureth's avatar

I married into this family.

Before I knew them, my husband’s brother killed their father, shooting him until he bled out, in hopes of getting the insurance money. It didn’t work out that way and he ended up in jail for about a decade (he was a minor at the time of the crime). At some point inside, he did a lot of soul searching and realized how wrong it all was. When he got out of prison, he was a changed man and even married a woman who had four kids by three fathers who were growing up as young hooligans in a trailer park, in hopes of raising them right. My mother-in-law stood up for him as “best man” at the wedding when no one else would.

I guess it depends on the murderer and the family involved. Is there any kind of remorse? Is he or she putting life straight? My bro-in-law built a house for his new family with his own hands, and the kids all seem respectable now – so something must have gone right. He hosts all the family “holidays” (Thanksgiving, Christmas etc) so we, as family, seem to be supporting our own.

Cruiser's avatar

A childhood friend murdered a dude in a drug deal gone bad and served time and when he got out we never talked about it. The new mohawk he sported kinda said don’t ask me about it either.

If it was my own kin…I would tell people asked about it to fuck off..

BoBo1946's avatar

Terrible thought, but even worse thought..hard to judge which is worse would be for one of my grandchildren to have been at that Safeway and were killed. I thought about that when Dallas Green’s granddaughter was killed. Gosh she was a wonderful little girl. Sad deal.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would be very disappointed in my child and would question why the murder was committed and would make sure my child would be punished accordingly. They wouldn’t get off just because they’re my kid.

Meego's avatar

@laureth I for one have been always on the side of forgive as long as I feel like there is some kind of genuine emotion involved I will take that as repayment, but some people will not, for some it’s hard to forgive. I really don’t know if I believe in forgiving and forgetting as many things are very hard to forget, it’s probably just a saying kind of meaning it will never be brought up again. I find I have a hard time at that in which I can forgive but I always rehash things and replay the coulda, woulda, shoulda’s, doesn’t mean I didn’t forgive. Not everyone can do that. Sounds like your MIL and family has that side of forgiveness your BIL is one lucky guy, not many get that. I like that your BIL has turned around, surely when he committed the crime he was not thinking of the outcome of what the value of a life meant, then again I think we don’t really understand the value of life until we are upwards of around 30. For me it took losing my husband and father to natural causes earlier than expected because before that I did not care if I died now I’m afraid to die because I know that means it’s the end of everything that I know, I like knowing.

sahuleka546's avatar

I don’t know, I’d try to stop him/her for sure but if he got caught, I’ll defend him in court. I just hope he doesn’t turn out to be a psychopath.

gondwanalon's avatar

The only way that I would be able to continue living would be to dedicate the rest of my life to helping the poor and the needy. I would trudge on through life with a black cloud always over me while trying to do good for others.

stardust's avatar

I think I’d find it unbearably painful to deal and live with. To think that someone I’d brought into the world could inflict so much pain on others.
I don’t have children yet, but I know I’d also feel devastated for my child and what they were or weren’t feeling that would lead them to do something so unspeakable.
I’d feel guilty for not noticing the signs that he or she had become utterly disconnected from themselves to the point where life has lost value. I’d feel devastated for all involved.

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