Even if despair over unemployment and financial problems drives one to the irrational solution of suicide, it does not sufficiently explain why this man would murder 5 other members of his family, including his three children. I think it is apparent that, while financial stress might have contributed to this chain of events, there has to be considerably more background to this story than is noted in the brief news reports.
For one thing, the family should not have been financially destitute, unless this man was making some very unwise investment decisions:
Ostensibly, according to notes he left behind, the man decided that it was "more honorable" to kill his entire family than to just kill himself. Are we really to believe this man's twisted noble motives about being "honorable" when it involves murdering his three children? Is it more "honorable" for his children to be dead than to have to live at a reduced economic level? Or was this man trying to keep his family from learning of how he had blown their finances and dishonored himself in their eyes--and killing them was the only way to do that?
I do not think this is a simple hard luck story due to our current economic crisis. I think there is considerably more than meets the eye here, and we may never know the full story behind this tragedy.
At some point, in response to stress, this man's thinking about how to deal with his financial problems became irrational. He became psychiatrically disturbed, and was clearly a threat to himself and others. For all we know, his disordered thinking may have been the reason he got into so much financial difficulty--perhaps he did not fully consider the financial riaks he was taking, or maybe he was trying to live too far above his means given his assets.
Whether his family realized his deteriorating mental state, or whether they urged him to get help, we do not know. But we do know, that on Sept. 16th, he decided to purchase a gun, a gun that became a murder weapon. Were this gun not so easily available to him, he might never have decided to kill his family. Killing 5 people quickly is not that easy, but having a handgun makes it a whole lot easier. The gun gave him the means, and it did become part of his "solution".
A man who holds an M.B.A. degree is not completely unemployable, certainly not to the point where logically he should become suicidal and homicidal. He might have to settle for a job he did not like, or a job he considered beneath him, but someone with the intelligence and ambition to earn an advanced degree very likely has options which might not be available to the average person who has just gotten laid off from a job at his local bank or construction site. But again, we don't know how much debt this man racked up, or what else was going on in his life that might have added to the stress of his financial difficulties. All we know is that he decided to escape from his life and take his family with him.
I don't question, for one minute, that there are many, many people living under severe stress, and under conditions of real hardship, due to our current economic problems. And I think these numbers may continue to increase before there is any real relief in sight. I don't question that this stress will lead to an increase in depression, dispair, and overwhelming anxiety, and that this may translate into a higher suicide rate.
I just don't happen to think that this particular case is typical, or that it represents a clear connection to our current national economic situation. As I said before, I think there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye.