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‘Similarities in murder-suicides, but...’

By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

The recent murder-suicides that left two men and  significant others dead is not “an exclusively copycat type syndrome” but inclusive of the pressures of depression and frustration within the relationships, clinical psychologist Dr Krishna Maharaj has said.

Maharaj explained to the Express yesterday that although yesterday’s murder- suicide may have similarities to the first one that occurred on January 4 they are inclusive.

On January 4, 24-year-old Shastri Roopnarine of San Juan shot dead 23-year-old Amanda Persad and then killed himself.

Yesterday, Dian Paladee, daughter of the founder of Pennywise cosmetics, was shot dead by her ex-husband Sanjeev Rambarran who then turned the gun on himself. 

“There may be similarities between the cases in terms of the anger and the frustration and the sense of hopelessness and lack of reconciliation.

“It is easy for people to say—and we may find other cases here in Trinidad which may suggest—look if we don’t resolve our problems that we are having you see how the first couple resolved theirs we will resolve it the same way. So it is inclusive of whatever pressures they may be experiencing,” Maharaj said.

Maharaj noted that it can be very difficult to pick up on that point of frustration where a person will go through with committing murder-suicide but there are signs and behaviours that can be noticed when people intend to commit such an act.

Relatives and friends, he said, should pay close attention to their loved ones going through difficult and stressful relationship situations so as to pick up on the behaviours.

“Some of their behaviours may suggest what is about to take place—like they can tell loved ones or close friends that they are going through this just for a little while and they may begin giving away their personal possessions or they may be saying ‘look I am going to have a resolution by 24 hours. I am not going to have this problem again’ and when they are asked how, all they can say is  ‘you all will see, you all will see’. 

“When you recognise that kind of behaviour it might be a good idea to keep them under observation...especially in the family setting, you want to do a bit of supervising and  monitoring and being alert. And especially if they have a history of making threats---- saying the only way to end this thing is to terminate it. You have to be careful because they may just act out a threat then,” he said.

Maharaj said domestic conflicts should be settled in a more civilised way and it is interesting that whatever conflict people may have been having they did not seek out mediation as a means of resolving their problems.

He said usually people having conflict and emotional turmoil settle it either at the courts or one of the parties may say if we don’t abide by what I say the consequence is going to result in a fatal outcome. 

 
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