A woman came home to a horrifying scene this weekend. Police say her husband allegedly shot their two kids, killing their daughter and critically injuring their son before killing himself.
On Saturday night, Daryl Benway, recently separated from his wife Kellen, and his 7-year-old daughter Abigail were both found shot to death in the master bedroom of the family's Worcester, Massachusetts home. His son Owen, 9, was discovered in the kitchen with a bullet wound in the head, but still alive.
Daryl's brother, who lives on the first floor of the home, called the police after finding the bodies. Kelleen, completely unaware of what had happened, found police and reporters swarming her home. Police at first detained her, then escorted her to the hospital where her son was being treated.
So far, investigators have learned that the couple had separated three or four weeks ago but were still married. But a family friend told reporters Daryl was feeling financial pressures. “He was losing his house, and it was three times in a row he was losing it,” said David Farrar. A neighbor couldn't believe the news: "He’s the most happy-go-lucky guy I know. I just don’t see him doing that,” said Sue Brennan, who lives behind the Benway home.
What I can't wrap my head around is why this father felt the need to take his kids out along with him. Shooting yourself is one thing, but killing your little children is beyond sick and disturbing. Frighteningly, this is just one of several recent high-profile dad killers.
In February, Josh Powell tried to kill his two sons with a hatchet before igniting an explosion that ultimately killed them all. He was suspected but never charged in his wife's disappearance two years ago. Then there's divorced dad Aaron Schaffhausen. He's the North Dakota construction worker on trial for slitting the throats of his three young daughters. Police found them all tucked into bed with dried blood covering their faces in July. And what about the father accused of tossing his 2-year-old daughter in a creek while she was still strapped in her car seat? What in the world is happening? This is just madness.
Have you noticed an increase in crimes where parents kill their children? Why do you think this is happening?
Image via Drab Makyo/Flickr