It's hard to believe a mother would actually kill her own children. And yet that's what cops think happened in Glendale, Missouri. Police are treating the deaths of Cathy Murch and her children, 11-year-old Mitchell and 9-year-old Mary Claire, as a double murder-suicide.
If the police investigation proves their suspicions are right, that would mean Cathy Murch shot her own kids and herself, killing them all in cold blood. And it would mean she did this all with her husband, Mitch Murch II, sitting right there, completely unaware that his life was falling apart around him.
Cops are saying that Mitch Murch was reading when he heard gunshots. He thought they were coming from outside. Wouldn't you? If you are in your living room paging through the latest bestseller, and you hear a gunshot, you figure something bad must be going down ... outside.
Only it wasn't outside. He told police he found his wife and children dead, and cops found him desperately trying to perform CPR on his 11-year-old son when they arrived.
There's something about the proximity of the murders to this man that make the horrible scene that much more chilling. Perhaps it was an intentional strike out at Mitch Murch, perhaps it was mere happenstance. Maybe Cathy Murch planned to kill herself and her children when they were alone in the house, but her husband decided to stay home and foiled her plans.
Either way, I can't help feeling as if it claws away at that secure feeling we have in our own homes. Outside, we may be on edge, always wondering if we'll round a corner and find a car in our lane, always wondering if some creep will snatch our kids in a crowded mall. But at home, we let down our guard. We don't need to do a head check, don't need to know where everyone is and what they're doing.
And yet, unspeakable horror can visit us there too, while we're doing the most mundane of tasks, and we're powerless to stop it. Along with the grief Mitch Murch will carry, he has that cross to bear right now too. I hope this poor man can make sense of it and find comfort somewhere ... and one day feel safe in his own home again.
Has the sanctity of your home been shattered? What solace did you find to make you feel safe at home again? Any words for Mitch Murch?
Image via Heather Heather Heather/Flickr