Troubled Grandmother Kills 2 Grandsons, Then Herself

Horrifying 30

handgunThis is one of those stories that just haunts you, the kind of horrifying tale you wish wasn't true. Debra Denison picked up grandsons Alton and 6-month-old Ashton from day care and was supposed to take them home where a party was planned for Alton's second birthday. The problem is, they never showed up. An Amber Alert went up for the three as those who knew them feared something sinister had happened. It had -- but what they discovered was beyond their worst nightmares. Denison had shot and killed her defenseless grandchildren before turning the gun on herself. And as more facts of the case come to light, it seems there were signs something may have been wrong with the woman all along.

Family members have said that Denison had bipolar disorder and a history of mental health issues. The parents knew Denison had a gun and even told reporters that she had "split personalities." Frightening details, to be sure. Still, I can see why they never thought the boys' grandmother would ever hurt them. She was family, after all. And you never want to believe that a family member, especially one so close, could do something so evil.

More than that, sometimes it's hard for people to really see the danger lurking. If you have been around this person your whole life or for many years, their odd behavior may seem normal because they have always acted that way. Police believe that Denison had the gun when she collected the kids. Their bodies were found in a parked car two hours after the alert went out and the deaths were quickly ruled a double murder-suicide after a suicide note and revolver were uncovered at the scene. (Details of the note have not been released yet.)

It's such a difficult situation for these parents. No doubt they have many questions about why this happened. They talked about the joy of planning Alton's birthday party in the days leading up to the disappearance and how excited they were to watch him open his new toys. Now, they must plan three funerals. Just heartbreaking.

Do the details of this story shock you?


Image via RobBixbyPhotography/Flickr

child abuse, crime, death


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BlueJane BlueJane

At the same time you're not supposed to discriminate against people with mental issues. There are many good people with bi-polar but then you hear stories like this and it makes you nervous.

Just a sad, sad story.

schlis schlis

I can totally see my mother doing something like thism that's why she's never been allowed near my children and never will. What a heartbreaking story. Those poor parents.

the4m... the4mutts

I would never allow someone with a mental illness to watch my children if I were aware of the illness. As much as I ADORE my MIL, she is schitzophrenic (sp?) And bi-polar. She has never been left alone with my kids, even though all signs point to the fact that she would be 100% fine with them. Its just too much to risk.

I had a temporary mental disorder brought on by hormone and cemical imbalances, made worse by improper medication, and I chose to forgo child support from my xh in return for him keeping the kids at his house, and letting me hang out durring the day. Im better now, but I know how I was when I was psychotic.

I dont judge the family for letting gma have alone time with the kids, at all. Most families would. Its just a precaution that I choose to take with my own kids. I feel terrible for them.

jalaz77 jalaz77

So sad. There are a lot of mental disorders out there. Different degrees. If a person is compliant with meds being bipolar goes unnoticed. Certain disorders I would leave my kids alone with, not going to get into which ones cause I will be here forever. If they knew she was unstable, noncompliant then she should of never been alone with the kids, supervised visits only. It's sad either way.

Debal... Debalexxa

there is an article posted on our local news channel in CT that the daycare was very familiar with the graandmother and noticed nothing unusual yesterday when she picked them up....I live in CT with the Sandy Hook tragedy now this it is just heart breaking....I just pray for the family

Christy Culp

this is so heart breaking who would of though that a grandmother would ever do something so bad. i thank god everyday for my boys and pray for them and there safety as well. i feel really bad for the mom and dad. but also you never no what going to happen these days and who to trust and who not to. so the best bet is keep your kids with you and always be the one to pick them up from school or daycare. again my heart goes out to this family!!! so so sorry for your lose

Panda... PandaPop83

Being bi-polar is one thing, but schitzophrenia is another. If I knew of a person who had split personalities, I don't think I'd ever trust them with my children alone. Anything could happen. It's also another thing to know this unstable person had a gun. I, personally would not have allowed this person, grandmother or not, to be alone with my kids. They'd be allowed around, but not alone.

Jacki Burgess Browning

split personalities is TOTALLY different than bi-polar- I have depression and anxiety and panic disorder but would never hurt my child nor anyone else's! I was told I "may" be bipolar but they are not sure- all of it is subjective diagnoses- people like this give a complete bad rap to other people with mental disorders!!!! It is NOT fair to lump everyone with a mentla disorder in a group of people "to never let watch your kids"... that is ridiculous!

nonmember avatar trisha

Look people, it is very easy to judge not knowing the situation. I think in life we all have a little mental disorder or breakdown every once in awhile, obviously she trusted her kids with her mom, yes I feel awful but what makes me upset are people judging other people!!!!! And the gun situation, come on people dont act Stupid, its very simple to get a gun and does not show up on backround check that u have bipolar. SHIT IS SCREWED UP today lets start praying for the families in need. News and Reporters tend to the sick people who causes this shit and we forget about the victims

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