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Dr. Anthony Joseph Garcia of Indiana is accused of being a serial killer after he allegedly broke into the home of his former boss Dr. Roger Brumback in May and shot him and also stabbed his wife to death. Back in 2008, he allegedly went to the home of his other former boss and attacked and murdered his 11-year-old son as well as Shirlee Sherman, the family housekeeper.
He had been fired from his position as a pathology resident at Creighton University after displaying "erratic" behavior. But the firing took place in 2001-- seven years before the first murders.
Though police believe Garcia didn't intend to kill the child, he must have somehow gotten in the way or been the only one home with the housekeeper when the alleged killer broke into the home. It's a terrifying thought.
There are so many disturbing elements to this story, but perhaps most bothersome is the fact that he waited for seven years before striking out. It could be that he saw this as a way to not arise suspicion. It could also be that he sat, festering in anger, until he finally blew his top. We might never know what the real motivation was for this wait, but it does make a person nervous about ever firing anyone.
Typically, when you fire a person, you might worry about that day (that's why security often escorts fired people out of the building) or even that week. But generally, you assume that everyone moves on eventually and the wounds of being fired heal.
Sure, it makes sense to be angry and hurt and even think about hurting your boss in return (though murder seems like more than most people would imagine). Being fired is horrible. But clearly, the doctors here were in the right. They clearly knew this man wasn't the kind of doctor they wanted in their practice and around them, whether he was treating patients or just doing research.
Sadly it seems they paid for that foresight with everything they loved. It's hard to even offer up advice in a tragedy like this. Never fire anyone? That seems impossible. Crazy people do manage to get jobs and they need to be let go if they seem like a danger to themselves or others.
This is probably not a scenario most of us will ever encounter, so maybe there is no lesson to be learned. The sad reality is these poor men just happened to cross paths with someone who is accused of being far sicker than they ever could have imagined.
My heart goes out to the families and hopefully this arrest will bring them some peace.
Why do you think he would wait seven years?
Image via osseous/Flickr