A father in New Hampshire has done the unthinkable, killing both himself and his son at a supervised visit at the YWCA. Muni Savyon, 54, was doing a supervised visitation with his son Joshua Savyon, 9, when he took out a handgun and ended both of their lives. His friends and family said they never saw it coming even though Savyon had been complaining of depression for months and had even sent an email to a friend threatening this.
The details of this case are sparse but chilling. The YWCA hosts supervised visitation and custodial drop-offs. Savyon and his wife were either separated or divorced (it isn't immediately clear), but clearly he wasn't allowed to be alone with his son for some reason.
Apparently Savyon, who was born in Israel, had just returned from his brother's funeral and was feeling depressed. He sent an email to a friend suggesting he might be suicidal and may even harm his son. But friends claim no one REALLY thought he might do something like this. See below:
Still, his rabbi has said:
He was going through a very, very difficult battle over his son. He was visibly distraught, so my guess is that’s what led to this.
The boy was shot several times before Savyon turned the gun on himself. All of it happened in front of a counselor who managed to escape unharmed.
Investigators tell a different story, though. They say he DID threaten others, contrary to what his friends and family say. In fact, they say in the past, Savyon threatened his wife, their son, and to take his own life.
It's a tragic story and it sounds like his friends and family don't want to take the blame for not seeing the signs. But they aren't to blame. Sadly, the only person who can be blamed is now dead. Yes, it's vital to recognize the signs of depression and get them treated, but who could think anyone would be capable of such a cruel act? This child's poor mother will never see her son again, all because no one thought he could've gone through with it.
Clearly, we need to look at depression as possibly more dangerous than we have in the past. But it's more than that, too. These kinds of custody battles can leave both men and women (depending on who gets the bad end of the deal) feeling distraught and helpless. It's not clear that more or less time with his son could've stopped this. But clearly supervised visitation didn't keep this child safe. Something is so broken in this system and let's hope in the rush to blame, that isn't ignored.
My heart goes out to this mom. The shock and pain won't ever go away. We can only hope something has been learned that may prevent another tragedy like this.
Do you think this could have been prevented in some way?