Clay & Rebecca Duke -- A Case of the Quaid Crazies?

Amy Kuras

By now you've heard all about Clay Duke, who fired shots at a school board meeting before taking his own life. It's a horrible story. The question on most people's mind is: Did he snap because of an underlying mental condition ... or was it misguided loyalty to his wife?

After reading an account of some things Rebecca Duke said to a local TV station, it sounds as if they may have had a case of a folie a deux ... a shared delusion between couples. She comes across as thinking he was behaving only out of love for her, not out of paranoia or violent impulse.

It's possible they had some sort of shared delusion, similar to what some experts think Randy Quaid and his wife Evi might have; they both seem to believe she was somehow personally wronged by being fired, and that the school board was an enemy.

Duke told the members of the Panama City school board that he was angry over his wife's 2009 firing by the board. Rebecca Duke was a elementary school teacher of kids with special needs, and apparently hadn't been able to find a job since her firing.

However, the fact that she was away from him at the time of the incident would point to some other disorder; couples who have this tend to be passionately attached to each other and refuse to be apart. She told a local TV station that at the time the incident at the school board happened, she was in another Florida city looking for a job.

And despite the whole "pointing a gun and firing shots at several innocent people" thing, she insists her late husband never meant to hurt anyone.

"Basically he loved me, he loved his family and he was just trying to get people [to] stop as he would say 'dump' on me and get me an answer so I could move on, so we could move on," she said.

Wow ... we all would like a guy  that will stand up for us and take our side, right? But there's a line, and "firearms at a school board meeting" crosses it.


Image via CNN

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