The question I wish to ask is – Would you say the persons who perpetrated the crimes that are discussed below were ‘normal’ or were they in need of greater medical attention than, perhaps, offered or sought?
Some months ago, in Omaha, USA, a young man, Robert, entered a mall and opened fire indiscriminately. He killed eight people – innocent shoppers and staff – and injured and traumatized many more. He had no grouse against them. He did not even know them. He said that he gunned them down because he was “depressed and wanted to die in style.”
To me, it’s obvious that Robert’s mental, emotional and spiritual health were seriously upset.
The story which follows was in the news in London recently:
Three young men came out of a bar some time in the wee hours of the morning, or late at night. One of them found his aunt, a physically disabled lady, prostrate on the pavement outside the bar. He kicked her and when she didn’t get up, poured water all over her. His acquaintance zipped out his cell phone and urged the young man on, saying “This is You Tube material!” The young man went on to urinate all over his aunt, who bore it all lying on the ground, helplessly. She died soon after.
Even in a drunken state, surely, the young man who perpetrated the dastardly act on his aunt knew he was doing a vile act! What could have made him so depraved? Just a plain mean streak? Or was it something more?
David Tarloff was a normal, handsome young man just about two decades ago. And then, something happened. We don’t know what. But he became a different, and difficult, person. When his parents found it impossible to carry on with things as they were, they took David to a physician. The physician recommended them to a psychiatrist who diagnosed that David was suffering from acute schizophrenia. Now, some 18 years later, one can no longer call David handsome. And, he looks a lot older than he should. Apart from appearances, his mental condition has led him to commit a murder, of which he is only half conscious. His parents wanted him institutionalised because they believed he was a threat to others’ lives. But they were not taken seriously. Could something have been done, when David first changed, to make him go back to what he was so that, today, he could have been what he should have been – a happily married young man, with a stable job and kids, like his brother Robert?