Wednesday, October 31, 2012

At Least He Did Not Use A Gun...

But it is still a tragedy, and if not for the unusual choice of improvised weapon, this would have been only a local news story.  The headline is not an excuse, it appears.  From October 30, 2012 ABC News:

Widow: Man Who Killed Texas Pastor Mentally Ill

The man who rammed his car into a Fort Worth-area church then beat the pastor to death with an electric guitar apparently suffered from a mental illness, his widow said.
 From October 31, 2012 McClatchy News Services:
Birdow said that she begged her husband to get help and that he went to a hospital a few days ago. But "they let him go."...

Earlier Tuesday, Derrick Birdow's brother, Glen Birdow, said Derrick had been acting strangely for about a week, saying that people were coming to kill him and that someone had stuck him with a needle.

Glen Birdow said he drove from South Texas to Fort Worth on Thursday to try to persuade his brother to check into a hospital. But the brother resisted.

"I love my brother. The whole family loved him, but they know that wasn't him," Glen Birdow said.
Birdow died when police used a Taser on him.  According to family, he was not a drug user, and this bizarre behavior developed quite recently -- in the last few weeks.  He was 33, which is a little old for schizophrenia to develop, but certainly not unknown.  It also appears that the pastor had been engaged in marital counseling with Birdow and his wife.  I wonder if the pastor missed the signs of mental illness?  I would love to know the story from the hospital where Birdow's brother took it.  Did they not see that there was a serious problem?  Or was Birdow's unwillingness to be hospitalized the problem?

How many more of these tragedies does it take?

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  1. Apparently a lot more. Fitting your "unusual choice of ... weapon", here's a recent case in Minnesota about a 22 year old man who did in his mother and nephew with a samurai sword. Mental illness is suspected.

  2. I of course wonder what kind of electric guitar he used to beat the pastor to death.

    Fender Stratocaster? Les Paul Historic R9 by Gibson?