Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This Might Actually Be A Medication-Related Mass Murder

This June 17, 2014 Richmond Times-Dispatch article is about what is actually a surprisingly common type of mass murder, but one that is seldom given national coverage: a domestic violence incident.  What makes this so weird is: no previous criminal or mental illness history; no history of domestic disputes.  Instead, there is this very disturbing description:
In a post from July 2012 about an ongoing problem with double vision, which apparently developed after he was hit in the head some weeks earlier, Jernigan complained that the medication he was taking may cause mood changes, sadness and suicidal thoughts.
“I’ve got a great wife and kids,” Jernigan wrote less than two months earlier. “God could not give me anything better than them. I have a great new job, money and a new house. Everyone close to me is so happy for us. So why am I so down and stressed?”
Or, perhaps, there was some neurological damage from being hit in the head? 

UPDATE: A reader commented on a bad hallucinatory experience he had with Percocet.  I had a co-worker many years ago who was given Percocet after his finger was crushed in a car door. He sat up, reading, then turned off the lights.  At this point, he noticed that the wall of his bedroom was full of cubbyholes with little creatures in them, with sharp fangs, discussing how to eat him.

He turned on the light. They went away.

He turned off the light.  They came back.

He turned on the light and read for a bit longer.  The next time he turned off the light, they were gone.

Imagine if such hallucinations went on for weeks.


  1. I was given Percocet after my last back operation. I was hearing voices whenever I tried to sleep. After talking to my doctor about this, I learned that this is a common side effect. If I had kept taking the percocet I truly believe I may have gone around the bend, so to speak. Was terrifying!

  2. Everything I've heard from folks taking Percocet tells me that if I'm ever offered it I want to ask what my alternatives are.

  3. ...no history of domestic disputes ...

    The linked story mentions a previous domestic dispute. And if I understand the timing correctly the quote about being inexplicably down and stressed preceded the injury.

  4. No history of domestic violence. The neighbor described an argument about a barking dog.

  5. I was referring to this:

    ... Jernigan had a previous domestic assault charge in Dinwiddie but the case was expunged from his record, along with court records, a Dinwiddie court clerk said.

  6. This incident hit way too close to me, both physically and in the heart. The mother was the sister of my wife's friend.

    Normally I would try to keep abreast of the issue. However this time I'll just try to console a friend and her family.