Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Murder - Suicide in Miami

The Miami Herald reports on the latest in what's becoming a fairly common phenomenon.

Miami police on Monday released the names of five people killed in a murder-suicide over the weekend.

Police said Guillermo Lopez, 48, barged into a birthday party and fatally wounded four people, including his estranged wife, Lazara Mendez, 50.

Also killed: Mendez's daughter Nayla Canfux, 19; Francisco Casas, 27; and Casas' grandmother, Maria Lefran Christ, 77. Casas' connection to the Mendez family is unclear.

About 20 people were celebrating Casas' birthday -- he turned 27 on Sunday -- at the home in the 2800 block of Southwest 38th Court.

After the shooting, Lopez took off in a red pickup truck. He shot himself to death after setting his home and car on fire.

Unlike some of the recent cases we've discussed, here and here, this one does not seem to be in the same category. The others were supposedly tied to the economic crisis, the fact that the shooters had recently lost their jobs and could no longer support their families. That, of course, brings up some fascinating questions about men who think their families would be better off dead than without them. But that's another discussion.

Today's discussion is about the Miami man who seems to fit into that other all-too-common category: men who express rageful anger by killing people in crimes of passion. The weapon of choice in these cases is, not poison, not knives, not baseball bats, but firearms, of course.

Do you think there's a connection between the tremendous availability of firearms in American society and these bloody incidents? I do. I believe that if guns weren't so available, some, not all, but some of these incidents would be less costly and some wouldn't even happen at all.

Why do gun enthusiasts resist that idea so much? Why can't we agree on that and then talk about a solution? Is it because the pro-gun folks are afraid of what that solution might be?

What's your opinion?


  1. Asked, answered, completely refuted and ignored by you MikeB.

    this is getting old. thinking Weer'd may really be right...nothing but a troll.

  2. I'll add this

    Is it because the pro-gun folks are afraid of what that solution might be?

    So far you've proposed nothing but removing firearms from society.

    Geee, I wonder if we should fear that solution.

  3. Yep, Bob, He's nothing but a Troll. He's also a bald-faced liar.

    Wanna know why he didn't know the difference between an M-16 and an AR-15, nor the fuction of either? He was never a Marine. That's a lie.

    Want to know why he so easily blames parrent for the actions of their children when it's convenient for his argument...also while he has no sympathy for us wanting the tools to protect our families?

    Because his wife and kids are also a lie.

    Hell for all we know he may not even be living outside the US, he might be like Muddy, sitting in a convolecent home waiting for the nurse to bring him his meds.

    We'll never know. But we DO know what he says is unture, and he has no wife and kids, nor a military service record.

  4. Riiiight, as if he couldnt have barged in, chained the doors shut, doused the place with gasoline and lit a match.

    You'll never admit it Mike, but guns aren't the problem.

    These events BTW are not "all to common"

    Also, we know what your "solution" is, and we do fear it, for good reason. All one has to do is look at history to see where your "solution" leads.

  5. Mike,

    Great article from Fox News about the murderer who killed the teens in Wisconsin.

    Kinda shows that not all murderers are mentally ill. Some people are just evil.


    MILWAUKEE — The unemployed Army veteran who shot and killed three teenage swimmers last summer is so indifferent to his killing spree that he compares it to spilling a glass of milk.

    "Do you get all upset about it? No, you just clean it up and get another glass of milk," Scott J. Johnson, 38, told The Associated Press recently by phone from the Marinette County Jail. "It might sound sick or sadistic to come off that way but that's pretty much it."

    I think this quote really goes a long way to explain how I feel about you excusing the actions of criminals

    Johnson won't apologize to the victims' families. "I don't care what they think," he said. "Anyway, considering the act I did, an apology would come off as pretty weak, you know?"

    Sorry but it seems that you want to allow people to apologize, spend a few years getting their "head on straight" in a psych ward and then be released....doesn't that come off as pretty weak?

    According to a psychologist's report released Tuesday by the state Department of Justice, Johnson felt empty and numb the day of the shootings and told the doctor his "purpose was to kill. Jesus could have been walking with Moses that day and I would have killed them."

    Johnson added, "You don't have to be crazy to do what I did, just angry," said the report by psychologist Deborah Collins.

    He said he turned to alcohol and marijuana. Eventually he quit his job to spite his ex-wife by taking away child-support payments. That and writing bad checks led to a number of arrest warrants.

    Seems like there is a pattern of criminal behavior, decisions made out of choice...not mental illness, but pure simple choice.

    His hazy plan on July 31 was to kill the teens as "bait" to attract police, then take out officers one by one.

    "I was either going to be shot and killed by police or be in prison for the rest of my life," he said

    Cold and evil, not insane.

    Johnson said his initial plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was forced on him by his lawyer. He dumped the lawyer and pleaded no contest.

    He has never been mentally ill, he said. Instead he just "snapped," driven to kill in part by the trauma of being separated from his kids.

    Reminded that other men lose custody of children but don't go on killing sprees, Johnson still didn't apologize.

    "That's true, that's their choice," he said. "I guess I'm lashing back. I'm taking a punch at the system."

    A person made a coldly rational decision to kill, he recognizes that he could have made other choices....but CHOSE not to.

    He still replays the shootings in his mind — but never feels a pang of remorse.

    "It was very easy to kill," he said matter-of-factly. "Very easy.

    Tell me how some one like this deserves to live, in in prison for the rest of his life? Sorry but some people, through their choices deserve to die. Not for revenge, but to show society there are some actions that are beyond the pall...some actions so horrendous that the consequence is death.

    This guy deserves to get the death penalty.