In our online Course “Forensic Science (CSI)”, we at Police Science Institute carefully consider the emotional impact of a homicide-suicide case not only upon the victim’s family and friends, but as well with regard to the impact upon the Crime Scene Investigator himself / herself.
Living in the aftermath of a homicide-suicide is very much akin to living in the aftermath of a rape, assault, accident, and/or, more global events, such as a war, terrorist attack, and, a natural or man-made disaster.
Homicide-suicides are traumatic because they are sudden and unanticipated when they occur regardless of the genesis. Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are very common afflictions resulting from family members not seeking out or getting necessary care.
Apart from family members and friends of homicide-suicide victim, some of the toughest and best-trained military, police and other specially trained professionals become overwhelmed by traumatic events.
Regardless of whatever the relationship to the actual case, after a homicide-suicide, it is likely that every human being involved in any way has some part of their psyche that is hurting or has been damaged in some way.
When someone dies, especially by homicide-suicide, the immune system is depressed, creating raised risk for both physical and mental health problems. As such, proactive efforts must be undertaken in order to get the help needed in order to avoid further biological vulnerability and negative repercussions.
It is never a sign of weakness to get help, but instead it is a sign of good sense and healthy self-preservation. Family members must come to the reality that getting on with their lives after a homicide-suicide will be made easier if professional help can be obtained.
Complicating it however, is the fact that a homicide-suicide not only adversely affects family, friends and the attending investigative personnel, but can also have a very profound and expanded effect upon the communities in which they occur.
Persons other than family members, such as neighborsand friends from church, work, clubs and other places in the community, are also impacted by the event. Young children and grandchildren may be deeply affected by the homicide-suicide, and, when that is the case, they should be watched carefully and provided the opportunity to talk about it without forcing them to do so.