By: Danielle Bell
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What led a Stittsville mother to kill her two children and herself may never be fully realized, experts say. But while the people left behind may struggle to understand, most cases would have had some type of warning signs, whether they knew it or not.
“I don’t think it came completely out of the blue,” said Don Dutton, of the UBC psychology department, who studies domestic homicides. Family homicides usually fall into two patterns, which are either linked to conflict of some kind, such as breakup, or to mental illness.
“The most typical one (of mothers killing children) is a person who is suicidally depressed and, for whatever set of reasons, they don’t want to leave them behind,” Dutton said. “She had probably been depressed for some time and kept it masked.”