Disturbing murder-suicide trend in San Diego

Another murder-suicide in San Diego County. This time, in Oceanside.

It's the fifth one this year, and questions are now being raised as to why this is happening with such frequency.

Police believe the decomposing bodies, along with a suicide note, mean the couple had been dead in the home since June 24th.

For many it is difficult to understand such desperation where one could kill a loved one and then themselves.

Within this year, San Diego has seen a rash of murder-suicides.

Some even involving families with young children. It begs the question, why is this wave of murder-suicides happening? Could this be considered an epidemic in our county?

We turned to Dr. Bonny Forrest to help answer some of these questions.

“You do find a copycat phenomenon often times in these sorts of murder suicides. If you're in a domestic violence situation or extreme financial despair and it seems like a way to fix things quickly when you don't see any other solution to the problem, then you tend to see a copycat phenomenon,” said Dr. Forrest.

In January, police responded to a potential murder suicide in Santee.

A man called 911 saying he shot his wife, was going to shoot himself and burn the house down, and if anyone interfered he would shoot them as well.

A neighbor said the man told her the couple was being evicted from their home.

“This is how he said it, we were told because we lost our jobs, Governor Arnold, when he cut the school budget cut both of us my wife and me lost our job and now my wife is even sick with cancer,” neighbor Ruth Taloza said.

Then in late May, in the Skyline area of San Diego, police responded to a shocking scene.

Four dead bodies drowned at a home.

“How could this happen to anyone? Why would this happen to anyone? They don't deserve this,” family friend Alex Jasmund said at the time.

Police say this murder suicide was deliberately planned by both the father and mother, who also took the lives of their two girls.

Financial problems are the suspected motive.

The third murder-suicide happened roughly a week later, when a Chula Vista family was found strangled to death in their townhome.

Police believe the long-term boyfriend of the mother killed her and her two young children, then jumped off a bridge on Highway 125 in Spring Valley.

Then, what would have been the fourth murder-suicide this year happened in Lakeside.

Police say a man shot his ex-wife then tired to kill himself with carbon monoxide.

He was unsuccessful and is currently in policy custody.

Then the fourth murder-suicide happened in Bonita, this time a father and his two teenage boys.

Police responded to a burning house.

Inside they found the bodies of the three shot to death.

“The dad looked like the dad that you know, his kids were just like me you know, the most important thing in the world and they played all the time in this neighborhood, you know you'd see them out playing,” said neighbor Pat Valdivia.

Police say suicide notes were left and financial problems are the suspected motive.

And finally Tuesday, a couple who had not been seen or heard from for more than a week were found shot to death in their apartment in Oceanside.

Motive is still undetermined, but court records show they had filled Chapter 13 bankruptcy back in November of 2008.

Experts say murder-suicide cases happen in waves.

For a small minority of people inclined to this type of violence, all that is needed is a tipping point.

Categories: KUSI