It’s a story we are hearing far too often. Parents embroiled in custody proceedings, lashing out and venting their rage, not only against their estranged spouse, but indiscriminately taking the lives of innocent people.
Fathers and mothers across the country leave Family Court disappointed and upset, but most of them do not arm themselves with an arsenal of weapons and shoot their ex-wife and seven other innocent bystanders.
But that’s exactly what Scott Dekraai, 42, did this week in a small town in California. Media reports indicate that Dekraai and his ex, Michelle Dekraai, also known as Huff, were fighting over their 7-year-old son Dominic. It was also reported that a restraining order had been made ordering Mr. Dekraai to keep his distance from his former wife, after she complained that he was unstable and had been physically abusive.
Proving once again that restraining orders are largely ineffective when you have a person bent on a course of action, Mr. Dekraai showed up at the upscale hairdressing salon where Michelle Dekraai worked. Salon Meritage was busy as usual with multiple staff and an assortment of clients enjoying their time at the beauty parlour.
Dekraai killed eight victims including his former wife and the shop owner who allegedly told him to leave the shop minutes before his murder spree began. Others were seriously injured.
What comes over a person to murder their son’s mother and seven innocent people? Psychologists and criminologist point out that there is no simplistic answer, however, narcissism is often one of the contributing factors.
Where a person’s life is all about them and what matters most to them, their focus is on what they want and how they feel. Frequently, their image and status is much more important than anything else and when that is challenged by a custody dispute, their rage is engaged.
The utter selfishness displayed by Mr. Dekraai is most obvious when one considers that he eliminated his son’s mother and likely faces life in prison for himself. What an ugly legacy to leave with a child.
Regrettably, we have become a society where adult tantrums, random violence and spousal abuse are commonplace. Is it any wonder that life has so little value?
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang