California Father Loses Custody Battle and Murders Eight People

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


6 thoughts on “California Father Loses Custody Battle and Murders Eight People

  1. Your title is a bit off, it should read: “Abusive husband has primary custody of child and sues for sole guardianship and loses – kills 8 people”.

    He actually had the child almost 60% of the time, and would have been considered the primary parent. He was seeking to be the one solely in charge of the child for school, medical, etc. The court actually entertained this application and had the family assessed.

    The most mind boggling part is that the court ordered psychologist and the Judge found that *everything was good* in this situation, which is in and of itself a scathing indictment of the family law system.

  2. Georgialee, you touched on a number of important points, and I believe that the narcissism aspect is the most crucial.

    And AC, in fairness, you cannot blame the judge or the psychologist for this horrible event. Certainly he felt that he had a beef, real or perceived, with his former wife. But what about the other seven persons, most of whom he presumably didn’t even know. Generically this type of homicide is classed as a “family massacre” situation, even though a number of the victims were not even family members. The assailant, driven by complex and often unfathomable reasons, mows down everyone in sight. Fortunately, it is relatively uncommon.

    During a number of years working homicide, I only experienced this type of situation on a couple of occasions. But most people don’t understand that homicide investigators do not just investigate murders, they investigate all types of sudden, unexplained deaths, from suicides to accidental deaths such as an inadvertent accidental shooting.

    And, particularly, in the case of suicides, I have found that they can be either maliciously motivated, or simply a desire to remove oneself from the gene pool without causing inordinate distress to loved ones. Comparison:

    One case. the father walked into the house after work, said nothing to his wife or family, went into the bedroom, and blew his head off with a 12 gauge shotgun. The bedroom, being relatively non-ventilated, resulted in enormous physical damage to the suicide…he was completely unrecognizable. And he did that, knowing that his family, who would obviously have rushed to the bedroom, would be exposed to the results of his action, and the sight of the damage would scar them for life. A demonstration of the rage he felt.

    A different case, a serving member of the RCMP, who clearly experienced a sense of hopelessness, but did not want to expose his family to the gory results of his suicide. He drove his car to a remote location, called us immediately prior to shooting himself, told us where he was and what he was about to do.

    What he didn’t realize was that I, who had shared a beer with him after a pickup hockey game the week before, would be the guy attending his autopsy. But that was not his fault, as tormented by events as he may have been, he tried, I think, to do the right thing by his family.

    The point of my post, I think, is that people are governed by a slew of problems in life, interractions with others, basic bad situations, and how they tend to respond is governed by what type of people they really are. On a day to day basis I am exposed to narcissists, they don’t kill anyone, or themselves, but the bottom line is…if they went down that path, it would just be all about them,. They just don’t give a damn about me or you. I am not a shrink, but I believe that there is a fine line between narcissists and psychopaths…I just don’t know where that line is drawn.

  3. Normally I would read your posts and not bother to comment. Now, I don’t know if you are familiar with my blog [], but I would like to invite you to do a guest post on it. As you can tell our writing styles are somewhat similar so if you are interested, let me know. Best Regards, Wife Is Cheating On Me

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