I kinda got dinged for considering family annihilators mass murderers. And I get it, the FBI does not classify family annihilators as mass murderers. I do for two reasons… There are two things family annihilators and mass murderers have in common that make me think they are closer together in psychological motivations than say a family annihilator and a serial killer.
Similarity 1: Most mass murderers commit suicide. Now, a lot of times, it’s suicide by cop, but their death is part of the plan. For some reason, this is the same for family annihilators. While I know Chris Coleman, Chris Watts, Chris Longo, and Scott Peterson did not commit suicide, not even suicide by cop, after they were captured. They are the exceptions, not the rule. The majority of mass murderers and family annihilators “save the last bullet for themselves” so to speak. These two types of killers are literally the only two types where their death is among their goals. Well, besides suicide bombers and kamikaze pilots, but those aren’t really up-close and personal murderers.
Similarity 2: The other goal of a mass murderer is to kill as many people as possible. The same is true of a family annihilator… Their victim pool is more limited, but ultimately they will wipe out their entire family, even the distant and remote relatives, if given the chance. There have been multiple instances of after a family annihilator has eliminated the immediate household, they’ll be caught enroute to their parents’ or siblings’ home. But as I said, we don’t think of it this way, because their victim pool is more limited. There are a lot more potential victims if you climb the clock tower on the Texas A&M campus than if you decide to eliminate your family, which is probably two or three kids, a spouse, and maybe a parent living in the home. A family annihilator in Mexico in the 1990s actually killed his family during a quinceanera. Because of his chosen time and location, he managed to kill his kids, his wife, her parents, one of his own uncles, while injuring several others.
This second similarity isn’t restricted to mass murderers and family annihilators, as all forms of multiple murderer will kill as many people as possible when the time comes. However, as I go through the mass murderers and family annihilators I’ve chosen for the October series, you’ll start to see the trend I see with the two. Their decision to kill as many people as possible is less thought out than other forms of multiple murderer and I kind of think, it’s related to similarity one. That was a bit confusing. Serial killers will take victims of opportunity, but they experiment with the taking of victims and hiding their bodies, so they can continue to kill without getting caught. Mass murderers and family annihilators don’t seem to put that kind of effort and thought into their plans. They expect to get caught or die, so they don’t need to plan ahead a whole bunch or plan for the aftermath.
At any rate, because of these similarities, I consider a family annihilator a type of mass murderer. Especially, if they have 3+ victims in a single event.
Now, having spent 2 days on the subject, I’ll add a caveat. There are at least 2 family annihilators on the list that are serial killers, not mass murderers. And those two do show the planning and forethought that I expect to find when I delve into the case files of a serial killer.