Murder and Suicide: Is the Recession Killing Us?

Last week, when I arrived in Palm Beach the media was focused on a business man Neal Jacobson, 49, who murdered his wife and two children at their McMansion in Wellington, FL.

Apparently, Jacobson was upside down in several properties and owed over $1 million in debts. Although his finances were a mess, it’s an incredibly illogical step to move from bad business to murder. Is this a cultural phenomenon brought on by peer pressure, or merely a few loony bins who flew over the cuckoo’s nest?

Last year the big trend was financial failures committing suicide. Newsweek reported:

Recent weeks have seen a spate of suicides by some of the most financially powerful people in the world. German billionaire industrialist Adolf Merckle lay down in front of a train after huge investment losses threatened his family’s business empire. Chicago real-estate mogul Steven Good shot and killed himself in the driver’s seat of his Jaguar after the property-auction business turned sour. RenĂ© -Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet lost $1.4 billion to Bernie Madoff, went to work, took sleeping pills and slit his wrist.

Are the new wave of killers so self-absorbed they are more focused on deleting others rather than themselves? Obviously, all killing is bad. But there’s something more honorable about falling on your own sword.

I hope this is not the start of a new trend. Capitalism needs some better role models during these turbulent times.