Published on December 19th, 20120
Mental Illness, Murder and Reflecting on Newtown
In case after case that I wrote about where a person became violent, toward himself or others, someone loved him and often knew something was wrong, but didn’t—or couldn’t—get him the help he needed.
It’s important to be clear: We don’t know whether Adam Lanza suffered from mental illness and research shows that the majority of people with psychiatric disorders do not commit violent acts.
But as news unfolded about what happened in Newtown, one story particularly haunts me: Four years ago, my colleague, Nathan Koppel, and I wrote a front-page article about William Bruce, a young man with paranoid schizophrenia who bludgeoned his mother to death with a hatchet.
At the time, Bruce told me he was suffering through a psychotic break; he believed his mother was an al Qaeda operative and he was a special agent reporting directly to President George W. Bush.
Source: Wall Street Journal (blog) Read full article. (link)