Consider dad JOHN MARSHALL. He has a criminal history including domestic violence (at minimum, a battery case from 1997), a history of violating injunctions, and a history of not paying child support. In the past, he's engaged in "ugly custody battles" (i.e. endlessly battled the mother for control of the children, so as to punish/harrass/bankrupt her, and mimimize or eliminate child support).
Seems to me we're describing the classic background for a domestic killer. And yet the guy from the sheriff's office scratches his head, and for the life of him can't figure out what the guy's "motive" for this double murder (and suicide) was? Does Daddy need to write it out in chalk on the sidewalk for you?
So seven years had passed since the initial divorce. Big deal. It's amazing how long an abuser can nurse a grudge and keep fighting for control. Seven years is nothing. Ask the women who are still looking over their shoulders 20 years or more after leaving an abuser.
So at some point, Daddy decides to go for the ultimate control grab--power over somebody's life. So he mows down his ex-wife, the mother of their five children, and her new husband. So in a way, Daddy finally managed to "succeed" in his custody battle--his children are truly motherless now. Which is the only "motive" a lot of these abusers have. It's not so much they want to act as parents, because they often just dump the children on somebody else even when they do get custody. They just want to wound the mother in a way that will hurt her the most. Whether the children are hurt is just irrelevant. That's why it's not uncommon to see abusive fathers who secure visitation--and even SOLE CUSTODY--murder the kids at some point. That's just the icing on the cake in terms of their sicko control fantasies.
3 dead in murder-suicide
Updated: Thursday, 06 May 2010, 11:39 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 06 May 2010, 8:22 AM EDT
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Seminole County deputies are investigating an apparent double murder-suicide near Lake Mary. It happened Thursday morning in the 500 block of South Sundance Drive.
Authorities say the bodies of two people were found on the sidewalk and another was found inside a sport utility vehicle. Deputies say one shooter killed two people and then turned a gun on himself. The victims have been identified as Dale Leigh Marsh Burkhart, 54, and Orval Burkhart, 59, of 730 Holbrook Cir.
The suspected shooter, identified as 59-year-old John Marshall, came to the scene of the crime right after his daughter and ex-wife had left their home. Deputies said he was trying to shoot his way into the the home, first through the front door and then through a side window.
Dale Burkhart, who was the only one inside the house at the time, ran out of his home in an attempt to escape. Investigators said Marshall then got on a motor scooter and chased him down.
"When I was heading out the door, I heard four shots, right in this area," said neighbor [DELETED], who grabbed with licensed gun and called 911.
At the same time that deputies said Marshall shot his ex-wife's husband, she drove back around the corner in her sport utility vehicle. Deputies said Marshall shot her to death before she could drive away.
"From the house where it all started, to the intersection where it ended, it's only 6 houses or about 50 yards," said [DELETED]. "I just went right around the corner and I saw the gunman."
It was while [DELETED] was on the phone with 911 dispatchers that Marshall took his own life.
This all happened around 7:30 a.m. when neighbors said children were walking to nearby middle Greenwood Middle School and Lake Mary High School.
"Right now, we are trying to see what motivated this," said Lt. James Clark with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. "The couple has been divorced for more that seven years."
Authorities said Marshall and his ex-wife have five children together and following the divorce, an ugly custody battled ensued.
"I think it's unfortunate, and I think its kind of crazy," said neighbor John Bridgeman. "I lived in this neighborhood a long time. God bless the family."
The only indication of recent trouble, investigators said, was an arrest which occurred a couple of years ago. Marshall was taken into custody when he showed up at his ex-wife's house, violating an injunction. In addition, Marshall has a criminal history involving a domestic battery case in 1997 and child support issues dating back a decade ago.
"The suspect in this case is a very mysterious individual. We don't know a lot about him. We know he has an abusive type demeanor to him, but nothing that would have indicated this," said Lt. Clark, adding that Marshall has lived in multiple states and even several different countries.
Authorities have seized computers at the home to see if there had been any contact in recent months between Marshall and the family.