U.S. Market Crisis Can Lead to Mayhem Experts Say

Authorities are becoming concerned that the economic woes could turn more violent, and they are advising people to get assistance. In some places, mental-health hot lines are jammed, counseling services are in high demand and domestic-violence shelters are full, the Associated Press reported.

A laid off money manager in California loses his wealth and wipes out his family in a murder-suicide. A 90-year-old widow from Ohio shoots herself in the chest as authorities arrive to expel her from the house she called home for 38 years.

“A lot of people are telling us they are losing everything. They’re losing their homes, they’re going into foreclosure, they’ve lost their jobs,” said Virginia Cervasio, executive director of a suicide resource center in southwest Florida’s Lee County.

Karthik Rajaram left a suicide note saying he was in monetary mess and reflected on killing just himself. But he said he chose to kill his entire family because that was more respectable, police reported.

Rajaram once worked for a top accounting firm and for Sony Pictures, and he had been part-owner of a financial holding company. But he had been out of work for several months, police added.

“The financial stress builds up to the point the person feels they can’t go on, and the person believes their family is better off dead than left without a financial support,” said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Washington D.C.-based Violence Policy Center.

It’s not yet clear there is a statistical connection between suicides and the economic downturn. But historically, suicides rise in times of financial hardship. And the current economic crisis is already being called the worst since the Great Depression.