Ben Simpson

Kathleen M. Heide

in Understanding Parricide

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195176667
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979028 | DOI:
Ben Simpson

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This chapter discusses the case of Ben Simpson who at age 18 shot both his parents. Mr. Simpson died of multiple gunshot wounds within a few days; Mrs. Simpson survived but her recovery took a few months. Ben was subsequently charged with capital murder in connection with the death of his father and with attempted first-degree murder with respect to his mother. Ben's case is significant because it does not fit into one of the three basic types of parricide offenders: he does not fit the profile of the severely abused child, the dangerously antisocial child, or the mentally ill child. Many factors came together for a “perfect storm” to cause death and destruction. One early contributing factor was Ben's parents' failure to set consistent limits for Ben. Unquestionably out of love, they over-indulged their son and tried to right his wrongs. As a result, Ben did not grow up. At 18, he had not learned how to tolerate frustration and solve his problems. The shooting likely would not have occurred if Ben had not become severely intoxicated and returned home in his delusional and enraged state. The ready availability of firearms made it all the more difficult for this youth to resist the impulse to react violently.

Keywords: adolescent parricide offenders; male offenders; clinical interviews; psychological assessment

Chapter.  13548 words. 

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