Fourth case of area matricide in last year

Posted at: 10/05/2013 12:23 AM
By: Dan Levy

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The discovery of two bodies, a mother and grown-up son, inside a Saratoga Springs mobile home on Friday, marks the fourth time in just over a year that a Capital Region person is suspected of murdering a parent.

This week, it happened in Saratoga Springs. In July, it happened in Schaghticoke, where Anthony Repp allegedly killed his mother and stepfather inside their home, the same week James Dibble allegedly gunned down his mother in her Ephratah home. And Joshua McWain will spend 19 years in prison for murdering his mother in Wilton in the summer of 2012.

"Even though we can point at several cases, it's not like a daily occurrence," says Dr. Rudy Nydegger, a Schenectady psychologist. "Frequently, the way to think in terms of what precipitates a suicidal action is an extreme and pervasive sense of hopelessness."

Dr. Nydegger studies murder-suicides by creating a psychological autopsy of each individual case, finding witnesses, interviewing people who knew the parties, and placing into context the life circumstances of the victims, with a purpose to prevent future occurrences.

"That's precisely what you're looking to do," Nydegger says, "You're looking to hopefully understand these things so that when circumstances that may be reminiscent of this emerge, that you have a better handle earlier to be able to intervene."

And Nydegger believes people should intervene, especially if they notice family members or neighbors who are starting to all-of-a-sudden act differently.

"People who used to be hanging out in the front yard and talking to neighbors, all of a sudden are very reclusive or very difficult to talk to," says, "There may be something going on. Does that mean you report them? Of course not, but it also would be a reason to say, "I haven't seen much of you guys, why don't you come over."

And after having that chat, if you continue to believe something isn't quite right, Nydegger suggests you get in touch with professionals, like him, for their opinion, or, perhaps, if you're convinced there is a serious problem, then you need to contact authorities.