Thursday, December 1, 2022
Human InterestMan kills his family: Massacre or orchestrated murder?

Man kills his family: Massacre or orchestrated murder?

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What drives a man to commit murder-suicide? What pushes a father to butcher his children and their mother? Do men who slaughter their own families, the real perpetrators of the crimes committed? Or they are just victims of heinous but well-plotted murders themselves?

 In 2019, there was the Chris Watts murder of his pregnant wife and his two daughters who then buried their bodies in an oil work site.

In July this year, a Michigan woman was killed, together with her mother and son, by her husband. And just very recently, the chilling story of a Phoenix man who killed his wife, toddler son, and twin baby daughters and then committed suicide.

A United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report says that in 2020 alone, nearly 47,000 women and girls around the world were killed by their intimate partners or other family members.

This means that on average, a woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family every 11 minutes. The same report reveals that women and girls experiencing fatal aggression at home appears to be a more prevalent problem than the killing of women and girls outside their abode.

Coverage of murder-suicide cases

News reporting on familicide cases and murder-suicide (a multiple-victim homicide incident in which the killer’s spouse and one or more children are slain) has normally focused on the personal situations of the offenders. This includes money problems, anxiety over the wife’s career, emotional pain from childhood, and the incapability of providing for one’s family.

In many instances also, when fathers kill their children, the media’s immediate leaning is to perceive it as a case of mental illness (on the part of the offender) or that the murder committed was driven by gender-related issues.

Angles on the Hudgens Family Massacre

According to all newspaper reports based on Phoenix Police statements, Jasen Michael Hudgens, 44, took the lives of his wife Marla Jordan Hudgens, 40, son Christopher Hudgens, 3, and 6-month-old twins Gwen and Faye Hudgens then finally killed himself. The family’s babysitter found the bodies and called the police.

In another news release, police says open propane tanks were found inside the home. A gas line was also inside the house but wasn’t attached to any appliances in the kitchen.

Ken Van Winkle, Jr., managing partner of Lewis Roca, says that “Marla was a passionate lawyer and advocate for her clients. She was an equally passionate leader who worked tirelessly to make our firm a better place. But more than that, Marla was a loving mother and loyal friend.”

If one is a “passionate lawyer and advocate for her clients,” it isn’t farfetched that she could have made enemies in the duration of her law practice.

When a statement from Christopher Hudgens’s employer was released, it confirmed that Chris was a mere employee of the SRP utility company. Couldn’t professional jealousy be behind the murder-suicide? The wife is a lawyer while the husband is just a utility company worker?

In the Arizona Video News report, friends say Marla wanted to end the marriage. Then the murder-suicide took place. Couldn’t this be the reason why Chris killed her and their children? Perhaps, Chris could not imagine a life without Marla, so he killed her and the product of their union (the children) and then killed himself because what’s the point of living if Marla is no longer around?

Or what if Marla has a secret lover, the reason why she wants to end her marriage? Or it’s the other way around – what if Christopher had a mistress but couldn’t divorce Marla? The mistress got tired of waiting and killed them all and made it look like Chris did the dastardly act, after all, he wasn’t brave enough to call it quits with the wife, so why spare him?

All these could be possible angles that authorities need to methodically analyze. But above all, authorities need to “think like a criminal does” because there’s another angle that needs probing into.

Marla Hudgens: Lawyer and Murdered Wife

Marla Hudgens is a commercial litigator, administrative law attorney, and partner of the Lewis-Roca law firm. As a litigator, Marla has tried cases before state and federal courts.

As an administrative law lawyer, Marla also has significant experience navigating regulatory matters through state and federal regulatory schemes. This includes handling utility rate cases, gaming matters, tax disputes, complex permitting, and liquor law issues.

Within the liquor law context, Marla has represented all three tiers of the alcohol beverage industry, providing advice in primary source and franchise law disputes, along with other licensing, regulatory, and compliance matters.

Marla is also an esteemed member of the firm’s tribal affairs group. She regularly works on litigation and regulatory matters for tribes and other industry players working with tribes or litigating in tribal courts.

With all these specialized fields she has worked in, it is a very close possibility that she has infuriated someone or some groups along the way. What if some people wanted her out of the picture?

And the only way to do that is to kill her but make it appear as a case of domestic violence. To make the incident truly believable, the husband and the kids have to be included, because, with that, the husband can be viewed as mentally ill.

Or perhaps, Marla during her litigation-related investigations, found something extremely damaging to someone’s reputation and wealth?

According to a UNODC report, organized crime kills as many people as all armed conflicts combined.

Is the Phoenix massacre just one of the thousands of ‘aimless’ killings in America or it was a cover-up?

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277 selfies after son killed his mom

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