Mothers and Fathers Who Murder

Less than a week before the Benoit killings, New Jersey engineer Thomas Reilly and California businessman Kevin Morrissey each decided to kill their children and then themselves.

Reilly, 46, drowned his two young daughters, ages 5 and 6, in the bathtub of their Montclair, N.J., home before hanging himself from the attic rafters.

Morrissey, 51, shot his wife and two daughters in a parked car at a popular park near Berkeley, Calif., before turning his .357 handgun on himself.

Police investigating the deaths of Morrissey and his family said they found a note in which he said he was distressed over the family's financial situation.

Morissey ran a skin-care clinic with his wife, Mamiko Kawai, 40. The couple's two daughters were Nikki Morrissey, 8, and Kim Morrissey, 6.

Phillip Resnick, a psychiatry professor at Case Western Reserve University, said Morrissey may have been "severely depressed and believed his family was similarly miserable. He was ending the entire family's pain."

"Money is often an issue. The man sees himself as a breadwinner and may feel like he has to take the whole family out with him," Resnick said.

Local, state and federal agencies do not specifically track familicides, and discrepancies in the way the crimes are classified make getting an accurate count difficult.

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