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Proving Suicide Over Murder

September 23rd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

The Christopher Vaughn trial has gripped Chicago headlines for the better part of September, but the trial raises some very important issues involving a murder trial, proving suicide, and mental illness. Vaughn is accused of killing his wife and three children in an SUV on a frontage road off of Interstate 55 before turning the gun on himself and creating two superficial wounds in his thigh and wrist. 

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Christopher’s deceased wife, Kimberly, spoke with her sister in the week preceding her death about her increased anxiety. Defense attorneys for Christopher argue that the sister’s testimony of Kimberly’s alleged bi-polar disorder corroborate the idea that she would indeed commit suicide. According to WebMD, the National Mental Health Association reports “that 30 to 70 percent of suicide victims have suffered from a form of depression,” such as the bi-polar disorder Kimberly could have suffered from.

According to Freakonomics.com, the only two U.S. areas where the homicide rate is higher than the suicide rate are Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Many high profile cases that many in the media and around the water cooler may have thought were murders are ruled suicides, or murder-suicides—which is what Vaughn’s case will be if the charges are dropped against him.

The idea of proving that a death was a suicide and not a murder is not a new one, but with modern forensics and DNA testing it’s more possible now than ever before. Vaughn’s case differs from the norm, however, in that in most cases involving the death of a loved one the family attempts to prove what has been ruled suicide was in fact murder. Regardless, his could be a devastating case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you or someone you know is suffering charges similar to Vaughn’s after the death of a loved one, don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago-area criminal attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Written by Staff Writer

September 23rd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

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