Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kenneth McDougall had schizophrenia and had been committed earlier: "He was a 'gentle man' but had stopped taking medication"

When most people hear about a murder committed by someone who is seriously mentally ill, they presume the killer was a sociopath who had no regard for innocent life. But generally, that is not the case.

If a schizophrenic goes off his meds, he becomes a completely different person and has no sense of what he is doing, thinking and irrationally perceiving. He may believe he is acting in self-defense when he kills innocents. Or he may think God has commanded him to attack others in order to save society.

On meds, he would understand, at least, that those are crazy ideas. But off meds, it's a kill or be killed world in his diseased mind.

Kenneth McDougall was off his meds. Justina McDougall died for that. The Winnepeg (Canada) Free Press reports:
A Portage la Prairie man accused of killing his wife has a history of mental illness.

Kenneth Edward McDougall, 54, was charged with first-degree murder after his wife collapsed in their home last Wednesday. Medical officials tried CPR to rouse the woman, but to no avail.

Justina Shteen Unrau McDougall, 47, died in hospital three days later.

Medical officials were doing an autopsy Monday to determine her cause of death.

"My sister was a very loving person who had hundreds of friends," said Helen Unrau, Justina McDougall's sister.

"She will be dearly missed."

Helen Unrau said Kenneth McDougall had schizophrenia and had been committed to a care institution after an earlier incident involving his wife.

Unless a patient can be forced to keep taking antipsychotics, it makes no sense to release him. Yet McDougall was released and not forced to take his meds.
Unrau said the earlier event made her fear something might again happen to her sister.

Her brother-in-law was a "gentle man" but had stopped taking medication, which she thinks was a mistake.

"She was also the victim at that time but she took him back. He was supposed to be cured," she said. "He used to be a very loving husband and father."

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