When someone commits a murder, your thoughts typically turn to the perpetrator and the victim, not the murderer's family members. Yet often relatives of murderers notice red flags before the incident ever occurs, and are left wondering if they could have acted sooner. Due to familial loyalty or maybe unconditional love, people may choose to ignore signs their family member is a killer. Around their families, a serial killer can appear normal, thereby negating any red flags their relatives may notice about them. If their facade comes crashing down, some murderers kill their family members out of spite or a mental break.
Sharing warning sings of murderous family members isn't exactly easy to do, but Reddit gives relatives the chance to tell their tales anonymously. As these relatives of murderers run through red flags, you'll find some of these cases include twist endings you never saw coming. But at the heart of it all, most of these relatives never quite foresaw these scenarios either.
They Knew Something Was Wrong, But Acted Too Late
From Redditor /u/Foopacc:
"My younger brother snapped and killed my mother and himself. He also tried and failed to go after my sisters, who were in the house at the time.
Our entire family suffers from some degree of mental disorder. He was the one who suffered the most from it, and in retrospect there were a lot of things that could have prevented what happened. Our dad ended up offing himself after he turned abusive towards our mom and she moved to get a divorce. We were all pretty young, and my brother was only two so he grew up without a father. Mom always had to work to provide for all of us, so we were left to our own devices for the most part.
My sisters and I would always treat him pretty poorly; it started off as just being directed towards the youngest sibling, and grew from there into us always having a strained relationship. My youngest sister always got into spats with him, and both would always instigate arguments with one another. In time he ended up growing isolated, and was always the odd one out. He was hard to get along with, and inherited our dad's short temper and stubbornness.
When puberty hit, his mental health got worse. He became more and more argumentative, and he became louder and more threatening. At one point my mom ended up committing him to a children's psych ward for a time. She was convinced that my father suffered from schizophrenia, and that my brother had inherited that. In retrospect, I think it was truly a combination of anxiety, depression, and ADHD, all exacerbated by his upbringing.
Some time passed, and at one point my mom found that someone had broke into our basement. Nothing was stolen, but that was incentive enough for her to purchase a gun for self-defense. I don't remember the details, but at one point she gave him access to the key to the gun safe and forgot to take it back. One night he was being incredibly hard to deal with, she was at work and he was texting her and being a d*ck. She made the mistake of texting him flat out that she was going to have to commit him again. I still don't know why she made that decision. He had said before he would kill himself before going back.
That night she went back home and everything was seemingly normal. At some point he brought the gun out of his room and shot and killed her in the kitchen. My sisters ran and hid in their rooms, locking the doors. He went upstairs to kill them as well, but tried and failed to shoot the locks (it was a .22 pistol, the door knobs were filled with holes, but he didn't get in). I am still thankful that he gave up after failing to shoot them open; he could've have kicked open those doors with no trouble, but didn't think to do so.
One sister escaped out of her window, but slipped on her way off the roof and broke her back, leaving her a paraplegic. The other waited things out in her room until it was safe to leave and escape through the other sister's bedroom. The police were already there at that point and brought her a ladder to get down safely.
In the meantime, my brother had gone and shot himself in the bathroom. After some time, the SWAT team threw tear gas grenades through most of the windows and then breached the house, finding the bodies and bringing a close to the night's violence.
I was in my apartment in another town, away at college. I woke up that night to someone hammering on the apartment call button for my unit, but I ignored it as I figured it was one of my idiot friends. Then someone had let them into the building and I heard them hammering on my door. Imagine my surprise to find three police officers at my door in the middle of the night. I thought I was caught since my apartment reeked of marijuana and I'd just smoked a bowl earlier in the day.
Turns out they weren't there for the pot, but to tell me that my mom had died. They did not give me more details than that, not that my brother had died or that he was behind it all. My younger sister had told them not to fill me in all at once, as I had to make my way down and she was worried that I would be too emotionally charged to drive safely in the snow. In the end the police drove me to my friends' house and they took me down to my home town, where I learned all the grisly details. I met with my younger sister and we stayed the night at her boyfriends' family's house. We laid in bed crying and talking until the sun came up, then we watched cartoons with the family's dogs in a light-hearted moment amidst the turmoil.
I think I'll end the story there. There was a lot that could have changed the way things turned out, but of course that is all in hindsight. Life doesn't allow us do-overs, so we've just had to keep moving forward with what has been handed to us.
I know this will probably be buried, but I never catch these threads in time to do otherwise."
He Exhibited Complete Control Over His Family
From Redditor /u/violentre:
"My uncle shot a man and had his children help drag the body to the mud so the pigs could eat it. The man kept hitting on my aunt and telling her 'I'm going to kill your husband. You'll be mine.'
Now he's on the run. The man he killed was an illegal immigrant which, I think, made it difficult for police to pursue the case or if people even reported the man missing. I'm not sure if the pigs ate him or not, I would assume so since I don't think a body was ever found.
I wouldn't say there were huge red flags, but he would have my cousins and aunt steal from us whenever they would visit, likely a sign that his wife and children were to afraid to say no to him.
With that said, he was super nice to us and it was pretty shocking to find out what he did."
His Showed Signs Of Psychosis
From Redditor /u/nocountryformen:
"My cousin always had problems. His mother abandoned him for several years when he was young and his father was old school 'spare the rod, spoil the child' in a borderline abusive way. He got into drugs very early and showed signs of psychosis as early as his late teens after he began using PCP. He began to talk about scenarios like he was the reincarnation of our dead grandfather's soul and he was going to come 'collect' our still living grandmother.
When he began doing meth he stole from his mother and stepfather. When I was 14 he gave me acid and told me it was just like weed (I was a sheltered kid). He was never violent, but super inappropriate with boundaries like breaking into family members' houses without asking while they weren't home and just chilling there and other strange things like that. He rarely held down a job for more than a few months.
He cleaned up, had a baby, and got some health care a year or two back. We thought he was doing better, but he relapsed on meth and shot into a car with six people in it. He killed one woman and injured three."
Her Bruises And Broken Bones Showed Something Was Wrong
From Redditor /u/Neckrowties:
"My dad's maternal grandmother shot her husband in the forehead with a .22 long before I was born. The warning signs were her having bruises and the occasional broken bone.
Apparently one day she was just waiting with the gun for him to get home all sh*t-faced and abusive. Fun fact: the round didn't fully penetrate for whatever reason, so he ended up being in the hospital for a couple of days before he finally died. She ended up spending some time in the funny farm, and ended up baby sitting me when I was three or four-years-old. Upon asking my dad if that didn't seem a little weird to him, he replied 'Nah, she loved you to death, she wasn't gonna hurt you... and nobody else was going to either,' with a weird little cackle afterwards."