Archives For Suicide

Glenn Grassett killed wife before killing self, AG says

BARRINGTON, N.H. — Investigators said a marriage headed for divorce ended violently in Barrington over the weekend when a man shot and killed his wife before killing himself.

Officials said Glenn Grassett, 61, and Pauline Grassett, 44, were found shot to death in their home on Layne Farm Road on Saturday. The Attorney General’s Office said Glenn Grassett killed his wife and then turned the gun on himself.

Friends said Pauline Grassett had two sons and custody of a 5-year-old granddaughter. One son is in the Navy and arrived back in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

Her other son is finishing a prison sentence, and friends said they are working to get him released in time to attend his mother’s funeral and say goodbye.

“A friend of Mrs. Grassett was concerned when she couldn’t reach her and had gone to the residence and called police when she couldn’t find anyone there,” said Senior Assistant Attorney General Janice Rundles.

Investigators said Pauline Grassett’s body was found in one room and her husband was found dead in another with a 9mm handgun nearby.

“She was shot once in the head and a few more times about the body,” Rundles said.

Officials said the two were in the midst of divorcing, but investigators weren’t able to recover many clues in the house that explain the murder-suicide.

“I don’t believe investigators have located a note,” Rundles said. “There was no real sign of a struggle at the residence.”

Pauline Grassett worked at Liberty Mutual in Dover. Her coworkers left condolence messages on a memorial webpage describing her bright smile and willingness to help anyone out.

She also fostered dogs for a local rescue organization, which is now planning to build an outdoor play area for dogs in her name.

“The next of kin have been notified, and investigators are wrapping up their review of the evidence,” Rundles said. “But basically, it appears we know what happened here.”

Visiting hours for Pauline Grassett are scheduled for Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at Kent and Pelczar Funeral Home in Newmarket.

Bodies found in Barrington home

BARRINGTON, N.H. — New Hampshire state police and the attorney general’s office are investigating an apparent murder-suicide in Barrington.

Authorities say the bodies of a man and woman were found in a home Saturday, and the preliminary investigation indicates the man shot the woman and then himself.

Investigators aren’t releasing any names or the exact location of the incident, and no further information is expected to be made public until early next week.

Police say woman intentionally took own life

Jim Spellman/CNN

NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. — Police say a Rhode Island woman intentionally shot herself to death at a Massachusetts gun range over the weekend.

The Sun Chronicle reports Monday that police said 22-year-old Ariene DeBarros of Providence shot herself at about 2 p.m. Saturday at the American Firearms School in North Attleborough, where she had gone target shooting with her brother and his girlfriend. She was pronounced dead at Sturdy Memorial Hospital.

The newspaper said a police report said DeBarros left notes about her intention and also posted a comment to her Facebook page.

Someone who saw the posting called police, but the warning was too late.

Police said they were told the woman’s boyfriend recently died, but her Facebook posting said that wasn’t her motivation.

Police said the school is licensed by local police and complies with town regulations.

John Burbine accused of molesting 13 children

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A convicted sex offender who had been awaiting trial on charges of molesting 13 infants and toddlers at his wife’s day care center died after an apparent suicide attempt on Friday morning.

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John Burbine, 50, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges, was found by a guard inside his jail cell at the Middlesex County Jail in Cambridge around 8 a.m., officials said.

According to a statement released by the Middlesex County Sherrif’s Office, Burbine, of Wakefield, “was in need of medical attention” when the officer saw him in his cell. Officials said medical personnel immediately rendered life-saving procedures and brought him to Massachusetts General Hospital.

Officials said Burbine died Friday evening.

“As is standard with all detainee deaths, an internal investigation has commenced and this matter has been referred to (Massachusetts) State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office,” Public Information Officer Kevin Maccioli said.

View: Mass. towns with most sex offenders

Prosecutors allege that between August 2010 and August 2012, Burbine molested children ranging from 8 days old to 3 1/2 years old at his wife’s unlicensed day care center.

Burbine had offered to be castrated in exchange for a lesser prison sentence, but prosecutors opposed the request.

Marian Burbine, his wife, is facing charges for allowing her husband to have access to the children.

When is enough, enough? By Felina Silver Robinson

Pressure: a constraining or compelling force or influence: the social pressures of city life; financial pressure.

Each of us, adult and children alike, face daily pressures.  It’s not easy for any of us. But imagine the struggle of an undeveloped adolescent mind swarming with hundreds of thoughts through their academic day. Did I get it right? How can I stand up and talk in front of all of my peers when I can’t even talk to my best friend? Do they make fun of me when I’m not looking? Why don’t they like me? Why does my teacher pick on me all the time? Why can’t I talk to my teacher? Why do they give us so much homework? Will my parents be mad at me if I can’t get everything done? Will my teacher punish me if I can’t finish the work? Everyone of these questions are ones that I’ve heard first hand from my own children, their friends, or children that I’ve listened to during other school related activities. We’ve all been there. It just seems that it might be harder now than it use to be. Expectations are so much higher now because not only has life changed so much, but curriculum as well as the expectations of teachers and the Board of Education.  In the New York Times article “Expecting the Best Yields Results in Massachusetts” it is stated that “If Massachusetts were a country, its eighth graders would rank second in the world in science, behind only Singapore”.  If you think that’s something what do you think about the fact that Massachusetts eighth graders also did well in mathematics, coming in sixth, behind Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. The United States as a whole came in 10th in science and 9th in math, with scores that were above the international average. If you were a school aged child at this time, wouldn’t you feel a lot of pressure to keep up?  Not every child across the board is good at math or science.  In fact, I know that my three youngest children struggle a lot with math.  They all love science though and work hard to do their best at it.  Is there best good enough though? It seems that there is more emphasis within the school systems to push forward the children that are strong in Math and any other area of academics. But not enough effort is spent on children that are not as good. There is a nice one hour math tutoring program where high school students come and “help” with math.  But the help that is given isn’t necessarily the help that is needed.  Many parents don’t have the finances to send their children to private tutors so they fall through the cracks.

The biggest pressure I find is “homework”.  Every child from 6th – 8th grade is swimming in homework.  6th graders suffer the most because they are the least ready.  In 5th grade they spend so little time doing homework that by the time they reach 6th grade, they are shocked by all that must be done. The day is a long one for all kids, but once homework comes into the picture everything changes. Each kid has at least 5 subjects of homework, with an expectation of no less than 30 minutes for each subject.  So that is at least 2.5 hours of homework every day.  However, the majority of assignments take at least 1 hour to complete.  Most children don’t want to leave things undone because they know it will have to made up somewhere down the line.  So then the 2.5 hours of homework turns into the realistic amount of 5 hours. When you think about the fact that our kids have a 6.5 hour school day coupled with 5 hours of homework, mixed in with a school play practice here, and a sports activity there, and don’t forget enrichment classes.  Where is the time to socialize or just have some breathing space? Often when a child needs help or didn’t get to finish the homework, they are punished by having to stay indoors and there goes the only real time they may have had to socialize for the day.

So our kids end up coming home tired, overworked, picked on and frustrated because there was not enough time to have any worthwhile fun.  Add all of this up over time and you get kids with emotional breakdowns, kids who feel like they just can’t take it anymore, kids who feel they have no friends because they are always being picked on an no one ever does anything about it. This often leads to kids wanting and feeling the need to “commit suicide”.  The recent article about the 3 Teen Suicides in Newton. Really floored me and I realized that I really don’t want that too happen to any of my children.  Heck, it shouldn’t happen to anyones children.  So what are we going to do to fight this battle? What can we do? Reading about what you can do, what you can say, and how to understand what our children are feeling can really help.  But more than that, letting our children know that they are not alone and there is someone around that understands what they are feeling and going through really helps. Boston Children’s Hospital circulated the following information: Suicide and Teens, Just so you know, children all over the world are feeling the stresses of homework.  Read: Homework overload is stressing our children who need more time to chill-out and relax.  We need to arm our children and ourselves with ways to deal with all of life’s pressures so that we are prepared to face all that life has in store for us. I found another article helpful titled: “Resolving Student-Teacher Conflicts“. This article helps your child build the necessary skills to feel comfortable approaching an adult that they may not be so comfortable trusting or relying in.  Everyone faces and interacts with people everyday that makes them uneasy and causes them to be fearful.  Having the right tools to help them work through their feelings are key to having successful relationships throughout their lives. I find it best to face problems head on as they arise for it becomes emotionally dangerous to hold onto things that cause fear or pain.

I will say one more thing about homework, which is my personal resolution to the homework issue. We are all aware of the fact that homework is used as a method of testing what our children are being taught in the classroom as well as an extension of what there isn’t enough time to finish teaching in the daily classroom.  My feeling is that since there are 5-6 subjects in elementary school, that homework is rotated so that there are never more than two subjects of homework per evening and never more than 45 minutes worth of work per subject.  Reading of course would continue to happy nightly, but within reason. For example: Monday’s and Thursday’s – Science and Social Studies, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s – English and Math and Friday’s – Health and Spanish.

Aside from the regular pressures, then there is the peer pressure thing. If you’re different, the kids are always going to let you know about it.  No matter how much time you spend on anti-bullying, it’s always going to happen and their going to be afraid to tattle on the bullies.  If you’re a cool different, all is well and the kids will shake your hand or hug you.  If it’s a bad or awkward different than kids just come out and tell you about it and they don’t care if it hurts your feelings, and they will pick, pick and pick on you and at you. Please make sure that you always check in with your kids about bullying. Read: How to talk to your kids about bullying.

We need our children to be as well rounded and level headed as possible. If they are overwrought due to stress and other things then they aren’t really the children we know and love. We see aside of them that we shouldn’t have to see.  Children are supposed to be given an opportunity to live as children until they are meant to face young adulthood, which is truly once they reach high school.  High School prepares our children for College life and that is another story altogether. They are children once and should not grow up not knowing what being a child is. Don’t hold them back from what they are ready to face, but don’t push them forward unprepared.

I leave you with a last note.  What you can’t handle on your own, reach out for a helping hand. Those with knowledge and experience are always willing to share it. But often don’t know their services or expertise are required. The child you help today may be the adult that ends up helping someone else tomorrow.



3 Newton teens have committed suicide since October 

NEWTON, Mass. — A steady stream of mourners came to Roee Grutman’s home Tuesday where signs posted in the snow honor the 17-year-old. Grutman, a junior at Newton South High School, is described as smart and well liked.

Last week Grutman took his own life, the third Newton teen to do so since October.

Watch the report here

“It’s like a nightmare that rears its ugly head again,” said Lila McCain, whose daughter Karen Douglas killed herself in October. “No parent should have to lose a child this way or any way.”

Douglas, a Newton North senior died within two weeks of Katie Stack, a Newton South sophomore.

“It’s so tragic and we can’t prevent every suicide but we can do a better job and a better job means knowing the signs to think about and to look for and having the courage and the language to talk to our kids. That’s what it’s really about,” said Jon Mattleman, director of Youth Services in Needham.

That community also struggled with a string of five suicides from 2004 to 2007.

“It is a problem. If you look at the MetroWest survey of adolescents, approximately 10 percent of MetroWest youths are seriously considering suicide,” said Mattleman. “It is a crisis and we really have to call it that to mobilize support.”

Newton’s superintendent has initiated a signs of suicide program in the schools.

“It’s not just a school issue,” said David Fleishman. “It’s a community issue.”

McCain has launched an online campaign called Get Real Campaign.

“We want people to not Photoshop their lives, and to just be OK with their imperfections and if they need to get help to seek that help,” McCain said.

Stuart English of Milford, New Hampshire, sells antique guns at a gun show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Jan. 5, 2013, in Stamford, Conn. While other area gun shows were canceled following the shooting rampage that killed 20 first-graders and six teachers and administrators in Newtown, Conn., a gun show held by Westchester Collectors Inc. in Stamford, 30 miles from Newtown, proceeded as planned.  CHRISTOPHER CAPOZZIELLO/GETTY IMAGES

Study after study seems to point to a similar conclusion: More guns mean more unnatural death.

A new survey in the Annals of Internal Medicine narrows down some of the causal relationship between guns and death by finding conclusively that having a gun in your home makes you more likely to successfully attempt suicide. The authors of the survey also found with a lesser degree of certainty that people with guns in their home are more likely to be the victims of a homicide.

The authors — Andrew Anglemyer, PhD, MPH; Tara Horvath, MA; and George Rutherford, MD — came to a few common sense conclusions, namely that firearms that are unlocked or loaded are more likely to be used than those that are locked and not loaded, especially among adolescent suicide victims.

However they also found that mental illness does not make one more at risk of committing suicide or being killed by a gun.

“The apparent increased risk for suicide associated with firearms in the home … may be more of an indicator of the ease of impulsive suicide,” the authors wrote. “Impulsiveness may be a catalyst in using a firearm to commit suicide and may also play a role in firearm-related homicide.”

Dr. David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health wrote in an editorial on the survey that the evidence is “overwhelming” on the increased risk of successful suicide if there’s a gun in the home. Hemenway also points to the increased risk of violence against women in particular.

“Bringing a gun into the home substantially increases the risk for suicide for all family members and the risk for women being murdered in the home,” Hemenway wrote. “Evidence not included in their review also indicates that a gun in the home increases the risk for homicide victimization for others in society. This increased risk may be due to someone in the family shooting others (for example, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting) or the gun being stolen and used by criminals. Obtaining a firearm not only endangers those living in the home but also imposes substantial costs on the community.”

Hemenway’s conclusion is backed up by several recent studies, including those showing that the U.S. has the both highest gun death rate and highest gun ownership rate in the Western world, as well as another that showed that the states with the strictest gun ownership laws have the lowest rate of gun deaths.

Shariff Goode and Mabilia Maranhao found shot in head 

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide after a man and his girlfriend were found shot to death in a triple-decker home in New Bedford.

“The incident appears to be a murder-suicide,” the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

The victims were identified as Sharif Goode and Mabilia Maranhao, both 22.   The couple was in a “dating relationship,” the district attorney said.

Family members became worried Wednesday when they hadn’t heard from the Goode in a few days.

Watch report

They went to his home on Brock Avenue and found a gruesome scene on the second floor, police said.

“We were worried because we hadn’t heard from him in 2 to 3 days and something just wasn’t right,” said Angel Goode, his aunt.

Both Goode and Maranhao were found shot in the head.

Autopsies will be performed Thursday.

Man accused in burglary, attempted sexual assault

Vermont State Police say a person, wanted in connection with an incident in Claremont, NH, jumped from I-91 on Jan. 9, 2014.

WINDSOR, Vt. —Vermont State Police have identified the man who jumped from Interstate 91 on Thursday as 37-year-old Joseph Sylvester of Claremont.

According to a press release from the Claremont Police Department, at 10:45 a.m. emergency services responded to a home on Providence Avenue for a report of a burglary and attempted sexual assault. According to the department, the victim told emergency services the suspect, later identified as Sylvester, drove from the area in a white van.

During the course of their investigation, Claremont police learned Sylvester may have been heading toward Interstate 91 in Vermont.

Vermont Sate Police said they received a call at 11 a.m. regarding Sylvester. They later learned that Sylvester was driving a white Dodge Minivan and could be in the area of the new bridge, which crosses over Route 44, in Windsor.

Claremont police said the van was found pulled to the side of the northbound lane in the area of mile marker 55 and a person was seen on the construction catwalk on the southbound lane.

According to the VSP, Sylvester jumped from the catwalk before troopers were able to make contact with him.

VSP said Sylvester died at the scene from the injuries sustained in the fall. Although, his death appears to be a suicide and no foul play is suspected, the case is ongoing pending additional investigation.

An autopsy will be performed.

Sherborne School / AFP – Getty Images file

Alan Turing at 16 as a student at the Sherborne School in Dorset in 1928.

By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News

Queen Elizabeth II granted a rare “mercy pardon” Monday to Alan Turing, the computing and mathematics pioneer whose chemical castration for being gay drove him to suicide almost 60 years ago.

Turing was one of the leading scientific geniuses of the 20th century — the man who cracked the supposedly uncrackable Enigma code used by Nazi Germany in World War II and the man many scholars consider the father of modern computer science.

By the time he was 23, Turing had hypothesized what would become today’s computers — the Turing machine, which could emulate any computing device or program. Almost 80 years later, Turing machines are still used in theoretical computation.

In 1950, Turing came up with the famous Turing Test to determine whether a computer can be considered to have attained artificial intelligence.

But Turing was also gay at a time when that was a crime in Britain, and instead of being hailed as one of the crucial figures in defeating the Nazis, he was convicted of “gross indecency” in 1952 for having had sex with a man.

His security clearance was revoked, he was barred from working for the government and he was chemically castrated with massive injections of female hormones. Less than two years later, in 1954, he killed himself with cyanide, an inquest found. He was just 41 years old.

In recent decades, as Turing’s ideas and work have come to be recognized as the foundations of today’s technology-driven world, scientists and technology leaders lobbied for him to be pardoned.

Alessia Pierdomenico / Reuters file

A British ‘Turing Bombe‘ in Bletchley Park Museum in Bletchley, England. The Bombe helped British intelligence decode thousands of messages created by the German Enigma machine during World War II.

In 2009, the British government issued a posthumous apology, but scientists and gay-rights advocates wanted the government to clear him completely of the gross indecency conviction. More than 37,000 people — many of them eminent scientists, led by Stephen Hawking — signed a petition last year urging Elizabeth to remove the scar from the name of “one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the modern era.”

In his book “God Created the Integers,” Hawking counted Turing among the most important mathematicians in history, alongside Euclid, Kurt Gödel and Bernard Riemann.

In a decree dated Tuesday but released Monday by Justice Minister Chris Grayling, Elizabeth said she was “Graciously pleased to extend Our Grace and Mercy unto the said Alan Mathison Turing and to grant him Our Free Pardon posthumously in respect of the said convictions.”

In a statement, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Turing “saved countless lives” and “played a key role in saving this country in World War II by cracking the German Enigma code.”

In a statement of his own, Grayling declared, “A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man.”

The rare pardon was issued under the “Royal Prerogative of Mercy,” which has been exercised only three other times since 1945, the British newspaper The Independent reported.

Happy 100th birthday, Alan Turing


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