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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.



  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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« Pray Always | Main | Late Evening Reflection: The Holy Spirit as Teacher of the Father's Will »

June 28, 2007



Good point. I hadn't thought about it that way. It was such a mindless murder-suicide, as are all murder-suicides, I figured the Fragile-X aspect was just one more delving into possible reasons for snapping -- which we always do, since we must have some indication that it likely couldn't happen to us or our loved ones. And yes, no one wants to do without their steroids!

However, chemicals that alter one's physiological makeup/balance - steroids, drugs of every kind, the Pill - affect the whole body--all the major organs including the brain.

Maybe this fellow did blow a gasket over his child's upcoming schooling dilemma, and over his wife's growing need for him to spend more time at home (she didn't marry the road like others don't marry the toolbelt), but what made him snap? As usual, some added chemical combined with a growing lack of God. How telling (and heartbreaking) that he placed a Bible near each victim, and for himself, a symbol of what he'd come to think identified him in this world.

This tragedy IS about steroid use. It is indeed attributable to them. If steroids aren't illegal or prescription only, they should be. If they are, then their non-use needs to be enforced by trainers and managers -- or all of them need to be penalized as well as ostracized.


Steroids are very commonly used in all sports, even though the organizations are trying to clamp down by using anti-doping tests, but it's all part of the idea of being supermen/women: run faster, jump higher, hit harder, pump up those muscles. It's part of this mindless race to be number one. The BEST. But one can end up being a BEAST instead. Trainers, managers and sports players will never be ostracized because they drum up too much money. It will never end.

Deacon John

Hi Dan,
Check out this web page for some shocking background about Nancy Benoit
May the Divine Mercy be in their souls!
Deacon John


I must be getting old--nothing shocks me anymore (except the gentle, kind, sweet unexpected). Allegedly, the report of death at Wikipedia went up about 14 hrs. before the bodies were found by police. That'll be fun to unravel.

Just a reminder: Wikipedia is privately owned and anyone at all can put up/edit data.


True, Pia, competition is the name of the game, not least of all in America. Even the Catholic Internet holds its many contests.

However, there will be some (trainers, athletes) who will now look askance at/avoid steroid use. If this mess saves someone from a similar fate, then God has brought good from it. Also, it has shed a most unexpected light on disabled children. How often have I read that a support system for parents of a child with _______ was not in place or was not big enough. So, perhaps more light to come there, too.. and that, too, will have been from God.

MMajor Fan

Dan, I totally pick up on what you are saying and agree with you. Totally putting aside the whole debate about his possible substance abuse, you did pick up on an unjust assumption that was floated out there about the disabled. I too have worked with the disabled, in a psychiatric setting and never has there been a society with more services available to helping a parent with even the most severe disability. In the extreme one can literally surrender a child to fostering or an agency who has the structure and mental/emotional stability to care for the child rather than feel one has to kill the child. The pressure of a disability is the last thing that one can claim as causing murderous stress. I know very stressed psychiatric patients who surrendered their disabled children rather than, good Lord, kill them to escape the stress. It was a wrong observation to float in the media and what worries me is how easily it gets by unchallenged. Good for you for picking up on this, it bothered me enormously when I first saw it in the media.

Just Me

As a side note, that's the point we need to get across in these days.. to surrender a child to some caring authority before one does anything far more rash. One of the things on my conscience from my late teens is a friend with whom I used to work out and with whom I'd gone to high school. She was unhappily married, but I didn't realize how much so. She hadn't wanted a second child at all, but her husband had insisted and beat her (I think), and she confessed that she treated the baby badly. I spoke to her as a teen might - rather ineffectively.. I hope I mentioned it to my mother -- she'd have done something without letting me know, and I'm sure I prayed, and I'm sure my mom would've, but that is not enough. There are valid desperations, but no valid reasons to kill a child. None. Abortion, abductions, the fatherless, the disabled, child soldiers, sewer orphans.. There is no reason to kill anyone, but there is especially no reason to kill a child. There are Homes, state agencies (and/or one's government has agencies), adoption agencies, etc.

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