Tragedy

This is utterly heartbreaking: Dad Kills Four Korean-Born Children

The article's title doesn't make clear that Steve Sueppel killed his wife first and finally himself as well. There's really nothing adoption-related here, apart from the question of whether or not a homestudy could have caught the potential for this man's actions. It's a pure and simple tragedy.

I simply cannot wrap my head around what must have gone on in that house. What must the thought of it do to a Korean mother who knows her child is in this country?

And I have to say, re this:
Sueppel mentioned in the note the embarrassment and other fallout from criminal charges he faced. A federal grand jury indicted him in February on charges that he stole nearly $560,000 between 2000 and 2007 from the bank.
Something is really out of whack with our U.S. corporate culture when someone can embezzle over half a million dollars and not seem to lose too much sleep over it, but beat his entire family to death when caught.

Just can't wrap my head around it.

3/30/08: Edited to add a link to coverage of the Sueppel funeral. Beyond sad. Yet I have to ask myself, how many tragedies, perhaps not of the same scale, but tragedies all the same, pass me by entirely? This one struck a chord because I saw my son and daughter in the faces of the Sueppel children. How many times does a similar story come onto the news and pass through my consciousness leaving hardly a blip on my radar screen, simply because I don't relate in the same way?

Comments

J. Pannell said…
Margie, this happened just down the road from us and I am just as stunned. The local news did a montage of their family photos interspersed with all the flowers, teddy bears, and candles that people continue to leave at their house. I have to admit that I shed quite a few tears. This was a well-loved and loving family from all accounts. Every time I strap my son into his carseat, or tickle him, or give him a belly burger, or kiss his little forehead, I think that Steven Suepple must have done all those things, too...the worst part of it for me is how terrifying their last moments must have been.

Interestingly, the local print and television media did not mention the adoptions. Until I saw his picture I was guessing he was Korean because the headline only pictured the mother and children. Only when I looked under the fold did I see he was white and figured out they must have been adopted.
Margie said…
It is stunning. It hasn't left my thoughts since I first heard about it, late yesterday. These are images that no one wants in their heads - what fear must those children have experienced?

I noticed that adoption was not mentioned in several of the articles either, but was later. The first article I read was the one linked here from the Korea Times, so adoption was a focal point.

When M came in to say good-night last night, I was hugging her and wondering just how someone could harm their child. There was an article by a professor I read that said he believes people who commit mass slayings of their families like this suffer from depression, and the depression is accompanied by a "me first, me only" mentality that leads them to believe killing their families is the only way out. It makes some sense - but it's frightening to think selfishness could lead to this end.

So incredibly sad.
Thanksgivingmom said…
And as another blog mentioned, the agency has no policy in place to inform first mothers if something like this happens to their children. That in fact, the first mothers usually "move on" and therefore apparently don't need to know? That it's the responsibility of the birthparents to contact the agency and check in to see if something like this has happened to their children...ugh.

Because this story needed MORE tragedy? So sad on so many levels...
HeatherRainbow said…
I can't wrap my head around it either. Something else is messed up about it too.... like... if he just felt embarassment and guilt and all that... why kill his wife and children? Why not just do suicide? Why take your whole family down with you?
Margie said…
Heather, I agree. I understand that horrible crimes have been committed through the ages, so at the end of the day the individual is responsible. But I have to wonder if there isn't something in our national psyche right now that sort of predisposed this man, who by all accounts was a loving husband and father, to snap in this way. So so sad.

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