Tragic story about someone being pushed to do the unthinkable. Of course she did the wrong thing, but I can see how the pressures of today's economy could give the feeling of hopelessness.
And some say that there are no "two Americas". But the people who usually say that are those who are in the top half, doing well, making a comfortable living, and they don't have to decide between their prescription drugs/healthcare, and food. People in the top half often either don't see those in the bottom half of America, or they simply choose to ignore that they exists.
Report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Mom who killed girls, self felt hopeless
By Jeremy Kohler
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
JENNINGS — The woman who shot her two daughters and herself to death on New Year's Eve had been distraught because she felt she could not successfully raise a family, police said Wednesday.
The woman, LaRhonda N. Mason, 29, was homeless, jobless and in debt. She relied on friends for shelter, shuffling from house to house with Teleanna, 11, and Jazelyn, 3. She made sure they were fed and clothed and, by all accounts, did her best, said Jennings police Sgt. Shawn Lane.
Her car was towed just after Christmas and she felt all opportunity was lost with it, Lane said. She was inundated with bills. Without a car, she couldn't work. Without a job she couldn't provide a home.
Two days before the deaths, she penned a four-page suicide letter thanking everyone who had tried to help her, Lane said.
On Monday night, she packed her belongings into a plastic bag and set off with her daughters from the home of a friend who had given her shelter. The man was a friend whom she had known from a fast-food job.
The friend followed her in his car, talking to her out his window, urging her to come home, Lane said. When he pulled over to get out, she pulled out a revolver.
At 6:15, outside a wireless phone shop near West Florissant and Apricot avenues, she tossed the suicide note to the ground, shot each girl once in the head, and then herself.
Mason and Teleanna were pronounced dead at the scene. Jazelyn was taken to St. Louis Children's Hospital and died a short time later. Each had been hit by a single gunshot.
Inside the older girl's knapsack was a new journal, a Christmas present. It was signed: "A journal for my little girl."
Police at first believed the friend had been the shooter. He was partially clad and had been following Mason and her daughters. But then they found the suicide note and confirmed that the handwriting was hers.
Investigators learned later that the friend, whom they would not identify, had let Mason store her belongings in his home. They had stayed with him for a few days, and he was urging them to stay longer.
On Monday, Mason's sister Andrea, of St. Louis, published a memorial to her on the Web, featuring un-captioned photographs of a woman and two girls frolicking, laughing. But the family declined to be interviewed.