December 1, 2012

"Officials said [Jovan] Belcher, 25, shot and killed his girlfriend and then drove to the practice facility, where he shot and killed himself."

"Belcher approached Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel outside of the practice facility, thanked them for all they had done for him and shot himself in the head as police arrived."

Well, that answers the question I had when I read earlier reports: Why did he relocate? He wanted to thank them.

ADDED: If no one has said this yet, they will: It's a shame that Belcher shot himself in the head, because now they can't study his brain to see if football caused damage that led him to murder and suicide.


David said...

He majored in family relations at University of Maine.

What a sad pointless waste.

Marshal said...


rcommal said...

Quite upsetting. Husband's a lifelong Chiefs fan, and he's also a person who isn't easily or often shocked. He's shocked,

Chip S. said...

Anybody inclined toward doing something like this should always remember to do the suicide part first.

That way people will actually feel sorry for you.

rcommal said...

Left a 3-month-old behind and orphaned. Shot himself in front of his coach and GM after shooting his girlfriend in front of her mother (not mentioned in the linked articles, but reported in other news articles). What a destructive wake of wreckage and pain. I know it's not charitable, but I feel a little angry, in addition to shocked and saddened

David said...

Why is it not charitable to feel angry about this? It's sad but it's also a terrible violation of many people.

MSG said...

I wonder what percentage of people who plan murder-suicides maintain the courage and integrity to go through with the suicide.

EDH said...

Those who knew and worked with him said he was a quiet man and usually kept to himself.

McTriumph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Cherchez la femme.

traditionalguy said...

Cherchez la femme.

McTriumph said...

Doubt this was a planned murder suicide. We won't know, till the live-in "mother in law" talks.

ricpic said...


Ron said...

Well....who hasn't had days like that?

McTriumph said...

There was a time when the worse things that happened to Chiefs players were dying during knee surgery or drowning while saving a child or being fired for gambling on college football.

ndspinelli said...

The "He was quiet and kept to himself" has to be the most overused quote of all time in situations like this.

Lew Lipshitz said...

In my younger and more vulnerable years as an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin - a student committed suicide by jumping off the top of a 14 story dormitory (I seem to recall this as ~ March, 1976.) He landed about 12-13 feet away from me, among a crowd of pedestrians, mainly students returning to their dorms before lunch at the luxurious (yet affordable) Gordon Commons. By choosing to jump at that place and time he maximized his chances of hitting someone on the way down. A coed was brushed as he landed, but not injured. The real injury was to those who witnessed it and its aftermath. There was no counseling and there was no coverage in the newspapers or on television.

I've always wondered what the official record and investigation on this showed. The story that circulated among students in the ensuing days was that he was a pre-med student who had received a "C" on a mid-term exam, and wasn't doing well in his previous grades in that course. He met with the teaching assistant responsible for grading and was unable to get the grade changed. So he splatters himself on the sidewalk next to Sellery Hall.

In that day, before the advent of cheap video recorders, there were "film societies" on campus which would let you watch a recent release (1-2 years out of new release) film, cartoon, porn films, you-name-it, for the nice price of $.50. So, that weekend a bunch of my dorm-mates who had witnessed the jump or its aftermath suggested that we attend a campus showing of a "Bugs Bunny Film Festival", and take plenty of beer to the showing (on campus, in a lecture hall). I recall everyone sitting there drinking, with essentially no laughter coming from our group. Seeing a suicide really takes you out of sorts. It's very hard to understand how someone could come to the decision to eliminate all of the potentialities of life at the age of 18 or 19. I think it probably took a week to shake that off.

bagoh20 said...

I'm not religious, but I have to think that a strong traditional Judeo/Christian belief would preclude this kind of thing in most cases. This murder suicide fad has got to be erased from our culture somehow.

McTriumph said...

The "He was quiet and kept to himself" has to be the most overused quote of all time in situations like this.

You're probably right, but usually players that play the most violent positions are usually very controlled off the field.

McTriumph said...

Murder suicide a fad? They usually aren't planned, most murders aren't planned, they are crimes of passion or despair.

Erika said...

I feel no compunction about calling him a sick selfish dickbag. He would have destroyed the lives of those around him with a simple private suicide (itself not an OK thing to inflict on those who love you, but that's another topic) but he had to do it in a manner that absolutely *shredded* everyone else. The girlfriend's mother will never, ever, ever get over this. The child he left behind will someday have to be told that his father killed his mother in front of his grandma. Way to go, vengeful weaselly pitiful little man.

whoresoftheinternet said...

Black guy commits another murder.

Lefties, instead of calling him a killer, call it a "tragedy."

bagoh20 said...

It seems to me that there are a lot more of this type now where someone kills a few other people on the way out. It's like a suicide alone isn't good enough anymore. This one here may be one more of passion first and suicide after out of remorse, but many now are planned and carried out as a package. It seems to me people use to either murder or suicide, but now they go together much more often, and I think it is often a cultural thing, because people mimic this stuff which they see a lot in the culture and the news where it is high profile. Much of this is about getting noticed. That's why they do it in front of people. I really believe people who commit these acts often don't quite process the fact that they will be completely gone afterward.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

He had the right to end his life, but he had no right to end hers. All sympathy goes to the murdered mother, their orphaned child, and her family.

McTriumph said...

I doubt he planned to kill her or himself. He lost it.

edutcher said...

Unfortunately, whores has a point (hey, stopped clock and all).

This isn't a "tragedy", black guy or no. It's a murder.

Guy sounds like an attention freak. He wanted everybody to know what he did.

Like the idiots in Tucson and Aurora.

Baron Zemo said...

That's it. Another senseless tragedy.

We need to ban the NFL.

McTriumph said...

At this point we don't have a clue as to what sent him over the edge. We don't know what the argument was about or what was said.
Othello wasn't like those guys in Tucson or Aurora. Othello wasn't afraid of the consequences of his murderous act, his suicide was an execution for killing what he loved most. Oldest story in the book, the man with the most invested and in love with a woman is possibly the most dangerous man in her life in the right circumstances.

db4805 said...

Romans 3:9-19
9 What then? [g]Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written,

“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,
17 And the path of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are [h]under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;

Darcy said...

Wow. Very sad.

BDNYC said...

I think, more often than not, murder-suicide is, in reality, manslaughter-suicide. A person who plots a murder has likely already thought through the emotional aspects and the logistics of how to get away with it. The killing is not a shock to them.

Someone who kills without aforethought, in the heat of the moment, necessarily does not consider the enormity of his actions until afterwards. Then he kills himself.

Kylos said...

According to the AP, Belcher actually shot his girlfriend in front of his mother, not her mother. Apparently, his mother referred to the girlfriend as her daughter, leading to the erroneous reports.


EMD said...

Very tragic indeed.

Probably timely but not appropriate.

Tim said...

Geez. That sucks.

caplight45 said...

The KC Star is reporting that there was an argument over the fact that she got home late from a concert, one in the morning. I would be surprised if there wasn't some history of abuse on Belcher's part. That is a frequent sub text in these murder/suicides. Murder then suicide together is the ultimate act of control. "I will get my way and I will escape the consequences."

Darcy said...


That's kind of my thinking on it, too. Tragic and sad. They were so young.

I happened to be reading about Joran Van der Sloot's arrest and conviction yesterday and one of the things I read is that in Peru there is a lesser charge for...oh, I don't know the wording, but it's equivalent to an "emotional killing". I don't think I agree with it, but found it interesting, anyway.

Mitchell the Bat said...

This is, indeed, a sad turn of events, but it's important to bear in mind that both Belcher and his girlfriend died doing something they loved.

edutcher said...

Darcy said...


That's kind of my thinking on it, too. Tragic and sad. They were so young.

I happened to be reading about Joran Van der Sloot's arrest and conviction yesterday and one of the things I read is that in Peru there is a lesser charge for...oh, I don't know the wording, but it's equivalent to an "emotional killing". I don't think I agree with it, but found it interesting, anyway.

Crime of passion?

AllenS said...

Unfortunately, this happens all to often. Just lately, suburb of Minneapolis had the same thing happen, but the killer also shot others at her place of work.

I suppose that it's a case of: If I can't have you, then nobody else can either. Bang! Since your gone, no sense in me being alive. Bang!

Darcy said...


Yes. They also reference crime of passion, but his attorney called it a "violent emotion" defense. I just looked it up.

Marylou said...,0,6714549.story

Another horrible murder/suicide.

Zach said...

I found a couple of interesting article on family annihilators:

8 characteristics of family annihilators

Family annihilators don't do it because they love you

jr565 said...

Shocking. you don't see too many famous people commit murder then kill themselves.

jr565 said...

McTriumph wrote:
Othello wasn't like those guys in Tucson or Aurora. Othello wasn't afraid of the consequences of his murderous act, his suicide was an execution for killing what he loved most. Oldest story in the book, the man with the most invested and in love with a woman is possibly the most dangerous man in her life in the right circumstances.

The handkerchief!

Clyde said...

Sometimes, all you can say is, "Dude, what the fuck?!"

Given the Chiefs horrific 1-10 record and this terrible tragedy, I imagine that this football season cannot end soon enough for folks in K.C.

McTriumph said...

"The handkerchief!"

Everyone has their own reality, Othello had his. The "handkerchief" is why he kill Desdemona not himself.

Don't get me wrong I'm not defending what happened, just trying to understand it. I do know that here in KC rumors are rampant and the KC Star won't get to the bottom of a Chiefs' "scandal" for months.

Ann Althouse said...

"He had the right to end his life..."

No he didn't. He had the ability to end his life and to escape all earthly consequences for killing. That isn't the same as a right.

BaltoHvar said...

A case like this always reminds me of Charles Whitman. He too killed family members, and murdered many others before he was killed by Law Enforcement in probably the first "Suicide-by-Cop" reported Nationally. He had a brain tumor that drove him to madness.

But my gut tells me otherwise.

MayBee said...


They mess with your mind.

leslyn said...

I have a problem with the statement, "now they can't study his brain to see if football caused damage that led him to murder and suicide."

I don't think that any experts in the field of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, believe that it "causes" anything except dementia in some cases, some physical symptoms, and reduced brain function, which can to depression.

Depression doesn't cause murder-suicide either. The person may not be thinking as clearly as they would have, but the brain doesn't short-circuit to the hand, and a conveniently placed gun. Murder-suicide is a deliberate act which can't be excused by TBI.

(BTW, the intent necessary for murder may be formed in a few seconds; getting a gun, pointing it, and firing several times, which appears to be what happened in this case, argues for intentional murder.)

I think it's important to recognize this, to remember that TBI may be treatable; symptoms may be managed; and the sufferer can be helped with protocols. It's not a sentence of rampaging madness.

That recognition transfers to the treatment of our veterans. TBI does not mean they are crazy. Symptoms and experiences that accompany TBI can make it more difficult to treat, but progress is and can be made. I think it's important neither to remove nor displace personal responsibility, IOT treat people correctly and recognize that they are still fully human.

I mentioned that treatment can be improved. It is recognized by some medical professionals who work with TBI that fish oil (among other things) can help to heal the brain. Fish oil is full of omega-3s. Your brain is made of about 30% omega-3 fatty acids, including the myelin sheaths which protect nerve cells. DOD is conducting a study for TBI and PTSD which adds 4g of fish oil daily to the usual treatment protocols. The goal is to reduce the rate of suicide.

While I'm on the subject: fish oil improves memory, clarity of thinking, thins the blood, improves vascular flexibility, elevates mood, and is an anti-inflammatory. The body does not produce omega-3; it has to get it from outside sources. So why not give your brain a nice fish oil bath--and feed it too?

Michael Haz said...

From your previous thread:

So people get ready, there's a train a comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord.

Chai Chai said...

I didn't really think this was a story that would drive a lot of conversation yet many of the comments here sadden me.

Some folks think witty comments about this tragedy make others think they are humerus - really?

The race baiting or liberal vs conservative jabs are equally inappropriate.

Lew Lipshitz was able to provide interesting context and Ann's comment was wonderfully religious (if one wants to view it that way).

Sorry to rain on the parade.

BaltoHvar said...

@Chai Chai - Here, here - that's completely righteous - as I attempted to convey in my post.

@Leslyn - as the son of a cardiologist, I heard much about Fish Oils three decades ago when he started reading about how societies with high intake of sea food have inversely proportionate occurrence of heart disease and sudden death due to it. I certainly believe in it as a daily supplement, and notice its effects when I cut myself, it being a natural blood thinner.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Ann Althouse:

I attribute an individual right to freewill, not to morality or even feasibility. However, I do acknowledge the functional distinction between "right" and "ability". It is worthwhile to explicitly distinguish between them. Nonetheless, he did take his own life, and according to your faith, he will stand in judgment of his individual conscience. He will be determined unfit for salvation. He, in fact, had no right to prematurely end his mortal existence.

While I have your attention, I would like to present a moral and legal argument to justify forcibly removing (or at least not facilitating) the ability to commit elective abortion.

Elective abortion is the premeditated murder of a developing human life when it exclusively lacks the means to defend itself. Not only is it a human rights violation, but it is also unconstitutional.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration (i.e. the establishment document) identifies rights from creation. This may be considered from biological conception, but it may also be considered from emergence or expression of consciousness (a distinction recognized in Genesis).

nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

The Fourteenth Amendment grants power to the Federal government to preserve the life of the citizens it serves, including the rights of “all men” as defined in the establishment document.

Elective abortion can not be tolerated and can certainly not be normalized. It is also illegal under our law without due process of law, which I would surmise means that the defendant must be permitted representation.

I am asking for your feedback as a favor to establish my peace of mind and for no other selfish purpose. The argument will be distributed and if it is sound will be defensible. It is my desire to provoke a conversation about an issue which, in my opinion, should not and cannot be ignored or marginalized. It relates to a prerequisite for liberty, where individuals must be capable of self-moderating behavior. If we permit this behavior, or worse, normalize it, then not only do we devalue human life, but we validate behavior which is incompatible with liberty.

Chai Chai said...

Even liberal States like California have cases where the murder of a pregnant "mother" (notice the wording isn't 'woman') include a legal charge accounting for both the mother and fetus.

The Laci Peterson trail being the most recent. I have never been able to understand how the court system of a State could have murder or manslaughter charges for a fetus and still allow abortion.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Leslyn and BaltoHvar, I agree on the benefits of Omega 3s, just make sure your fish oil capsules aren't rancid. Buy a good grade of fish oil, keep refrigerated. Don't buy cheap fish oil from huge discount stores, most likely they've been sitting on the shelf too long and by the time you get them, they're already rancid, diminishing the benefits of taking them.

leslyn said...

I buy my fish oil from swanson vitamins, they have good quality control and great prices. I have no stake in the company, though I wish I did. :) I also keep it refrigerated until I bring out the bottle for use.

I started taking it for its cardiovascular benefits, then noticed after about a month that my memory was better, I was speed reading, my mood was elevated, and I was waking with more energy. Now I wouldn't be without it.

Inga said...

Leslyn, good stuff. Also, if you take a baby aspirin and a fish oil, be aware of the blood thinning properties of both. Actually benefits of baby aspirin has come into question lately. Sorry for going so far off topic.

leslyn said...

Yeah, Inga, I'm a speed blood donor already. :)

But about football: On Wisconsin! Rose Bowl HAT TRICK!!

And Montee Ball deserves to be up for the Heisman.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Several people have mentioned suicides and criminal behavior in connection with brain tumors or other brain damage.
Anecdotal evidence:
A close acquaintance of mine killed himself by jumping from his college dorm room. Autopsy showed an aggressive brain tumor, and roommate's testimony described a sudden surge (over only several months) of paranoia-like behavior.
It can happen.

leslyn said...

@ Fred Drinker: Yes, TBI and brain disease are associated with personality changes and mood disorders. When your brain is going haywire, so can you.

I'm interested in the therapeutic side. The onset of persistent personality change (and, I'm guessing, associated anxiety and perhaps depression in your friend's case) signals that the brain is ill, and so are we. Too often we don't understand that, or don't know what to do about it.

I'm not saying that if someone you know has a bad week or month you should hustle them off to the head doctor. But if there doesn't seem to be any external cause, such as grief, loss, or a traumatic life change, perhaps we should start to think about it. We tend to think of personality change as intangible, when often it is physical.

Doctors can use brain scans to diagnose lesions, abnormalities and tumors. I am very sorry that your friend did not have his problem discovered in time.

Inga said...

Alzheimer's causes personality changes also, not just forgetfulness. Oftentimes anger and aggression , definitely anxiety, even sexual deviations from their norm.