Utah Parents Kill Themselves, Three Of Their Kids For Fear Of The Apocalypse

Last year, the bodies of Benjamin and Kristi Strack, along with three of their children were found in a locked room in their home in Springfield, Utah. On Tuesday, police held a press conference revealing that the Stracks had likely killed themselves and the children in order to avoid “evil in the world” and what they believed were the coming horrors of the apocalypse.

The Stracks and their children overdosed on cold medications, methadone and — in Benjamin’s case — heroin, most of which was drunk from a beach pail. They were found by Kristi Strack’s 27-year-old son from a previous marriage and their grandmother.

Police have labeled the deaths of the two younger children, Emery, 12, and Zion, 11, as homicides, deeming them not old enough to understand that they were entering into a suicide pact. The death of the 14-year-old child, Benson, was labeled as “undetermined” as a letter he wrote to a friend before his death could be interpreted as a “goodbye letter.” I don’t know if that’s fair. I mean, I think it’s pretty much a given that the child would likely not have gone and killed himself if it hadn’t been his parent’s idea. To me, that’s as good as murder.

Relatives say the family had often discussed “leaving this world,” but said they had interpreted that as meaning they meant to move “off the grid” to Montana or something, not actually kill themselves and their children. Still, they told police that they were not surprised that this fear of the apocalypse was the cause of the familicide.

Police Department detective Greg Turnbow, the lead officer on the case, told reporters that “it was a fairly common theme for the parents to talk about, the apocalypse, the end of days, final judgment.”

The investigation also found years old letters written between Kristi Strack and Dan Lafferty, a convicted murderer who assisted his brother in killing his wife and infant daughter. Ron Lafferty, his brother, is currently on death row in Utah, and maintains that he had a religious revelation telling him to kill his family because his wife did not share his belief in polygamy. Police do not, however, think that Lafferty’s influence was what made the Stracks decide to commit suicide and kill their children.

You know, people can believe what they want, but it’s a whole different ball game when they bring their kids into it. If you want to kill yourselves because you’re afraid the apocalypse is coming? Go and do. Knock yourselves out. I think it would be messed up to scar your kids forever like that, but, hey, at least they wouldn’t be dead. I mean, why even have kids in the first place if you’re that worried about the damned apocalypse?

Also, aren’t both suicide and murder mortal sins? Like, if you believe the apocalypse is a real thing that’s going to happen, don’t you also believe that committing suicide and murdering your kids is going to send you straight to hell anyway? Not that I should be expecting logic from people who clearly had some serious mental issues having nothing to do with their religious beliefs, but I have to wonder how that works.  [ABCNews]