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March 30, 2009 - 3:51 am

A man a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29944382/?gt1=43001″killed 8 people in a nursing home /ain Carthage, North Carolina Sunday morning, and police have no motive as of yet. What struck me was the information provided by his ex-wife:br /br /blockquoteWhile authorities declined to comment on a possible motive, Stewart’s ex-wife said he had been reaching out recently to family members, telling them he had cancer and was preparing for a long trip and to “go away.” Sue Griffin said she was married to Stewart for 15 years, and while they hadn’t spoken since divorcing in 2001, he had been trying to call her during the past week through her son, mother, sister and grandmother.br /br /”He did have some violent tendencies from time to time,” Griffin said. “I wouldn’t put it past him. I hate to say it, but it is true.” /blockquotebr /br /Prior to many of these brutal attacks, the perpetrator often tries to reach out to others. Most of the time, no one listens or responds, perhaps with good reason. People want to believe that these attacks “just happen”–and there is nothing anyone can do. br /br /In my experience, this is not true. Anger is sometimes depression and frustration turned outward. If the underlying emotions can be addressed, sometimes tragedy can be averted. I have witnessed this first hand over my career and it is unfortunate that so many people–particularly men–have few places to turn. People are afraid of violent tendencies, especially in men and many fall through the cracks. I am not defending what this man did, for there is no excuse here. But understanding the causes of this type of violence and treating a person prior to a rampage is imperative in stopping it.

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