Monday, December 26, 2011

Feels Like Deja Vu: Another Santa Claus Massacre

The Associated Press and other news sources report that the pleasant memories of Christmas 2012 have been marred for residents of Grapevine, Texas. For the first time in more than 18 months, someone committed murder in the small town. A man dressed in a Santa suit shot to death six people ages 18 to 60 on Christmas morning while the family opened presents, and then the gunman killed himself, bringing the total to seven--four women, three men.

My first thought today when I heard about yesterday's massacre was that it was a copy cat because I remembered writing about the "Santa Claus Massacre" of 2008 in California. That tragedy had a death toll of 10. I also recalled that on December 24 someone appeared in my blog statistics looking up the California crime, and I thought then that it was strange for someone to look up so grisly a crime the day before Christmas, especially since the crime happened three years ago. I checked that stats report again tonight, but could not tell the location of the visitor because the person used a wireless, Verizon connection. More than likely it was a coincidence, but seeing that the person searched the day before these Texas murders leaves a chill.

The shooter in the California Santa Massacre also dressed in a Santa suit. He and his wife were going through divorce. As I wrote back then, "He shot an 8-year-old girl in the face first when she opened the door happy to see Santa. So far in the Texas case, such horrific details have not emerged. Some of the victims were visiting from out-of-town and as of noon today, the Grapevine police still had to notify next of kin.

MSNBC reports that there is no known motive in the Texas shooting; however, the AP story says the man and his family had lost a house in foreclosure and was estranged from the women in the house. The AP also says that the family was murdered while opening Christmas gifts.

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In addition to the video above, KXAS, a local station, also has video.

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