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Family Found Dead in Massachusetts in Apparent Familicide

The tragedy is the latest in a disturbing rise of familicide in the United States

In what appears to be another case of familicide in the United States, a Massachusetts family has been found dead inside their 11-bedroom, 13-bathroom home in the affluent community of Dover.
At a press conference held after the bodies of 57-year-old Rakesh Kamal, his wife 54- year old Teena Kamal and their teenage daughter Arianna were discovered, Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey termed the tragedy as a “deathly incident of domestic violence.”

Mr. Morrissey said that a “firearm” was discovered by state police near Rakesh Kamal’s body but would not provide any more details about what led authorities to conclude the deaths were acts of domestic violence. “This is an event to remember that domestic violence crosses all economic and social situations,” he said.

He confirmed that Arianna, who was just 18, was a college student at Vermont’s Middlebury College. She is a 2023 graduate of Milton Academy, an affluent private school just outside of Boston, as confirmed by the school.
According to a statement released by Milton Academy, Mrs. Kamal served as president of its Upper School Parents’ Association.
“Our thoughts are with all members of the Kamal family, their friends and our entire school community,” the school wrote. “Aria was a sweet, smart, kind young woman who was just beginning to realize her full potential. This is a devastating loss to our community.”
In providing more clues that authorities have linked the deaths to domestic violence, Mr. Morrissey went on to say, “It’s clear that that that this is a confined situation to this individual dwelling and is no threat to the residents of the town,” said Mr. Morrissey. He reminded anyone  who feels unsafe in their relationship “that there is help out there and available safety planning.” Mr. Morrissey then provided a number to a domestic violence hotline.
At the press conference on the Dover murders, Mr. Morrissey said police had no record of any domestic violence-related calls linked to the address where the Kamals lived while they were living there.

According to The Boston Herald, Mrs. Kamal filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in November. Real estate records show their 19,000-square-foot house had an assessed value of more than 6 million dollars.
The Kamals were involved in education consulting.
Other Cases in the Disturbing Trend

According to a recent U.S. National Institute of Justice report entitled “Men Who Murder Their Families: What the Research Tells Us,” there has been a spike in familicides.
The day after the Dover murders, police in New York discovered the bodies of five deceased family members inside their New City home in what has been determined to be familicide. Clarkstown police said preliminary investigation points to evidence that 49-year-old Watson Morgan killed his wife, 43-year-old Ornela Morgan and their two sons, ages 10 and 12.
Earlier in the month, a Vancouver, Washington, man killed his wife and two daughters before turning the gun on himself.
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Earlier in the year, in what was considered one of the worst cases of filicide in the U.S., Michael Haight of Utah’s father killed his wife Tausha and their five children ranging in age from 4 to 17 and then killed himself.
According to the results of an investigation released by Enoch police, the murders came one month after Tausha Haight filed for divorce. Mr. Haight was also under investigation for child abuse at the time.
While the FBI does not distinguish homicides related to familicides, the DOJ report was based on 408 familicide case studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System.
Of them, 91 percent of the murderers were men, and 70 percent of them had some history of domestic violence, although some were not reported to police.
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“Prior domestic violence is by far the number-one risk factor in these cases,” said Jacquelyn Campbell, a Johns Hopkins University professor who worked on the DOJ report.
The nation has also been rocked in recent times by shocking cases of filicide—the term used to describe a parent who murders their child but not their spouse or themselves.
Recent high-profile cases include Chad Doerman, the Ohio dad who reportedly murdered his sons, ages 3, 4, and 7, in execution-style.
“This is by far the most sickening, horrifying crime I have seen,” Prosecutor Mark Tekulve told Clermont County Municipal Court Judge Jason Nagel at Doerman’s arraignment. “I can only imagine the terror that these little boys felt and experienced as their father … their protector was murdering them. We will do our utmost within my office to see this defendant never see the light of day again.”
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Mr. Doerman is scheduled to stand trial in July.
In Massachusetts, the affluent town of Duxbury was shaken when Lindsay Clancy was accused of killing her three young children, including her 8-month-old baby, before her botched attempt at killing herself.
An evidentiary hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 17.
Domestic violence also remains a growing problem.
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A report by the United Nations showed that 47,000 women and girls worldwide were killed by their intimate partners or other family members in just the year 2020. According to the report, that means that, on average, a woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family every 11 minutes.
Despite the increase in violence within the family, organizations who advocate for better domestic violence laws say family courts continue to largely ignore domestic violence claims and award custody of children in private custody disputes to an abusive parent.
According to The Women’s Coalition, U.S. family court judges are rampantly awarding custody to fathers with a well-documented history of violence against their families, a claim consistent with the DOJ finding.
“Familicide after divorce or separation by revenge- and control-obsessed fathers is a societal problem the world over,” wrote founder Cindy Dumas in a Feb. 23, 2023 substack article.

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