The event we chose which has ethical implications relative to the media is copycat murders and how they are portrayed by the news. At the end of this past summer, there was a tally of about 23 deaths within 10 weeks. This however is not rare at all, especially among families. The Justice Department has records that show in the years of 1976-1999, there were 194 separate killings that included 4 or more members of the family, and that is about eight a year. According to an article that was found on Penfield Library's Infotrac entitled, US: More Domestic Violence than Muggings & Robberies Combined, "An act of domestic violence has been witnessed by 34 percent of Americans." The following are four incidences of mass killings that happened this summer. A man, 23 years old, killed his girlfriend and her 5 children that ranged from ages 6 to 12. Another man, 26 years of age, shot his wife and two children (ages 13 and 11), and he also shot his father who 75 years old and his sister, who was 20 years old. An immigrant from the Ukraine, who was 27 years of age, stabbed and killed his pregnant wife, 23 years old, and killed his aunt and uncle and their grandchildren. The immigrant also killed his 3-year-old son. A woman, 37 years of age, called the police and admitted to drowning her children, ranging in ages from six months to seven years old, in her bathtub. She said she was suffering from postpartum depression. .
Mass killings usually are among the family. About 40 percent are within the family and not random shootings. Men usually do this as revenge. They are trying to get even to a wife who is unfaithful or is trying to end the relationship. The children are "extensions of her," says James Allen Fox, Professor of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University in Boston. All of the mass killings could have been coincidence but it is possible that desperate, frustrated, or angry men got their ideas from other examples.