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When Tragedy Strikes; the Murder-Suicide of a Springville Family: Julie Hanks, LCSW on KSL

On the evening of September 27, 2014, the bodies of Springville, Utah couple Kristi and Benjamin Strack were found dead in their beds. Tragically, their three children were also found dead, and investigators determined the cause of all 5 deaths to be an overdose of lethal drugs.

What would prompt the Stracks to kill their children and then themselves? Relatives say Kristi and Benjamin would sometimes speak of  being concerned about a pending apocalypse and wanting to “leave this evil world.” They apparently viewed death as a means of escape.

Julie Hanks, LCSW of Wasatch Family Therapy was interviewed by KSL about this tragedy. Her main message was that although many people are concerned about hardships in the world, this kind of obsession that led to their murder-suicide is a sign of a severe mental illness. When a family member expresses extreme, rigid beliefs, it’s time for you to talk about it and voice your concern, whether or not he/she believes mental illness is present.

Watch the news coverage (including Julie’s interview) above, or read the full article here.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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