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Updated Jan 2, 2014 - 8:54 pm

Final Word: Holidays can bring out criminal worst in some people

“Phoenix dad kills son with ax”

“Tolleson dad kills children, then self”

“Phoenix officer, posse member shot, Phoenix neighborhood locked down”

Those aren’t the best headlines, are they?

A Phoenix dad killed his son with an ax during a 24-hour custodial visit.

A dad in Tolleson killed his 6- and 8- year-old daughters and then himself.

On New Year’s Eve in Phoenix a pair of men committed a robbery and while fleeing, shot a Phoenix officer and a sheriff’s posse member. A neighborhood was on lockdown for three hours on the last day of the year. The men were found in a backyard.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the date on the calendar is Jan. 2.

The holidays can be a tough time for anyone, certainly anyone suffering from depression or mental illness.
Certainly any parent who takes the life of their child can’t be in their right mind.

But I have to believe that the holidays are enough to set anyone off, under the right, or wrong, circumstances. There is no other time of year when people tend to look back on what they failed to do in the year, compare themselves to other people they perceive as happier or more successful, and feel like failures. And it’s too bad.

Even for people NOT suffering from some underlying mental condition, the holidays bring with them financial stress and busy schedules. It’s enough to make you snap.

So as you put away the holidays, be it Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or Festivus, put away the angst, too. Pack it up and resolve NOT to unpack it come next December.

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