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A Question

Discussion in 'Grief and Bereavement' started by Jesse Finn, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Jesse Finn

    Jesse Finn New Member

    Hello all, I apologize if this post is a bit distasteful but I have no idea how to ask this in the way that I am. I'll provide the question clearly, but I'll explain why I'm asking this too as well.

    The main question is, in successful suicides, is it common for people to cause suffering to themselves (and animals), such as through smoke inhalation rather than dying from an actual fire?

    I ask this because my mom died a day and a half later from a house fire more than 3 months ago. The detectives have recently deemed it a suicide, but as far as I can tell, it honestly looks like a murder especially given the circumstances of abuse and a major fight the night fire (Not to mention people seeing those same people scoping the house the night before). My sister had actually gotten a text message from my mother asking her not to come because she didn't know how her boyfriend was going to be, and the tone was genuine fear. Coincidentally around the same time the detectives later on determined, or were at least ruling the cause as, it to be a suicide my stepfather / mother's boyfriend accidentally sent a text message to my sister's boyfriends phone, with the contents saying "all the loose ends are finally tied up." My sister sent a text back to him asking what does he mean, and he responded he meant that for his cousin (Who had the same name). That creeps me out a bit.

    Now to describe the fire; it was large, but it was set in 3 or more spots but my bother suffered absolutely no burns outside of collapsing onto a heated floor (Which the burns were not severe by any means), but she had massive smoke inhalation. Additionally, all 4 animals in the house died as well -- and my mother would absolutely never hurt an animal.

    The problem is my stepfather, is a truck driver and his GPS showed him as not being at the house. The weird thing is though is that one of his brothers was driving the truck, which is extremely rare. Why that day of all days? I wonder if one of them used their own vehicle and used the GPS to kill any suspicion?

    Is it logical for anyone to kill themselves in that way? Everyone I've talked to agrees with my consensus, including therapists and psychologists who have never heard of such an event. Not to mention I have not spoken to anyone who disagrees with my view of their involvement. I mean, it could always be case that they weren't involved. But when there is 20 to 30 things pointing at them, you have to question.

    Anyway, thank you for your time. And I do apologize for the details and if it caused anyone stress to have to read that.
  2. Jesse Finn

    Jesse Finn New Member

    Edits (Not sure why, but couldn't edit post :p):

    no idea how to ask other than in the way that I am*
    fight the night before*
    but my mother*
    agrees with my perspective* (consensus was the wrong use of the word, I believe)

    I apologize for the spelling errors; I didn't sleep last night and apparently I was more tired than I thought I was when I asked this. Haha.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2012
  3. Jesse Finn

    Jesse Finn New Member

    An update just for clarity, but still wouldn't mind input (Again, be aware this is callous in nature so read it with it a logical mind, or wise mind, and not an emotional one):

    I did a bit of research on the subject specifically about the commonalities of suicide by fire, and particularly suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning by fire and I found that in developed countries the generally suicide percentage by fire is 0.5%-1% of the total amount. It's more common for men to do this than woman (In the US 2:1 and in other countries like Canada and Britain were 3:1 and 4:1 respectively).

    Given that they're 34000-38000 suicides in the US each year, we can generally deduct that they're on average 150 (Which coincides with the common fluctuation between 140 and 170 from 1999 to 2007, most around 150) suicides by fire per year in the US. Minimizing this down based on gender (females are less likely to than males), race (Whites predominantly do this) and age (30-50 are the most common age group) I was able to determine that there was only 9, on average, cases that may fit her description every year purely based on CDC coding.

    Beyond that, the actual characteristics of the act are the fact that the vast majority of deaths by fire are self-immolation and the remains are generally significantly burned (My mom suffered absolutely no fire damage outside of collapsing on a heated floor; so all burns were secondary and not from a primary source and she hardly suffered any burns regardless, less than 5%), pretty much rules it to non-existent. This is confirmed by research as they're only a few reported instances globally; this type of death doesn't even have a classification. This is different from carbon monoxide poisoning via car exhaust, which is considerably more common (Not so much now with the introduction of catalytic converters) as the means and motives are quite different. Essentially, if you're going to use fire it's not going to be to kill yourself via smoke, given they're more less destructive ways to accomplish this. Anything is possible, but it's highly unlikely; especially when contrasted by the clear hints of possible homicide. Further more, petrol is by far the most commonly used accelerate, but in my mother's case (I believe at least), kerosine was used.

    I'm hoping that I can convince the detective this, but I live in a damn small town (I mean still around 10,000-20,000 people locally, but spread out) and he doesn't really have the time to actively handle every case himself. Is what it is I guess.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2012