Sunday, April 30, 2006

To deaf ears, he begged for help with his Child Support Payments


Murdering someone is wrong, especially innocent folks. Several blogs ago I wrote about a man who was so upset with child support officials and those whom he felt had done him wrong that he killed four people and himself. Sadly this man had told several folks including the Child Support office that they were charging him too much for child support. No one would listen. So he became angry, hurt and violent. Eventually do to the stress of being evicted he decided to take matters into his own hands, so he:

* raped his current girlfriend while she begged for her life with a gun to her head

* killed his children mother. This is the person he felt brought on all the problems for him. He was paying child support for one of more than four children that named him as the father on the birth certificate. Two of these children are in the early twenties and are incarcerated for a long string of crime including drugs, domestic violence and assault.

* killed his boss and her daughter who was the payroll and administration staff

* shot a co-worker

* killed another woman who was found dead in the house of a woman he was dating

* committed suicide

He had told many folks that he was angry that no one would listen to him and that he was being charged so much that he could not live. It was later found out that he had a history of depression. After the murders and suicide the State of Missouri investigated. The findings:

* he was right. They were charging him five times more than he should have been paying

* they apologized. Yeah, right! Four people are dead because of their error.

* they are investigating more cases now and if they find more errors they will complete an intense investigation of all cases in Missouri.

What does this means to the families who lost their love ones?

Will Chalmers death help other men who have begged for help for over charges in child support?

Will his voice be finally heard?

This case angers me because of the lives that were lost due to a simple error that no one was willing to investigate initially at the request of a distress and depressed man. Chalmers died because he felt he could not live on his current money left after the state took their share. Four others died because he felt they had a role in his pain and suffering.

What do you think about this case?

It doesn't sound from all reports that he was a deadbeat dad. It seems that he was a stressed out, depressed, and angry man.

Chalmers was very ill. Folks said that he had begun to talk to himself loudly, and withdrew from the few people in his life. Already a loner, he felt boxed in. This has turned into the saddest case.

If you were a survival of one of the victims, what would you do with the Child Support Office?

22 comments:

Ruben said...

My God!

Brownsoul said...

I too am saddened, after reading this, that it took the death of four people as well as violent acts against others for someone to say, "Oops! Our bad...let's investigate."

What I think is that the system is and will continue to be flawed when it comes to public assistance and collection of child support. I know that there are deadbeat dads out there, but for each deadbeat dad I know, I know a woman who is taking advantage of her babies' daddy(ies) and/or the welfare system.

Deadbeat dad or not...you can't take from someone what they don't have. If the man can't afford to pay but so much in support, then that is what the mother will have to live with. Certainly you can't expect the man to keep a job if he ends up getting evicted.

I honestly don't know how to fix our system. I know someone who used to work for DFCS. She told me that they were constantly pushed to do what they could to get people off TANIF...apparently they did a great job reducing TANIF claims, but were rewarded with layoffs. That story really helped me to understand why I know so many people who are undeservingly receiving assistance.

What do we do?

princessdominique said...

I would flog everybody in the office. That makes no sense. All they had to do was double check. Four people wouldn't have died.

MsPlacedAmbition said...

rose, i think this speaks to a much bigger issue. the issue of blk men in america and the feelings that most of them have of going "unheard" or being "invisible" (i.e. the invisible man by ralph ellison). i won't linger on this topic b/c unfortunately i'm tired of knowing abt it but feeling somewhat helpless. the NYTimes had an article on how studies have found that blk men have it harder than other men in america. i think it was the april 22nd issue if you want to reference it. anyway, we must get to the core/root/infected area of the problem, otherwise, nothing will change.

E said...

I have heard about that case. That is just so messed up. It's sad that it had to come to that. A lot of folks missed the ball on potentially preventing this tragedy.

The system is definitely flawed. How to fix it...I just don't know.

Deirdre said...

My Goodness...
I think men should have some rights as well. Esplly if they are willing to take care of business. I have a friend well an ex who is going through a rough child support sitch and he is a good father and is willing to do his part. It's a very sticking sitch that's for sure.

chele said...

All these lives lost and for what? A typographical error? What? Someone needs to be held responsible. Who is accountable for this? I'm sure that when he complained about the amount of child supprt, he was automatically viewed as some deadbeat dad who was trying to get out of taking care of his resonsibilities. No one took him seriously. Couple that with the fact that he was mentally ill and you have a recipe for disaster.

Dee said...

sad really sad!!!!!

i would sue their asses off!!!! Wouldn't bring my family member back but they need 2 get their shit together!!!!

The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

damn..that's crazy....

Jez Chill said...

That's the American Way! Definitely sad. But in America, it's not equal representation. The haves get to fight for their cause. The have-nots, suffer, and we all pay the cost. Some, more tragic than others. We can all list a 100 ways we suffer in our society due to the have-nots.

The Gig said...

I think that men are being made to pay too much child support even for one child and it seems as though the system does not care if they drain the fathers of their incomes, thus, making it hard to make a living for himself. I have a younger brother who is in a similar situation. He won't keep a job because whenever he gets one, they garnish his checks and he cannot provide for himself. Yes, he is very much a deadbeat dad and I'm not excusing that. It's just too bad that these situations exist.

As we all know, there are two sides to every story. It is also hard for the mothers to raise the kids by themselves, work and pay for daycare expenses, etc. I believe that dad's should pay child support, but not so much that it drains his income.

Clay said...

that is just too much ....

Cinthia said...

This is just so sad, so very sad. :( It's always easier to blame others, but at the same time this mistake was extremely costly.

Shawn said...

that is tragic. I hadn't heard anything about this.

Daily Dose said...

Wow this leaves me speechless. 5 times too much--That's a hefty mistake!

Shirazi said...

Hi Rose, I can read your blog now.

Brea said...

This case is horrible. I do hope that the state follows up and investigates other cases of claimed overcharged child support. With so many lives lost, something good must come out of it. That is my hope anyway.

jazeGma2 said...

This is very tragic and I do feel someone should answer to it. What does it take for us to follow-up or double check behind ourselves? It is truly unfortunate because no one from the state’s office is going to take the blame. If someone would have listened to this man the situation would not have been so tragic. The IRS and the State is a real B.... it is really sad. They will come after you and strip you down (they make no mistakes but they do make them). They need to develop a child support task force or team for those who do not pay and try to beat the system, and one for those who do pay so that this type of tragedy can be eliminated.

Elizabeth said...

I get the weird feeling from reading the comments here that people think someone other than the killer is responsible for killing those people?

I had a blue-collar patient who was supporting himself, a wife and three kids, plus paying back child support for two adult kids (the money went to welfare because the kids had been raised on welfare by their mother). It was difficult but he did it. He went to court to get his questions asked about the amount he was asked to pay. I can't remember if they reduced the amount or not...but the fact is that there are ways to deal with these type of situations. It sounds to me like this person may have been mentally ill which is a different issue than owing child support.

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