The above article from the NY Times indicates that the police are convinced that a 14 year old boy slashed his siblings throats, killed his mother and then committed suicide by slashing his own throat.
I have questions and concerns about this case.
C.J. Jones was a very slight (some have described him as scrawny) 14 year old boy. Could his much larger mother not have fought him off? How did he manage to kill all these people without anyone getting away and running out of the door? It's not as if he did this during the night when he may have been able to sneak up on them while they slept. This was done around dinner time. Everyone was awake. The neighbors downstairs heard running and crying and furniture toppling over. There was a chase and a struggle going on in that apartment. Why the neighbors didn't go up there to check it out is beyond me.
How is it that everyone that has spoken describe C.J. as a quiet and helpful young man who helped his mother take care of the family. Who ran errands for his mother and watched his younger siblings as they crossed the street. He helped a neighbor tend to a vegetable garden. He is described over and over as doting when it came to his family.
His school has released information (which I find odd that they would release such information about a minor especially when a police investigation is ongoing) that they had recommended the boy be put into a special school for disabled youths. But they don't define "disabled". Was he homicidal, was he suicidal, was he slow, was he stupid, was he just behind all his fellow students perhaps? They don't say.
They have said that he attacked a vice principal. Attacked? As in murderously attacked? As in the vice principal grabbed his arm and he wrenched free?
The police have been quick to release this type of information as well as numerous stories detailing C.J.'s love of fire and of starting them. They released information that they found a mostly burned note attached to a lighter and (conveniently) all they could read were the words "am sorry". Was he sorry that he murdered his family or was he sorry that he hadn't done his homework and his mother had scolded him?
I'm getting weird feelings about this whole thing.
First off, leaking news that school officials wanted him to go to a school for the disabled but then not defining what exactly was disabled about C.J. leads the public to believe that C.J. was a murderous child running amoke.
What if he wasn't? What if he had a learning disability with a propensity to get easily frustrated as is often the case?
What of his attacking the vice principal? Please define attack. If he was being disruptive and the principal grabbed his arm and (using both hands) he wrenched it away forcefully, that technically could be considered as an attack. If the vice principal was in his face and he shoved him to get him out of his face, that could be considered an attack. I need clarification on this. He very well may have horribly attacked the principal but I'm just not certain of that. I am more convinced by the lack of detail in all these leaks that perhaps C.J.'s propensity towards violence and his "disturbed" psyche may well have been embellished.
Then there's the fire thing. A neighbor months before the murders saw C.J. on the stoop setting fire to a small piece of paper. When she reprimanded him, he put it out and stopped. Wow. This sounds like a rabid murderer to me.
A fellow student at his school stated that C.J. liked to play with fire. Now how would they know this? For one thing it has been stated that C.J. had no friends. Everyone at school taunted him because he wore the same clothes over and over to school. Because he had suffered an accident one of his eyes was messed up and he was teased about that. Doesn't sound to me as if he had any classmates that were close enough to him for them to know his secret addiction to setting fires. I mean surely on his first day in class the teacher said, "Class this is our new student. Please introduce yourself and tell us something about you" and at that point I'm sure he didn't reply, "Hi! My name is C.J. Jones and I love to start fires!"
Now before anyone starts saying that he was a loner just like the Columbine kids, let's remember that C.J. didn't kill the kids that were taunting and alienating him, he is accused of killing the people he loved and who loved him. Big difference.
Now let's get to the actual crime. According to police, he murdered his 30 year old mother, his 10 year old sister, his 7 year old sister and his 2 year old brother before slashing his own throat. Actually the 2 year old brother died from smoke inhalation and burns later at the hospital. As I stated earlier, it was not during the middle of the night when all of the above were soundly sleeping. It was during waking hours and by the neighbors accounts, there was a lot of commotion going on in that apartment.
Exactly how, armed only with a common kitchen knife, did he manage to chase down each member individually and kill them without any of them running out of the door while he was busy killing another? Did he make them form a line and wait patiently for their turn??
How did he accomplish this without his mother picking up something and whacking this kid in the head with it? It just doesn't seem feasable to me. Something just isn't right with this scenario.
Here is my biggest problem with this. He then slashed his own throat.
How many teenage suicides have you ever heard of where it is done by slashing their own throats? Very few. Slashing their wrists, shooting themselves, hanging themselves, jumping out of windows, etc. But rarely from slashing their own throats.
As a matter of fact in their article "Atypical Suicidal" Doctors Shetty, Padubitri and Bhandarkar state that, "Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world. The incidence and pattern of suicide vary from country to country. Cultural, religious and social value plays a vital role. Hanging, poisoning, drowning are the common methods of committing suicide. Suicide by incising one's own throat remains rare, and only a few cases have been reported in the forensic literature".
Based upon what I've read and articles that I've been able to uncover pertaining to teen suicides, two-thirds of all suicides under 25 were committed with firearms. The second most common method was hanging, third was poisoning or suicide by overdose.
The police reported that he was found slumped over a bed and the knife was found beneath him.
So he killed his entire family, then set the apartment on fire, apparently wrote a note that he knew was probably going to be burned up in the fire and then, WHILE STANDING, slashed his own throat and slumped on the bed. What?
Does any of that sound the least bit credible to you?? It doesn't to me. Am I the only person who finds this a bit difficult to swallow?? Is it just me or do the police appear to be determined to pin this on C.J. and close the book??
But that's just me.