In early January of 2006, without realizing that withdrawal can have effects for 6 months to 2 years after the actual reduction of the medication – Paxil (Paroxetine) at that time – David was feeling anxious and wanted to avoid another full blown episode like we had experienced in 2004.  Since Paxil had packed on the weight, the Psychiatrist recommended Prozac.  I asked if there were side effects we should be aware of using Prozac.  The Psychiatrist noted that Prozac produced a certain agitation effect that caused some people to actually lose weight.  This was a welcome thought but, actually, a true nightmare was beginning.  A perfect storm of medication side effects and cognitive therapy overrides of the true effects of psychosis and akathisia including the line that “thoughts are just thoughts, not actions” was happening.


The cocktail of prescribed and taken medication leading up the January 20th, 2006, nightmare was:

10 days of Biaxin XL (Clarithromycin), an antibiotic for a respiratory infection

10 days of Trazodone (Desyrel), an antidepressant for anxiety

7 nights of Ambien (Zolpidem) for sleep which was not helping him sleep

1 night of Lunesta (Eszopiclone) also for sleep given after therapy session the day before

7 days of Prozac (Fluoxetine), a new to us antidepressant because of the Paxil’s weight gain effect


David had never taken this cocktail of medications before.  Several of these medications were new to him as well especially the 7 days of Prozac and the 1 night of Lunesta.


I need to include a note here on akathisia which ties into our perception of the desired agitation effect we were looking for in weight loss.  Per Joseph Glenmullen’s book “The Antidepressant Solution” he notes the following regarding akathisia.


“Akathisia has two sides, or faces:  outer, objective restlessness and inner, subjective agitation.  The outer, visible restlessness caused by akathisia particularly affects the legs and may be mild, moderate, or severe.  In mild cases, patients find it difficult to sit or stand comfortably.  They may adjust their posture frequently, shifting their weight from one foot to the other while standing, or crossing and uncrossing their legs white sitting.  In moderate cases, patients are more visibly jittery and fidgety, tapping their feet on the floor or pacing.  In severe cases, patients are visibly agitated, find it difficult to sit still, and are driven to pace back and forth.  (Page 66, The Antidepressant Solution.)


“Akathisia can be extremely dangerous, especially in patients who have not been warned about the side effect and mistake it for a worsening of their psychiatric condition.  Akathisia can trigger panic reactions in patients, increase paranoia, and drive patients to suicide and violence.”  (Page 66, The Antidepressant Solution)


David and I had gone to therapy the day before the really bad day.  He still was not sleeping so we walked out of the psychiatrist office with samples of Lunesta.  David had been saying things in counseling that appeared extreme.  We were going to lose the house, we were heading into bankruptcy, and he was going to lose his job.  None of those things were true.  We now know that he was experiencing delusional thinking.  It would have been helpful to know that delusions and hallucinations often accompany psychosis.  But psychosis was also not a term we were familiar with on that day.


I was sitting next to David during the therapy session.  At one point in the session, I reached over a touched his arm.  He jumped.  I asked if I should not touch him.  He noted that he was okay.  The therapist said nothing of this moment that I now associate with a medication response of skin crawling.


“Psychosis is the state of being out of touch with reality.  Psychosis manifests itself as delusions or hallucinations.  Delusions are beliefs that are untrue.”  (Page 72, The Antidepressant Solution)


The night before the killings, David and I had taken Dylan to drum lessons.  While Dylan was in the lesson, David and I were outside in the van.  I now think that David was seeing things that I was not but did not realize that at the time.  I suspect hallucinations.  We went home and David took the Lunesta to try to sleep.  He woke up an hour later completely nauseated.  We tried to sleep beyond that moment.  Neither of us know if he took an Ambien as well to try to go back to sleep.


On Friday the 20th, I left our house at 12:05 pm to get my hair cut.  The 5-year-old twin girls had colds and wanted to stay home with their Dad.  David had never been violent in his life and was a loving attentive father so leaving them in his care was a natural thing for us to do.  David had been home from work due to the difficult week and lack of being able to sleep well and had started the medications.  We were in the therapist’s office the day before.  David, in counseling, had been told he would never hurt anyone and agitation was just depression. There were no warnings.


I returned to the neighborhood at 1:20 pm to a police barricade. David had called 911 reporting that he had stabbed his daughters to death. The operator had asked him if he was on medication and he had noted that he was…antidepressants.  The operator goes on to say to David “Keep talking to me because you sound a little bit tired and stuff and we’re wondering if you maybe took too much medication.”  To which David replies, “No, this is real.”  David in horror and confusion asserts on the call that the thoughts became real.


The 911 tape was sealed by the prosecution immediately from the public. 911 Call by CrespiFamilyHope


Yes, what happened in those moments is horrible.  But, why did it happen?  The 911 tape is part of details that show the truth of what happened on that very sad day.  I think Society deserves to know.

Onward to Injustice