Depression can be linked to violence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two parents in the Charlotte area stand accused of murdering their own children, and many neighbors and loved ones have been left wondering how such events could have happened.Lisa Louise Greene is accused of setting a house fire on Jan. 10 that killed her two children, 8-year-old Addison Macemore and 10-year-old Daniel Macemore. If convicted, she could face the death penalty.

David Crespi is accused of stabbing his twin daughters to death in their southeast Mecklenburg County house.

On Friday, David Crespi, 45, was taken into custody after he called 911 and reported that he stabbed his twin 5-year-old daughters to death and was going to kill himself. Crespi was evaluated at a mental health facility and later sent to jail. He will appear in court Monday.

Dr. Melinda Harper, a clinical psychologist, says it is hard for many to believe, but there is a level of depression that is so extreme, it can cause a break from reality. “I think it surprises people how powerful our mind and emotions can get,” she said. “People do hallucinate and hear or see things that aren’t there or do experience such changes in their thinking that they are no longer rational.” Harper says severe depression often exists in people with high-profile, high-stress careers like Crespi, a banking executive.

“If someone is that successful, they may feel an incredible sense of responsibility,” she explained. “It can be difficult for someone to stop and acknowledge that they may need additional support.” Psychologists say incidents such as these will often trigger an emotional response in people unassociated with the family. Harper says it makes people question their own capabilities.

Dr. Melinda Harper, a clinical psychologist, says there is a level of depression that is so extreme, it can cause a break from reality.

“I think it’s such a shock that it really sets people back and they wonder what it was about (them) that triggered something like that,” she said. Doctors say those closest to the victims will wrestle with even greater psychological drama.“ For the mom who just lost her two children, I imagine she may question her own sense of trust,” Harper said. 

Doctors also advise parents to look for warning signs that their children are upset about disturbing news stories. If a problem exists, they say the child might need to talk with a professional.

Father Says Man Charged In Slaying Daughters Had Depression

MATTHEWS, N.C. — A Charlotte area man charged with killing his twin 5-year-old daughters at their home was in custody Saturday awaiting his first court appearance on Monday.

David Crespi, 45, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder Friday night. Crespi’s father, Lauren, said that Crespi had suffered from depression and recently with insomnia, but was undergoing treatment, the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee newspaper reported Saturday. “He had no history of this kind of problem,” Lauren Crespi of Angels Camp, Calif., told the newspaper.

Lauren Crespi said Crespi, a former Sacramento bank executive, was open about his struggle with depression and recently started taking medicine to help him sleep.”In no way did he ever show this. There were no eruptions from him or anything,” Lauren Crespi said. “He told us he had problems, depression. But, he had the best doctors he could find in North Carolina.” Police spokesman Keith Bridges said Crespi called 911 around 1 p.m. Friday to report the slayings. Crespi later surrendered at the scene without resistance, Bridges said. The girls, Samantha and Tessara Crespi, were killed inside a 4,900-square-foot, two-story brick house in the Deerfield Creek subdivision, Bridges said. No motive was given.

Property records showed the $505,000 home is owned by Kimberli and David Crespi. Three older siblings were at school at the time of the slayings. The two oldest children are from Crespi’s first marriage to Kimberly Ann Crespi, who died in 1993 after a yearlong struggle with brain cancer. David Crespi had been diagnosed with testicular cancer about a year ago, but beat it, Lauren Crespi said. An article published last fall on the Web site of California State University, Sacramento, which Crespi graduated from in 1983, said Crespi worked as a director of internal audits for the Wachovia Foundation. A spokesman for Charlotte-based Wachovia Corp. confirmed that Crespi worked for the bank.

By: Brittany Morehouse, News 14 Carolina