Last month I wrote about David Crespi, the Charlotte, North Carolina banker who “snapped” one night and murdered his twin daughters, Tess and Sam. Shortly after the killings, Crespi called 911 and confessed. The case is so baffling that Oprah Winfrey made it the focus of her Tuesday show. Crespi’s wife Kim has already talked to the media before, but this is the first time we’ve heard from David himself.
The article linked above contains bits and pieces of Winfrey’s interview with Crespi, and the second linked video (“Crespis Discuss Mental Illness”) contains a snippet of the broadcast. Oprah asks a question I’ve been wondering as well. If, as Crespi reported to police, he was so stressed out about finances and caring for his family, why didn’t he kill himself as opposed to his twin daughters? His nonsensical answer: I tried it before, and I promised my wife I wouldn’t do it again.
Oprah’s response? “I wished you had promised her not to harm your daughters.” To which Crespi responds, “I wish I had too.”
In this case, I still fall on the side of Crespi being mentally ill. We know that he had been switched to Prozac four days before this incident, and that a post-crime evaluation ruled Prozac was “not a good drug” for Crespi to be on. (You think?) Listening to him talk on Oprah, and reading the transcript of his chat with detectives, it’s obvious that this is a mentally unbalanced man whose capacity for logical action was impaired. The “logic” that is threaded through his actions is the same logic that gripped Andrea Yates, driving her to murder. The question for society is: Could this tragedy have been prevented? And if so, how? More aggressive treatment? Better monitoring? Pre-emptive confinement?