Washington Father, James Harrison Kills 5 Children & Himself

126-621-dead_kidswebembeddedprod_affiliate5highlightprod_affiliate5Saturday afternoon at a trailer park in Graham, Washington, five children ages 7 to 16 were found dead from apparent gunshot wounds.  Who would commit such a gruesome senseless crime??  Apparently, James Harrison… the father of the children.  A sad domestic violence situation which ended in a murder-suicide.  Not only did he murder 5 children, but about 20 miles away from the home in a still running car the father was found dead from an apparently self inflicted shot from a rifle.  Four daughters and one son (Maxine, Samantha, Heather, Jaime & James) were found in the home after a relative alerted the authorities.  The relative, while visiting the trailer could not get an answer at the door and upon looking through a window glimpsed a child’s body lying motionless in a bed.  Four children were found slain in their beds and one was found slain in the bathroom.

A motive is not known in this case.  Angela Harrison the mother of the children was not home at the time.  According to the Associated Press (Entire Story Here),

“Ryan Peden, a classmate of the eldest daughter, said she told him Friday night that her parents had gotten into a fight and her mother had left. The father followed the mother and tried to get her to return, said Peden, 16.”

The father was a diesel mechanic and the mother works at Wal-Mart.  According to Yahoo News, Apparently former neighbors of the Harrison family feared for the children after hearing the father yelling at the children on several occasions.

Carolyn and Raymond Bader, a former neighbor of the family, told The Seattle Times they often heard the father yelling at the children. The Baders said they called the sheriff’s department and Child Protective Services several times with their concerns.

Did the system fail these children?  Could these five deaths have been avoided?

My most urgent question about this tragedy is why did NO ONE heard the five shots…

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. E.S. Mitchell
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 11:41:42

    A strange photo of the family alludes to the father as black and the mother as white. Oh, by the way, where was the mother?!? Is there a history of domestic violence reported to the police by any family members? The father shot himself outside a casino. Had he been inside prior to the suicide? More details before commenting further…

  2. regina
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 12:05:29

    @ E.S.Mitchell – the story does leave a lot of unanswered questions and unfortunately since 6 people are dead we will never know the entire story…

  3. Mike
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 15:55:25

    I agree it;s odd that no-one heard the gunshots. But the story seems to be simple enough. She walked out and he – presumably mentally ill in some way – took revenge.

  4. The Prodigal Son
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 19:07:28

    E.S. Mitchell… ~~~ ~~~ Exactly what difference does it make if the father WAS a black man and the mother white ?

  5. E.S. Mitchell
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 23:01:55

    I knew someone would ask that. It’s a point I wished to clarify after seeing an alleged family photo.

  6. Pansy
    Apr 06, 2009 @ 18:16:38

    I don’t see where the color of someone’s skin has anything to do at all in this matter. The parents got in a fight, the mother left. The father and oldest daughter followed the mother to a convenience store where they found her with another man. The mom said she wasn’t coming back. The father then drove home and committed the murders, then went looking for the mother. The casino where he was found was very close to the convenience store.

  7. shaeshae
    Apr 09, 2009 @ 09:47:50

    Every day more and more people are committing the ultimate crime of murder… and murdering their offspring at that. I could never understand what is going through someone’s mind where they’d want to kill their child, but FIVE of them is even more heinous.

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