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Sep 182013

In an article in USA today, the mother of the Navy Yard shooter tells USA today how sad she is for the families of the victims, and how she wonders “why” her son did what he did, but because he was killed in the shootout with police she will never be able to ask him.


Our son Aaron Alexis has murdered 12 people and wounded several others,” Cathleen Alexis says in the statement. “His actions have had a profound and everlasting effect on the families of the victims. I don’t know why he did what what he did, and I’ll never be able to ask him, why. Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad. To the families of the victims, I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken.”

Her comment that Aaron is now in a “place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad” just broke my heart. I wish I could surround this woman with my arms and tell her that she can still heal.

There is some evidence reported that her son “heard voices” and that he had been in trouble before enlisting when the services started taking some recruits who had some offending background. It isn’t unusual for schizophrenia to first start symptoms of the person being out of contact with reality about age 18-20. Though I can’t  of course make a diagnosis based on news reports (which frequently lack all the facts or get facts wrong) it does sound like this young man was not in touch with reality when he killed those people.

I’m not sure if that would be a comfort to her, but I know it would be for me. Unfortunately my son was well in contact with reality and knew exactly what he was doing, getting revenge on someone he thought “betrayed” him by “ratting him out” for the credit card scam. So instead of going back to prison for a couple more years, he’s been back in for over 20 years.

I pray that Mrs. Alexis can find comfort and eventual peace. God bless her is my prayer.

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  8 Responses to “The mother of Aaron Alexis Speaks Navy yard shooter

  1. I just read this and came over here to see if there was anything about it.

    My deepest sympathies for the mother, but I am also proud of her for NOT saying he didn’t do it, my son would never do such a thing or the many other things people in denial say after such tragedies. Her son has not only profoundly impacted the lives of the victims families and friends, but the lives of his own family and friends as well. I hope they can all find peace someday. Such a sad chain of events.

  2. We can empathize with the killer’s mother, appreciating her heartfelt apology. This woman will live with what her son did, not being an easy task. I don’t know why her son did what he did. May God be with her, comforting her during this time.

  3. Yes, this poor woman has a huge burden to bear…losing her son, and the public shame of what he did, the guilt and remorse on her part, the self blame of “I should have known” etc. but we who have been or are ini h er shoes know that she is not to blame, the shame is not hers, but she will always be known as “the mother of that crazed killer” and other things. Read Babette Hughes’ article if you haven’t already. This is an amazing woman! Her father was a bootlegger and a killer and was then murdered himself by the mob, and even as a small child there were parents who would not let their kids play with her because of what her father was and had done. Her mother was totally traumatized by it as well. I just ordered Babette’s book about her early life and coming to grips with her family secret.

    I am very proud to have Babette write an article for FA.

  4. To Mrs. Alexis, I can only offer my most sincere and deepest condolences – she not only lost a son, but she lost her own identity as a result of someone else’s actions.

    One of my former classmates was at the Navy Yard during this event, and she’s still in shock and hasn’t even begun to process the trauma, yet. But, I believe that Mrs. Alexis’ recovery is going to be more difficult than that of the survivors – she (and, anyone else in the family) NEEDS support and forgiveness because SHE didn’t commit the crimes.

    I cannot imagine how she feels. Not even in my darkest imaginings. I hope and pray that the public recognizes that she was not responsible for her son’s actions and offers her comfort, as well.

  5. Truthy, you expressed my feelings exactly and very well.

    I hope your friend recovers her sense of safety to some extent. Of course all of us would like to feel “safe” in this world, and total safety is of course a myth, but the hypervigilence that comes from such a traumatic event can totally destroy our sense of safety.

    Accepting that unexpected, violent and traumatic events do occur, from car crashes to huge storms, to something like this man going off shooting people…so in reality, life is NOT totally safe, stuff happens, but even knowing that, experiencing that, we can go on in spite of that.

    God bless all the survivors and their families, and that includes the Alexis family.

  6. Here’s today’s article about Aaron Alexis and the “voices” he heard.


    WASHINGTON — A month before he went on the shooting rampage that killed 12 people, Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis complained to police in Rhode Island that people were talking to him through the walls and ceilings of his hotel rooms and sending microwave vibrations into his body to deprive him of sleep.

    The account, contained in an Aug. 7 report from Newport, R.I., police, adds to the picture that has emerged of an agitated and erratic figure whose behavior and mental state had repeatedly come to authorities’ attention but didn’t seem to affect his security clearance.

    • Joyce, my concern about such tragic events is always that the discussion is going to be about gun control – a normal and rational discussion cannot take place after such a horrific event.

      I’m neither pro or anti gun. But, I believe that the HIPPA Law needs to be fine tuned. My belief is that HIPPA can actually create such tragic scenarios because it is illegal for professionals to “alert” employers, etc. about a patient’s state of mind, UNLESS the patient makes a direct threat against someone or a group, specifically. In case of a direct threat, the treating professional is only legally allowed to alert the named target(s). This is my understanding of HIPPA with regard to mental health, so PLEASE correct me if it’s wrong.

      Now, this law was written and enacted to prevent discrimination and machinations – let’s just SAY that a couple is divorcing and one of the parties has been battling depression and/or anxiety – the OTHER party cannot access this information to use against the other parent for purposes of gaining custody of the children. I get this. OR, if a person applies for employment, employers cannot access this information to discriminate or FIRE someone from their position. I get this.

      But, when a patient/client presents agitation, hearing disembodied voices, and other very clear symptoms of serious mental illness, people need to be alerted!!!!

      I feel SO badly for Mrs. Alexis and her family, just as much as I do for all of the innocent victims involved in this terrible tragedy.

  7. Yes, Truthy, Mrs Alexis is also an innocent victim whose life is forever changed.

    I just read an article about how people’s political views are made STRONGER by evidence that they are wrong….WOW~! Go figure. LOL

    HIPPA has some benefits and some negatives effects as well…most laws do. Unfortunately you can’t legislate morality or good sense.

    As for gun control, Austraulia outlawed guns and now they have more gun crime than ever because the bad guys are NOT going to give up their guns and they know that now the honest people are not armed to protect themselves.

    Mexico has strict gun bans, but look at how the murder rate by guns is horrible because all the drug cartels are heavily armed with machine guns and the people are not able to own a gun to protect themselves.

    There are plenty of laws already on the books here about who can legally buy a gun and who can’t and they do not prevent people from stealing them, or getting someone else to buy them. My son Andrew’s wife bought guns for herself and her BF who was a felon and couldn’t buy one, which is a felony on her part to do so knowingly, She and her BF also plotted how to murder Andrew as well, which is of course, against the law.

    Patrick got a gun immediately after release from prison, and 5 months later used it to kill Jessica Witt, but you know, he would never follow LAWS, he is ABOVE them don’t you know? Laws are for others not him and his kind.

    Thousands more people are killed or maimed each year by drunk/drugged drivers which is illegal and still on any given Friday night 10% of the drivers on the road are LEGALLY DRUNK OR DRUGGED…they know it is against the law but do it anyway.

    How about that man in China who took a knife and went to a preschool and killed 21 children? He didn’t have a gun, but he had the desire to kill and acted on it.

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