You Shouldn’t Celebrate the Death of Facebook Killer Steve Stephens
Cleveland Facebook killer Steve Stephens killed himself today after a brief police chase in Pennsylvania.
The manhunt is over, and when I saw the news, I felt a twinge of relief, but no sense of rejoicing.
Some of my friends have called it the 'best possible outcome,' while others have said he 'got off easy.'
I couldn't disagree more.
A sane, rational person doesn't murder a stranger in cold blood and broadcast it online for the world to see. The 'best possible outcome' is a society that recognizes the signs of mental illness in someone and gets that person help before they 'snap' so that tragedy is avoided.
Being so desperate and lost in your mental demons that you resort to murder and suicide doesn't seem like getting off easy. (Not to mention that this hardly seems like justice for his victim, Robert Godwin, and his family. They will get no apology from their loved one's killer, no chance to face Stephens and have him see their grief and loss.)
Let's be real. Anyone who has dealt with depression, like I have, can tell you nothing about it is easy.
Whatever mental illness Steve Stephens was battling, be it psychosis or depression or extreme rage or long-term stress-induced 'snapping' or some combination, it's led to a horrible series of events for everyone involved.
So, sure, I'm relieved that I don't have to worry about this particular deranged person wandering around on a potential killing spree, but I'm horrified that so many people have dismissed this as someone who is just a 'piece of shit.'
He was clearly sick, and mental healthcare is just not nearly as accessible as it needs to be.
I do not believe Steve Stephens 'got what he deserved.' He deserved help in a time of crisis. It may have saved a couple of lives.
If you are in crisis, please reach out for help:
- Crisis Textline - 741741
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1-800-273-8255
- Mental Health Resources