NOTE: Thanks to AofA reader, commenter and contributor Jonathan Rose for his alert to the updates on this macabre story. Scott Kologi is accused of shooting four family members on New Year's Eve with a semi-automatic rifle. He has autism. Most of us know that our kids are not aggressively violent - meaning they do not plot violence or retaliation or revenge on others. Most are rule followers and the rule of law is a comfort. However, I know that even in my pretty young women girls, they can have behaviors that are called "aggression." It's a dark secret for many families. Patching spackle is always at the ready for holes in walls. Scratches are laughed off as a bad kitty cat in the house. Bruises are fodder for banter between us in quiet talks. Sudden rage is a problem in autism and Asperger's too. Uncontrolled outbursts are shocking. Share your experience if you want to, in our comments. We'll follow this case - it blows away many of the myths created around autism. And it begs the question the media loathes asking - we're psych medications a factor? No matter, a 16 year old with autism is looking at life in prison or a psychiatric ward. His family members are in deep mourning. It's a horror all around. Surely we can find it in our hearts to at least think about his future - since it may be the same for many of us..... Also, thanks to John Robison for his contribution to the story below in app.com. Kim
Click here for several in depth stories about the Kologi family.
Nearly a week after a Long Branch teen said to have autism allegedly shot and killed his mother, father, sister and a family friend, a host of critical questions remain unanswered.
Among them: What happened inside the family’s modest brick home on Wall Street leading up to the shootings, which took place minutes before the stroke of midnight ushered in the new year?
And what about the alleged murder weapon, described as a semiautomatic AK-style rifle? Whose rifle was it, and how did the boy accused of the shooting, 16-year-old Scott Kologi, get a hold of it?
The teen is facing four counts of murder and a weapons charge in the deaths of his parents, 42-year-old Steven and 44-year-old Linda Kologi; his 18-year-old sister, Brittany Kologi; and a family friend, 70-year-old Mary Schulz.
Few answers have been forthcoming after a judge barred the press from covering the juvenile court hearing and another judge issued a gag order to prevent lawyers from talking about the case. But one answer may never be known, even to Scott Kologi himself and his surviving relatives: What role, if any, did autism play?
It’s a complex, emotionally charged question, one that has surfaced in the aftermath of other mass shootings by individuals who had exhibited anti-social, autistic-like behavior.
That was the case with Adam Lanza, who killed 20 children and six adults in the 2012 shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Lanza, who shot and killed his mother prior to going to the school, and later committed suicide, had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum.
Two years after Sandy Hook, a study published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behavior added to the controversy.
The researchers examined the cases of 239 killers who had murdered at least three people since 1985 and found that 28 percent of them had “definite, highly probable or possible” autism. Among them was Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. While Dahmer was never clinically diagnosed with autism, “evidence exists to suggest he displayed numerous indications of Asperger syndrome,” the study said.
The study met with a fierce backlash from critics who faulted the study’s methodology and speculative conclusions.