The Other McCain

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Teen Killer ‘Just Wasn’t Right’

Posted on | April 27, 2014 | 38 Comments

Could this tragedy have been avoided?

The 16-year-old who allegedly hacked a fellow student to death at a suburban Connecticut high school after she refused to be his prom date is a ‘cutter’ who had previously attempted suicide and has a history of depression, his classmates have told MailOnline.
Chris Plaskon has been identified by parents and students as the teen arrested after Friday’s brutal attack on Maren Sanchez, the beloved junior prom queen. Friends say he battled ADHD and other mental issues that led to sometimes bizarre behavior in the classroom.
‘He just wasn’t right. I know his cousin. He didn’t act right,’ 16-year-old Seamus O’Reilly said Friday.
‘He had depression.’
Plaskon allegedly attacked Sanchez, whom he dated a few years earlier in middle school, in the stairwell at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, Connecticut, Friday morning — stabbing her in the throat and hacking her to death with a kitchen knife as she fought for her life.
He is currently being held in a mental health ward, charged with murder as a juvenile but prosecutors have said they are considering filing adult charges against him.
Tyler Curtin, 16 . . . said he believed Plaskon struggled with mental illness — including cutting himself. . . .
‘He had ADHD and took strong medicine for it and had other things, too,’ Curtin said. . . .
Classmates, even the ones who said they once knew Plaskon well, said nothing in his behavior had ever indicated he was capable of violence.
‘He was such a nice, sweet kid,’ Curtin said.

Yes, “such a nice, sweet kid” — until he stabbed a girl in the neck.

As Chris Rock famously asked, “Whatever happened to crazy?”

“What, you can’t be crazy no more? Did we eliminate ‘crazy’ from the dictionary? . . . When l was a kid, they used to separate the crazy kids from everybody. When l was a kid, the crazy kids went to school in a little-a** bus. They had a class at the end of the school . . . Just in case they went crazy, they would only hurt other crazy kids. And we was all safe.”

 

 

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Comments

  • Anon Y. Mous

    Friends say he battled ADHD and other mental issues that led to sometimes bizarre behavior in the classroom.
    [...]
    ‘He had ADHD and took strong medicine for it and had other things, too,’ Curtin said. . . .

    I would be interested to know the composition of the drug cocktail that he was on. Was this merely a result of mental heath issues, or were the drugs he was taking part of the problem? And, perhaps he should have been institutionalized instead of (merely) medicated.

  • Pablo

    Yes. ADHD = acting like a boy. Treating boyhood with serious drugs = crazy.

  • sarah wells

    Like there’s anyplace to “institutionalize” semi-functional mentally ill kids. Sure there are beds for suicidal crises and kids who’ve already tried to stab someone. Not this kid.

  • sarah wells

    This kid’s problem wasn’t “boyhood” – he’s probably schizophrenic or on that spectrum. The diagnosis is usually long delayed because of DSM guidelines and reluctance to attach that label so early.

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  • Anon Y. Mous

    True about the ADHD, if that was all. But, he was a cutter. That is, someone who had a fascination with, or received some kind of release from, watching the blade he was wielding slice into his own skin. That is not just normal being a boy kind of behavior.

    Of course, the question is, was the really crazy behavior something that came before they medicated him, or was it something that possibly developed as a result of the drugs he was being given.

  • Mike G.

    As a person who had to take some weird concoctions of drugs for a year or so, if not for the life threatening condition I was being treated for, I would have refused to take any of them. Every. Single. One. had the potential side effect of suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety, as well as other more physical effects.

    I had one drug for anxiety/depression, but quit taking it after only a week. The morning after taking it…mouth felt like I’d been dragged behind a horse across the desert face first. Couldn’t drink enough water to get the dry, sandy taste out of my mouth. (It was really prescribed as a sleep aid to counteract the severe itching from another drug.)

    That’s the weird thing about most drugs to treat depression…the potential to sink you even further into the depths of despair.

  • Jeanette Victoria

    There was a time when a mentally ill person was medicated in hospital under the supervision of medical personal, now they are just sent home with strong and dangerous medications. That’s a recipe for disaster

  • Mal

    Or, maybe….
    Having been brought up in an age where every kid gets an award even for just showing up and nobody really loses because score-keeping isn’t allowed or when it is – it’s rigged, he never learned how to deal with occasionally being thwarted. He never had the opportunity to learn “Sometimes you lose, kid. Keep trying!”
    Who knows?
    One thing does seem certain: there will be those who blame the access to knives.
    My heart goes out to the family of this monster’s victim. They need and deserve every prayer now.

  • JeffS

    Whatever happened to crazy?

    Crazy ran for Congress. And won.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I do not know what his actual diagnosis is, but he was certainly not normal. It is not normal to murder a girl because she turns you down for the prom (especially when she was already going with another guy and he confronts her the morning of the event).

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    President too. Or is that the First Lady?

  • Kirby McCain

    After some kids got drunk and killed someone with a car our local DA charged the person who provided the alcohol with murder. Parents of messed up kids need to be held accountable. How did the kid get messed up to begin with?

  • Cube

    Sometimes that’s appropriate but often it’s not that simple. In the teen years, kids make their own decisions and sometimes choose poorly. Parents who don’t know what else to do and try to get help for a kid with problems find the mental health system doesn’t have any idea what to do either. It’s a case of ‘Try this. Oh, that didn’t work, try this instead.’ Etc, etc. Hopefully the professionals either hit on a solution or the kid figures it out on their own. When neither one happens, its a real problem.

  • Cube

    Sometimes that’s appropriate but often it’s not that simple. In the teen years, kids make their own decisions and sometimes choose poorly. Parents who don’t know what else to do and try to get help for a kid with problems find the mental health system doesn’t have any idea what to do either. It’s a case of ‘Try this. Oh, that didn’t work, try this instead.’ Etc, etc. Hopefully the professionals either hit on a solution or the kid figures it out on their own. When neither one happens, its a real problem.

  • Daniel O’Brien

    The parents were the prescribing doctor?

  • Daniel O’Brien

    The parents were the prescribing doctor?

  • Rosalie

    When my grandson was in grade school, and acting like a typical boy (and didn’t concentrate as much as the teacher liked) they tried to put him on medicine. My daughter and her husband went to a meeting and told them what they could do with their medicine. Instead, they worked with him, and as he matured, he settled down. He is now 16, a straight A student, and a very disiplined swimmer who has to get up at 4 in the morning for practice. Who knows what would have happened if he had been put on medicine.

  • Rosalie

    When my grandson was in grade school, and acting like a typical boy (and didn’t concentrate as much as the teacher liked) they tried to put him on medicine. My daughter and her husband went to a meeting and told them what they could do with their medicine. Instead, they worked with him, and as he matured, he settled down. He is now 16, a straight A student, and a very disiplined swimmer who has to get up at 4 in the morning for practice. Who knows what would have happened if he had been put on medicine.

  • Robin H

    I would agree with that only if the parents never sought professional help for him. As a parent I have to trust the doctors that I use, they are supposed to be the experts. And if they’re in the care of a professional, what else am I supposed to do? It is so hard to get anyone committed to a mental health facility, and many times these teens are very good at hiding what’s going on in their heads.

  • http://youtu.be/ZGPHeP32hLU CrustyB

    “Crazy” went into the ashcan of the human language. Just like “honor.”

  • http://alanye.com daialanye

    Let’s not use the excuses of “drugs” and “crazy.” Regardless of whatever problems he had, he deliberately tried to kill an innocent person, and should be fried.

  • Rosalie

    Just remember, doctors are not infallible. Be proactive and do research on the Internet. I know, sometimes it gets confusing, but it’s worth it.

  • palintologist

    The existence of “ADHD” is being challenged daily, and ADHD is losing.

  • texlovera

    I’m sorry to clog up the comments, but for the last several days, whenever I come to the site, I get a home page that is several days old. If I do a google search for “the other mccain” and restrict the results to the last 24 hours, newer stories show up which I can then access. However, if I click on the banner from one of the newer stories, I wind up back at the older page.

    Anyone else having this issue??

  • Rosalie

    Thank goodness! I believe that many parents are intimidated by school officials into getting their kids on drugs. And then there may be parents who take the easy way out.

  • Rosalie

    I did. Someone advised me to clear my cache. That took care of it.

  • Robin H

    That happened to me at another website and it just miraculously cleared itself up. I think it’s gremlins.

  • Julie Pascal

    Yes but the point is that you can still fail and people will still blame you because somehow you didn’t do what you ought to do.

    Some kids are crazy. It’s not their parents fault.

  • Julie Pascal

    I was reading up on ADHD (stuff about food colorings, so YMMV) but one thing sort of struck me… and that was the statement that a lot of kids only needed the medication for school and went off it on weekends and holidays, but if you only needed it for *school* then it was a school problem and not an kid problem. That made sense to me. Some of the parent testimonials described kids that were bouncing off walls and had zero impulse control 24/7. That’s way different than a kid that is fine at home, but can’t manage school.

    I think that what’s different now is that we don’t allow anyone to be removed from school when they don’t deal with that environment in a healthy way.

  • Julie Pascal

    I guess when I heard of this and read that she’d fought and bit him and stuff… I thought… where was everyone else? Was the hallway deserted? How long was this fight? Maybe it was fast and maybe no one was there… but we really do train our young people not to intervene. We train the reflexes of young people not to get into fights and not to get involved. We punish the defenders the same as we punish aggressors. I don’t think about why the crazy kid did what he did and I don’t wonder about his parents or his drug load… crazy is crazy. What I wonder is about the response. And yes, I do think that 16 year olds have a moral responsibility, just like any other human who is not a child, to put themselves at some risk… three other students in a pile-on and no one is getting stabbed.

  • Rosalie

    Of course not. I just think that we need to know what’s out there and what others are doing for it.

  • Bozikek

    Was going to remark, from a few years ago cutting self harm in boys was almost unknown but it has been exploding.

    I’m not 100% of what to make of it but my personal bias is to attribute to the effemination of boys,

  • DaveO

    Short answer: the tragedy could have been avoided. Longer answer: based on the various and sundry diagnoses of mental imbalance, I wonder how many medications made up the kid’s hormonal cocktail, and how many faddish treatments and behavior-mods the kid endured before he went psychotic. If he was on Ritalin after puberty, he would have lost his mind after a week from lack of sleep. Happened to a soldier of mine.

  • DaveO

    By calling attention to it, people are learning what it is and more people are doing it.

  • DaveO

    At the end of the day, the father and mother of the child are responsible. If the child is an adult, then s/he is responsible. It’s like that saying: ‘in America the successful man has a father, but a murderer is an orphan.’

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    I had it happen, too. I figured Stacy was out yellin’ at people to get off his lawn.

    Then a day later I figured, “uh oh, he’s moving again to keep the bunker secure.”

    Then another day, and I thought, “hey, I wonder who gets the Gran Torino?”

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