Gay man’s gruesome murder draws attention to broken mental health system

Posted on 13 Sep 2008 at 11:02am

By now many of you likely have read my story in Friday’s print edition about the gay Dallas man who was apparently killed and dismembered inside his apartment recently. I wanted to post this comment from Karen, which she made in response to my post below seeking info about the victim, Richard Hernandez. I agree with Karen that the saddest part of all this is that it easily could have been prevented if the suspect, Seth Winder, had gotten the help he needed. I know this is a complicated issue, but the bottom line is that the current system IS NOT WORKING in this country when it comes to mental health. Here’s Karen’s post:

“A lot of his [Hernandez's] friends have posted on the DMN news site, and MYKDFW, one guy Scotty the comic, may have known other friends of the victim. I’m on the other side of it and am a friend of the family of the accused. I can honestly tell you I was fearful of Seth and I know from observing his increasingly bizarre behavior that he is in fact mentally ill. … I could never imagine knowing someone who could commit a crime such as this. My deepest sympathies go to his friends and family. Seth’s family is devastated and we all tried time and again to get something done about him and his mental illness. The police, the county sheriff, his probation officer, MHMR, etc. No one would listen to any of us or do anything. The laws must be changed to make sure that mentally ill adults can be committed! I’ve written to our senators already. I will do whatever it takes to get some new legislation passed to at least help prevent a future tragedy!”

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