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S. Fla. Psychologist Explains Violence Against Parents

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maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBS4) – The crimes stunned South Florida.  In two separate cases in two days, two sons were arrested for murdering their parents.

First in Port St. Lucie, 17 year old Tyler Hadley allegedly killed his mother and father with a hammer then had a party with their bodies inside the house.  A day later, in Pembroke Pines, police say 22 year old Gerard Belmonte murdered his mother, Natalie, then reported her missing and watched the search.

Neighbors can’t comprehend what happened.

“What’s the reason?  It just doesn’t make sense to me,” said the Belmonte’s neighbor, Brian Tonietti.

Psychologist Cheryl Gotthelf says it’s natural for people to be both curious and concerned about a crime that seems to defy human nature.

“We’re brought up with a value system and ethics – honor thy mother and father,” she said, “it is so against society.”

While the crimes are rare Gotthelf said parents can learn something.

“People need to maybe take from this that if a child is troubled or if a child’s behavior changes it needs to be looked at by somebody,” she said.

While we may never understand the motive behind the crimes, the doctor said it’s important to remember that they are isolated incidents that happened to occur in the same timeframe.  She said she does anticipate copycat crimes.

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