Last month, police officers responded to a domestic dispute at the home of 48-year-old Randall Coffland. On Friday, March 10, they returned to a grisly scene. Coffland had murdered his twin daughters, committed suicide, and shot his wife, purposely leaving her alive to "suffer."
Family murder-suicides, otherwise known as "familicides," are all too familiar to anyone who watches true crime television or listens to podcasts like Sword and Scale. Although less common than other types of murders, they strike particular fear into people's hearts. What would drive a loved one to inflict death, pain, and suffering on their own family?
Reportedly, Coffland wanted his estranged wife to "suffer." While police were called to their Illinois home a month earlier, no crime had been committed at that time. In retrospect, Coffland had been displaying many of the signs attributed to familicide, including jealousy, a controlling nature, and gun ownership.
A word of warning -- the facts and audio to follow are distressing.
Before wounding his wife, Coffland shot and killed their twin daughters, Brittany and Tiffany. One was found in her bed, while the other was on the couch. They would have turned 17 years old on Tuesday, March 15.