What happened here?

I am not an investigator, and am not known for my researching abilities. When I come up with theories, more often than not, I am proven wrong. I am not going to make any guesses about the following case. All I have to go by are the newspaper articles.

Tyler Logan, 19, stands accused of his mother’s (Vicki Turner) and his grandmother’s (Wanda Faye Turner)murders. Tyler has told friends he did not do it. Friend’s have stated they don’t think he could do it. But often, friend’s only know what they have been allowed to see, and do not always recognize what another person might be capable of. Also sometimes friend’s don’t want to believe that someone they know is capable of murder. Still and all, those friend’s often see the discussions between two people in a relationship (and by that I mean a mother/son and grandmother/grandchild relationship). And in their words we get a tiny glimmer of what was happening in a relationship. That is what is happening in this case. Brice Smith evidently felt it was necessary to press his friend pretty hard about whether Tyler actually committed the murders. And Tyler denied having anything to do with it. Smith did mention that Tyler’s mother made him move out of the home and into the grandmother’s home next door, so that indicates there may have been some problems there.

The school principal mentioned that Tyler didn’t have behavior problems. But he noted that Tyler wasn’t always a happy kid. Some days he appeared happy, but some days  he appeared “down”. He participated in baseball previously, but didn’t most of this year, due to academic problems.

Tyler went to court, was arraigned for the two murders. It was mentioned that in the courtroom, Tyler was apparently visibly upset, and talking to himself. He began to cry when the judge told him that he was being charged with the murders.

Did Tyler use his hands and a rope to kill his mother and grandmother? Law enforcement evidently feels they have enough evidence to show that he did. He will go on trial, so that a fair look at that evidence can be done, and then a determination of his guilt or innocence will be done.

But, here is what interests me…. Evidently Tyler’s behavior at school was enough for the principal to notice that he was “down”. Previous participation in sports, followed by non-participation “for academic reasons” leads me to believe there was a drop in grades or performance. Mom ordering him to move to grandmother’s indicates some problems at home, but not severe enough to feel that law enforcement should become involved, nor does it suggest that he wasn’t loved. She sent him to his grandmother’s, maybe thinking that by separating him from herself, that with a little distance, maybe they could work things out. And after all it was just next door, so she could still keep an eye on him. It also shows that she didn’t feel he was dangerous in any way, as she sent him to her 73 year old mother’s to stay.

His loss of control in court, didn’t so much suprise me. He is 19, and going to court accused of a double murder, with a possible sentence of the death penalty….well that is pretty scary. But the comment that he was talking to himself in public. Now that is interesting. Because, when combined with the above history, makes me wonder if Tyler has any mental health history. Or if he maybe didn’t have some undiagnosed problem. Don’t get me wrong, I am not for people who have mental health disorders getting a pass on crimes they commit. If he committed the murders knowingly then he deserves the penalties. But, I am wondering if anyone ever looked at this boy and questioned whether or not he was having a problem. And whether or not he was getting treatment.

Parents often don’t recognize the importance of certain behavior’s in their children’s lives. If they do recognize a problem, often they attribute it to their teen years, to laziness, to stubbornness, or to a host of other reasons. Now Tyler was 19, he was one year past the age of consent. What that means is that he would have to agree to any treatment, or someone would have to go to court and prove he was incompetent in order to force him into treatment. Many mental health disorders don’t present themselves until about that age. And with most mental health disorders, the one who suffers them is the one who will have the most trouble recognizing that there is a problem.

Could these murders have been prevented? If someone had recognized a problem, requested a meeting with the mother and Tyler, and encouraged some mental health involvement, would that have made a difference? We don’t have the opportunity to know. For all we know at this point, Tyler may have been in some type of counseling. Certainly the friend and the principal might be reluctant to say so. Or maybe, I am wrong and there are no mental health problems in the background. Or maybe this was a situation where the law enforcement is wrong and he didn’t have anything to do with the murders. Or maybe this is a case where he just completely out of the blue- snapped and there was no prior indicators of the problems which led up to the murders. But somehow I don’t believe that. And no matter what, now it is too late.






  1. thpunishrr said,

    February 2, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    I like your insight on this case. It is so sad that there are so many people with real mental problems. Medication and counseling seems to work for the majority of people with true mental health issues. And then there are those that take advantage of this problem by making it an excuse for their actions. The whole subject of mental health problems linked with crime is a tough one. But many problems may be solved if we can stop offenders from offending and protect victims. So many children are victims, wether from all out child abuse to child neglect and just not loving them enough.



  2. thpunishrr said,

    February 3, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. My response:

    I agree, the dangers on the internet will only
    get worse until kids get educated and parents play active roles. I
    currently have an account on Xanga (a blogs site that kids use a lot) and
    leave comments on kids pages about the dangers involved. I don’t know if
    it will make a difference, but if I can raise awarness to the dangers
    of giving out too much personal information to just one kid, and that
    kid takes action and is then safer, it will be worth it. I have kids of
    my own and I do not like the way the future looks for them. And then
    there is the whole subject of teens being way too sexual on line (and in
    person). Well, now that I’m all riled up! I still believe its possible
    to raise kids with morales, goodness and in safety. But it takes a lot
    of time and parental love and involvement.

    Have a nice weekend!

  3. February 4, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    thpunishrr, welcome to my home. Feel free to drop by and visit me anytime. We can share peeping into other people’s windows and maybe learn a little about domestic violence at the same time.

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