PTSD And Homicidal Behavior

Benjamin Colton Barnes

Benjamin Colton Barnes

Many commenters on CNN’s website believe this article unfairly conflates PTSD and homicidal behavior.  What do you think?

A man opens fire in a national park, killing a ranger who was attempting to stop him after he blew through a vehicle checkpoint.A second man is suspected in the stabbing deaths of four homeless men in Southern California.

Both men, U.S. military veterans, served in Iraq — and both, according to authorities and those who knew them, returned home changed men after their combat service.

A coincidence — two recent high-profile cases? Or a sign of an increase in hostile behavior as U.S. troops complete their withdrawal from Iraq, similar to that seen when U.S. troops returned home from the Vietnam War?

“You’re going to see this more and more over the next 10 years,” said Shad Meshad, founder of the National Veterans Foundation, who has been working with veterans since 1970. “… There’s a percentage that come back, depending on how much trauma and how much killing they’re involved in, they’re going to act out.”

Margaret Anderson, a ranger at Washington state’s Mount Rainier National Park, was shot to death on New Year’s Day. Police believe Benjamin Colton Barnes, who served in Iraq from 2007 to 2009, was responsible for the shooting. After a manhunt, authorities found Barnes’ body face down in a creek in the park.

According to court documents obtained by CNN affiliate KIRO, the woman with whom Barnes was in a custody dispute said she believed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from his deployment. Barnes was emotionally unstable, vindictive and anger-prone, the woman said, and owned many knives and guns. The woman said she was frightened to be in the same state with him, the documents said.

In California, former Marine Cpl. Itzcoatl Campo is accused of stabbing four homeless men to death. According to the military, Campo was deployed to Iraq during 2008…

Read more at CNN.

18 Comments on "PTSD And Homicidal Behavior"


    1) Take young men
    2) Teach them how to kill
    3) Send them to some shithole country they don’t give a fuck about
    4) There, put them in “kill or be killed” situations repeatedly
    5) Continue this until they’ve seen and done many horrible things
    6) Bring them home and thank them for their “service”


    Veterans stuffed in insane asylums and / or prison and / or hospitals

    • Hadrian999 | Feb 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

      the reality is actually much worse than that, often if a soldier shows signs of mental breakdown it is deemed a pre existing condition and they are treated like frauds sometimes being forced to repay signing bonus money with interest.
      Every man reacts to the effects of deployment and combat differently and the military doesn’t seem to want to deal with men who don’t deal with it well

      • Notyocheeze | Feb 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm |

        Bullshit, I was a investigator in the Military it would be illegal to force someone to repay funds for a medical discharge if they were unaware of a pre-existing condition. This is a good way to loose your commission.

        • Anarchy Pony | Feb 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

          That’s cute, you assume that everyone follows the rules all the time.

          • Hadrian999 | Feb 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm |

            considering you can appearently commit mass murder and only lose a little pay i doubt military officials are scared of the consequences of screwing over soldiers.

          • Notyocheeze | Feb 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm |

            Yea.. I guess all those people in Leavonworth just walked in on their own. Whatever.. pretend things are worse than they are so you can cry wahhh at night.. 

          • jigglyboobs | Feb 6, 2012 at 3:15 am |

             and for every guy in leavenworth you know damn well there are 20 or 30 who are given an article 15 slap-on-the-wrist when they deserve a court martial. ir you’re in the military and are unaware of the lengths they will go to to avoid punishing soldiers for crimes, you’re an idiot or a propagandist.

    • HorribleButTrue | Feb 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm |

      “take young men” Sorry, but there has not been a draft for some time now. These young men and women are not “taken” – they volunteer. They are thinking/feeling human beings and can choose to conscientiously object at any time. Some will argue that the soldiers have been so thoroughly brainwashed that they are no longer able to make rational/moral decisions. If that is the case, then they are mindless zombies and are already as good as dead…  

      • jigglyboobs | Feb 6, 2012 at 3:09 am |

         also the armed forces rely on jail-pardon options to keep their recruitment numbers up in wartime; plenty of these guys were already predisposed to violence before going to a warzone where they could be violent without consequences.
        the fbi released a report crying that gangs have ‘infiltrated’ deeply into the armed forces; BULLSHIT, we released gangbangers into the ranks, what the fuck did they think would happen?

      • Lizzie_1973 | Apr 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm |

         Unless you have served in the capacity that these soldiers served in, and I mean in an exacting way, do what they had to do, see what they had to see, take part in things that they had to take part in, be witness to friends-brothers-sisters being maimed or killed in horrific manners, then get off of your soap box. Also, might I ad, it has everything to do with ones own ability to process and debrief and digest actions and going from a kill or be killed reality, to life in the states where the average American’s concern is with getting their coffee in the mornings and muddling through life,  You have no foundation upon which you may stand. Step off of your soap box! You are by far the epitome of ignorance when it comes to PTSD and TBI.

  2. and why? because a tiny sector of war profiteers can make billions of dollar.
    and what in the short term? our taxes get devoured, schools are closed, police are poorly trained animals, and our roads fall apart.
    what what in the long run? our service men and women go crazy, some percentage of them resort to killing innocents, some percentage of them commit suicide, none of them fully recover; our education plummets in comparison to the rest of the world; our economy continually reaches new lows; an ever increasing percentage of our children are nasty video game raised blood thirsty mutants confused on whether it’s ok to kill and piss on the dead bodies of people that are different than them or not.

    and why? because a tiny sector of war profiteers can make billions of dollar. buy a new watch and die lonely choking on a champagne flavored condom. -_-‘

    at least Obama did an awesome job of pulling our troops out like he said he would. two thumbs up for filling all those promises, ignoring the public’s questions in your online addresses, and spamming my e-mail box with birthday cards for your daughters while our brothers and sister continue to spill their own blood under your orders.


  3. When you come back from the atrocities that have been committed,  and have participated you realize that everything you have been told about your life,  and this country since infancy has been a lie.  You watched it burn,  the whole fairy tale,  with your own eyes.

    • eyeoftheaxis | Feb 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

      He hurt his back in Iraq, while doing some sort of improper lifting. Pot showed up on his piss test. Now home in the “loving arms” of religious fundamentalists, pathological liars, teabaggers, and Faux News fans. His service $ pulled from him over the piss test. Not the guy I want to hang with, for sure not when he is all liquored up. ( true story ) Just one guy, not saying that war is not hell, or all solders are like this guy. Just pointing out how once home they will have lots of people telling them “ who you going to believe us or your own lying eyes “. I could see the solder wanting to cling to the past in spite of it all. Not getting the attention he needs from his government, and believing everything Faux News has to say because they are the ones that reinforce the illusion he once had. The guy I mentioned was pissed at me over my support for #OWS … also not getting his government check and having his vehicle repossessed. Somehow it was all connected in his mind

  4. chinagreenelvis | Feb 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

    Of course, the Hollywood version makes the PTSD crazypants the hero of the story and then lets him have three sequels.

  5. Redacted | Feb 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm |

    Poor guy probably just heard “Ranger” and opened fire. Anyone whos ever been mechanized and had to deal with their new Platoon Sergeant being a Ranger will relate.

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