Home Crime Man serving three life sentences for killing wife and children suggests medication could have prompted attack – The Independent

Man serving three life sentences for killing wife and children suggests medication could have prompted attack – The Independent

0
Man serving three life sentences for killing wife and children suggests medication could have prompted attack – The Independent

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in
‘The paranoia that came out of me was incredible,’ Neal Jacobson says
Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile
Man serving three life sentences for killing family suggests medication prompted attack
Neal Jacobson is serving three life sentences after being convicted of the murders of his wife and seven-year-old twin boys in 2010. He’s now asking, alongside doctors, family, and friends, if the crimes could have been partially prompted by prescribed medication.
The shootings of his wife Franki and their sons Joshua and Eric shocked the upmarket Florida village of Wellington, west of Palm Beach and north of Miami more than a decade ago.
Neal Jacobson is serving three life sentences after killing his wife and children in 2010
Jacobson, who was seen as a kind and loving husband and father, killed his family weeks after starting to take Zoloft, an antidepressant, and Xanax for anxiety, The Palm Beach Post reported. He has never denied committing the murders.
Jacobson met Franki when they lived in the same apartment building in Queens in New York City. After both working as stockbrokers, they left the field to start a mortgage brokerage company in New Jersey in 1993. Leaving the company behind, they moved to Florida in 2007 to be closer to Jacobson’s parents and to get away from the cold winters up north.
As the financial crisis hit the country, they struggled financially after moving. Jacobson was diagnosed with vertigo and depression on 2 January 2010 following complaints of feeling dizzy and lethargic after Christmas. He was given prescriptions for the commonly used medications Xanax and Zoloft.
Family and friends said his personality changed very quickly after starting to use the drugs, according to The Palm Beach Post.
He started hallucinating, becoming anxious and paranoid, and he started to struggle to sleep properly.
About three weeks later, on Saturday 23 January 2010, Jacobson shot his wife at around 6.30am following a brief struggle over a gun. He then shot Eric and Joshua, who were sleeping at the time. It was only hours until their seventh birthday party was set to begin.
Palm Beach County prosecutor Andrew Slater argued for the death penalty. To avoid that possibility, Jacobson’s public defender hired an expert who was willing to testify that he had been insane when the murders took place.
But his lawyers didn’t believe that the jury in the case would be convinced that Jacobson had been insane, and they instead urged their client to plead guilty to avoid being sentenced to death.
Jacobson took the plea deal but later attempted suicide in prison, saying that he didn’t think he deserved to live.
“They never did anything in my life other than to make me love them,” Jacobson told The Palm Beach Post, referring to his wife and children. “And people have a hard time and say, ‘How can he do that if he loved them?’ But the person that did that to them is not me.”
“I woke up early in the morning, and I remember I’m in my closet, and I’m kind of sitting on the floor hearing voices. ‘You gotta go, now’s the time, you have to go.’ And these voices just kept getting louder and louder and more intense,” he told the paper.
Concerning the doctor’s visit on 2 January 2010, Jacobson said “all I wanted the doctor to do, was to tell me how to feel better. I’m the type of person that if a doctor tells me what to do … I follow their orders. I’m not a rogue person that’s like ‘I’m not doing that’ or ‘I know it better than you’. If you tell me I need to take an antidepressant, I’m going to take that”.
He said after starting to take the medication that “the paranoia that came out of me was incredible. I hadn’t slept for two hours a night for about two and a half weeks straight when I got my medication. That medication did something to me. The Zoloft, it felt like my brain was literally on fire. It felt like it was so hot.”
He said he had an “amazing” relationship with his wife and that they were the “best of friends”.
“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t cry,” he added.
The Independent has reached out to drugmaker Viatris for comment.
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
{{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.
Already have an account? sign in
By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.
Neal Jacobson is serving three life sentences after killing his wife and children in 2010
Florida Department of Corrections
Neal Jacobson is serving three life sentences after killing his wife and children in 2010
Florida Department of Corrections
Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.
Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in
Log in
New to The Independent?
Or if you would prefer:
Want an ad-free experience?
Hi {{indy.fullName}}

source

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here