Cannibalistic teen found eating dead man’s face had issues with mental illness
According to his behavior and to the journal that he kept
19 year old Austin Harrouff, the young man who murdered a couple then proceeded to eat part of the murdered man’s face actually wrote in his journal about having issues with anxiety.
According to his family, he often spoke to himself, believed that he had some sort of special powers, had been sent to save people and according to the FBI toxicology report, he had no detectable hallucinogens in his system at the time of the murders.
He has plead not guilty, which is to be expected.
While his case may be incredibly disturbing, what I find even more disturbing is the fact that his family appears to have known something was deeply wrong with this young man prior to his crime.
Leading up to the crime, his family described his odd behavior for investigators. Some of the behavior included telling his mother that he had special powers, was attempting to drink cooking oil, stated that he had become immortal, had the power to unlock doors and claimed to be half human/half animal.
He uploaded a YouTube video prior to the murders where he describes his mental agony, stating that he had both “psycho side and a normal side. I’ve lost my mind, help me find it.”
The 19th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office released hundreds of documents in the case on Wednesday, many of the documents were Austin’s writings, where he further describes his mental anguish.
“Do you know what it feels like to be so afraid to speak? Becoming a bully ‘cause all the bullies bullied me, fuck man, I just wanted to be accepted. The anxiety I feel inside feels like I internally bleed.”
Clearly, leading up to the crime he was suffering a great deal from a mental illness and cannibalism has long been considered a form of schizophrenia, which can cause hallucinations and delusions when the reasons for it are other than survival or ritual.
Austin’s case truly brings into question holding someone accountable who is mentally insane during the commission of his/her crime.
We must carefully consider if he is found competent to stand trial is he truly competent?
Individuals who suffer from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia have moments of clarity that can last days, weeks, months and even years and at the same time have no recollection of a crime they might have committed.
That said, prison would not be a solution for Austin, however I agree that he could not be living on his own in his condition currently and for the foreseeable future.
I do believe however, that his parents should face some form of punishment for the simple fact that they knew something was wrong with this young man and did absolutely nothing to help him.
They above anyone else, could have started a chain of events that would have prevented the deaths of John Stevens and Michelle Mischon.
One phone call could have prevented this tragedy and Austin’s parents neglected to make that call.
Austin’s parents are not the victims but rather the enablers because he lived in the home, they carried a responsibility to him as well to the community.
They neglected that responsibility and their own son.
Cristal M Clark