Custody issues are not the main reason estranged fathers kill their children.
They kill to punish their wives for leaving them.
Come with Daddy
explored murder-suicides after marital separation.
Dr Johnson said the kind of men who kill in these situations are those with a proprietorial attitude towards women and children.
They will not relinquish control, they are used to calling the shots in the family, and are often pathologically jealous. When they finally realise their wives are not coming back, they turn lethal.
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''Homicide-suicide is their final act of control,'' she said. ''Very often they let their wives survive to experience the extreme pain of losing their children.''