A wealthy defense contractor didn’t show up for work for two days and neither did his wife who worked at Blackbird Technologies, a company that specializes in defense, law enforcement and intelligence work. Both were granted government security clearances.

Albert Peterson, 57, committed suicide, but not before taking the life of his wife Kathleen, 52, and sons Matthew, 16, and Christopher, 13, in their home in Herndon, Va. Each of the deceased died of gunshot wounds to the upper body.

Relatives and friends of the family report that Peterson had a history of mental illness and was suffering from paranoia and depression. In his daily e-mails to them, he ranted incessantly about politics and that our “God-given rights were being taken away,” the government was irresponsible and how he didn’t want his sons to inherit the “mess.”

The couple had been married for 25 years and their oldest son had plans to attend college. –yvette caslin

Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.

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