Albert Peterson shot dead his wife and two sons hours after going to church because he dreaded the thought of Obama winning the election, a family friend has revealed.
A confidante of the family for the past 25 years has spoken to MailOnline about the strength and grace of the Peterson family, as well as the torment that plagued Albert which drove him to shoot dead his wife Kathleen and his two sons Christopher and Mathew at their suburban home in DC on Sunday.
A history of mental illness, the loss of a dear uncle, and a growing fear of Obama winning a second term in the White House took its toll on the mind of Mr Peterson, a wealthy defense contractor, the friend said.
Mr Peterson's life was punctuated by bouts of paranoia that became so severe
, he wallowed in his depression, gained weight, and contemplated taking his own life.
In one dark episode, after his mother died five years ago, his wife had to pull him from the brink of suicide.
Police have confirmed Mr Peterson's feelings toward politics were unusually passionate, but declined to speculate what precipitated the tragedy.
'We don’t know the motive in this tragic case,' Lucy Caldwell of the Fairfax Police Department said.
'We are aware that the father had strong political opinions but cannot speculate as to how those opinions related to this case. We will, most likely, never know exactly why this occurred.'
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