August 26, 2000
Chatham Township, New Jersey
Dr. Idella Kathleen Hagan calls police, confessing the murder of her parents after receiving messages to do so in traffic lights, TV commercials, and playing cards

Dr. Hagan had had a successful and promising career in medicine, but suffered from clinical depression stemming from the end of her medical career, two failed marriages, and her parents’ declining health. During her trial, two psychiatrists testified for the prosecution stating Dr. Hagan had believed she was receiving messages through television ads, traffic lights, and playing cards, and even from the disembodied voice of her father, to kill her parents. She believed her parents would enter a “childlike magical sphere where they’d regain their happiness.”

In late August, Dr. Hagan smothered her sleeping parents with a plastic bag and pillow. She stayed with their bodies between 4 to 7 days before alerting police. Dr. Hagan was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a state mental health facility in 2002 with no specific term to be served. After periodic evaluations she was released, and died in her home in 2015.

Horrific history from today:
1346: The blind king’s final battle (2017)
1890: Unrequited love ends in murder (2017)
2015: Disgruntled reporter kills former coworkers (2017)
2012: Woman flags down motorist and names attackers after choked, beaten, set on fire (2018)

Horror-related anniversary
Today in Horror History: August 26

National holidays:
Happy National Dog Day! (U.S.)

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