Long Island pharmacy massacre perps are examples of US Oxycontin epidemic
Addiction to pain meds may have driven normal suburban couple to commit mass murder
Melinda Brady (29) and her husband David Laffer (33) have been convicted for the burglary and murder of four people at the Medford Long Island New York pharmacy. What is becoming strikingly obvious is that these two previously law abiding citizens committed these crimes due to their addiction to prescription painkillers.
Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney John Collins said called the massacre "the most cold-blooded robbery-homicide in Suffolk County history.”
The couple’s neighbor, Trish Bohlert, told CBS News "Something must have made him snap, because his personality, I can't picture him robbing a store, much less hurt people."
Laffer walked into the pharmacy shot Raymond Ferguson who stood behind the counter. He then turned on 17-year-old Jennifer Mejia who was working as a clerk. He collected a backpack filled with prescription pain meds before murdering two customers Jamie Taccetta and Bryon Sheffield who happened to walk in the shop. He then exited the store and was driven away from the scene of the crime by his wife, Brady.
County Laois-born Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said he was lost for words when it came to the couple's case because they had no previous records or history of violence.
Speaking to the Associated Press he said "It is very difficult to comprehend this…To suddenly engage in this type of violent behavior is beyond understanding. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t have the answer. Nobody has the answer.”
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During their arrests Brady told the police that Laffer, an Army vet who had recently lost his civilian job, had "done all this" for her. She said "He was doing it because he lost his job and I was sick."
In 2008, just before the couple was married, Brady underwent oral surgery. Brady posted on an online wedding forum that she was taking pain meds. She said "I only take it if I really have to. I really hate taking them.”
According to the police who arrested the couple they were both "under the influence of narcotics."
It seems that their addictions to prescription medication, which they could no longer get for free, due to Laffer losing his job and his health insurance, drove them to become criminals. An addiction to prescription pills like these is like any other addiction.
Their mugshots (see right) show images reminiscent of the brutal and terrifying documentary “Faces of Meth”. The documentary (see photograph footage below) illustrates just how much this kind of drug addiction can change a person in a short period of time.
Following her posts on the wedding forum it seems that Brady had been using prescription meds since 2008.
Speaking to the New York Daily News just after their arrest, Brady's friend, Joanna Martino confessed "This past weekend Melinda (Brady) was trying to find out if anyone knew what hospital she can go to get a“scrip” (prescription) of pain pills…She was saying frantically, “I need pills! I need pills!””
Melinda Brady was convicted of third-degree burglary and obstructing governmental administration. Her bail was set at $1.5 million bond or $175,000 cash. David Laffer was convicted for first-degree murder for all four victims of the attack.
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