A few hours after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, a young teen was pulled over for a traffic violation in Walker, Louisiana. He was cruising around town in a missing black Lexus and he was also the person police were looking for. Eddie Robert Island, age 17, was taken to police headquarters and questioned, where he confessed to killing his mother. Two days earlier, Island shot and killed his mother, 34 year old Tamila Wooley, while she may had been sleeping.
The crime occurred at the family home in a seemingly safe neighborhood of Walker. The gated community was monitored by surveillance cameras and the area had not witnessed any murders in recent years. It was not a drive-by shooting, robbery or random act of violence. It was a teenage son taking the life of his own mother for reasons that are still unclear.
It appears as if Island shot and killed his mother two days before he was arrested. He left her body in her bedroom and shut the door, telling his younger siblings not to disturb her. The teen claimed their mother was sick and needed to rest and the 11 year old and two year old obeyed his commands. They were unharmed and left their mother alone, not knowing she was dead. Island left the home, taking his mother’s Lexus to escape and cruise the town, returning periodically to check on his siblings and to bring them food. The young children were taken into custody by the Office of Child Services after the body of their mother was discovered around noon on Wednesday.
There have been many reports of family members killing each other for bizarre reasons and several have taken place during the holiday season. Familicide is murder within a family at the hands of a parent, child or other relative. For various reasons, a person snaps and lashes out in a deadly way from an array of complex feelings such as neglect, jealousy, revenge or guilt. Often teens that have murdered their parents are acting out their distraught feelings of despairity and hopelessness.
Island seems to fall in the category of neglect and possible abuse, according to one of his former friends. The family had moved from California in recent months, which the teen was not happy about. Being raised by a young, single mother and having younger siblings, left a load of responsibility for Island to handle. He claimed his mother was sick, whether or not that was a cover-up or the truth, he somehow acquired a gun and took his mother’s life.
This case is just one in a multiple of sad situations that has left a family member dead. A father in Phoenix, Arizona even killed his 13 year old son recently because he feared his son was a man-eating demon. Another father threw his little three year old boy off a rooftop shortly before Christmas, stemming from a custody battle.
Families that once loved and cared for each other have drifted apart from dire dimensions within the family unit resulting in death and destruction. The ones left behind have to deal with the severe pain of losing someone in such a brutal way, as well as the loss of the family member who committed the crime. The family home is never the same, especially if the scene of the tragedy is the place where they once lived together.
Murder-suicides have become common across the country because of martial woes and financial upsets. To reach the point of no return, to not see a way out, extreme measures have brought heartache to many families. A teen that reaches the breaking point is usually a victim of abuse, neglect and anti-social behavior. Running away from home can turn into a option of murder instead, as could be the basis for Island’s actions. The family unit must remain in communication and love to overcome the worst of situations that are encountered. It is a daily routine to keep the family together and safe at all costs.
By: Roanne H. FitzGibbon