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Matricide: When son kills mother; 4 local cases

The weekend murder of 59 year old Theresa Bernard of Scotia marks the 4th homicide in the Capital Region in the past year or so in which a son has allegedly killed his mother, an act known as matricide.

Back in October, Carol Stanford was killed in Greenfield. Her son Joshua McWain was charged with the murder.

On July 1st, James Dibble was charged with 2nd degree murder in the death of his mom, Gwenda Lisman, in Fulton county.

And on July 4th, police say Anthony Repp of Schaghticoke attacked his mother, Cynthia Matala, and his stepfather. Both died.

 20-year-old Jeffrey Steele, Bernard's son, stands accused of killing his mother in the home they shared on Route 50 in Scotia. According to Scotia Glenville schools, Jeffrey was enrolled, but was in and out of their schools because the district wasn't sure it could ''meet Jeffrey's needs". In 2009, when he was 16, Jeffrey was put into the GED program, but had missed 20 consecutive days of school by October 9th, and was kicked out.  District officials say Jeffrey's mother had been notified mulitple times about the absences.

Little else is known about Steele or Bernard, other than that Steele's father died years ago.

"There are very few people that we have more intense relationships with than our parent," says Psychologist Rudy Nydegger.

Nydegger says for someone to kill, there's clearly a disruption in logical thought, deeply rooted in psychological issues.  However, he believes there may be a reason why we see more violent acts now than in the past.

 "Many kids today have more contact and exposure with electronic interactions than they do with people, and we are starting to see some evidence that kids growing up now, do not deal as effectively with other people in some circumstances. They dont have as much experience."
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