Some killers are 'family annihilators,' former FBI agent says

Surviving relatives may be key to Pike County case

CINCINNATI -- The person who killed eight people in Pike County, Ohio might fit into a category of killers described as "family annihilators," according to a former FBI agent and ABC News expert.

The victims were members of the Rhoden family, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader. Deputies found their bodies in four different homes Friday morning just northeast of Peebles, Ohio.

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"Well there's a term called 'family annihilators,' and this may well fit that profile," former FBI agent Brad Garrett said.

"It's not uncommon for a shooter like this to go from one house to another house to kill everyone that he thinks has harmed him in some form or fashion," he said.

The individual is typically a white male, Garrett said. And in rural areas, like Pike County, family has deep importantance. The killer, he said, may "decide for a number of reasons -- primarily financial and primarily loss of control of the family -- decide they're going to kill everyone. And many times -- most of the time -- kills themselves."

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In this case, DeWine said there's no indication any of the victims committed suicide.

"We have a murderer or murderers who've done this," DeWine said.

Watch what else DeWine and Reader said Friday night:

 

According to Garrett, surviving family members could be key to locating the killer.

"How did this particular shooter fit into the family? How has he changed in recent months?" he said.

To see Chopper 9 images of the scenes involved in this case, click or tap the red pins in the map below:

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