Methacton High School
This paper explores the mental condition of David Burke before and during his committed murder-suicide on US AIR flight 1771 (Magnuson, 2001). Burke massacred 42 people by crashing a plane mid-flight. This is a result of his unstable personality. Even without many clues from his past, David Burke has been found to be severely mentally ill. He scored highly on both Hare’s Checklist and Stone’s Scale of Evil. He is diagnosed with severe antisocial personality disorder and bipolar disorder.
There have been 62 mass murders in the United States since 1982. Some of them have been for revenge; have happened because of jealousy; and some for no reason whatsoever. What is known is that most people who commit such horrible acts have a severe mental condition. David Burke fits the same description as most mass murderers. He had antisocial personality disorder and was infatuated with getting revenge. Background
David Burke was born May 28, 1952. This was 35 years before his tragic double homicide that resulted in the deaths of 42 innocent people. Burke, born of Jamaican parents, had a relatively uneventful childhood. He grew up in Britain and in his mid-twenties, moved to Rochester, New York (Wikipedia, 2013). Burke worked with Pacific Southwest Airlines. Many of the flights that came into Rochester International Airport were from Jamaica. After sixteen years of service Burke was under investigation for his involvement in drug smuggling ring between Jamaica and Rochester. While in Rochester, Burke also fathered seven children to four different women (Real Clear History 2012). In order to escape the pressure of supporting his children and the pressure of the ongoing police investigation, he moved to Los Angeles, California (Magnuson, 2001).
Burke had an aggressive personality. On two separate occasions, Burke’s new girlfriend, Jacqueline Camacho, claimed Burke had attempted to strangle her (La Times, 1987). Burke was fired from his job shortly after moving to Los Angeles. Pacific Southwest Airlines cites that he was terminated for stealing 69 dollars from a flight’s cocktail fund. David Burke begged for forgiveness from his supervisor, David F. Stockton, but none was given. This single event sent Burke into a tailspin that he would never recover from. A few days later Burke borrowed a gun from Joseph Drabik who was a fellow PSA employee and friend (Magnuson, E 2001). He held his current girlfriend and child at gunpoint soon after and forced her to drive aimlessly for six hours before returning home. Later that week David Burke reached the pinnacle of his transgressions. Incident
December 7, 1941 is a date former President Theodore Roosevelt once said “…will live in infamy.” This was the day Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. For the rest of time December 7th will be remembered solely for this catastrophe. It is often overlooked that another horrifying disaster occurred on the same day 46 years later. Pacific Southwest Airlines flight 1771 plummeted into the earth at approximately 600 miles per hour at 7:56 p.m. There were no survivors. 43 people died (New York Times, 1989). Just minutes before the crash the pilot and co-pilot were shot dead. After thorough investigation by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board, it turns out David Burke was undoubtedly the culprit. Using his old security card, Burke was able to bypass airport security to board the plane his old supervisor was on. Mid-flight, Burke shot and killed the entire flight crew, his former supervisor, and himself. This caused the plane to plummet to the ground. A note was found in the wreckage that was presumably from Burke, it read: “Hi Ray. I think it's sort of ironical that we ended up like this. I asked for some leniency for my family. Remember? Well, I got none and you'll get none.” (Real Clear History 2012)
Burke eventually killed himself on the...