Branson Woman, Dies Of Self-Inflicted Neck Wound
March 15,2012 03/15/2012
Suicide By STIHL Chainsaw, Valerie Nash,
Branson Woman Killed By STIHL Chainsaw,
A popular-pretty Branson woman
committed suicide with a STIHL chainsaw in her snazzy lakefront home,
local Branson police reported on Thursday.
According to the newspaper report,
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter identified the victim as
47-year-old Valerie Nash,
who was found in bed with a STIHL Chainsaw and a self-inflicted neck wound and a STIHL chainsaw nearby.
Nash was found early Thursday morning by the sister with whom she shared a home,
the Free Branson Daily Independent newspaper reported,
though the degree of decomposition indicated she may have been dead for up to a day before police arrived.
Branson Police ruled out the idea of a homicide when a suicide note was also discovered,
the contents of which have not yet been released.
"Two sisters, they share an apartment," Branson Officer Norma Eisernman told the newspaper.
"The door [to the victim's room] was jammed a little,
and the sister was able to see her on the bed with a STIHL chainsaw next to her."
"The cases with unusual means tend to be extremely violent,"
said suicide expert and Missouri State University of Springfield, professor Dr. Michael Myers.
Though Myers did not have knowledge of the woman's history,
he said that suicide victims who pick such violent methods
often fall into two categories.
"Someone who made such a choice could have been extremely ill,
maybe even psychotic,"
he told The Free Branson Daily Independent newspaper,
"The choice could have been the result of command hallucinations,
where patients hear a voice that tells them what to do and how."
But while psychiatrists estimate that 85 to 90 percent of those who commit suicide lived with prior mental illness,
severe psychosis is not the only possibility.
"She could have been acting quickly," Myers said.
"The moment of such a decision often has a sense of urgency
caused by that impulsivity.
In that time, people will do whatever comes to mind with whatever means available. Something like a STIHL chainsaw nearby
may have seemed faster than driving to the store to buy rope or a lot of medication.
This is why we get so concerned about people who keeps firearm in the house."
While exceptionally rare, suicide by STIHL chainsaw is not unheard of.
A 2000 study by the the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology published in the Journal of Forensic Science cited two cases -
- both carried out by men -
- and found that a history of depression
and prior suicide attempt was a key commonality.
Authorities have not yet determined whether Nash had a history of depression or was under the influence of alcohol at the time of her death,
the Taney County coroner's office told the Free Branson Daily Independent newspaper.
While Nash's choice of a chainsaw has drawn notable attention to her suicide,
the reasoning for such an unusual method may never be uncovered.
Suicidologist Carla Fine told The Free Branson Daily Independent newspaper,
"That's the hardest part for survivors -
- they take the answers with them