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Final Word: Holidays can bring out criminal worst in some people

"Phoenix dad kills son with ax"

"Tolleson dad kills children, then self"

"Phoenix officer, posse member shot, Phoenix neighborhood locked down"

Those aren't the best headlines, are they?

A Phoenix dad killed his son with an ax during a 24-hour custodial visit.

A dad in Tolleson killed his 6- and 8- year-old daughters and then himself.

On New Year's Eve in Phoenix a pair of men committed a robbery and while fleeing, shot a Phoenix officer and a sheriff's posse member. A neighborhood was on lockdown for three hours on the last day of the year. The men were found in a backyard.

I don't think it's any coincidence that the date on the calendar is Jan. 2.

The holidays can be a tough time for anyone, certainly anyone suffering from depression or mental illness. Certainly any parent who takes the life of their child can't be in their right mind.

But I have to believe that the holidays are enough to set anyone off, under the right, or wrong, circumstances. There is no other time of year when people tend to look back on what they failed to do in the year, compare themselves to other people they perceive as happier or more successful, and feel like failures. And it's too bad.

Even for people NOT suffering from some underlying mental condition, the holidays bring with them financial stress and busy schedules. It's enough to make you snap.

So as you put away the holidays, be it Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or Festivus, put away the angst, too. Pack it up and resolve NOT to unpack it come next December.

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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