An absolutely horrific and unthinkable crime happened in the small town of Nash, Texas, a suburb west of Texarkana on May 23, 2023. An 18-year-old man has allegedly killed his family, including his parents, adult sister, and 10-year-old brother. What would make someone do something so terrible?

According to a released probable cause report, the teen thought: "They were cannibals and they were going to eat him." Or at least that's what he is reported to have said to Joseph Flieder, one of the slain family member's co-workers who had gone by the residence when they failed to show up to work.

Cesar Olalde has since been charged with the capital murder of four persons for the deaths of Reuben Olalde, Aida Garcia, Lisbet Olalde, and Oliver Olalde. What could cause someone to snap like this? Let's take a look at possible reasons for violent psychosis. 

Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash
Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

There is no one cause of psychosis. Psychosis appears to result from a complex combination of genetic risk, differences in brain development, and exposure to stressors or trauma. Psychosis may be a symptom of a mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression.

Other factors can cause psychosis or "trigger" these underlying conditions to worsen. Drug (prescribed or street) abuse or misuse, sleep deprivation, schizophrenia, or dementia can cause violent psychosis as well. And there's another explanation as well- he could just be lying to lay down a future insanity defense, should he be indicted and go to trial. Paris Bennett, another Texas teen who killed a family member, claimed he thought his little sister was a demon after he killed her, but later confessed he did it simply because he was angry with his mother.

If you feel like you or someone you know is one the verge of a mental health "break", there is help.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Executed Death Row Inmates from the Texas Panhandle

The following individuals were convicted of Capital Murder for crimes committed in the Texas Panhandle (Amarillo and its surrounding areas) and sentenced to death by lethal injection. Read a brief summary on the area's executed Death Row inmates.

All information and photos have been taken from TDCJ and court records.

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