Voices and Silence

It was no secret that Jason Molacek heard voices telling him to murder. Cops, counselors, his parents--they all knew. So why didn't anyone stop him before he shot his mom to death?

"The kids and their parents are commonly angry with the system by the time they reach us," he adds. "Of course, concomitant substance abuse is the norm. And our folks feel that it's their duty to make the kids stop smoking pot or whatever, so conflicts get set up right away."

Indeed, three weeks after his initial hospitalization, Molacek was admitted to Fairview University Medical Center for a chemical dependency assessment stemming from his marijuana use. He was there for five days, and was discharged with a diagnosis of cannabis dependency and depressive disorder. In the following months, he was kept out of school, saw a social worker at Health Partners, and underwent further psychological testing. The following November, his doctor wrote to Osseo High School saying it was in Molacek's best interest to start back to class as soon as possible. However, she noted, "I must state that I cannot guarantee that Jason will not make further threats or engage in violence in the future."

In April 2000, Molacek was again admitted to Fairview University. For six days the voices in his head had been telling him to hurt or kill people. "He had a very specific and concrete plan about using a machete that his father had purchased to kill his father and mother," Malmquist reported. "[He] also considered calling his older brother over so that he could kill his brother and take the brother's van."

According to Malmquist, Molacek chopped through the door to his parents' bedroom with an axe and trashed it, looking for money so he could run away. "His mother came home late and found him curled up on the floor complaining of a lion in the house that was going to eat him and he was having difficulties with his perceptions," the report states. "He felt he was hearing someone tell him to kill his parents and get away.... When he ignored the voices, they got louder and when he finally gave in and agreed to kill his family, they went down a notch. When he used pot, the voices would go down a notch but the whispers would increase. And when he used PCP, he could not control the voices."

He was discharged with a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder with cannabis and nicotine dependence, given three psychiatric medications, and sent to a day therapy program, where he was seen for three weeks.

In February 2001, Molacek was again admitted to Fairview University. This time, Malmquist reported, "Jason himself was calling the police with worries about his thoughts of hurting his parents. His history was that he could not get rid of the 'racing thoughts' in his mind of hurting his parents, and he was having images of picking up something sharp and stabbing his parents." He was stabilized and discharged, but then admitted again on March 7, and again on April 5. At the time of his last admission, when he was in the hospital for two weeks, he had been cutting his arms with a knife.

Meanwhile, he'd become the subject of delinquency proceedings in juvenile court. On March 30, he allegedly took his father's car. On April 2, Osseo High School reported he had stolen a bicycle. On June 23, he allegedly stole his mother's car. He had been reported as a runaway several times.

Together with his social worker and his parents, Molacek decided to try living at a group home. The experience, he told Malmquist, "was a disaster." The other kids there teased him. It reminded him of when he was little. "The result was that after three days, he took car keys which were on the counter for the car the group home had and proceeded to drive around in it for three days endlessly with no sleep and a sense of being speeded up. Since he had no money, he was getting gas by siphoning off gas from other cars. Once he drank too much of it, got sick, and was vomiting, and appeared back home."

His parents called the police. He was taken first to the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center, and then to St. Joseph's Children's Home. He left the home on a 15-minute pass to go to the store, passed a gas station, and saw a van being gassed up. He got in the van and drove off, feeling "speeded up" again. He tried to drive back to Maple Grove, but couldn't figure out how to get there. Ultimately, he was sent back to juvenile detention.

In September 2001, he was admitted to St. Cloud Children's Home on a court order. Six weeks later, he lost control of himself in the activity yard one day. He kicked open the gate to the fence surrounding the locked unit and climbed to the roof. Before he could be gotten down, Molacek broke numerous windows, cut his wrist with a piece of broken glass, and threatened to jump.

He was transferred to the hospital, and then back to juvenile detention. A couple of weeks later, he was placed at the Willmar Regional Treatment Center, where he stayed until January. At that point, he was sent to Bar None Residential Treatment Services, where he would stay for the next 13 months.

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