Police, press, parliament, the Church, social services, the NHS, everyone most likely to be listened to, can usefully move on to more pressing issues – because there is there is nobody to prosecute, and/or nobody who can be subject of a child protection conference, and/or nobody who can be reassessed as a risk; or else the intentional killer who is an accidental or purposeful survivor makes a full confession. In which case there are only three available “disposals”: long-term imprisonment, enduring committal to hospital, or leeway enough, without intention, for the prisoner to finally take his own life (far more likely, statistically, if he lived through an initial attempt so to do).
Ironically, society’s certainty that “it’s all over and done with” militates against prevention, mitigation, avoidance, of family annihilation in the future. So onlookers and professionals alike are tempted to close the chapter, to let bygones be bygones. Instead, it is beholden on everyone to take account of warning signs: buildups of spite and resentment; previous domestic violence; acrimonious divorce and separation; bankruptcy; custody and access sessions denied or giving rise to concern; threats.
Because threats are not always empty. What everyone takes to be bragging, bad-mouthing, intimidation or hyperbole might actually be a signpost to future family annihilation. So statutory reviews must in future be held before the event, not after.