Scott Roeder, the suspect in the George Tiller murder, had suffered from mental illness in the past, according to his family.
In a statement to the Topeka Capital-Journal, Roeder’s brother Dave Roeder said:
We are shocked, horrified and filled with sadness at the death of Dr. Tiller and the circumstances surrounding it that may have involved Scott Roeder. We know Scott as a kind and loving son, brother and father who suffered from mental illness at various times in his life. However, none of us ever saw Scott as a person capable of or willing to take another person’s life. Our deepest regrets, prayers and sympathy go out to the Tiller family during this terrible time.
The same paper spoke to Roeder’s ex-wife, who said that Roeder had undergone a mental health evaluation in the mid-1990s, and that though he didn’t believe himself to be mentally unstable, “everyone else did.”
“He just felt these were his views,” she said. “His anti-abortion rhetoric was very strong. He followed the view of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Separately, it’s also being reported that Roeder was once a subscriber, and occasional contributor, to the extremit anti-abortion newsletter Prayer and Action News. Dave Leach, an Iowa-based activist who runs the newsletter, said he didn’t necessarily see Roeder’s act as a crime. “To call this a crime is too simplistic,” Leach told the New York Times. “There is Christian scripture that would support this.”