FBI Adviser Says Spa Shooting May Have Been Copycat Crime

Criminologists, agents already looking at how Radcliffe Haughton fits into a pattern of rising workplace violence – and an eerily similar case last week in Florida.

Within hours after Radcliffe Haughton shot and killed three women and wounded four more in a Brookfield beauty salon before taking his own life, criminologists and federal agents were looking at the case as it fits into a rising tide of workplace slayings — and as a possible copycat killing.

Larry Barton, the leading adviser to the FBI on workplace crimes, said he and the federal crime agency are looking into whether Haughton might have been “inspired” by a shooting Thursday that killed three women in a beauty salon in Casselberry, FL, a suburb of Orlando.

The killer in that case also was the estranged husband of a salon stylist. She was also shot, and her husband then turned his gun on himself, hours before an injunction hearing.

The father of Radcliffe Haughton, who goes by the same name and was in close contact with his son days before the Brookfield slaughter, lives in Winter Park, FL, less than 10 miles away from Casselberry.

A sudden spike in workplace violence

“We are researching whether he was inspired by that,” said Barton, president of The American College in Bryn Mawr, PA. “What is interesting is that killings at small business places are still relatively unusual, only about 15 percent of the total. Most are at manufacturing facilities or offices.

“So this, so close on the heels of the homicides in the Orlando salon, it kind of stands out.”

Workplace killings throughout America are on an alarming rise this year, Barton said.

“Until recently, on average, about two people have been killed in a workplace each workday,” Barton said. “That held steady for the past 17 years.

“But 2012 is becoming the worst year in history. We are on course for three people a day – a 50 percent increase in workplace homicides.”

A twisted sense of betrayal

Barton, by midday Monday, had already absorbed all available reports of the shootings at Azana Spa and was making comparisons to reams of case studies of workplace violence. Obviously, the Brookfield crime is not of the “disgruntled employee” pattern, but rather one of confrontation with a known person in their workplace.

“The primary cause is mental illness,” Barton said. “If there is no history of that, then the No. 2 cause is the issue of betrayal – the broken romance. ‘You promised me we would work this out’ – but without acknowledging his own fault.”

Milwaukee has been shocked by its third mass slaying on a weekend — the Saturday morning attack in 2005 at a church service also in Brookfield, the Sunday morning shootout in August at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, and now Azana.

But only the Azana killings were in a place of work, not worship, and that also stands out to Barton, the highest rated instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., where he teaches risk management.

“Sunday is surprising,” he said. “Sunday is the lowest day for workplace violence, simply because so many places of work are closed. It draws attention. And, so close to the homicides in the Orlando salon – the same industry – we’re looking into the issue of a copycat.

“The FBI will be looking for anything he wrote, notes, anything on Facebook or in e-mails, that might refer to that incident.”

The offices of the FBI in Milwaukee and Behavioral Ananlysis in Quantico could not comment on the case Tuesday the FBI is not the lead investigating agency in the cases, but is assisting local law enforcement.

Drawing maximum attention to the act

Attention. That begins to get to the heart of everyone’s burning question: Why? Why, even in desperation over your failing romance, does a man follow his wife to her workplace and kill not just her but as many more as he can?

“Why, we wonder, if they could have done this elsewhere, do they do it there?” Barton posed. “If he had done it in the home, who would be there to see except possibly other family members?

“The answer is: Shame. They need to create maximum shame. It’s that issue of betrayal. They feel that something is being taken from them, and they need to take that back and more. We actually call it ‘emotional reward.’ It becomes much larger than just a rift in the family. It is played out in front of the entire community. Now, everyone knows.”

In this case, Barton said, there was even more for the perpetrator – for Haughton – to attack and destroy in his twisted sense of betrayal. The staff at Azana, all women, has been described as like a family. Zina Haughton had been with the spa a long time, worked long hours, shared the joys and worries of motherhood with her colleagues – and hinted to some of her dissolving marriage.

“To him, they are co-conspirators,” Barton said.

Attacking her, and all she holds dear

Radcliffe Haughton had a history of domestic violence, including an arrest in January 2011 for disorderly conduct in a standoff after fighting with his wife. He had just been put under a restraining order after slashing one of her tires at Azana – an immature act of retaliation carried out in front of her co-workers, two of whom made witness statements against him to police.

“This is something we look for in crisis management,” Barton said. “I think it would be key whether the workplace was specified in the temporary restraining order – it should have been.”

It was not. The TRO petition specifies only that Radcliffe Haughton should “avoid my residence and/or any location temporarily occupied by me.” Even though the tire-slashing incident occurred at Azana, there was no specific prohibition against Haughton going there.

An ex-Marine, Haughton was used to handling firearms, and the Brown Deer police knew from contacts with him that he owned weapons. The restraining order did specify that he was to turn over any firearms he possessed for its duration – four years. That would be another element of loss for him, taking away another piece of his identity.

No intention of coming out alive

Haughton also owned a car. But on Sunday morning, he chose to take a cab to Azana. It was a quiet morning, and he would arrive just as the spa was opening, staffed for a day of weekend relaxation for its clients.

To Barton, the timing, the mode of transportation, suggest that Haughton had fully meditated what he was about to do. He had no intention of getting away.

“About 31 percent of those who commit workplace homicides – and this is only those who survive to be interviewed – say that they were going to commit suicide, or suicide by cop.”

As to what leads a person to that, and Haughton in particular, there is despondency and desperation over his wife leaving him – but something deeper, darker and uglier still that drives him to the ultimate coward’s act, the killing of women.

“There is a sense among some men to look at women as chattel,” Barton said. “And they become obsessive about it. They become a bully in a relationship.”

When that relationship ends, leaving, for the woman, becomes the most dangerous part. The basis of even the single killing of a spouse or lover is that obsession, which comes down to a simple, crude expression: “If I can’t have you, no one can.”

Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) October 23, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I didn't know shooting your estranged wife at the salon she works at was such an epidemic.
Steve October 23, 2012 at 08:42 PM
The Azana Spa had a sign on the door that indicated it was a criminal safe zone. Perhaps allowing law abiding citizens to carry in these places the impact could be minimized.
jbw October 24, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Yeah, sure, if the suicidal guy thought one of the ladies at the spa might try to return fire after he surprised and shot his targets, then he certainly would have called off the whole thing.
Joseph October 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM
I doubt he would have called it off, but if someone was able to carry there, the death/injuries could have easily been reduced. It will be interesting to see if those families sue Azana because they did not take the proper steps to protect its employees and customers (175.60(21)(b)(c)).
Julie O'Keeffe Henszey October 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM
In countries like Iceland where no one has a gone, no one gets killed by guns. If the only thing a man can do is use physical violence against his wife, at least she stands a chance. And the other women would have survived. I support guns for hunting and my father was a farmer and used a gun on the farm. But I wish men didn't feel this strong need t have a gun, in general. I don't have statistics, but it's typically men that have this desire to kill. If we could get guns off the streets, then they'd have less opportunity to kill as easily. I'm really fed up with all the violence around the world, most of which is done by men. We need a way to raise boys so that they are loved enough that they don't have unmet needs. I believe this, and mental illness, is most often the source of violence. Otherwise, yes, we all need to carry a gun, starting at age 10. (That's sarcasm.)
Bob McBride October 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM
It appears the ball was dropped, in this case, long before it came to this awful conclusion. Before we start second guessing the laws, maybe we need to take a hard look at and start second guessing the policies and procedures of the departments involved in the multiple contacts this couple had prior to Sunday's tragedy.
Michael October 24, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I think the real problem is very basic. People need to stop acting like animals and more like human beings.
The Donny Show October 24, 2012 at 04:32 PM
How are you going to get rid of ALL guns on the streets? Great thought but not even close to being plausible. I believe cheating wives cause violence (that's sarcasm).
Fred van der Wal October 24, 2012 at 05:02 PM
@Mike Itzenhuiser: your a hick.
Mafia Mike October 24, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Sticks and stones Freddy, sticks and stones.
Tosa720 October 24, 2012 at 05:26 PM
The warning signs were there long before. The Brown Deer Police allowed him to refuse to come out of his house not once, but twice during other domestic disturbances. and then, to top it all off, they issued a restraining order and told him to turn in his guns, and he didn't. If someone is that violent that suspect he may commit a crime with a weapon, then it would seem more proactive if they accompanied him to the home and picked those weapons up. Additionally, just because a private establishment posts a note on their door does not mean tht a man with no conscience would heed it. Violence against women and some men has escalated. It is far better to err on the side of caution and be guilty of "over-protection" than to take the position that someone with violence on their mind will just "listen to" or "heed" the instructions of the court or the police. He already demonstrated in past instances that he felt he did not have to obey police officers - why would anyone believe he was going to change his behavior now. A 4 yr restraining order is quite significant. I believe they should have ordered him ito undergo an immediate assessment and counseling if they felt he was going to act out in any way. In addition, in a case like this they should go to the house to remove the guns. This was obviously a case that warranted more than what was done.
Mafia Mike October 24, 2012 at 07:38 PM
By the way Freddy, I think you meant 'you're', not 'your'. Isn't that a hick thing not knowing how to spell? You people make me laugh so hard, my cheeks and sides ache!!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!! {:-D)
Greg October 24, 2012 at 08:34 PM
So this guy represents all men in your eyes? You really need to get out and meet some people.
Greg October 24, 2012 at 08:43 PM
How did this guy get to the spa? On Sunday the police had many things locked down while this guy lay dead at the location, this is somewhat understandable if they did not enter the facility. But they were also looking for his car, did they not check the parking lot? I doubt he took it in with him.
Mafia Mike October 25, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Typical Libtard
Jim Price October 25, 2012 at 12:10 AM
As noted in the story, Haughton took a cab to the spa.
JenJen October 27, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Yes, because when I go for a relaxing massage, I really want to think about having to carry a gun in the spa or having someone else with a gun in there. Actually, maybe instead of a massage, I should go to therapy to try and deal with the inhumanity that we show each other. God bless the victims' families.
M Spector October 28, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I'd suggest you move to Iceland then. Or perhaps since you seem so keen on giving up the rights other people have fought, bled, and given their lives to ensure that you have (including your right to spout such ridiculous tripe), communist China would be a better fit for you... Oh those horrid MEN!
Cassie Burckhardt December 17, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Ok. Guys, I dislike guys. But not all guys are like 'insane wife-beaters', I have a couple of guy friends and they treat women like royalty.


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