Three years prior to his alleged involvement in a random home invasion that resulted in three fatalities in Newton, Massachusetts, Christopher Ferguson wrote about his struggles with bipolar disorder. He likened his diagnosis to the classic video game “Pac-Man,” where he saw himself as the arcade character that disappears off the screen momentarily when it reaches the edges. Ferguson stated, “Imagine depression on the left and mania on the right side of this centerline” in a 2020 Medium essay. He described instances when he felt a temporary suspension of reality, causing him to vanish from the metaphorical video game screen and experience psychotic episodes.

The specific event or trigger that may have induced a manic episode or mental breakdown preceding the fatal confrontation with Gilda “Jill” D’Amore, Bruno D’Amore, and Lucia Arpino, who were brutally stabbed and beaten, remains unknown. During Ferguson’s arraignment, his lawyer did not mention any mental health diagnosis. However, Ferguson’s behavior during the virtual court appearance via Zoom resembled that of a real-life Pac-Man as he anxiously paced back and forth in the jail room, sometimes disappearing from the camera’s view.

Ferguson’s lawyer, Dmitry Lev, expressed condolences to the D’Amore and Arpino families and urged that the legal process be allowed to unfold in the court of law rather than the court of public opinion. The victims, known for their strong ties to the church and devoted attendance at 10 a.m. Mass, were long-time residents of Newton. Pope Francis and Cardinal Sean O’Malley have offered prayers for the victims, with plans for a Mass to be held in their honor at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Ferguson was formerly employed as a cashier at Whole Foods in Newtonville, Massachusetts, but the store confirmed that he is no longer working there, without providing further details. Prior to this job, Ferguson worked as a campus aide for Framingham Public Schools before resigning in March 2023. His background includes graduation from Newton North High School in 2000 and obtaining a graduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. In his blog post, Ferguson discussed various episodes he experienced during his college years, including paranoia and multiple admissions to a mental health facility.

Mental health has become a significant topic of discussion in Newton following the tragic triple homicide, although some community members were disappointed by the focus on Ferguson’s mental health during a city meeting. They felt that the victims did not receive adequate attention, expressing concern over the lack of a timely notification system to inform residents about the ongoing danger. The incident, described as a random home invasion, left the tight-knit community shocked and fearful until Ferguson’s arrest was announced.

The victims, Jill and Bruno D’Amore, were deeply involved in their local parish and were planning to renew their wedding vows before their 50th anniversary. They were regarded as cherished members of the community and their absence is mourned by all who knew them.

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