Less than a month later, all eyes were again on an apparent murder-suicide, this time in Frederick County. Police believe a 40-year-old man shot his wife and infant son with one bullet before turning the gun on himself. The couple's 5-year-old daughter was upstairs getting ready for a bath at the time of the shooting. She ran to a neighbor's house for help.
Dr. David Shevitz, a psychiatrist with LifeBridge Health, explained that this kind of story is intriguing to many people because it reminds them of their own mortality.
"We all know that we're very fragile people, we don't talk about it that way, but every day we go out there and we face mortality," Shevitz said.
These stories about sudden deaths also capture the attention of readers and viewers because they want to know how survivors fare.
"I think a lot of people can relate to it and I think they're fascinated by the outcome of it," Shevitz said. "Even if they don't recognize it."
Sometimes people look around at what others have and feel they themselves are unlucky. The tragedy of a stranger has a way of changing this perspective, Shevitz explained.
"I think when these things happen to other people it reminds us that everyone is lucky," Shevitz said.
It doesn't matter if the story features a local stranger or a celebrity, the same basic principle applies.