NY Students Killed By Ex-Boyfriend: Is Revenge Murder A Developing Cultural Crisis?

On January 17, two NY students were killed by former State University of Geneseo peer Colin Kingston, who stabbed both victims to death before turning the knife on himself. The victims were SUNY students Kelsey Annese, 21, and Matt Hutchinson, 24, who were killed at Annese’s off-campus residence in Geneseo, NY, shortly before 6 a.m. on Sunday. Kingston, a 24-year-old NY native and Annese’s ex-boyfriend, was distraught over the pair’s recent break-up when he entered her apartment with a large knife, and found and killed both students present.

The Inquisitr reported on the tragic double murder suicide on January 18, prior to the emergence of evidence which enabled police to confirm that the killer was among the deceased. Geneseo’s police department has since released a statement on the NY university students’ violent killings on Monday, as well as an audio recording in which information is relayed about the 911 call made by Kingston’s father, whom he had called before he killed himself. Rochester First reported on the mitigating new evidence.

“Well they reported that his son, Colin Kingston, just called him from an unknown number, and states that he murdered his girlfriend, and… that he is also going to kill himself,” says the recording.

Heartfelt tributes continue to flow on social media, with hundreds of students, team mates, and local businesses memorializing the murdered SUNY students. Kelsey, who had been college basketball team captain and carrier of her father’s – a college Alumnus – legacy as Geneseo Knights number 32, and Matt, who was a volunteer firefighter and member of the ice hockey team, will both be sorely missed.

The evidence that most homicide victims are killed by persons known to them is statistically irrefutable, and among those instances of murder, many are found to be motivated by revenge. Scorned partners, jealous ex-lovers, and disgruntled former employees are frequent culprits of violent crime. When 25-year-old journalist Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were killed during an on-air WDBJ7 interview in August last year, ABC News Australia reported on the findings that the perpetrator was a disgruntled former colleague who then killed himself. Unprecedentedly frequent occurrences of mass shootings in the United States in 2015 have continued to lay fuel to the fiery debate on gun control, including tragedies in which bullied or excluded students have killed multiple peers, such as the mass shootings at Marysville Pilchuk High School in 2014 and Umpqua Community College in October last year.

With terrorist activities and attacks by Islamic extremist group ISIS and its derivatives a prevalent threat in the minds of war-torn countries and developed nations alike, the threat of gun violence – which lends itself gratuitously to personally and socially motivated murder – is often overlooked as the crime by which thousands more are killed in America.

In this climate of vengeful violence, two central questions are raised: is revenge murder a growing and developing cultural crisis for western nations? And, how many more innocents will be killed before the alarming trend is curbed by socio-political strategy?

Thankfully, programs have been launched on state-level in America for the prevention of partner- and family-related homicide, such as that which saw two bright NY students killed on Sunday. The Global Homicide Handbook published in 2014 was the result of a United Nations inquiry into homicide and its causes, and outlines various initiatives termed “high-risk team networks” and “lethality assessment programmes” whereby risk factors, such as obsessive, jealous, and controlling behavior, are monitored and shared to prevent more innocents from being killed.

“[The programmes] coordinate the sharing of information among law enforcement, social and health services about those… who are at risk of being killed at the hands of intimate partners,” states the report.

The programs, while too late to save NY students Kelsey and Matt, promise an eventual – though, unfortunately, not immediate – preventative mechanism, which the families and communities of those killed hope will save thousands more from dreadful fates.


SUNY Geneseo is set to hold a minute of silence for the murdered students, both considered promising athletes and role models to their peers, at 2:30 p.m. today, followed by a mass remembrance event at 7 p.m. according to the memorial schedule shared on the college’s Facebook post (above).

[Photo by Joseph Gruber/Shutterstock.com]

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