Susan Beran and Florence Beran – when desperation leads a daughter to murder her mother then kill herself

    Susan Beran was a 57 year old woman who had been taking care of her 85 year old mother Florence Beran who suffered from Alzheimer’s. This past Friday afternoon, May 11th 2012, police found the bodies of both women inside their 1412 Long Ridge Road Stamford Connecticut home. Police determined that Florence Beran had been shot and killed by her daughter Susan Beran who then turned the gun on herself and committed suicide. It appears that financial hardship  may have driven Susan Beran to a point of desperation and despair that influenced her decision to terminate both her life and her mother’s life. According to

    The mother and daughter owed $50,000 in back taxes, and their house had recently been sold to pay off the tax debt…(source)

    They had also apparently been living without utilities for more than a year. Most of us cannot imagine a day without utilities much less a year. Desperation of such severity is not always easy to understand until you have had to go through the same difficulty yourself. Susan Beran must have arrived at a point of utter and complete hopelessness over her mother’s condition, not being able to help her and having to watch her suffer degradations of poverty we can’t begin to imagine, and then to have their house sold out from under them. She probably came to the conclusion that the only merciful thing would be to end her mother’s life, and of course with the act of taking her mother’s life she has ended her own in more ways than one, so the only thing to do at that point was to end her own life as well. What were their lives worth to anybody anyway? Two lives terminated for the prize of $50,000. At least the IRS got their money and that’s the only thing that matters.

    Image: topstep07 /

    1. Charlotte says:

      I am reading this through many tears because of the loss of two such sad and lonely lives for such a pittance, as you say, owed to the taxman who got his money at a cost so high and so precious that it’s the very definition of evil and sinful. This tragedy reminds me of several Beatles songs including Eleanor Rigby, “Ahhhhh- look at all the lonely people, where DO they call come from?”

      We have no idea what it was like for Susan and her mother to live a cloistered life without any utilities for the past year yet I find myself wanting to understand how this could have happened and why nothing was done to help them. The desperation that poverty brings to its victims is so foreign to most people in the area where they were living. Poverty means not knowing where your next meal is coming from, not leaving your house because your hair and your clothing are an abysmal wreck, living in darkness and freezing cold temperatures in the winter and painfully overheated rooms in the summer. It means not having a hot or cold shower or running water available to you so you are unable to bathe and keep clean. You feel physically, emotionally, spiritually empty. Becoming a shut in brings a level of security and safety as you drift further away from mainstream society. Depression sets in and fear and anger take hold. The nights are long because you can’t sleep and you’re not tired much because you’ve not moved off the couch or the bed for most of the day.

      I only imagine the fear that Susan experienced in the long, dark hours of the night. What if someone tried to break into the house?. How could she protect her mother and her little dogs from harm’s way? Maybe this is why she bolted the doors and decided to kill herself and her mother before anyone else got to them. I wonder how terrified the dogs were when they could not get their people to “wake up” or be fed for several days. Life for these women has been a series of tragic events; no doubt a living hell. As a member of society, I must ask myself, how could I have helped them? Why wasn’t anyone there to help Susan get back on her feet and participate in life again? Are we too cold, unfeeling and inhuman today? My heart aches for what Susan and her mother experienced in their final years in their home together. Susan was in a home with a mother that no longer would have recognized her and pets that could not talk to her as the human companionship was non existent for this poor woman. Look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from? RIP Susan and Florence Berans. Fly free into the night and be the angels that you were both meant to be. I will always remember this story for the rest of my life. Because it could just have easily been you or me.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

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    Flowers and cross on a tombstone
    Author: Written May 13, 2012

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