Psychotherapist ‘shot twin daughters then herself’ after bitter custody battle

A woman is believed to have killed her own twin daughters before turning the gun on herself following a bitter custody battle.

Police in Whatcom County, Washington attended a multi-storey residence on Saturday afternoon after a man reported he'd found his landlord and two young girls dead in a bedroom.

The dead woman was identified as Michele Boudreau Deegan, 55. The girls were her seven-year-old daughters.

Investigators believe Deegan had shot the children while they were in their beds on Friday night before then taking her own life.

A custody dispute is believed to have been her primary motivation for the horror murder-suicide.

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The sheriff's office has not yet released any additional information, citing the pending investigation.

Deegan was a licensed psychotherapist who who sometimes went by the surname Angelis, local media report.

Her professional Facebook page said she provided mental health counselling for adolescents, individuals and couples.

The day before the shooting she posted two links to her Facebook page to articles about narcissistic parents, although provided no further comment.

One article had the headline "Narcissistic Parents Are Literally Incapable of Loving Their Children", while the second, a video, was called "Narcissistic Parenting – A Set Up for Suicide."

In a section on Deegan's professional website titled Anger & Violence, Deegan wrote: "Violence is not an expression of anger, but a strategy to maintain power in a relationship."

Another section on the same page of the website says violence is a tactic used in a relationship.

It goes on to list "threatening divorce, taking the children, suicide, and violence" as nonphysical indicators and "violence – no contact."

Last month she held a Facebook fundraiser for her birthday to support Domestic Violence And Sexual Assault Services Of Whatcom County.

Washington authorities have yet to identify anyone else who may have been involved in the custody battle.

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