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A father kills his daughter with severe migraines in Chilliwack, British Columbia

I want to share this very tragic story about Emily Janzen, a 19-year-old struggling with severe migraines in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.

Her father, Randy, killed her to end her suffering. He then killed Emily’s mother, Emily’s aunt and then himself.

There is a memorial page on Facebook Rest in Peace Emiky Janzen.

I am the wife of a severe migraineur. I am a family doctor. When people call migraine “just a headache” or when they assume that my husband is a “drug-seeker” when he seeks pain relief, I come unglued. Migraine is a devastating neurological disorder with the potential to destroy lives. It is a disease with genetic, vascular, immune and inflammatory etiology. The exact cause of migraines remains the “holy grail” of migraine research. It is NOT brought on because the sufferer is weak, stressed, ate too much carbs etc… The sufferer did NOT ask for this disorder.

I am not confrontational by design. I do not crave attention. I don’t even like to speak in public. I am an intensely private person keen to just carry on with my life in a quiet and humble manner.

However, the deaths of Emily Janzen and her family struck too close to home. The anger and grief I have kept suppressed all these years come tumbling to the surface. It is time to educate everyone about this horrible disease which has taken away so much!

Do you agree or are these the rantings of a grief-stricken caregiver?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • yqr41h
    4 years ago

    I think I remember hearing about this story. I just didn’t take the time to stop and pay attention to why. Thank you for posting. I’m sure you are not seeking attention just making more people aware of the situation.

  • Newdancerco
    4 years ago

    I say this as a sufferer of chronic daily migraine- I KNOW what that pain is, and I have for 30 years. I have tried everything my doctors (and there have been many, in several different states) can come up with, and still I am in enough pain that only the existence of a small son prevents me from ending it permanently. A week doesn’t pass without me wishing I could. I also spent 15 years in forensics, so I speak from the perspective of someone who has seen too much of what people do to each other as well.
    You don’t end another’s pain by killing a third and fourth person. That is a family annihilator, a specific kind of mass murderer. Possibly the stress of seeing his daughter’s pain and his inability to control it broke him, but if that was his true goal he would have stopped with her and himself. I’m sorry, but by killing the others he seems to have invalidated the reasoning that he just did it to release her from the pain. My initial reaction was the same anger and grief as you describe, until I read that part. I think he used the valid reactions to her unbearable pain to also cover his decision that no one in his family would survive his death with her.

  • Julie Gilbert
    4 years ago

    How did anyone know the reason he killed the daughter, did he leave a note? I must say that to see people you love in chronic pain and suffering is unbearable. I also know that I would kill myself as well if I had to bear migraines 24/7 year after year. There would not be any quality of life. There would have to be some days when I didn’t have a headache just to give me hope that one day it may be that way. If not I don’t think I have the strength to live like that. When I am in so much pain with a migraine, I can’t think, I can’t feel Love, I cannot function, so I really couldn’t see the point of living. This is a personal opinion and I do say I am not the bravest person around pain either. The Father was obviously mentally ill though of course himself.
    I wonder if there are any studies done on suicides with migraines.
    If anyone is contemplating this way out of the pain, please seek help with a health professional that may then take it seriously and try you on some further drugs. I am very fortunate that over the counter drugs still work for me. Not 100percent but enough to make it bearable.

  • Carolyn
    4 years ago

    This is a tragic story. It has served to boost public awareness about chronic migraine. This is an extreme case but validates just how much people suffer and how hard it is to hang on to hope.

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    4 years ago

    Very well said!! It’s frustrating as a patient to be taken seriously and it has to be equally as maddening for the caretaker. Your husband is lucky that you fight for him and recognize his illness and limitations.

    What happened in BC is heartbreaking, there are no words to express how awful this tragedy is. Maybe people will begin to understand how difficult this disease is. Thank you for sharing.

    -Katie Moderator

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