Woman Who Killed Sons, Self Gave Warning Of Intent — (The Denver Channel)

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The Denver Channel

POSTED: 4:04 pm MDT May 11, 2005

Told Doctor She Planned To Kill Self, Sons

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Hospital records show a woman who killed her two young sons and then committed suicide had told a doctor one day earlier of her intentions, but she was sent home after assuring the doctor she didn’t mean it.

Memorial Hospital could have held Julie Rifkin for 72 hours if she was deemed an imminent threat to hurt herself or others. A hospital spokesman did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.

Rifkin’s husband, Don, obtained her records from the hospital and released them to The Gazette of Colorado Springs on Tuesday.

Police said Julie Rifkin, 41, shot her two sons, Nathan, 13, and Gabriel, 12, and then shot herself on April 24. Don Rifkin was working in South Carolina at the time.

The names of the doctor and others who spoke to Julie Rifkin at the hospital on April 23 were blacked out in the copy of the records given to her husband.

The records show Julie Rifkin told the doctor she had been taking the antidepressants Paxil and Trazodone and a diet aid known as Metformin.

Although Rifkin admitted she had made threatening statements, she told the doctor she would never harm her children or herself, according to the records.

“She said she made the comment out of haste, and she would not actually want to kill herself,” the doctor’s report says.

The doctor recommended that Rifkin be examined by a social worker and then sent home. The doctor told Rifkin to go home and rest, follow up with her therapist and “return here if you feel unsafe.”