6:48 PM
Photo by StarTribune Pierre Collins
  Filicide, the act of deliberately killing one’s child, is a complex and multi-factorial crime. The death of Barway Collins did not only shocked the consciousness of communities in the Twin Cities, but it also left people struggling for a convenient explanation. Many people keep asking themselves, why a father would brutally kill his flesh and blood.  Several individuals in the community find it hard to fathom that his father, Pierre Collins, could be the alleged murderer. On the other hand, the accused killer loved ones are still trying to come to grasp the fact that their relative committed such an extreme act of cruelty.

Most parents would sacrifice their lives to protect their children. It is unprecedented for parents to imagine a father hearing the cry of his child as he strikes the child's head, and throws him into the Mississippi River. According to a source close to the investigation, Barway’s death was due to blunt force trauma to the head and drowning. There are some factors that push a parent to kill his child. However, it is necessary to focus on those reasons that caused Mr. Collins to murder Barway.

As one with a keen interest in criminal behavioral profiling and forensic psychology, it is fascinating to dig deep into the head of the accused murderer. Establishing the motivational factors that drove Pierre Collins to kill his son will bring closure to loved ones and the general public. To fully understand a person mindset, a profiler has to build a unique profile of the subject by examining prior behavioral patterns and personal history.

Motivational Factors
A forensic investigation conducted found a combination of motivational factors that caused the accused killer to committed such a heinous crime. The following factors played a substantial role in the killing of Barway: Unwanted child filicide, insecurity influence by lust, life stressor, and personality disorder specifically, antisocial personality disorder. In the case of unwanted child filicide, the parent kills the child who is considered as a hindrance. A parent who is involved in unwanted child filicide benefits from the death of the child by inheriting insurance money, or marrying a partner who does not want step-children. Collins saw his son, Barway, as a burden to his new family; hence, eliminating the threat would secure his marriage. In his mind, of all his children, Barway was the only child that his death would not raise an alarm.  Collins was the legal guardian for Barway; thus, he felt that his disappearance might not pose a serious problem.

Pierre Collins 
Collins’ lust for his current wife, Yamah, and financial problems might have contributed to the murder of Barway.  Multiple sources close to the Collins family stated that Collins was madly in love with his current wife. According to a friend of the family, Collins met Yamah through a mutual friend while visiting Liberia. They reestablished contact while she was visiting the United States. Yamah was five months pregnant with another mans’ child when she met Pierre, and he did not seem to be bothered by her pregnancy. 

One friend stated "Pierre used to be every jealous and insecure when men visit his apartment or when Yamah is on the phone with her buddies." Collins friend also said "he would not allow male friends or family members to visit his home while he was not around." A close relative of Collins, who wish to remain anonymous said Collins called his sister Jolie to complain about her husband visit to his home. In the past, Collins had accused his sister’s husband of making sexual advances to his wife. Collins warned him to steer clear away from his house.

Yamah Collins, wife of alleged murderer Pierre Collins (StarTribune photo)
As the primary source of income for the family, Collins put his wife under the impression that he was financially stable enough to provide her needs.  Collins told his wife that he was gainfully employed, sources say. According to a family source, every morning Pierre would leave his Crystal apartment under the pretense of going to work. He would often sit in the parking lot observing who might visit his wife. After his arrest, Yamah discovered that he was not working, but rather receiving cash assistance, food stamp, and medical insurance from the state of Minnesota.  A relative of Collins confirmed that the accused killer, Pierre Collins, calls his wife from prison and in a jealous rage, he would accuse her of inviting men to his home.

Deeply in debt, Collins was ordered by a Hennepin County judge to pay $600.00 in child support for four children from previous marriage. With mounting debt and child support, Collins considered his worsening economic circumstance as a threat to his masculinity. From a psychological standpoint, Barway was seen as a means to an end in maintaining control over his trophy wife.  Sources close to the Collins family said that Yamah was a loving step-mom to Barway.  “Yamah used to love Barway. He was close to her then his father” says a family friend.  Another family friend stated that Collins was also jealous of his wife’s close relationship with Barway. 
Yamah (left) and Pierre (right) CBS photo

Mental Illness
In Resnick's 1969 study of Filicidal men, it was discovered that father who intentionally killed their children are often poor, socially isolated, uneducated, and unemployed. Mental illness, however, undoubtedly plays a role in the killing of Barway. Personality disorder such as antisocial personality disorder combined with stressor from prolong unemployment, and child support account for the motive that drove Collins to kill his son.

The presence of symptoms of antisocial personality disorder is evident in Collins’s behavior.  Antisocial personality disorder is a kind of persistent mental condition in which a person's methods of thinking, perceiving circumstances and relating to others are dysfunctional and harmful. Individual with antisocial personality disorder typically fail to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by frequently performing acts that are grounds for arrest. Collins numerous insurance schemes is a clear indication that he was not a concern with the consequence of insurance fraud. Another symptom of antisocial personality disorder that was apparent in Collin’s behavior is deceitfulness. Collin’s repeated lies about his employment status and suspected insurance fraud for personal profit is also an indication of one with personality disorder.
Barway's Mother Louise Karluah
Antisocial personality disorder is also categorized by impulsivity or failure to plan ahead. On March 16, two days prior to the disappearance of Barway, Collins made a payment on the second insurance policy and inquired about raising the coverage to $50,000 authorities say. The most perpetrator of organized crime meticulously plans their crime ahead. The fact that Collins plan his crime two days ahead illustrate sign of impulsivity that is consistent with antisocial personality disorder. Additionally, some of Collins’ associates said that he was physically and verbally abusive to all of his previous partners. In an interview with Mamandee Diakite, the mother of Barway accused Mr. Collins of rape. She claimed that while in the West African nation of Ghana, Pierre, her French teacher, invited her to his house where he forcefully raped her. According the Louise, as the result of the abuse, she became pregnant with Barway Collins. Irritability and aggressiveness, are present in persons with personality disorder.

Friends of Yamah, Collin’s wife, said that he would call from jail and jealously warned his wife to stay away from men. Another family friend said that Collins had not asked or shown remorse about the death of his son.  Individuals with antisocial personality disorder lack guilt or remorse, as indicated by being unsympathetic to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another. Lastly, Collins debt issues show consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by recurrent failure to put up with steady work behavior or honor financial responsibilities.

Murder Clues
Most parents who commit the crime of filicide plan alone. It is more probable that Collins did not have an accomplice in the killing of Barway.  When asked during a TV interview in March, “Do you know about the disappearance of your son”? Collins stated, “I had nothing to do with Barway missing…I would never harm him.” From a criminal behavior perspective, such statement might be an implied confession. At the time Collins was asked the question, the only apparent facts were the Barway disappeared. The public was a focus on finding him. Collins left from his child’s disappearance to harm; as an indication that he already knew what happened to Barway. The wife of Collins told investigators that at Pierre arrived home at 5:51 p.m.

Cell phone signals illustrate that Collins was either in or near the apartment building at the time of Barway’s disappearance. The charge sheet specified that Collins was near 53rd-56th and Lyndale Avenues N., where Barway’s body was later discovered. Authority said that Collins had no purpose to be there, nor had he visited that location for 30 days before his son disappeared. According to the Crystal Police Chief, Collins polygraph exam result showed signs of deception. Based on the unique personality profile created for Collins, there are no other logical explanations arising from the case details that suggest anyone other than Mr. Collins was responsible for the brutal murder of Barway.

Contributed by:
Hassan Fadiga

Source: West, S., G., MD (2007) An Overview of Filicide. Psychiatry (Edgmont). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922347/


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