You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

breaking news

Florida lawmakers move closer to gambling deal

Austin Harrouff internet searches: 'I think I'm going crazy, am I?'


In the hours and days before authorities say Austin Harrouff fatally stabbed two people to death in their Martin County, Florida, home and was found biting the face of one of the individuals, the 19-year-old was searching the internet for answers:

"Must I sleep?"

"I think I'm going crazy, am I?"

"What am I?"

These are some of the questions among dozens of other searches, ranging from Satan to murderers, Harrouff entered into a search toolbar on his phone before attacking John Stevens, 59, and Michelle Mishcon, 53, and a neighbor who tried to intervene on Aug. 15, according to court documents recently released by 19th Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office. Harrouff, who remains without bail in the medical wing of the Martin County jail, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.

>> Read more trending stories  

Friends, family and Harrouff's lawyer have expressed concern about the Florida State University student's mental health. In the days leading up to the attacks, Harrouff was curious as well, according to court documents.

On Aug. 8, Harrouff asked Google "How to know if you're going crazy" and "Can we really control more than we think," and opened a WebMD article entitled, "What 'Am I Crazy' Really Means." He searched for answers on "hearing things in my sleep" and "obsessive thoughts."

On Aug. 10, between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., Harrouff searched "how to relax my mind" and "auditory hallucinations when falling asleep." He followed up by searching "schizophrenia" and if it was OK to overthink things.

At one point, he asked Google, "I think I'm going crazy, am I?"

He opened articles titled "Why aren’t we happier" and "The pursuit of happiness."

One of Harrouff’s attorneys, Nellie King, gave a statement following the release of the documents and said her client suffered from a mental illness but did not say if he had been diagnosed with a specific disorder.

Between Aug. 12 and Aug. 13, Harrouff searched for Satan, asked Google "what exactly is hell" as well as the biblical figures Adam and Eve. During the summer, Harrouff searched how to sell his soul to the devil, records show.

As his searching continued he tried to find ways for "positive hypnosis" and getting sober.

Harrouff's family explained investigators in a recorded interview that he had hypnotized himself and he believed he couldn't sleep because of it so he was trying to figure out how to reverse it.

Soon after the attack, friends and family told investigators Harrouff had stopped sleeping. One of his fraternity brothers said he used to smoke marijuana to help him sleep but Harrouff's sister told him he stopped smoking and turned all his paraphernalia over to his family. Harrouff's sister detailed to investigators how she was "uneasy" about her brother to the point where she was locking her bedroom door at night. Family members said he'd walk around their home saying he needed to guard them and that he felt an evil presence.

The day before he stormed out of a restaurant where he was having dinner with his family and walked to the street where John Stevens and Michelle Mishcon were enjoying an evening hanging out in their garage like friends and family said they commonly did, Harrouff's internet searches were even more random.

He asked Google, "What am I" and searched "white magic." Harrouff searched the Thanksgiving Day Massacre, where Paul Michael Merhige shot and killed four family members and injured three others in 2009 in Jupiter, Florida. Merhige, who had a history of mental health issues, plead guilty in 2012 to the murders after the state said they would seek the death penalty if there was a trial. He is serving seven life sentences in prison.

On the day of the fatal stabbings, Harrouff searched about centaurs, a mythical half-human, half-horse figure. "What's the weakest thing about a centaur" and "what's the biggest help to a centaur," he asked Google. Harrouff's sister told investigators her brother recently expressed he had "powers," was immoral and was half-horse, like a centaur.

"He made me uneasy because he was being a different person," Harrouff's sister told investigators.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

NEW: Missing woman found in pit in neighbor’s shed
NEW: Missing woman found in pit in neighbor’s shed

A missing woman in Ohio was found in a pit in the floor of her neighbor’s shed. According to WLWT, the 30-year-old woman was reported missing by her mother two hours before she was found. Police responded to a home in Blanchester, Ohio, after receiving reports at 4 a.m. from a neighbor who reported hearing cries coming from a shed....
Police chase following shooting leads to five-car crash
Police chase following shooting leads to five-car crash

A police chase following a shooting in Central Florida came to a dangerous end. According to WESH, Clermont police officers say that a suspect shot a man before jumping into his car and driving away from the scene. Police pursued the vehicle for three miles, but the pursuit ended when the shooting suspect crashed into four cars along State Road...
ESPN lays off 100 employees including on-air talent, reporters
ESPN lays off 100 employees including on-air talent, reporters

Cable sports network ESPN is expected to lay off close to 100 employees on Wednesday. Several on-air personalities and reporters have already been notified. “Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent -- anchors, analysts, reporters...
WATCH: Dropping bag of cocaine in traffic court turns minor ticket into major felony
WATCH: Dropping bag of cocaine in traffic court turns minor ticket into major felony

  What started off as a minor traffic violation for an Ohio man quickly turned into a major felony when he dropped a bag of cocaine in court Tuesday. Loraine resident Lamar Reed approached the bench to make a plea on a traffic ticket. When he took his hat off before the judge, a bag of cocaine suddenly fell out of his hat and landed on the floor...
2-year-old bound with tape at Charlotte day care, police report says
2-year-old bound with tape at Charlotte day care, police report says

A 2-year-old’s arms and mouth were bound with packaging tape by her day care teacher, according to a police report that WSOC obtained. WSOC reporter Ken Lemon spoke to the child’s mother who filed a police report on the incident at The Children of America Education and Childcare Centers in the University area. The 2-year-old’s mother...
More Stories