Pirus says wife asked to die, local expert weighs in

Pirus says wife asked to die, local...

Steven Pirus, who is facing first-degree intentional homicide charges in his wife’s murder, told authorities his wife Lee Anne Pirus begged him to help her commit suicide. News 3 spoke to a local health expert who said she’s never heard of such a scenario.

Theresa Bednarek has worked as a supervisor at the Journey Mental Health Crisis Center for eight years. She’s been a social worker for decades longer and in that time she said she’s not in any way encountered a situation like the one Steven Pirus said he was in.

“Since I got my master's in 1987 I’ve never had anyone contact me or talk to me that said ‘I’ve been asked to kill another individual,’” Bednarek said.

Pirus said his wife Lee Anne Pirus, who allegedly attempted to take her life in 2014, begged and pleaded with him to help her commit suicide, according to the criminal complaint. After a half an hour of talking Pirus said he shot Lee Anne, according to the complaint.

The scene Pirus laid out for authorities is difficult for Bednarek to wrap her head around. 

“I think people don't want to lose the person,” she said.  “They recognize they might be in physical pain, emotional pain, but they just love them they don't want to lose them.”

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide you can call 608-280-2600.

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