Former Kansas City Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then killed himself at the Chiefs practice facility in December of 2012. A year later, Belcher’s mother, Cheryl Shepard had his body exhumed so an autopsy could be performed to see if he was suffering from CTE at the time of his death.
CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a neurological condition that is linked to concussions and multiple brain traumas. The theory is that repeated trama can cause athletes to become easily angered and lose control of their impulses.
Several football athletes have been diagnosed with CTE – including former NFL players Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, both of which committed suicide- have been seen in players who have sustained concussions, sometimes multiple concussions over the course of their careers.
Shepard is suing the Chiefs claiming that they didn’t provide adequate health care for him. Belcher sustained a concussion two weeks before he fatally shot Kasandra, with their infant daughter nearby. She is also claiming the team knew about Jovan and Kasandra’s domestic issues.
CTE can only be diagnosed after the person has died.