This was on the front page of freep.com this morning - sadly there are some factual errors in this article that people will jump on (not allowed to go to college was in original article for instance - hopefully the reporter will correct it).
Interesting reading the comments below the article - all kinds of opinions.
Just some thoughts - Terrible tragedy but I think shunning does lead many people to desperate actions. It is the ultimate in cruelty. Obviously killing the rest of the family indicates additional mental health issues, but I hope this incident leads to more people recognizing the cruelty of shunning and to investigate it for themselves. I think a large percentage of JW's disagree with the shunning policy but follow it out of fear and getting shunned themselves. The scriptural reasoning is so off base in my opinion and then the society has added so many Pharisaic rules on top of it that it clear to many that something is wrong. I do see a trend where more people are questioning the company line - I hope it continues.
Sadly, I know several people who took their lives before getting DF'ed - not sure on all the people I knew (ironically all males) but I strongly suspect several were homosexual and had acted on it (evidence was there based on personality and association - only reason I make that comment) or were ready to leave and just could not see a way out. It just makes me grateful when people get support from outlets like this. They can talk to people who exited, were successful, and found that life would indeed get better once they got through the trial and tribulation of leaving.
Unfortunately, many will just say "well, she was just crazy" and move about their business.