Filicidal Psychiatrist Was Upset About Son’s Education

Thursday, Aug 4, 2011  |  Updated 6:16 PM EDT
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Kensington Murder-Suicide Devastates Family

Ben Barnhard

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Kensington Murder-Suicide Devastates Family

A mother and son in Kensington, Md. died in an apparent murder-suicide. Devastated family members spoke to News4 about the tragedy. Jackie Bensen has the story.
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A prominent D.C.-area psychiatrist who shot and killed herself and her 13-year-old son was distressed over her child's educational options, her ex-husband told the Associated Press Thursday.

Jamie Barnhard said his son, Benjamin, had been accepted to a school in Montgomery County, Md., that helps children with special needs and learning disabilities. But he said the county public school system would not agree to pay tuition for their son to attend the school and participate in an individualized educational program there.

A county schools spokeswoman declined to comment.

Ben was on the autism spectrum, his father said.

The bodies of Ben and his mother, 54-year-old Dr. Margaret Jensvold, were found inside their Kensington home Tuesday afternoon.

Ben was a recent graduate of the Wellspring Academy, a boarding school for overweight children in rural North Carolina that was featured on the Style Network show “Too Fat for 15: Fighting Back,” Jamie Barnhard told News4. Ben had lost 100 pounds.

Jensvold was a well-respected psychiatrist. She was named one of the Top 100 doctors in the area in a survey a few years ago, Bensen reported. She co-edited the book “Psychopharmacology and Women: Sex, Gender, and Hormones” and contributed to the book “Psychopharmacology from a Feminist Perspective.”

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