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Family sues after noted Hyde Park psychologists’ murder-suicide

Dr. Margaret Shanahan and husband Prof. Richard Moore | photos from C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago

The brother of a prominent psychotherapist is suing the estate of her late husband, another noted psychologist who fatally shot her before turning the gun on himself last summer inside their Hyde Park home, authorities said.

Because of his “extensive study in the fields of behavioral science and psychology,” Prof. Robert L. Moore knew that his own mental health conditions “caused him to be a danger to himself and others,” including his wife, Dr. Margaret L. Shanahan, her brother John Shanahan claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

Authorities called to perform a well-being check the morning of June 18 found the couple dead with gunshot wounds to the head in a murder-suicide at their home in the 1400 block of East 54th Street, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Autopsies ruled Shanahan’s death a homicide, and Moore’s a suicide.

The couple were both highly regarded in the Jungian field of psychology in Chicago. Colleagues were shocked by their deaths.

The three-count negligence suit alleges that Moore suffered from depression and delusions “which rendered him unable to accurately perceive reality,” and that he should have known not to carry a gun. A representative for his estate could not immediately be reached for comment.

Shanahan is survived by six siblings and a niece, according to the suit, which is seeking more than $150,000 in damages.