Montgomery Co. Father Speaks Out About Son’s And Ex-Wife’s Murder-Suicide

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Senseless tragedy, inside a Maryland home. A respected psychiatrist and her teenage son, dead in an apparent murder-suicide.

Kai Jackson has emotional reaction from the boy’s father and what may have driven his mother to desperation.

It is a tragedy that authorities and the family of the young boy are still trying to unravel.

“I loved him so much,” said Jamie Barnhard.

Barnhard is left with only trinkets and photos to remember his 13-year-old son, Ben.

“It’s a piece that he made for his grandmother,” he said. “It says, ‘I love you.’ He was such a special child and I miss him so much.”

Police found Ben dead along with his mother, a licensed psychiatrist, in their home in Kensington in Montgomery County in an apparent murder-suicide. His father had planned to pick Ben up Saturday before a work emergency called him away.

“She had shot Ben on Saturday and she had just waited for me to show up or come to the house,” Barnhard said. “I think she was going to kill me too.”

Ben was one of many children featured on a cable show about teenagers struggling to lose weight at Wellspring Academies of the Carolinas in Brevard, N.C.

Ben’s father said he struggled with autism spectrum disorder and obesity. He had a terrible time in Montgomery County schools.

“Bullying and harassment and he gained a tremendous amount of weight,” Jamie Barnhard said.

Ben’s mother tried to convince Montgomery County to send him back to Wellspring but his father says the school system refused.

“She didn’t want him to suffer,” he said. “She didn’t want him to go through the bullying. She didn’t want him to hurt.”

The boy’s father says killing Ben was his ex-wife’s desperate, unexplainable act.

The boy’s mother was 54-year-old Margaret Jensvold, a licensed psychiatrist who reportedly graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She worked for Kaiser Permanente in Montgomery County and was a published author.

  • whatnow

    This is one of the saddest stories I have ever heard on so many levels.

  • james

    Being tht she was a licensed professional , I’m sure she access to resources that the common wouldn’t known about or how to apply. Sadly , I think she wanted to kill the father , this wasn’t about bullying it is deeper than that

  • whatnow

    I think it was all about the son. She knew he would never have a happy life with his disability and she couldn’t bear watching it any longer. I think if she really wanted the father dead, she would have waited until he showed up. I hope those kids in that Montgomery County school (read: privileged kids) realize what they have contributed to and I hope it causes deep seeded guilt that takes years of therapy to cure. Today’s bullying is not the same as yesterday. Back then, it actually was a life lesson that helped you. Today, it borders on criminal.

    • Christy Burton Hudson

      Why would you wish for other children to go through a lifetime of emotional turmoil
      ??? The adults in the situation should have put a stop to it.

    • Larz Blackman

      I suspect it was all about her.

  • Miguel

    so sad… my thoughts and best wishes to the family.

  • est 1988

    This is soo sad,this woman had issues that she obviously couldn’t deal with.I’m guessing her and the child’s father were separated and she had some type of hate towards him.Murdering the son was obviously a message to the dad if this was done and the day he was suppose to pick him up on.When the dad didn’t show she committed suicide because she couldn’t live with the fact that her child was dead at her own hands.Idk how it went down but thats what I gathered.Prayers are definetely with this family

  • JC

    Bullying has gone on forever and will probably follow mankind until the end of time. Each generation thinks it is worse because they surivived the bullying of their age and are unfamiliar with the latest tactics and are often without solutions for their children. It deeply hurts when you as a parent have to watch your child suffer. There is no justification for this woman’s act. A professional in psychiatry, affluent by many standards, she turned out to be worse than any bully or discriminatory standard of society her young son could have come up against. This is all indeed very, very sad.

    • Christy Burton Hudson

      I agree!

  • Jason Danaher

    Honestly bullying has gotten worse. school systems are afraid to do anything because of lawsuits. 99 percent of the time parents of bullies are also bullies. plus nowa days kids cant get away from there bully. they get picked on in school, then it boils over to social networks etc etc. whether she was a professional is not a factor. HOW many contractors houses are falling apart while there clients have perfect mansions. She was deeply upset and no one saw the signs or she hide them well. I feel sorry for the father , mother and child. I a

  • van

    Yes this is so sadnmn
    She did seem like somethings were on her on my mind when I sat across from hear during my session. She seem sad and ready to cry at times when I talked about my life and current depression issues. I shared with her that I really liked her and she saved my life. Ironic she took her life. I wish i could have helped hershe was my Doctor since 2006. I am disturbed and can’t stop thinking about how dhe admitted me to a hospital for severe depression. Now what will I do? My nice Dr. Jensvold is dead.because of the people who wete suppose to help. did not.

  • Terry

    This has little to do with bullying. How pathetic dad would even suggest this, as if this is the antecedent to killing your child. No, this psychiatrist was a mental case who was weak and obviously couldn’t handle autistic child. She did the ultimate selfish act: she checked out and took her son with her. He wasn’t that bad, either. He was higher functioning then most autistics. This woman was crazy.

    • Erik Johan Wagner

      .That was pretty much my take on it too. Amazing how many people can read this story and discuss bullying, school issues, and so on. Killing your child is by definition crazy. Forget all this nonsense. I wonder how much of the boys overeating was driven by Mom (notice he slimmed right down when he went away to boarding school), and if you’re a psycho and looking for trouble, you can get ANY kid diagnosed with an “autism=spectrum disorder”. Sadly, she was a troublemaking psycho who ruined this poor boys life from day one.

  • Erik Johan Wagner

    This is a pretty clear case of Munchausen’s by Proxy. My boy is too fat. He’s autistic (well OK, not autistic, but on the “autistic spectrum” which means precisely nothing.. His IQ is falling. Why won’t someone help him? Why won’t the county send him to a special school. I’m so worried about bullying that I’ve decided to shoot him myself so he can avoid the pain of bullying. OK, let’s sum up: This woman was nuts, and her education and profession prevented everyone from calling her on it and taking that poor boy away from her and giving him to his Dad, which ultimately would have saved his life. That is the rock bottom reality here.

  • T

    My heart goes out to Mr. Barnhard. No one should ever have to bury their child. And I’m sure having to do so due to the mothers hand is even worse. There are so many options in MD counties and across the state for children with disabilities. It’s clear that Ms. Jensvold, likely for many internal reasons, couldn’t see any.

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