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Horrific murder no surprise in meth capital of US

FRESNO, Calif.-- When a Central California woman shot dead her two toddlers and a cousin, gravely wounded her husband then killed herself last Sunday, investigators were not surprised she had smoked methamphetamine before the carnage.

Authorities say meth has been involved some of the nation's most horrific cases of child killings committed by parents. Chronic use leads to schizophrenia-like symptoms, including hearing voices and hallucinations.

A federal report says meth's availability and its potential for abuse combine to create the biggest drug threat in the Central Valley. Authorities say the region is a hub of the nation's meth distribution network, home to nearly all the "super labs" controlled by Mexican traffickers.

Law enforcement officials say the drug is a top contributor to violent crime and thefts in this farming region.
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