Joey was getting it from all sides and he was having health problems.
The friend, former roommate, and co-bartender was going to come over to help paint, he went to the hospital with his girlfriend instead, and was “rebuked.” The schedule would be off because of the flooring contractor. Then, when the room was painted the color was wrong and they had to do it again.
The murders (or abduction) were done during a period of construction. Merritt was also there. Then there was an open window and he had days to go back.
Everyone was out for themselves. Some were very nasty.
They were not having financial problems anymore, per se. They had a new house and mortgage, some $100K in the bank (two-thirds business account, rest personal), and the plan as reported was to fix the house bought from foreclosure and sell it. Two small kids and no employer benefits, they were not well off. Earth Inspired Products, primarily an online business, was not particularly solid, especially with Merritt and Kavanaugh reportedly both on their way out and no backups.
All these people had lives and problems. But none were sociopaths or psychopaths except Merritt.
Merritt was right where he had put himself. Lying on camera. Fooling the police. And climbing through the window with Joey’s brother. It is hard to picture a loser driving a work truck as a visible, famous, ostentatious, and an extremely selfish narcissist, but that is what is behind the destruction of the Joseph and Summer McStay family.
We have all heard the label before: People like that do not care. Over and over, chance after chance, a they are a person who cannot or will not learn. They have a built-in mechanism to rationalize it. Other people are are props or tools. And they do not care.