It's true that we hear about things much faster and on a much more universal basis now, because of the nature of modern media (which is really a huge, advertising-driven, entertainment system...in a sense...they report whatever they think will draw attention from the viewing public...cos if they can't draw attention they lose their sponsors).
There were plenty of horrible domestic tragedies in the past, but they were not necessarily reported right across the whole country instantly, the way they are now. I bet even people in Europe and Asia know about this story. They would not have known about it in the 1800's, but that doesn't mean such things didn't happen then. They did.
However, I feel that people are living very isolated lives nowadays, without an extended family and community to help them, and that has got to be causing a lot of psychological damage, as was suggested above. I know it has damaged my life to some extent.