Honey, I killed the kids

This guy, who has JOINT CUSTODY, kills his 3 young daughters and then calls the ex to let her know:

Slaying of 3 River Falls Girls Stokes Community Fears of Domestic Violence

Schaffhausen and his ex-wife had joint custody of the girls, and on the day of the killings, he contacted her to ask whether he could see the children, who were being watched by a baby sitter. Jessica Schaffhausen agreed, the criminal complaint states.

Less than two hours after the sitter left the girls at the home with Schaffhausen, he called Jessica Schaffhausen and said, “You can come home now because I killed the kids,” according to the complaint.

She called police, who then found the girls dead from cuts to the neck. The youngest girl also had been strangled. Schaffhausen soon after turned himself in to police.

On Friday, Wojcik said crimes such as the River Falls killings are less about violence than they are about power and control.

“He didn’t just murder them, he then called her to say (what he had done),” she said. “It’s a final act of trying to control that person and inflict the most harm they can on them.”

 

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:  How many of these stories do we have to read before these family court judges get a clue? Joint custody is for mild to moderate conflict, which are NOT typically the cases you see in family court. It’s just re-traumatizing to keep reading these cases. The media has to do its job, too, and provide some context. This is a pattern and deserves the media’s attention.

Caffeine Insanity plea in case where husband strangled wife

THIS is insane…

Caffeine Insanity? Ky. man killed wife, will claim caffeine overdose made him do it

NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) Can too much caffeine turn someone into a killer?

It’s a provocative premise the attorney for accused murderer Woody Will Smith plans to put to the test, in Smith’s murder trial for the 2009 strangulation death of his wife. Opening arguments were expected Monday in a Newport, Ky. court, and defense lawyer Shannon Sexton has filed notice he’ll argue his client consumed so much caffeine in the days before killing his wife, that it rendered him temporarily insane.

The 33-year-old Smith claims that he feared his wife, Amanda Hornsby-Smit,h would leave in the middle of the night with their two children because of a suspected affair, and that his resulting paranoia caused him to consume energy drinks and take diet pills containing ephedra to stay up all night and get through work the next day.

She was probably going to leave him – separation is the most dangerous time for a woman. The idea that he was temporarily insane because he had too much sugar is absurd – and typical behavior (making excuses) of an abuser.  It’s a classic case of a Twinkie Defense too.

Believe women

Here are 3 cases of domestic violence where the system failed the victims. As a result, five people in total died. In Cassandra’s case, she was killed at the age of 24 in front of her mother and sons. She feared her ex-husband, but nobody seemed to take that seriously. She followed court orders – to her peril. When she returned to Britain, her ex stabbed her to death.

Following a court order killed her

Young mother fled to Sydney to save her life

The other case involves 32-year-old Brandy Schneider. Her batterer had a great lawyer (no surprise there, batterers often have more resources and can afford better legal representation). He also had  SUPERVISED VISITATION – despite his prior convictions of battering and sexual assault. It’s rare that parental rights are terminated – perhaps it’s time to review this policy.

Friends of Brandy Schneider speak out over double murder-suicide investigation

This third case involved a woman who separated from her partner – separation is the most dangerous time for a woman – and survived his attack. Their daughter, only 4 years old, did not.

Jilted lover shoots dead daughter and leaves mum fighting for life in a crazed attack in Aldershot 

Notice that the women in these cases all WANTED their partners to have access to the children. This is consistent with research findings – the majority of women want their ex-husbands or partners, even if they were abusive, to have contact with their children.

Note too how this last article ends  – kudos to the Mirror for providing this bit of info from a professor –

SEEKING REVENGE

BY PROF JACK LEvIN

Expert on family annihilators

TYPICALLY the motive in a family annihilation is revenge.

It is normally preceded by a nasty separation, divorce or child custody battle and the primary target is almost always the wife who is blamed by the man for all his miseries.

He decides to get even by killing everything associated with her and everything she loves.

There are also cases where a man sees a murder-suicide as altruism. He may have lost his job or be in debt and cannot provide for his family. He takes their lives before his life believing they are better off dead.

Most cases develop over years, not days, but there is usually a catalyst – a negative, life-changing event. It takes several factors working together.

Whenever I read about the reason for the murders, I am amazed that it’s women that are stereotyped as vengeful. Mind you, I am against all stereotypes so it’s not like I want men to be stereotyped as vengeful. It’s just that the Men’s Rights and Fathers Rights activists are always talking about false allegations (women lie), female violence/vengeous/malicousness, women witholding access, etc. – and then when I read these articles and domestic violence research, I find the opposite – I find that many women follow court orders, provide accusations in good faith, want violent partners to have contact, etc.  It’s not a matter of he said – she said, this ridiculous refrain belittles a very serious situation – we must get to the truth of the matter and we must protect the lives of women, men and children in domestic violence – starting with relying on fear as an indicator of homicide.

“Nice guy” kills stepdaughter

Usually, the story goes “nice guy” “snaps” and kills wife. Here’s one where the “nice guy” “snaps” and kills his 12-year-old stepdaughter. He gets the maximum time in prison: 24 years. Obviously, the judge didn’t see him as a “nice guy” but the Washington Post did:

Man gets 24-year term for strangling step daughter

Klein said Caceres had battled years of depression and frustration, caused by financial problems and stress as he tried to support his family in the United States and send money to his five children in Honduras. On the day Marisol was killed, Klein said, Caceres snapped.

Is “snapped” recognized by psychiatrists? If not, readers should know why a person would kill a child that referred to him as Daddy. The judge must understand it, but clearly readers cannot determine the cause.

The story is full of positive attributes of the killer and rationalizations such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Why didn’t this man seek help if he was so ill?  

 

Where is the outrage?

Police determine teen missing since 1954 was slain

Apparently killing women is not a new passtime – not that I believed it was. Sadly, the awareness of violence against women just started in the 70s, and much of it occurred in the 90s. Not all countries even have laws against domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking – we’re still living in the dark ages – as women, that is. An author once wrote that during the time of Englightenment as men were making advances, thousands of women were being killed as witches. Today, it hasn’t changed much. Violence against women prevents human potential, affecting the lives of women, young girls, families and entire communities. We cannot advance under these conditions.

“Now that I know, it isn’t so much that she died, but the horrible death,” she said.

Boulder County Sheriff’s Detective Steve Ainsworth, the lead investigator in the case, said Howard died of blunt-force trauma. She couldn’t be identified because her body was found a week after she was killed, and animals had gotten to her face and fingers.

At the time, the mystery made headlines across Colorado, and Boulder residents raised enough money to buy her a gravestone, which read “Jane Doe — April 1954 — Age About 20 Years.”

Boulder County sheriff’s officials have credited historian Silvia Pettem with encouraging them to renew efforts to identify Jane Doe. Pettem became interested in the woman and her story after visiting the cemetery in the 1990s and writing the book “Someone’s Daughter, In Search of Justice for Jane Doe.”

All these articles scattered about in newspapers across the globe paint an overall picture:  An estimated 1.5 to 3 million women are killed every year. That’s a Holocaust every 3 years. This is not the information age for women – this is the dark ages where brutal violence and harmful stereotypes are undermining our progress.

Where is the outrage? Where is the accountablity? the awareness? the concern? …

Where is the outrage?

Another gruesome killer preys on women – and is virtually ignored by the police…

Neighbor says police knew about rapist’s house

The police in Cleveland were notified repeatedly about violence in the house of a convicted rapist where the decomposed bodies of six women were found last week, a neighbor said Monday.

The neighbor of the man, who was arrested Saturday night after the bodies were found, said the police had done little, despite the calls.

Fawcett Bess, 57, the owner of Bess Chicken and Pizza, across the street from the house, said that about two weeks ago, he found the man, Anthony Sowell, in the bushes alongside Mr. Sowell’s house naked and standing over a woman who was bloodied, beaten and also naked. Mr. Bess called 911, he said, and an ambulance soon took the woman away. But the police showed up two hours later and never interviewed him, he said.

“Nobody did anything because she is a girl walking around the streets,” Mr. Bess said. He said he did not know what had happened to the woman, or if the police had followed up on the matter.

Mr. Bess said that a month earlier, he had been approached by another woman who showed him bruises and blood on her neck that she claimed were from an attack by Mr. Sowell. The woman told Mr. Bess that the police had taken a report but appeared to do little investigating, he said.

“If people had come to tell us about this guy’s history, then maybe we would have paid more attention,” he said.

and

Ms. Anderson said the Sowell case raised questions that were also raised in the case of Jaycee Dugard, the young California girl who was kidnapped and held for 18 years. The man charged with kidnapping her, Phillip Garrido, was also a convicted sex offender. The police visited him regularly to confirm his whereabouts.

As a society, we’re still debating where the acceptable line is between an offender’s rights and privacy versus public safety,” Ms. Anderson said.

I’m not really sure we’ve come to terms with victims’ rights. They still struggle for justice. Meanwhile, perps get custody rights, can wed (including women from overseas – and get them visas), work, get an education, etc. etc. etc.
Women, and particularly women of color, have a human right – to safety, to protection, to dignity.
Until there is outrage, these injustices will continue.

Brutal murders

I’ve just come across two stories of brutal murders of women that have sickened me – one because of their horrific nature and two because of how we deal with them.

Here’s a story that has a headline where breast implants seem to trump how gruesome this death really was:

Ex-model’s breast implants were key to body’s ID

The remains of a former model whose killing set off an international manhunt for a reality television star were so badly mutilated that investigators had to use the serial numbers on her breast implants to identify her.

This woman was mutilated and the headline uses words like “ex-model”, and “breast implants”? Her former career had less to do with her murder than the fact that she was female. Her implants may have been key to identifying her body but certainly this fact trumped how mutilated she was in this headline.

I remember the case of the gay man tied to a fence and beaten to death – the country was outraged. And when a Black man was sodomized with a bat by police officers, the nation questioned police brutality. Why, then, do we not even blink an eye when a woman was so badly mutilated?

And here’s another one:

Man goes from heroic husband to hammer-wielding wife killer

On January 27, 2007, with his parents downstairs watching TV with the door shut and his infant son in the other room, prosecutors said, Ratley put on a pair of thick black gloves, grabbed a heavy-duty hammer and went into the bedroom where his wife was lying down after taking some medication. He lifted the hammer and “savagely and brutally beat her on the head over and over” — at least seven times, said Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda.

Aside from strangulation (which, I believe,  is not even against the law in some states when it is attempted), bludgeoning must be one of the most cruel forms of murder.

I’m simply not sure if I’m more sickened, saddened or angered.