Where’s the romance in killing?

What’s worse than calling domestic violence a “crime of passion”? How about saying the perpetrator suffered from a “romantic heartbreak”?

Passion and heartbreak do not lead to homicide. A person’s loss of control over the person, much like loss of ownership, is what leads to murder (or even injury or stalking). Separation is the most dangerous time for a woman – i.e. ending a relationship with a possessive, controlling man presents the greatest danger. The irony of this is that it can be safer staying with an abuser than leaving him – until we learn to prevent domestic violence and improve our system of dealing with it, that is.

Ex-boyfriend’s jealousy turns deadly in Hialeah murder-suicide 

Lisset Perez had not yet turned 15 when she broke up with her boyfriend, a man six years her senior who had lived in her family’s apartment.

Lisset’s new start did not last long. Early Thursday morning, her estranged and jealous boyfriend, Adalberto Torres, 21, gunned down Lisset and her mother outside her Hialeah apartment, where they waited for her school bus.

An hour later, Torres killed himself in the Miami efficiency he just rented a few days before.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/26/1794302/exs-jealousy-turned-deadly-in.html#ixzz0yEtsIFQa

The glorification and whorification

I’ve often thought, in a very general sense, we glorify men (fathers, soldiers, even serial killers) and whorify women (by hypersexualizing women and girls). That probably stems from gender roles that expect men to be strong and agressive and women to be pretty and sexy – but the media, to me, really exagerates these roles. In particular, they can treat violent men with fanfare, whether it’s the “nice guy” that kills his wife and kids (the most common serial killing) or the serial killer that tortures and kills unrelated women (but is not treated as gender-based violence). Here’s an interesting article in Salon about why women fall for serial killers – they are, afterall, treated like heroes in the media, often with super hero names like Green River Killer – argh! – or BTK (he named himself, actually) – or the Eastside killer.

Here’s a thesis about serial killers portrayed in the NY Times: 

Serial killers as heroes in the media’s storybook of murder

Read the piece in Salon here.