THIBODAUX — Up until the point Gary LeBlanc walked into the bar where his estranged wife worked early Sunday morning, he had no documented violations of the protective order she obtained against him nearly four months earlier.
- Gary LeBlanc
- Documents show stormy union preceded deaths
- Police: Napoleonville bar site of murder-suicide
- Man kills estranged wife, turns gun on himself in Napoleonville, police said
LeBlanc arrived unannounced inside the Lakeview Inn Bar on La. 401 in Napoleonville with a 9 mm pistol. Moments later, Jennifer LeBlanc, 44, lay dead behind the bar with three gunshot wounds. Her 50-year-old soon-to-be ex-husband, who was not supposed to come within 100 feet of the bar according to the order, lay dead less than 15 feet away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The shooting happened within seconds, authorities said, long before Assumption sheriff’s deputies could respond to the bar, located at the end of the long and winding La. 401, which leads to Lake Verrett.
Protective orders restrict in-person contact and contact over the phone and Internet between two parties. Law-enforcement officers can arrest protective order violators on the spot, without asking why they were at a place or why they tried to contact the other party.
But while protective orders are a valuable tool to stop recurring domestic abuse, they should not be viewed as infallible, law-enforcement and victim-rights advocates agreed.
“It’s not a bulletproof vest or a shield,” said Tamara Joseph, a domestic-rights advocate for the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, which is housed in the Lafourche Sheriff’s Office’s police services division. “It has to work hand-in-hand with other things.”
Protective orders should be accompanied by safety plans, formulated to avoid and respond to potentially dangerous situations.
The LeBlancs each obtained protective orders against each other Jan. 27. It is unknown what steps, if any, they took to protect themselves from each other. Neither was arrested for violating protective orders, according to court records.
Gary LeBlanc violated his estranged wife’s protective order Sunday morning and would have been charged with a violation, Assumptiion Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said. There was no way for the murder-suicide to be prevented, the sheriff noted.
“It’s not a foolproof system,” Waguespack said. “The bottom line is if an individual wants to take another person’s life it’s an almost impossible task for the system to prevent them from doing so.”
Waguespack added, “I truly believe, in this situation, the system did not fail the victim. The system stood behind the victim.”
It is impossible to have a deputy watch over every person with a protective order, Waguespack noted. All law enforcement can do is respond to violations and make arrests based on those violations.
In general, protective-order violations, including telephone calls and text messages, are not always reported, said Pat Babin, the Terrebonne Sheriff’s Office’s domestic-violence coordinator.
Babin said a deputy in his division has served 108 protective orders since the new year. The department’s number could be higher, he noted, depending on the number of orders served on weekends and nights.
Only eight violations have been recorded.
“Sometimes it’s in the mind of an individual that as long as there is no physical contact that it’s all right,” Babin said.
After a person files paperwork for a protective order, both parties must appear before a judge to argue why the order should or should not be granted. The judge can issue the protective order for up to 18 months, or refuse to grant it.
In the LeBlancs case, the protective order was supposed to last until January 2011.
As of Wednesday, the Assumption Sheriff’s Office had served 31 protective orders, Waguespack said. The Lafourche Sheriff’s Office has served 77, Joseph said.
The numbers of protective orders issued in recent years have not changed much, according to Kimberly Clement, program manager for The Haven in Houma, an advocacy group for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Clement encouraged victims of domestic violence to call The Haven at 800-915-0045 or the statewide number, 888-411-1333.
Children need. . . THIS?
CUSTODY EVALUATORS: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
Liz’s article, "Why ‘Therapeutic Jurisprudence’ Must Be — and Will Be — Eliminated From Our Family Courts", published in 13Domestic Violence Report 65 (2008) is available at http://www.florida-attorneys-at-law.com/lawyer/articles.htm
The Cross-Referral PAS Relationships;
featuring Joe Goldberg aka Bernard Joseph Goldberg
Below my comments is an example of a solicitation/marketing letter by a PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome)promoter (the links and bold emphasis have been added, and the lawyer’s name deleted, but the text otherwise is intact.) This is one way garbage put out by the MHP crowd in furtherance of unscientific therapeutic jurisprudence has permeated the family courts and made its way into the public discourse.
While Joseph Goldberg, the letter’s author (below), does not appear to be a licensed psychologist or expert of any legitimate kind, he is far from the only one doing this. A number of father’s rights types, such as Dean Tong and Ken Pangborn have managed to convince lawyers as well as litigants to work with them as "medical legal consultants" or "forensic experts" (whatever that means — some kind of glorified paralegal.) In addition, licensed psychs and other MHPs also do this same thing, soliciting business as "coaches" and "consultants" as well as appointments as experts for the court.
The problem permeates the entire industry of therapeutic jurisprudence. It’s particularly egregious in the area of the false-acc/abusers’ defense lobbies, many of whom have an odd and interesting overlap with the "parental alienation syndrome" crowd, which seems to involve substantially the same motley activist network of PAS ringleaders, functional disciples of Richard A. Gardner. The PAS group includes psychs, lawyers, and the father’s rights forensic paralegal types.
One of the psychologists listed below, Barry Brody of Miami ("Forensic Family Services" http://www.drbarrybrody.com/forensicfamilyservices.html), regularly has sent out a "parental alienation" newsletter to members of the Florida Bar family law section (I haven’t received one in a while; perhaps he’s finally removed me from his mailing list, but if I get another one, I will scan it and upload it here). Brody as well as a number of more familiar names have chimed in to bless the nonsense of "hostile-aggressive parenting" which burst on the scene a couple of years ago to rehabilitate this discredited drivel. See the sister websites (same ownership) http://www.parental-alienation-awareness.com/ and http://www.hostile-aggressive-parenting.com/. These include an unhealthy mix of professionals, who, based on their permitting their names to be used this way, apparently support the promulgation of the unscientific crap. Although by no means exhaustive, it’s a convenient list of who to stay away from in child custody cases:
Richard Austin, R. Christopher Barden, Stephen Ceci, Douglas Darnall, Stephen Herman, Jayne Major, Daniel Rybicki, S. Richard Sauber (listed twice) , W. vonBoch-Galhau, Richard A Warshak, Michael Bone, L.F. Lowenstein, Reena Sommer, Jerry Brinegar, Katherine Andre, Ken Lewis, Catherine Swanson Cain, Monty Weinstein, Amy J. L. Baker, David Britton, Robert Evans, Debra Gordy, Christina McGhee, Harvey Shapiro (Elizabeth Loftus’s "investigator"), Jose Manuel Aguilar Cuenca, Theresa K. Cooke, Jeff Opperman, Remi Thivierge, Joe Goldberg, James J. Gross, Randy Kolin, Randy Rand, David Carico, Lawrence W. Daly, Charles D. Jamieson. [from http://www.parental-alienation-awareness.com/experts.asp accessed 01/01/08]
Notice in Goldberg’s letter, below, the trade-promotion claim that these cases are "difficult to resolve". This is typical parenting evaluator propaganda — it increases the appearance of some kind of need for their "expertise". Also note that not only does he make the ubiquitous misrepresentation that there is a disorder known as "parental alienation syndrome" but — and this is fraudulent — adds the embellishment that it is a medical disorder! (Who is infected? At its least implausible, PAS was a description of a relationship dynamic.)
There’s a big problem with this kind of thing that supersedes even the promotion of bogus parental alienation theories. The problem arises because most lawyers represent different clients taking different sides in different cases (sometimes the wife, sometimes the husband, sometimes the "good guy", sometimes the "bad guy", etc.). If Solicited Attorney runs up against Expert in another case, after they have established a "cross-referral professional relationship" and formal or informal "working partnership" (the formal kind is of dubious legal ethicity because of the inappropriate feeder of referrals in exchange for indirect compensation), and have "mutual" cases pending, Solicited will have a very difficult time shredding Expert or Expert’s testimony when that is required in another case, or filing a complaint against him, if necessary, because that would place Solicited’s other clients’ pending cases at risk.
In such cases, the lawyer will be tempted to rationalize to himself, as well as maintain the posture in the community at large, that Expert’s horsepuckey is scientifically valid, and pretend that lawyer in any event can safely buy into this because lawyer is not a "scientist". Expert (who likely knows his spoutings are specious) also will know that Solicited is doing this, and thus has given clients less than competent representation (potentially damaging information to have against a lawyer).
But because it’s all ostensibly collegial, neither of them will admit to the bogus science, or what is going on, even to each other, and as people do, they both will maintain the pretext of belief in such things as the "medical disorder of parental alienation" or "the benefits of joint custody", as well as the value of their memberships in the organizations that promote these make-work ideas.
It’s almost like unacknowledged blackmail. The lawyer who naively or purposefully steps down this path and goes along with this kind of thing (encouraged by the mixed-discipline organizations, such as the AFCC) in order to obtain referrals has sold his professional soul to the devil, literally. This is true whether the cross-referral relationship is with a licensed psychologist, or, as in this case, with a paralegal-type bird dog.
Deliberate relationships with expert witnesses such as the one sought in the below should be recognized as ethical violations and banned by state bar ethics rules. But the conflict of interest problems are inherent in the nature of the association and exist even when there is no explicit referral relationship — a reason for banning these people from the court system altogether. Ironically, it’s worse for the lawyers who are not ideologues, because they are more likely to advocate for different client perspectives. The repeated association of these "experts" into cases, however, any one of whom at any time and from time to time may show up on the wrong side of a given case, creates many of the same dilemmas that ordinary client conflict-of-interest issues do. This problem also applies to guardians ad litem, frequently a small group of lawyers or MHPs who are appointed by judges and placed over and over again in the same local group of lawyers’ cases, and who similarly opine and write reports that sometimes are on the right side and sometimes on the wrong side.
These people are witnesses in each case (or, in the case of GALs, sometimes even considered to be parties proper). They are not in fact "neutrals" (even if hired as such, once their reports are rendered, they are advocates for one or the other side, and they are never neutral when they are hired as a consultant-turned-testifying expert for one of the lawyers). Thus, at a point, they are, just as a party would be, pointedly in favor of one side and outcome, and overtly adverse to the position of the other party in a case.
They are not objective disinterested witnesses. They are not neutrals. They are not scientists. They are not immune from bias and self-interest (especially where favor is curried with judges and lawyers for future referrals), and especially where their professional trade organizations have lobbied for immunity and effectively protected them from oversight. They are not doing this because they "care about children". They are not akin to a doctor who drew blood and put it under a microscope and testifies in court that yes, he saw the little amoebae or bacteria or whatever and made a diagnosis. (And the Goldbergs and Tongs are not even licensed, regulated professionals of ANY sort — not that licensed psychologists are much better.) If you don’t understand this, having spent your life immersed in this over-therapized. infotainment pop-psychology advice-columnized big-pharma drug-pushing culture we live in: it’s time to get educated.
Not only are they witnesses, just like litigants and other interested, affiliated parties on one side or another of a case, but they are an especially dangerous kind of witness, because they appear in case after case after case. One lawyer may encounter the same expert in different cases in which the same fraudulent snake oil is sometimes favorable and sometimes disfavorable to the lawyer’s client. Expert may be taking a meritless position for the lawyer’s client in one case (which position the lawyer would like to bolster, being an advocate for the client), but show up in another case with the same meritless position that is against the lawyer’s client in that case. Or, Expert might be opining differently because after all, so much psychological opining and "theories" — er ideas — (these are not scientific theories) are unsubstantiable, unfalsifiable, unresearched nonsense. If Expert and a lawyer are in cahoots in various cases, the lawyer is placed into a conflict in the instant case, unable to zealously discredit Expert and do what is appropriate and necessary to protect his potentially harmed client in the instant case — even if the lawyer otherwise would be willing to sacrifice his own referral source or collegial association with Expert. Can’t do it.
Unlike lawyers in many other areas of practice, who may retain their clients for years, family lawyers typically need a steady stream of new one-shot clients. In addition, family lawyers also tend to work in smaller firms. So they value those who send them business. From what I’ve personally seen, I suspect that too many family lawyers, perhaps without recognizing or acknowledging the conflicts of interest that have caused their discomfort and unwillingness adequately to represent some of their clients, in fact have sacrificed these clients on the altar of maintaining their professional relationships, associations, and referral sources.
These people are not colleagues, however. They are case witnesses and participants.
Some lawyers admit to feeling burnout, but they’ve rationalized their unwillingness to zealously advocate for their clients, and their discomfort, as stemming from the "high conflict" created by unreasonable clients, or the high emotional toll the cases are taking on them. Others retain their enthusiasm by becoming ideologues, and taking only cases in which they will not encounter the conflicts (e.g. overwhelmingly their clients raise claims that the other parent is an alienator.) This conveniently furthers the propagation of the bad science.
The rest justify their lack of vigorous representation, and the coerced settlements they’ve foisted on some clients as concern for the best interests of children, or as the only reasonable settlement position, or as their ideological commitment to helping people to just get along (especially when the retainer has run out). They profess to themselves and everyone around a great affinity for mediation and therapy and collaborative resolution, and all manner of therapeutic jurisprudence in the interests of everyone, and similar specious posturing, encouraged in their self-delusion by a steady drip of MHP literature. This kind of thing is just not as pervasive in other areas of the law, no matter how heated the conflicts get, and it’s one substantial reason the public has such a generally dim view of the family courts and family lawyers.
Given that clients are entitled to their choice of attorneys, and are entitled to independent, unconflicted, attorneys (agents) who are committed to furthering their interests and goals (as the client, not the attorney, has defined them), the only viable solution is a disqualification of any GAL or forensic expert who previously has been associated in any case with either of the lawyers in that case, and the striking and nullification of all testimony and reports of that expert, no matter at what stage of a case the lawyer is hired. It also is time to substantially limit the use of forensic experts and GALs in family court altogether because for the most part, MHPs, including child custody evaluators and their relatedforensic offshoots, in fact are unneeded, unhelpful, and undesirable in the vast majority of child custody cases.
(And any judge who would let Joe "PAS is a medical disorder" Goldberg** testify as an expert in a case really should be removed from the bench for incompetence. Yes, I said that.)
**Joe Goldberg formerly was known as Bernard Joseph Goldberg. In his own Florida divorce case, Goldberg claimed that his ex-wife was "alienating" his teenage daughters, and even the psychs didn’t buy it — except, Goldberg urges us to mention, an evaluator in his case, Glenn Caddy, Ph.D. Not surprisingly, Caddy is listed as a speaker in and among some of the usual names in the PAS promotion set at a September 2008 "Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome" organized and promoted by Mr. Goldberg. See http://cspas.ca/speaker_profiles.shtml Dean Tong also is listed as a speaker at the event. That pretty much says it all. (That and that Mrs. Goldberg and her two poised and articulate daughters ultimately and fortuitously prevailed against the frivolous machinations.)
Examples of Goldberg’s approach to lawyers, financial advisors, vocational experts, and evendomestic violence groups! More. This is not "medicine", it’s marketing and money. Very dangerous, given Goldberg’s obvious promotional talents combined with his obsessive motivation stemming from his own failed attempts to control his ex-wife and children in his own divorce case. (Recent misguided Canadian courts apparently are being influenced, too, sending children for deprogramming "treatments" at Warshak "clinics" in the U.S. at unthinkably ridiculous expense. I could not call this merely a financial con because children and family affectional relationships — which should not in the first place be the province of government engineering — literally are being experimented on and at risk of being harmed. Judges, wake up!)
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2007 18:24:00 EST
Subject: Re: Client Referral from Goldberg & Associates – Joe Goldberg
To: [Solicited Attorney]
Dear [Solicited Attorney]:
I found you listed in ACFLS ( Association of Certified Family Law Specialist ).
There are times I’m sure, when you’ve come across high conflict cases regarding Visitation, Custody and Parental Alienation. These cases are extremely difficult to resolve in the best interest of the child.
You may not know that Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome, is both a medical disorder and a form of Child Abuse.
In many of the cases I am involved in, I refer a client to a new attorney.
I like the fact that you have the highest qualifications and I believe that you could assist us with legal representation.
I would like for us to get to know each other, a little better and I would also like to know if you would be interested in developing a cross-referral professional relationship on these type of cases?
Allow me to introduce you to our website, so you can learn more about me and my firm: http://www.ParentalAlienation.ca Presently we work on cases all over California.
We would also like to link websites with you.
Please let me know, if you’d be interested in a working partnership and if you would like to talk with me after the holidays.
Until then, I want to wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season.
Goldberg & Associates
Date: Sunday, May 18, 2008 2:30 AM
Subject: CDFA Assistance Needed – Please Call Joseph Goldberg /905-481-0367
To: [Solicited Financial Advisor]
Hello [Solicited Financial Advisor]:
My name is Joseph Goldberg and the name of my firm is Goldberg & Associates. We work with family law attorneys in divorce litigation and specifically on the topic of Parental Alienation Syndrome.
Please visit our web site at http://www.ParentalAlienation.Ca
We have many clients that need CDFA Services. The clients we represent and local to you (although we have offices in FL, & ON.).
I would like to discuss an offer to refer my clients and their business to your firm. In fact, I would like to give you an opportunity to be our "Exclusive Affiliate" for all of our clients needing CDFA Services.
Due to the fact that I am the Founder of The Canadian Symposium For Parental Alienation Syndrome, ( CS-PAS ), my firm anticipates a significant increase in the number of clients that come to us for assistance, we want to prepare for that volume of business by having your help lined up in advance.
I assume that you did not know that Parental Alienation Syndrome is both a Medical Disorder and a widely recognized form of Child Abuse.
Please visit the website for CS-PAS so you’ll understand the importance of this event.
It would be greatly appreciated if we could get better acquainted on the phone. I would very much like to discuss our interest in the arrangement to work with you and your firm. Please call me at – Tel : 905-481-0367
Once again, I look forward to hearing from you soon !
Goldberg & Associates
[Saturday, June 28, 2008]
Hi [Solicited Vocational Forensic]
Please do me a favor and try and mail out a few packets of information about you and your firm so I can pass it along to our interested clients. If you can send it by Express Mail that would be appreciated. (Include your CV, Photos, Logos, etc.)
You can mail it to me at:
Goldberg & Associates
A7-1390 Major Mackenzie Drive East
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4S 0A1
Also… I forgot to mention this but in reference to the one time Sponsorship Fee, if you want to make the payment with a credit card directly to CSPAS, they ;made it very simple and easy to do.
All you have to do is click on the hyperlink below: Click here: Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome
Then scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click on the button that says:
Once again, I look forward to doing business with you soon.
Goldberg & Associates
[Sunday, June 29, 2008]
Hi [Solicited Vocational Forensic]
It was a pleasure getting to know you and I am very excited about this opportunity to work with you and your firm.
I’d like to itemize the details regarding your Exclusive Vendor Affiliation with G&A. We truly want to make this a successful and profitable arrangement for your company because we need your assistance for Vocational Evaluations
We are prepared to offer your firm all of the following benefits – all we seek in return is your support of the CS-PAS, (symposium) and a one time Sponsorship Fee in the amount of $750.00 ;
EXCLUSIVE VENDOR AFFILIATION BENEFITS
1. Your company will be our Exclusive Vendor for Vocational Evaluations in Texas
2. The Registration Fee for you to attend the symposium will be waived ($395.00)
3. The Fee to attend the Gala Banquet Dinner will be waived ($250.00)
4. Significant advertisements promoting your company will be posted on the CS-PAS website. The cost to design the ad will be paid for by the CS-PAS, it will be designed by an advertising agency. The value of the ad would normally cost $400.00, and the ad will be seen on ;www.cspas.ca
5. Significant advertisements promoting your company will also be posted on our website. The cost of the ad will be paid for by the CS-PAS, it will be designed by an advertising agency. The value of the ad would normally cost $400.00, and it will be seen online at http://www.parentalalienation.ca
We want to build a business relationship that will last for many years to come. It would be a great pleasure to work with you on these services.
Please Make Your Check Payable To:
CSPAS / Canadian Symposium
Please Mail It To:
CSPAS / Canadian Symposium
A7-1390 Major Mackenzie Drive East, Suite 127
Richmond Hill, Ontario L4S 0A1
Attn: Corporate Sponsors Dept.
Once again, I look forward to meeting you and doing business with your firm!
From: TheCSPAS@aol.com <TheCSPAS@aol.com>
Subject: Announcement To Members from The CSPAS – Founder Joseph Goldberg
Date: Thursday, December 25, 2008, 1:44 AM
I am with The Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome, and my name is Joseph Goldberg. We would like to know if it is possible to obtain an opt-in email list of your members so we can send them a video clip of our upcoming conference at The Metro Toronto Convention Center March 27th through March 29th.
Since this is our First Annual Conference we hope you will allow us to use your email list solely for this purpose and at no time would your list be given out to any third parties. I am the Founder of the Conference, and I will take every measure to safeguard the usage of your email information.
We would also like to ask if your email name and address information is available in a CSV data format ? ( This way we can do a simple blast of the emails all at one time, or perhaps we could send you the video clip and you could send it out to all of your members for us ? ) Either way, The Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome would be forever grateful for your assistance.
Did you know that Parental Alienation Syndrome ( P.A.S. ), is a recognized form of child abuse ?
Once again, thank you for giving us this opportunity to inform your members with our promotional video clip of the conference.
Founder of The Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome
Sent: 1/29/2009 6:07:32 P.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: Client Referral To Your Office – From G&A / JG
My name is Joseph Goldberg, and I’m with the C.S.P.A.S.
http://www.cspas.org   I was looking online at a few different websites when I came across your information.
I’m trying to help some clients that live in close proximity to your office. My clients recently expressed a need for professional services that you can provide.
Are you presently meeting with and taking on new clients and if we wanted to refer these clients to you is that something that would be of interest?
All of the clients that I would refer, are local to your office and the main reason that I’m able to refer a potentially large number of new clients to you, is because we have public access to a database of experienced professionals who are affiliated with the CSPAS – Referral Service Center.
FYI, there are no charges of any kind in connection with the CSPAS – RSC.
The CSPAS provides assistance to adults and children who are dealing with problems that relate to "Parental Alienation." We also try to encourage professional’s to enroll in at least a few lectures that offer CEU’s to assist them in working with the clients that we refer.
FYI …We have an upcoming conference on Parental Alienation this coming – March 27 – March 29th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC). As Founder of the CSPAS - I’m very interested in supporting the work you do, and I believe we can, and should help each other on an on going basis. I assume that you are acquainted with the fact that Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome ( P.A.S. ), is a widely recognized form of child abuse.
Please let me know if you’re interested in taking on some new clients and our client referral services which can help you to expand the growth of your practice.
My Kindest Regards,
Joseph Goldberg Founder of CSPAS
For more information about the conference, please visit our website at http://www.cspas.org
To stop receiving these emails please unsubscribe.
The Canadian Symposium For Parental Alienation Syndrome
A7 – 1390 Major Mackenzie Drive East, Suite 127
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4S 0A1
Founder of The Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome
Dean Tong (another non-psychologist "forensic consultant") was arrested 01/28/08 in Florida for domestic violence and witness tampering. Tong was accused in a prior marriage of child sexual abuse, which lead the former paramedic to create a business of, inter alia, helping guys accused of abuse beat the rap (although in recent years he apparently sought to gain legitimacy occasionally working for the "other side" too). His primary affiliations, however, appeared to be with the PAS purveyor crowd, a number of the individuals listed above, and other "it’s a false accusation and mom brainwashed the kid to make this up" defense lawyers and forensics such as Ralph Underwager. Lightning striking twice? More of these types: Steven Carlson, "the custody coach", Ken Pangborn, and Allen Cowling. And of course the agenda’s Ph.D.s…
More on Dean Tong, can be found here: http://www.thelizlibrary.org/fathers/fathers.htm#tong
This work is part of ongoing research being conducted by the National Network on Family Law Policy, with the assistance of numerous scholars, professionals, and others who are investigating the workings of our justice system. For more information, contact sarah,
Rethinking the Assumptions of Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Family Courts
Custody Evaluator Quotes
What’s Wrong With Parenting Coordination
Parenting Coordination issues
Psychology in Family Court
Custody Evaluators Lack Expertise
Forensic Evaluators Lack Science
Custody Evaluator Discovery Issues
Collaborative Divorce Psychologists
Victim called 911 twice in 30 mins before she she was shot dead by husband while she was holding her baby (West Haven)
Report On Murder-Suicide Shows Gaps In Response He was bonded out twice before he
By ARIELLE LEVIN BECKER, firstname.lastname@example.org
6:23 a.m. EDT, May 25, 2010
The first time he was arrested on charges of beating and kicking his wife, Selami Ozdemir was ordered into a family violence education program. Four months later, when he was arrested for hurting her again, Ozdemir posted bail, returned to his West Havenhome and killed his wife, then himself.
It was three weeks before his first domestic violence class was to begin.
Because of a backlog in the program for first-time domestic violence offenders, defendants like Ozdemir can go months between being arrested and receiving domestic violence counseling, services and monitoring, a five-month investigation by the Ansonia-Milford state’s attorney’s office found.
A report on the case released Monday included several recommendations for changes, including increasing the number of slots in the family violence education program to minimize the wait time and increasing the supervision of domestic violence defendants while their cases are pending.
Ansonia-Milford State’s Attorney Kevin D. Lawlor said that some recommendations might cost money, but that they could also produce savings in the long run if they can reduce the likelihood of domestic violence defendants reoffending.
"Justice shouldn’t come with a price tag," Lawlor said. "We have a job to do."
The report detailed a host of problems in the case. Ozdemir, 41, and his wife, Shengyl Rasim, 25, had two children, and his first arrest, last September, included allegations that he knocked his wife against the crib where their 3-month-old slept. But none of the agencies involved alerted the Department of Children and Families after the first arrest; each appears to have assumed that someone else had, the report said. It recommended formalizing the procedures for notifying DCF in domestic violence cases that involve potential child endangerment.
After his second arrest, on Jan. 16, Ozdemir allegedly managed to get out of custody without putting up any money for his $25,000 bond or signing a contract or payment plan — allegations that the state Insurance Department is investigating, according to the report. The report suggested reforms to the bail bond industry designed to keep agents from allowing people to "get out of jail free."
The report also described the failure of 911 operators to relay key information to police who were at the family’s home minutes before the murder-suicide.
Two officers had arrived after Rasim called police at 3:29 a.m., saying that she heard her husband banging on the door. When the officers arrived, Ozdemir was not there. Then, at 3:43 a.m., another woman called 911 and reported that Ozdemir was drunk and returning home. The woman expressed "grave concern" for the safety of Rasim and the police, the report said.
But the dispatchers did not tell the officers at the house that Ozdemir was coming. The officers left at 3:47 a.m.
About six minutes later, the dispatch center received another call from the house. On the line were the sounds of an argument and a baby crying. Then there were loud sounds that seemed to be gunshots.
Dispatchers told the officers to return to the home, but did not mention the gunshots. The tape recorded several more minutes of the baby’s cries and the officers trying to enter through two locked doors.
West Haven police and fire departments — which both supervise the 911 system — are conducting an internal investigation into the handling of the calls, according to the report. The police department has modified and clarified its procedures for relaying information to responding officers, the report said.
On Monday, attorneys representing Rasim’s estate and her children filed a notice of intent to sue the town of West Haven, the police officers and dispatchers involved in her case.
"This is probably the most preventable tragedy that I have ever witnessed in my career as a lawyer," Joel T. Faxon, whose firm, Stratton Faxon, represents Rasim’s estate, said in a written statement.
Stratton said the lawyers plan to file a federal civil rights complaint and ask the U.S. attorney to investigate whether there was evidence of racial bias in the department’s handling of the case. Rasim was from Turkey and did not speak English well. The state’s attorney’s report cites multiple instances in which language barriers presented problems, including during the 911 call shortly before Rasim was killed. The report noted that West Haven police can access translation services by telephone to communicate with 911 callers but did not use them with Rasim.
A call to the West Haven police department was not returned Monday.
Since the murder-suicide, the judicial branch has increased the number of family violence education classes, the report said.
It now takes between 60 and 65 days for a person ordered into the family violence program to begin sessions — better than before, but not ideal, said William Carbone, executive director of the state’s court support-services division.
The program consists of 9-week group sessions that focus on educating defendants about the effects of violence on relationships, as well as interpersonal skills to develop violence-free relationships and an understanding of power and control dynamics, according to a report by the state judicial branch.
In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, 3,663 people were ordered into the program, and 172 groups were completed, with an average of 15 people per group, according to the judicial branch. Each group costs about $4,000 to run.
The report also recommended increasing the supervision of domestic violence defendants and suggested that one way to reduce recidivism would be to make court family resource counselors more involved in supervising them.
Family resource counselors typically handle both domestic violence and family court cases, and in the Ansonia-Milford judicial district, they have more than 100 domestic violence clients each. The report recommended letting some counselors work only on criminal cases and receive training on more closely monitoring defendants.
Carbone said he would not disagree with the recommendation, but said it is not possible to do now.
"That’s a resource-driven recommendation," he said. "At the present time, the resources are not there to accomplish it."
Stephen R. Grant, director of family services for the judicial branch, noted that restraining orders are civil, not criminal, matters, and that some recent domestic violence murders occurred in families with no previous criminal cases.
Copyright © 2010, The Hartford Courant
By the awesoeme Randi James
As previously discussed by F. Bessette, Amy Baker’s participants were mainly recruited via internet advertisements:
Nothing wrong with this method. However, the wording could lead to a biased selection:
1. She introduces herself as a research psychologist, versus a researcher.
2. The word manipulated is loaded. How does she define it or how do her participants define it?
3. The word alienated is loaded. How does she define it or how do her participants define it?
And so what kind of people responded to her ads? Who was represented? Baker gives us some information in her research entitled, Patterns of Parental Alienation Syndrome: A
Qualitative Study of Adults Who were Alienated from a Parent as a Child.
40 participants were utilized (a large sample size for a qualitative study)
The age range was from 19 to 67 years old (keep in mind that they are reflecting on their childhood.
37.24 was the average age for women and
42.73 for men
in rounding ages mode=40
just some maybe useless information!!)
15 men and 25 women (interesting gender distribution)
29 of the participants reported that their parents divorced during their childhood. (This ranged from from birth to age 13, with an average of 5.76 years and a mode of 2. What about the other 11 participants? )
34 cases in which the mother was the alienator
6 cases= father
**There is no information about the parents’/children’s economic status [pre-divorce, post-divorce] which may give us information on class issues. There is no racial or ethnic information which may give us some background on cultural issues.**
Baker’s goal #1:
to determine whether there were people who identiﬁed themselves as having been alienated from one parent due to the other parent’s actions and attitudes.
Although these data do not provide any benchmark for determining the actual prevalence of the phenomenon in the general population, they do provide evidence that there are people who believe that they have had this experience.
There are also people who believe they were raped, impregnated, and abducted by aliens. There are people who believe Tupac Shakur and/or Elvis Presley are still alive. There were people who thought the world would end in 2000. All of their evidence says/said so. What mattered in this study was not there was something called parental alienation, but people’s beliefs about their recollections. This study did not involve proving anything. It was exploratory in nature.
Baker’s goal #2:
to determine whether there were different types of parental alienation experiences or whether they all followed the same general outline.
So she might be trying to expand on the previous literature. Innovative.
This is what Baker found:
PATTERN 1: NARCISSISTIC MOTHER IN DIVORCED FAMILY
all portrayed their mother as self-centered, demanding a high degree of attention and admiration, and not able to see them as separate individuals…a woman who was charming, dynamic, and preoccupied with having her own needs met rather than meeting the needs of her children.
Picture portrayed does not necessarily equal reality. A mother (or any parent) more concerned with her own needs against her children’s own best interest would essentially be neglecting her children. In what ways did the participants in Baker’s research describe the children being neglected–emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually? Each is very different.
it can be surmised that these narcissistic mothers cultivated an emotionally enmeshed relationship with the participants when they were young children that appeared to serve their own need for love and admiration rather than to promote the emotional health and growth of the participants.
Enmeshed is an overused word–heavily saturated in psychological literature–that tries to malign the relationship between mothers and their children. The opposite of enmeshment is detachment, which is also pathological according to psych theory (yes, these are theories, not laws). It is easy for strangers and those without a vested interest in the relationship to pathologize other people’s family dynamics. Perhaps it would serve psych researchers better if they were to performethnographic studies–become a part of the family and observe–in order to determine how what has been classified as maladjustment may serve to benefit the family in various situations.
Baker goes on to say:
Maternal narcissism appeared to fuel the alienation in at least three ways. First, despite the powerful personality presented to the world, narcissists tend to feel empty inside and easily become enraged at the ﬁrst sign of humiliation or abandonment (Masterson, 1981). Therefore, it is quite likely that the end of the marriage triggered in these women feelings of shame and rage that became directed towards the husband.
Pure speculation. (Then again, who ever said what was presented in research was fact?) If the marriage’s end was a result of the husband’s actions, is that shame and rage unwarranted? Could we also not apply the same humiliation or abandonmentand/or shame and rage to the father because he now realizes the extent of his actions? Could the father be the narcissist?
This is certainly consistent with the fact that the participants recalled a steady stream of badmouthing about the absent father following the divorce. These men were referred to as cheaters, gamblers, rapists, alcoholics, and abusers in front of the participants.
This is almost laughable (not at the children’s pain though). Might we want to consider that these fathers were in fact the names that were used, or that the behaviors they exhibited matched these names? No. This research wasn’t supposed to verify or dispute this. The focus is on the mother’s actions, rendering the father’s potential behaviors as invisible. And who gets to decide what a mother should or should not tell her child or what is or is not age appropriate? Psychologists?
Thus, the alienation may have been partly motivated by revenge, as if the mothers were saying, “If you don’t want me you can’t have the children.”
Speculation. What if the mother was saying, "Your display of character has caused such a disturbance and is evidence of your utter disregard for the children."
A second underlying motivation of the alienation fueled by the mothers’ narcissism appears to be anger towards the children that they wanted to have a relationship with the father even though he had rejected the mother. This is consistent with the fact that narcissists generally have a hard time understanding that others (including if not especially their children) have separate feelings and experiences of the world (Kernberg, 1976). For the narcissist, if she is angry with someone, the children should be as well.
Was the mother angry because the father rejected her or because the father abusedher [or the children]? Big difference. How would we know, decades later? If a mother is not to speak of the father being a drunk or cheater, is she supposed to speak of him being physically or sexually abusive? And if so, when should that information be divulged? On the other hand, if the father is the narcissist, wouldn’t he have a hard time understanding that others (including his children and maybe his ex-wife) have separate feelings and experiences of the world? How might he display that narcissism? (hint: by claiming parental alienation)
Third, the narcissistic mothers might have felt especially alone and fragile following the divorce and might have relied more on their children for comfort, companionship, and reassurance than before. Seen in this light, the time the children spent with the father under these circumstances would have been experienced as a profound loss. Many narcissists do not know how to be alone, as they need an audience to make them feel real and to reassure them of their grandiosity (Golumb,1992).
Speculation with misogynistic undertones. This particularly pathologizes mothers who do not re-couple after divorce and choose to focus on [rebuilding] the relationship between her and her children (which is vital if they were previously subjected to abuse). And then, as I previously stated, would the same thing apply to the father if he is indeed the narcissist (doesn’t know how to be alone and thus re-partners quickly, garners support from his parents, then decides to take interest in kids now that he has an audience)?
PATTERN 2: NARCISSISTIC MOTHER IN NON DIVORCED FAMILY
There were 8 cases in which "parental alienation" was displayed in an intact family–no divorce, no custody battle–the parents and children lived in one household. I have asked this question repeatedly–Does parental alienation occur in intact families?– and I have stated that these so-called alienating behaviors occur in "regular" households (see Parental Alienation in "High Conflict" Divorce: Questions We Must Ask). According to Richard Gardner, founder of parental alienation theory, this isn’t parental alienation. According to Baker, it was like this:
The primary technique entailed conﬁding in the child about the inadequacies and failings of the father.
Confiding implies that it was some sort of secret between the mother and child. Was this the case?
Much of what was shared with the participants about the father was designed to make them feel anger or resentment toward him and protective of the mother, furthering the alienation.
Is this a fact or opinion and how can we know? How do we know that the child did not carry these feelings on his/her own and look to the mother for mutual support?
It is also possible that the mother was not able to maintain an adult relationship in which emotional honesty and compromise would be necessary. Perhaps these mothers turned to their children because having the unquestioning adoration of a child was more satisfying and less demanding than a mature relationship with another adult.
Horrible speculation. Furthermore, how does one carry out a mature relationship with an alcoholic or cheater? The emotionally dishonest person would be the one with the negative behaviors that are ruining the family, not the person who cannot communicate with him.
PATTERN 3: COLD, REJECTING OR ABUSIVE ALIENATING PARENT
According to Richard Gardner, if there is bona fide abuse, there is no parental alienation (although with Gardner’s encouragement of sexual relations between fathers and their children, his categorizations are questionable). According to Baker, it was like this:
Rather than a “fabulously close” or “excellent” relationship, as the participants in pattern 1 and 2 described having with their mothers, the participants in pattern families were physically, verbally, and/or sexually abused by the alienating parent. Sixteen cases ﬁt this pattern, three in intact families and 13 in divorced families.
That is 45% of the divorced family participants and 27% of the intact family participants fitting into this category. And these are people who elected to reveal this information.
In half the families the alienating parent was alcoholic in addition to being physically, emotionally, sexually, and/or verbally abusive and in ﬁve cases the father was the alienating parent.
That is out of 40 families, 20 of them had alcohol abuse issues on top of other abuses. And out of the total of 6 cases in which the father was considered the alienator, 5 were physically, emotionally, sexually, and/or verbally abusive (83%) (I’m unsure whether I am interpreting Baker’s statement correctly as it is rather unclear).
The alienation occurred not through the alienating parent winning the child over through charm and persuasion, but through a campaign of fear, pain, and denigration of the targeted parent.
This is what has been described as Domestic Violence by Proxy or Stockholm syndrome. Interesting, Baker didn’t offer these terms as possibilities however she chooses to repeatedly align mothers with cults throughout this research, and then, makes this statement:
Thus, parental alienation syndrome can take different forms.
because her (and others PAS theorists) ultimate goal is the expand the definition of what constitutes parental alienation syndrome/disorder. And she doesn’t try to hide her m.o.:
Narcissistic mothers as alienators may present different clinical opportunities than alcoholic physically abusive fathers. The ﬁrst scenario is the one commonly envisioned and described when parental alienation syndrome is discussed (Gardner, 1992). However the ﬁeld needs to recognize that there is more than one type of parental alienation syndrome
…it appears that it may be time to broaden our understanding of parental alienation syndrome..
She also notes:
…alcoholism, maltreatment, and personality disorders co-occurred
in most of the cases included in this study.
And yet it appears that the focus is still parental alienation; therefore, it is a mask, a distraction from dealing with the real problems inherent in the select families in which PAS is said to exist.
And here Baker gets down to the nitty gritty of this research where she fills in the gaps with the true motivations for PAS theorists:
Second, determination of personality disorders should be taken into account when devising methods for overseeing visitation schedules since such individuals are not likely to comply with court orders. People with narcissistic personality disorders tend to be arrogant and, therefore, are likely to devalue authority ﬁgures and emphasize their own ability to make judgments and decisions (e.g., Golumb, 1992; Hotchkiss, 2002). Without real teeth in a visitation or shared parenting order, it is not likely that such a person will comply. The legal system has developed measures for tracking and enforcing payment of child support; it is now time for methods of ensuring compliance with visitation to be developed as well.
Personality disorders, Visitation enforcement, and Shared parenting all thrown together on the backdrop of child support. No surprises here. Amy Baker appears to be advocating for punishment in suspected (or assumed) cases of parental alienation.
A second notable ﬁnding from this study is that parental alienation can occur in intact families. The majority of the attention to parental alienation syndrome has emerged from the legal system in response to problems dealing with high conﬂict divorces, custody disputes, and false and real allegations of parental alienation (Darnall, 1998; Warshak, 2001). To date,there has been minimal if any attention to the fact that parental alienation can occur outside of the legal system.
Third, alienation occurred in some of these families that were not involved in post-divorce litigation. Again, the typical parental alienation scenario discussed in the ﬁeld is that of a family involved in intense and chronic legal conﬂicts around custody and visitation (Gardner, 1998). This was not always the case.
These findings are not notable. And it leaves a major question unanswered: If PAS occurs in intact and non-litigating households then what would be the likelihood that this occurs in a significant amount of otherhouseholds? The greater the likelihood, the less pathological it would be. Maybe it is a natural phenomenon.
…one of the participants who did not fall into the three patterns reported that the alienating parent was the non-custodial father.
But Baker would prefers to explain it like this:
Despite the fact that the targeted parent lived in the same household, the participants rejected them, avoided them, denigrated them (in their hearts and mind) and essentially lost out on the experience of having a healthy rewarding relationship with that other parent.
And Baker would like to get everyone involved:
Likewise, teachers, social workers and other mental health professionals who come into contact with parents and children should become versed in the patterns of parental alienation syndrome and the strategies parents use so that they can identify them when they are present.
Will they be mandated to report it just like other child abuse suspicion? Will Social Services or Child Protective Services get involved? Will this lead all other families into court and into protracted litigation? Will every family get a third person embedded into their family life..aka Parent Coordinator or other Court Whores? And at whose expense–the parents or the government?
Fourth, the parents who were the target of the alienation appeared to play a role in their own alienation. In some cases these parents were passive and uninvolved (even when living in the same household) and did not work particularly diligently to establish and or maintain a positive and meaningful relationship with their own children. Many did not write letters or make phone calls to their children during periods of non-visitation, they did not attend school events and sporting competitions, they did not follow through on planned visitations, and in some respects appeared to be casual about their relationships with their children.
So, is this considered parental alienation, too? Who is the alienator?
…it must be noted that these reports were made by the adult children, and because they were children at the time of the alienation, they may not know everything that the targeted parents did or tried to do for them…
without mentioning that this same disclaimer (delimitation?) can be applied to the knowledge the children/adults may NOT have about why the mother behaved as she did.
The ﬁnal ﬁnding that emerged from a review of these cases is that the alienation was not always completely internalized.
And so, by according to Richard Gardner, this would NOT be parental alienation either.
This marks the end of Amy J. Baker’s research. In this study, she never defined what parental alienation meant. She interviewed the participants herself and didn’t specify whether she personally analyzed the data for content/themes, or not. These things matter.
Baker tries parallel the concept with cultism, and explains that PAS isn’t in the DSM, similar to other syndromes that took time to get it in. A similarly appropriate parallel would be to the former catchall diagnosis of female hysteria…which then went to be called somatization disorder and then conversion disorder. The field of psychology operates in this wish-washy manner because it is based on "theory" (opinion).
Another important thing to keep in mind is the demographic data provided at the beginning of Baker’s study. Go back and re-read it above………..
In the study, Baker states:
Section two focused on memories of the marriage, the participant’s relationship to each parent until the time of the separation/divorce,how the participant was told about the separation, who moved out of the house and a description of the custody/visitation schedule through age 18.
I have provided you with enough information and emphases throughout this post to let you put this together on your own.
In performing a study in this manner, Amy Baker tried to expand the definition of parental alienation syndrome by using people’s beliefs so that the the people could define parental alienation as it meant to them:
the interview aimed to understand in a focused way the subject’s every day life world as it related to parental alienation and the meaning of the alienation for them
This is a magnificent selling point to society at large. PAS theorists have struggled with trying to separate from Richard Gardner not only because his definition was limited (to "high conflict" divorce with mothers as the main alienators), but because of his pro adult-child sexual beliefs. ie:
Special care should be taken not alienate the child from the molesting parent. The removal of a pedophilic parent from the home "should only be seriously considered after all attempts at treatment of the pedophilia and rapprochement with the family have proven futile."
Gardner, R.A. (1992). True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse . Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.(p. 537)
The child should be told that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. "The sexual exploitation has to be put on the negative list, but positives as well must be appreciated"
Gardner, R.A. (1992). True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse . Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.(p. 572)
Older children may be helped to appreciate that sexual encounters between an adult and a child are not universally considered to be reprehensible acts. The child might be told about other societies in which such behavior was and is considered normal. The child might be helped to appreciate the wisdom of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, who said, "Nothing’s either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
Gardner, R.A. (1992). True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse . Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics.(p. 59)
However, the broader the scope of parental alienation, the more watered down it’s definition becomes. If any child (and parent) can suffer from parental alienation in any circumstance, what makes it abnormal? How is it a mental illness?
DSM stands for “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” and is published by the American Psychiatric Association, the professional organization representing United States psychiatrists. The DSM contains a listing of psychiatric disorders and their corresponding diagnostic codes. Each disorder included in the manual is accompanied by a set of diagnostic criteria and text containing information about the disorder, such as associated features, prevalence, familial patterns, age-, culture- and gender-specific features, and differential diagnosis. No information about treatment is included.
Please stay tuned for part 2.
After a spike in domestic homicides across the state, questions linger about why they are so hard to prevent
By the time the officer kicked open the deadbolted door on Feb. 9, the woman was lying in the fetal position in a pool of her blood. Her husband stood nearby holding a bloodied kitchen knife.
“I just killed my wife,’’ he calmly told the officer.
It was the eighth such killing in a span of just 31 days, eight women killed by their partners or, in one case, by her father. And the bloodletting didn’t end there. Two others narrowly survived attacks and four of the assailants, all men, killed themselves.
The sudden alarming spike in domestic homicides across the state, like similarly devastating clusters of cases in 1995 and 2007, left authorities scrambling to discern a pattern — and finding none.
And yet these were cases with much in common, for this kind of killing is among the least random of crimes: Assailant and victim, by definition, know each other intimately. Power, and the unnatural need for it, is the recurrent motive.
The warning signs of mortal danger were often blindingly plain to view. Some of the women were counseled, repeatedly and loudly, to get away, to get help, to shun the men. A deeper look at three of the cases illumines why such warnings were and are so hard to heed, and why this remains, at a time when the stigma of leaving an abusive relationship is gone, among the most stubborn of crimes to prevent.
. . .
After 39 years, Joan Murphy thought she knew her husband’s habits.
But there he was, striding toward her on Jan. 17 at the Oriental Pearl, an Asian restaurant in Westport where she had become a regular on karaoke nights. They had never visited the restaurant together, and she had seen him there only once since they separated a year earlier. So she was startled to see him, and even more so by the look on his face.
“Crazy determined,’’ she said, recollecting the moment.
“You don’t love me anymore,’’ Paul Murphy said as he sat down in a chair opposite her in the crowded bar.
“I am not talking about that,’’ she recalled saying.
“I love you,’’ he said, and he pulled a handgun from his coat pocket and aimed it at her face.
He would shoot her three times before turning the gun on himself. He died; she survived.
Paul Murphy’s family declined to comment, saying that the episode is too painful, the act inexplicable for a man who doted on his grandchildren and children, reveled in Irish music, golf, and the Yankees.
In several extensive interviews, Joan, a 57-year-old former nurse and mother of two, described her long marriage as suffocating and distant, regimented, and unpredictable — with happiness elusive for both of them.Continued…
Page 2 of 5 —
They had met at Fall River’s Charlton Memorial Hospital, where she worked and where Paul, also a Fall River native, was being treated for minor car accident injuries. He was confident, an Army man, and by the time he had recovered, they were going on dates at the drive-in. Joan would pick him up at the Marconi Club, a local bar where he hung out, and drop him there when their nights together were over.
“He was the tough guy,’’ Joan recalled. “I thought that was cool.’’
They wed a few months later, on Valentine’s Day 1970. She was pregnant.
Around his friends and colleagues at Bridgewater Correctional Complex, where he worked as a correctional officer after leaving the military, Paul Murphy proclaimed his wife a saint, she said. But at home, in their three-bedroom garrison with a sun porch and manicured gardens, it was as though she could do nothing right.
When he watched the Yankees, he would fume if she crocheted rather than focus on the game, she said; when she talked with a neighbor, he demanded afterward to know what they had discussed; when she visited a friend, he chafed; when they went to parties, he would lambaste her afterward for saying the wrong thing.
“I was always scared. He’d be nice one minute, and the next, he’d be violent,’’ Joan said. “He never physically hit me, but he threatened.’’
Denise Rego, a friend of the couple, recalled that Joan was often on “high alert’’ and that Paul often seemed on the verge of exploding.
“We talked about her leaving a hundred times,’’ Rego said. “But her family would talk her out of it.’’
Joan feared leaving.
“I knew he wasn’t just going to let me go,’’ she said. “Not that you expect to get shot, but you know it’s not going to be easy.’’
The marriage deteriorated further after hip problems forced her to quit work and stay home, and after Paul retired in 2003, compelling them to spend more time together.
“You needed someone to blame so it was easy to blame me because I drank and yelled,’’ Paul later wrote in an e-mail to his wife, provided to the Globe by Joan. “You told me to go see [a counselor] and I did. You did not think it was working but the tantrums were reduced by 90 percent and then it was the drinking so I quit. I took away the two things you said made you unhappy but it still did not satisfy you.’’
Joan sought counseling as well and began stashing money in a bank envelope that she wrapped in a plastic bag and hid at the bottom of her purse. In February 2009, with $1,000 in the envelope, she moved to a one-bedroom apartment in Fall River.Continued…
Page 3 of 5 —
Soon, he was calling. One day, he wanted to know where she had hidden his gun. A year earlier, after his therapist warned her that he could be suicidal, she had stashed it in a hole under the kitchen sink. Now, he said he wanted to turn it over to police, and she told him where it was.
There were demands, too, that she return to him.
“It was getting confrontational,’’ she said. “I finally said, ‘If you have something to say to me, e-mail me.’ ’’
Shortly after Christmas, he did.
He wanted a divorce. She agreed.
A few weeks later, she saw him at the Oriental Pearl for the first time. He was dancing with another woman and tried to make eye contact with her. She wondered if he had followed her there, and then she fled, slipping out the side door, she said.
Two nights later, at 10:30 on a Sunday, Joan was again at the Oriental Pearl, when Paul sat down at her table and pointed the gun.
The first bullet missed her, grazing a hand she reflexively raised to protect her face. She fell off her chair, and Paul leaned over the table, firing into her neck.
Then, another shot fired.
“I could hear the cops saying, ‘Don’t bother with him, he’s dead.’ And I thought: ‘Good. He’s dead. He won’t shoot me again.’ ’’
. . .
The youngest of the eight victims was 19-year-old Allison Myrick, who just months before had begun her freshman year at Fitchburg State College.
With a high school resume that included yearbook editor, MSPCA volunteer, and fund-raiser for ALS research, she had hoped to attend a bigger-name university. But her applications had been rejected, and she had scrambled to get into Fitchburg State.
Then, days before classes started, her high school boyfriend ended their relationship.
“She was devastated by that,’’ said her father, Steve.
At a campus party weeks after she arrived at school, Myrick met Robert Gulla, a 19-year-old who delivered bread for a bakery and lived in a basement bedroom at his mother’s house in Shirley.
Gulla took her to dinner, and soon they were seeing each other frequently, prosecutors allege. It wasn’t long before a volatile streak showed.
Myrick confided to her mother that one day at her dormitory, Gulla had gone from room to room, banging on doors and demanding that students tell him whether they ever visited her room. When the building director asked Gulla to leave, Gulla grabbed him by the collar, according to campus police records. Police banned him from campus.
Weeks later, according to Fitchburg State police records and prosecutors’ testimony, Myrick was sitting in the office of her dormitory resident assistant, trembling and crying as she told campus police that Gulla had beaten and choked her the night before, enraged about her text messaging.Continued…
Page 4 of 5 —
She told police that when she had tried to call a friend for help, Gulla had grabbed her phone and thrown it. Still, after Gulla apologized, Myrick stayed the night at his house, she told police.
The officers urged her to get a restraining order; but she declined. She told her parents she would not see him anymore.
“At that point, we thought, ‘Wow. She’s OK, and thank God he didn’t kill her,’ ’’ said her father.
John Galvin, Gulla’s lawyer, declined to comment, as did Gulla family members.
Despite Myrick’s vow to stay away from Gulla, her parents worried. Their daughter called less frequently and removed them as friends from her Facebook page. When they questioned her about him, she balked, then confessed to seeing Gulla.
“She was being told by him that he loved her and that he wouldn’t do it again, and she couldn’t reconcile that someone who loved her would hurt her,’’ said Myrick’s mother, Susan.
But he did, prosecutors say. Police were summoned by Gulla’s mother on Dec. 11, after Gulla allegedly hit Myrick, again after becoming enraged over text messages on her phone.
Shirley police arranged for an emergency one-day restraining order, but she did not seek to extend it later that day. Myrick’s parents again implored her to stay away, and again she said she would.
She had even found someone new, a Fitchburg State classmate, John O’Brien. Still, she continued to see Gulla, prosecutors say. He demanded more attention and, on Jan. 19, he began texting and phoning her “incessantly,’’ at one point writing that he hoped her whole family died, she told police.
This time, Myrick told campus police she wanted a restraining order, and they escorted her to Fitchburg District Court to get it.
Yet at 11 p.m. on Jan. 22, after leaving O’Brien’s room, Myrick texted Gulla. Prosecutor’s say that Gulla borrowed his mother’s car about that time, telling her he was going to “pick Allie up.’’
The next afternoon, O’Brien began receiving texts from Myrick.
She had made a big mistake, he recalled her writing, and was at Gulla’s house. He told her to leave and get on the next train. But at 4:30 she had not left and texted, “I’m so scared. I’m not even kidding,’’ court records show. When O’Brien asked what was going on, Myrick replied “He went through my phone again.’’
Nearly three hours later, police found Myrick lying lifeless in the basement of Gulla’s house.
Prosecutors allege that Gulla beat her, strangled her, stabbed her multiple times, and shot her between the eyes with a pellet gun. At 5:09, he texted his mother. “I love you,’’ he wrote, prosecutors allege. Then he cut his left wrist and fired a pellet gun at his right temple, producing wounds that required a three-day hospital stay, prosecutors said. When his mother found him two hours later, prosecutors said, he was lying next to Myrick’s body, moaning.Continued…
Page 5 of 5 —
Gulla has pleaded not guiltyin Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn to charges of first-degree murder, three counts of assault and battery, and violation of a restraining order.
. . .
Three more women died in the first week of February. Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray convened a domestic violence forum in Fitchburg to call attention to the tragedies.
Four days later, Christina Mulgrave was dead.
Mulgrave had been married four times, the first time when she was 24 and pregnant. Now 43, she had met a new man and seemed transformed — infused with a sense of reclaimed youth, family and friends said.
“It’s like ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back,’ ’’ Christina Mulgrave told her sister, Michelle Gonzalez, shortly after returning home from a solo trip to Jamaica in 2007.
Craig Mulgrave was a maintenance worker in the hotel where she had stayed in Negril. He was charming, with a slender build and a quiet manner. And he was 12 years Christina’s junior.
“She liked the fact that she was older than him and that she was desirable to him,’’ her sister said.
Within months, Christina was making return trips, sending money to help his family, and soon, wedding plans were underway.
Family and friends were puzzled and concerned. Did she really know this man? But then, they figured, that was Christina, always on to the next thing. She was perpetually working toward another degree in nursing. She had moved frequently, uprooting her son and daughter. She had ended four marriages.
“Her relationships were never reciprocated the way she wanted them to be,’’ said Ellen Fortes, a longtime friend. She married Craig in a beachside ceremony in Negril in July 2008, said Narda Daley, a cousin of Craig’s.
It was a first marriage for Craig, an electrician whose father had died when he was young and whose mother had worked while raising him and his four siblings, Daley said. He had never been in trouble with the law, Daley said. “He’s not violent. He would walk away from an argument before he lost control.’’
While immigration paperwork was arranged, the two carried on a long-distance relationship — he in Jamaica and she in Las Vegas, where she had moved when her children were grown. Soon, the relationship was showing strain, Fortes said. Craig Mulgrave would anger quickly if he didn’t know where she was from moment to moment.
“This guy, on a daily basis, would tell her, you can’t go out of your house, you can’t go to the casino, you can’t go to your best friend’s house,’’ Fortes said. “Obviously, she would not not go out.’’
After arguments, which were frequent, Craig Mulgrave would call her cellphone dozens of times, Fortes said. She wouldn’t answer, she said.
“ ‘He’s just jealous,’ she’d say. ‘He’ll get over it,’ ’’ Fortes recalled Christina saying.
In the fall of 2009, Craig arrived in Las Vegas, and a few months later, in December, the pair moved east to be closer to her family. They rented a second-floor apartment in Haverhill. She worked as a labor and delivery nurse in Worcester; he struggled to find work, Daley said.
Gonzalez saw signs of tension. One day in early February, when Christina stopped by her house in Lowell, she seemed bothered and unhappy. She confessed that her marriage was in trouble.
“I want him to go back to Jamaica but he won’t go,’’ her sister recalled her saying.
Ninety minutes later, Christina Mulgrave called police, pleading for help; she was being stabbed, police records show. When police arrived, they could hear her screams, but by the time they entered the apartment, she was lying on the floor in the pool of her blood, the records show.
Craig Mulgrave has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Essex Superior Court in Salem.
Since Christina’s death, the incidence of domestic murders ebbed just as unaccountably as it surged. But the questions remain, especially for the families left behind.
“When you see something like this on television, you say, ‘That poor family,’ ’’ said Christina Mulgrave’s mother, Mary Fidler. “But you haven’t even a clue what they have to go through.’’
Sarah Schweitzer can be reached at email@example.com.
[May be smart to not waste time deciding if these guys were mentally ill when they obviously were psycho killers]
[If the US reacted like this then maybe it might cut down on the crimes against children]
China school knife attacker sentenced to death
All 32 victims survived April’s attack at Taixing’s Zhongxin Kindergarten
A court in eastern China has sentenced a man to death for knifing 29 children and three teachers in an attack on a kindergarten, state media reports.
Xu Yuyuan was found guilty of attempted murder after a half-day trial at Taixing Intermediate Court in Jiangsu province, Xinhua reported.
Xu reportedly said his motive was to vent his rage against society. It was not clear whether he would appeal.
All 32 victims survived April’s attack at Taixing’s Zhongxin Kindergarten.
China has been rocked by a string of school attacks in the past two months, in which dozens have been killed or wounded.
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has said the attacks show the country has "social tensions" which must be addressed.
The education ministry has ordered all schools to upgrade their security facilities, teach students about safety and ensure that young children were escorted home.
Some local police authorities have distributed steel pitchforks and pepper spray to security guards in schools but such measures are considered expensive and their effectiveness is unproven.
But Mr Wen told a Hong Kong television channel on Thursday that as well as boosting the security presence, China needed to "handle social problems, resolve disputes and strengthen mediation at the grassroots level".
On Wednesday, seven children thought to be under the age of six and two adults were hacked to death at a kindergarten near Hanzhong city in Shaanxi province. The attacker later killed himself, Xinhua reported.
In March, a man stabbed to death eight pupils at a school in Fujian province. He was executed soon afterwards.
THIS YEAR’S ATTACKS
12 May: Seven children killed and 20 hurt in Hanzhong, Shaanxi province
30 April: Five children hurt in hammer attack in Weifang, Shandong
29 April: Three adults and 29 children injured in Taixing, Jiangsu
28 April: At least 15 children and one teacher injured in Leizhou, Guangdong
24 March: Eight children killed in Nanping, Fujian
China has in the past had a comparatively low rate of violent crime, meaning the recent violence has been all the more shocking.
There has been much speculation on the cause of the attacks, with some blaming inadequate provision for people with mental health issues.
Others have suggested the attacks are a form of revenge on society by individuals with no outlet for their anger in a political environment heavily controlled by the ruling Communist Party.
Reports in official media have generally played down any wider causes for the school attacks, portraying them as isolated incidents perpetrated by disturbed individuals.
Man accused of killing estranged wife in front of her children arrested twice for violating protective order
MOBILE, Ala. — In the months before Michael Kenneth Berry is alleged to have shot his estranged wife in front of her four children, police arrested him twice for violating a protective order that barred him from contacting her.
Both times he was allowed to quickly post bail and be released, according to jail records.
Wendy Stevens also called police on a third occasion after an April 9 confrontation with Berry on Cottage Hill Road, according to Officer Christopher Levy, a Mobile Police Department spokesman.
Berry, 43, wasn’t on the scene when the report was written and Stevens never signed a warrant to have him arrested, Levy said.
The protective order — known as a PFA, for protection from abuse — was still in effect Tuesday afternoon when, according to police, Berry shot Stevens, 37, as she waited in line at a west Mobile ATM.
Mobile police arrested Berry on Wednesday and charged him with capital murder. He is being held without bail in Mobile County Metro Jail.
Battered women can lose patience with the system and stop trying to have protective orders enforced, said an advocate who works for Penelope House, a local shelter for abused women.
The advocate, who helps battered women navigate the legal system, asked that her name be withheld because she feared reprisals from alleged abusers who have seen her in court.
"Unfortunately, this is something that happens all too often," she said. "Women will do everything they are supposed to do. They will get a PFA, they will call the police, they will sign warrants, and then they see that the abuser is getting a slap on the wrist and they start asking themselves, why am I doing all this?"
Circuit Court Juvenile Judge Edmond Naman issued the protective order for Stevens in January after Berry was arrested on a domestic abuse charge. The document ordered Berry to have no contact of any kind with Stevens.
Naman, whose court handles protective orders, said that about 895 orders were requested last year. Most of the requests lacked merit, he said, and were denied.
"When I grant a restraining order it’s really because someone is in danger," he said.
Penalties for violations of a protective order escalate with each condition. A first conviction can be punished with a fine or counseling, but subsequent convictions call for mandatory jail sentences.
Berry’s first arrest came a month after Stevens was awarded her protective order. Police took him into custody when Stevens said that he had showed up at her home on Schillinger Road.
Berry hired a bondsman to post the $1,000 bail and was released from Mobile County Metro Jail less than two hours later.
In a subsequent plea agreement, Mobile Municipal Judge Shelbonnie Hall agreed to withhold punishment as long as Berry stayed away from Stevens.
A few weeks later, Berry pulled alongside Stevens at a service station near Loxley, said Lt. Dennis Knight of the Gulf Shores Police Department.
According to the report she filed later, Berry asked where she was going. Though she was going to Gulf Shores, she told him Mississippi, Knight said.
Undeterred, he trailed her to the beach, surprising her as she lay in the sand, Knight said.
Stevens contacted police and had him arrested.
Again, Berry was charged with violating the protective order. Again he hired a bondsman to put up the $1,000 in bail money and walked out a free man.
The Gulf Shores case was set for arraignment in June.
The Penelope House advocate said that laws need to be strengthened so protective orders are taken seriously. She said that punishment needs to be swift and severe.
Still, she said, "It’s not a magic brick wall that’s going to protect you from someone. It’s only a piece of paper."
Murder-Suicide Reported At Winter Haven Hospital –CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST OTHERS ARE NOT TRAGEDIES-THEY ARE OUTRAGES!! Stop it!
Why do they always say “Tragedies” v the real fact that they “OUTRAGES” like they want to all sugar coat the epidemic of men murdering their families as if-What could have MADE ‘him’ do it (poor baby)? v he was a freeking sociopath and needs to NOT be Glorified..?
ahhh I recall the whole “family Preservation thing” right up till “Death do US Part”
….and death indeed.
In every single murder suicide- I read- :
”he was such a nice guy”- “the family was quiet”-or, there were “health issue”—or “he” just lost his job- or he was going through a “custody battle”- or.. or.. or.. and the media bites this shit hook line and sink… Blame Every one and Every thing but the source- why must WE keep protecting those who murder?
Stop it- it is an Outrage- Crimes committed against others are NOT tragedies- they OUTRAGES!!
Murder-Suicide Reported At Winter Haven Hospital
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 1:02:05 AM
WINTER HAVEN — A murder-suicide was reported in a patient’s room at Winter Haven Hospital Monday afternoon.
Witnesses heard gunshots on the 5th floor of the hospital in the medical surgery unit, just after 1:20 p.m.
Police say a 77-year-old man shot his sick wife to death.
The patient was identified as 76-year-old Patrricia Duckworth. Her husband, Raymond Duckworth, 77, was visiting her.
"It’s a tragedy," said hospital vice president Joel Thomas. "Everybody here on our whole staff are obviously shaken. Our hearts go out to the family members who are affected here."
The hospital was not evacuated, but the floor where the shooting happened was locked down for most of Monday night.
This story is from our Bright House Networks partner, Bay News 9.
Technorati Tags: Murder,Suicide,Winter,Haven,Hospital,Stop,fact,sugar,MADE,needs,Preservation,Death,Part,health,custody,hook,Blame,Outrage,News,Local,room,afternoon,surgery,unit,Police,wife,Patrricia,Duckworth,husband,Raymond,tragedy,president,Joel,Thomas,Everybody,House,Crimes,tragedies,hearts,members
by Randi James
When we talk about doing things for the children, in the best interest of the children, do we really have the children’s long-term interest in mind? Will children of today grow up emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy? And who is the right person to make this decision?
We know who the wrong people are: judges and the tools of the family court. And we assume that mothers, in general, are the ones that should make this decision, though society and the court system thwarts this at every step.
But what about when the mother is dead? Who decides for her and her children?
Ask yourself this, if you were to be killed today, would you want your killer to get custody of your children? Would you want your killer’s parents to get custody of your children (Grandparents lose adoption fight to parents of man who murdered their daughter)? We’ve seen both of these scenarios happen.
This following story is about a dead mother having funeral services with, and getting buried next to, the coward who killed her. This was her boyfriend and father of her children. The mother of this murdered mother is responsible for this set up. She insist that it is for the the children.
This is what justice for victims of domestic violence often looks like. What message does this send society? What message does this leave for these children?
6:30 PM EDT, May 4, 2010
Ahoskie, N.C. – The father of a domestic violence victim says his daughter’s own family is victimizing her again by burying her next to the man who killed her.
The father of the victim reached out to NewsChannel 3 about his ex-wife’s plans to combine the funerals for his daughter and her boyfriend who killed her.
Milton Smith wrote, "I think this is very disrespectful to the Smith family and to the community for this man that killed my daughter to even be in the same church as my daughter. I would like to get someone to stop this funeral. I need your help."
"If Treeshanda knew that he was in the same church with her she would turn over in her casket," Smith said.
"I would like to see this funeral stopped."
Milton Smith is not prepared for a joint funeral tomorrow – for his 28-year-old daughter, Treeshanda Smith, and her 34-year-old boyfriend, Anthony Moore. Ahoskie police say Moore shot and killed Smith before killing himself.
"You think the last time you will ever see your daughter you don’t want to look at him and he is the one that put her there," Milton said.
Milton says it was his ex-wife’s idea to have Treeshanda and Anthony’s funerals together for the sake of their two children. He wants the plans changed before tomorrow.
"Maybe they can take Tony and carry him to another church," Smith said.
Milton says his daughter’s boyfriend killed her in a jealous rage. In 2006 he was arrested by Ahoskie police after she took out a domestic violence warrant. He says Treeshanda was trying to move on without Anthony. Milton says he has tried to plead with his ex-wife to change her mind. He even called the funeral home for help.
NewsChannel 3 spoke with Treeshanda’s mother’s side of the family off camera. They say they are thinking of the 5 and 10-year-old children. They say they are having the two buried at the same time in the same place so the children won’t have to go through two funerals.
Milton said his ex-wife also has plans to have Treeshanda and Anthony buried side by side.
Smith added, "You going to take the man that killed your daughter in the same church at the same time and you gone bury her with him?"
Milton says it will be painful to visit his daughter’s grave knowing that her killer is buried right next to her.
How old are these children? Will it be completely devastating for them to attend two funerals instead of one? Is it necessary that they attend their mother’s killer’s–their father’s–funeral if they were to be separate?
Understand the argument that the mother is dead, and this is just a body. Understand that children need not suffer any more than they already have, or already are. Understand that in life, women are continuously judged (in the literal sense and otherwise) for how much they place their own interests beneath their children (this begins with conception)–but women do not reap any benefit from society at large for this sacrifice. Understand that for men, there is no such standard.
Does what is played out in life have to be repeated in death?
Again, what does this teach the children?
On another note:
SHEILA BURKE Associated Press Writer
1:39 PM CDT, May 10, 2010
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has decided the parents of a man who murdered his estranged wife can adopt the couple’s 9-year-old daughter, as opposed to the slain woman’s parents.
The decision involved a custody battle over the child of a man who opened fire at the Tennessee Department of Transportation headquarters in Jackson in 2005. David Lynn Jordan was sentenced to death for the murders of his estranged wife, Donna Renee Jordan, and two others.
The unanimous decision held that people who don’t have physical custody of a child can still adopt. The girl had been living with her mother’s parents when a Madison County judge said her father’s parents should be awarded custody.
Justices found that it was in the best interest of the child to live with the paternal grandparents because they had more financial and social resources.
No child should ever live with the killer of their mother or ANY MEMBER OF THAT FAMILY.
So what if they had more money. Their family should be ordered to pay the victim family restitution then.
Technorati Tags: Grandparents,adoption,daughter,Children,AGAIN,person,decision,judges,tools,system,killer,custody,funeral,services,father,justice,victims,violence,message,Ahoskie,WTKR,victim,NewsChannel,wife,plans,Video,News,Milton,Smith,church,Treeshanda,casket,Anthony,Maybe,Tony,______,Understand,argument,life,interests,conception,death,SHEILA,BURKE,Writer,NASHVILLE,Tenn,Tennessee,Supreme,Court,woman,Department,Transportation,headquarters,Jackson,David,Lynn,Jordan,Donna,Renee,girl,Madison,Justices,MEMBER,money,restitution,scenarios,funerals,parents,boyfriend,women
Florida Mother Slams Florida Family Courts for Turning Her from Stay-at-Home Primary Caregiver to Two Hour Weekly Visitor … Under Supervision … Over Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Daughters by Father
A Florida Mother relegated to two hours of supervised visitation weekly after alleging that their Daughters’ Father sexually abused them is drawing a fair amount of media attention.
Prior to the divorce, Mother was a stay-at-home mother and primary caregiver for Daughters.
When Daughters were approximately seven and eight years old, their school and Sunday school both are said to have reported that Daughters were acting out, speaking and drawing in a sexually explicit way.
Wealthy Father allegedly admitted to engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior with Daughters, but an expert witness reportedly characterized that behavior as “within normal limits”.
The court appointed custody evaluator (Evaluator) reportedly initially recommended that Mother be awarded primary timesharing with Daughters.
Days before trial, the Evaluator reportedly filed her report – late – in which the Evaluator reportedly did an about-face and now recommended that Father be awarded sole custody of Daughters.
The trial court apparently did not find Mother’s case persuasive and awarded Father almost one hundred percent timesharing with Daughters, limiting Mother to two hours of weekly timesharing … supervised.
It appears that Mother’s evidence and witnesses were largely excluded.
Mother appealed the trial court’s rulings.
On appeal, the intermediate appellate court reversed on one ground, because Mother was denied a continuance based on the late filing of the Evaluator’s report.
The case was remanded for a new trial, before the same judge.
The outcome at the re-trial was the same.
Read more in this Daily Kos article by Mother: Mothers Lose Custody for Reporting Sex Abuse and this intermediate level Florida appellate court opinion and this MomLogic article: Custody Feud: Fair Hearing Denied.
Technorati Tags: Florida,Mother,Courts,Stay,Home,Primary,Caregiver,Hour,Visitor,Under,Supervision,Over,Sexual,Abuse,Daughters,Father,Janet,Langjahr,Child,Custody,Parental,Domestic,Violence,Orders,Visitation,attention,Prior,Wealthy,behavior,evaluator,continuance,outcome,Read,article,Lose,opinion,MomLogic,Feud,Fair,Allegations,hours,appellate