Where did that happen?

One thing you won’t see me doing a lot of is posting where a domestic crime happened. Because it doesn’t really matter where it happened. It happens all over the US.

Yet when you see discussions on violent crime in the US, you will usually see discussions on stranger rapes, gangs, violence associated with robberies, But not much discussion on domestic violence. (I have already pretty much defined my view on domestic violence as crimes committed between any household members, irregardless of their actual relationships to each other. I view it as any crime in a household, visited on any other member of the household).

I have a theory that if you pick up almost any city newspaper on any particular day, you will find at least one story about a household crime. They may be in the first period of being discovered, in the investigation phase, charges being filed, or in trial. But they will be there.

It is Super Bowl weekend. So you know where most media space is going to be devoted this weekend, right? But I am choosing to do a random sample of newpapers to check my theory out. I am only choosing cities, because they do report on the largest areas, and largest sampling of the population (so I cheat a little, this isn’t a scientific study).

In Toledo, Ohio                                                                     Fostoria father gets 8 years for twins’ deaths
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060204/NEWS02/602040389

Fort Worth, Texas                                                              (Now this one has NOT been determined to be a domestic related crime as yet)                                               Arlington girl, 8, mourned at vigil          http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/13792055.htm  

 Witcha, Kansas                                                       Woman badly beaten; police arrest grandson                                                http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/13771107.htm

Miami, Fla.                                                                      Girl who wanted dad dead is saved from prison – by dad                                                          http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/13783037.htm  

 Now I haven’t sampled every paper. And I have to note that not every paper considers domestic crimes as news. Often they are only posted if they have some extra space that day, they may be in the paper in one of the back pages, the community or family is high profile, or if the crime is especially horrendous or someone is murdered. But if crime is happening at home, is it any wonder that it is speading out like concentric circles, to encompass other people who didn’t live in the home?                                  

 

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What are the odds?

Robert Morris is on trial for the deaths of 4 infants. Yes, his own 4 infants.

In June of 1995, Morris was living in an East Germantown apartment with his then 15 year old girlfriend Damika Payne, her mother and his two infant children 18-month-old Shainara Payne and 5-month-old LaShai Payne. Both deaths were determined to be by homicide by asphyxiation. Morris was questioned at that time, but no charges were filed because there were others present at the time of the deaths.

Now jump to 2002, Morris is living with  Kerry Longacre, who gave birth to his son, Robert Jr. He died at the age of 3 weeks. That child’s death was ruled to be SID’s, which BTW stands for Sudden Infant Death. There is a syndrome by that name, where the infant may spontaneously quit breathing on it’s own, and the cause may never be determined. However, often if the means of an infants death cannot be conclusively determined, a coroner may use that term, instead of the term most often used with adults, where they state that they are unable to determine the cause of death.

In 2003, Morris and Longacre had a second child,   Jhayden. who lived for just 3 months. A newspaper notice of that death came to the attention of Payne’s relatives and they notified detectives of the previous two children’s deaths. Further investigation led to the cause of death being changed to for Robert Jr.’s death to homicide.

At Morris’s trial, the defense attorney hinted that the first two children may have died at the hands of their grandmother. Morris testified in his own behalf. It seems that in describing one child’s birth, he referred to it as a “burden”, then tried to correct that statement.

Morris denies murdering his children.

Now there are 4 of his children dead, two different mothers, two different sets of household members. What are the odds that he didn’t do it?

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/13761588.htm