“Even though you’re going through a divorce, you still care”.

Those were the words of 55 year old Harry Michael Henslee as he pleaded for information about his missing wife of 18 years, Susan Henslee, 49. He also said “I didn’t have nothing to do with this,” “It’s common knowledge when a woman’s missing and she’s married or whatever, and she had a boyfriend or a husband, the spouse is the first one they suspect.” “Even though you’re going through a divorce, you still care. No matter how bad it is … you still love her.”

Susan Henslee was a student at the local community college and was on the dean’s list. Allegedly she went missing on Oct. 20, and Michael Henslee reported her missing on Oct. 24. According to investigators, Michael Henslee told them she had a boyfriend in Michigan and he suggested that police search for her there.

Shortly after Susan Henslee was reported missing police found her vehicle in the parking lot of a local grocery. In a dumpster they found her purse and ID. Police began to suspect foul play.

Police say they noted some inconsistencies in their questioning of Michael Henslee. And Henslee admitted to them that Susan Henslee had filed a domestic violence report on him in August. He reportedly said it was a money thing, and that his wife had told police that Henslee had hired a hitman to try to kill her. After further questioning Michael Henslee allegedly admitted to police that he had killed his wife and he led them to her body. She was found in a wooded area of an industrial park, partially in the water of a drainage ditch- 60 miles away from her home.

Harry Michael “Mike” Henslee has been charged with murder.

nbc4i.com      whiotv.com     onnnews.com       wdtn.com

daytondailynews.com                    columbusdispatch.com

One thing I noted was the downplaying of the domestic violence report. That is common in domestic violence. The abuser may admit guilt to the victim or even in court. He may ‘sincerely’ apoligise to the court and/or the victim. But over time, there will usually be some changes to the story. They may try to minimize, deny or even blame the victim- either outright or more subtly. (Note- no one can make another person become violent).

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29 Comments

  1. Brian Little said,

    November 3, 2006 at 2:35 pm

    I am Susans brother. He did not report her missing, my brother here in Michigan had to. He accused her of cheating, drinking, and drugging, but the fact is he just could not handle her newfound independence.
    She had finally started taking courses at Columbus State for nursing, after years of being under his thumb. Since then, he accused her of lots of things, in the television interview he comments on her wearing clothes that a 49 year old woman wouldn’t wear. Hogwash. Just because she didn’t stay in sweats all day, he couldn’t handle it. I miss her so bad, thank you for your support on this board.

  2. November 3, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    Brian I am very sorry for your loss. I know there is nothing I can say or do right now to help what you are feeling. Other than to say that time helps a little.
    So he didn’t report her missing? Did he think that no one would notice she was gone or did he just think he could explain it away? He sounds like a very jealous type, and possibly a bit controlling? Those types often can’t handle it when they get some independence.

  3. JcPerry said,

    November 4, 2006 at 4:05 am

    If at all possible I need to contact the family of susan Henslee. I was in English with Susan and I believe I was the last person to speak with her on Sunday Oct. 22. We spoke about our english papers that were due on the following tuesday Tuesday…Please contact me.

  4. xayvongsa said,

    November 8, 2006 at 2:16 pm

    I knew Susan, She was a beautiful woman with a big heart. Since we found out she was gone it’s been hard to deal with. All las quarter we told her to get away, but she loved him, wanted to give him another chance. Last I talked to her she was leaving at the end of the quarter. I have been trying to find out about her funneral, there is so many of us that would like to say goodbye to her. Can someone let me know?

  5. TP said,

    November 19, 2006 at 3:39 am

    My firneds and I all miss Susan dearly. We all loved her whether we personaly knew her or not. She would make anyone feel good about themselves and was very loving. We miss you susan,

  6. Penny Smithson Roberts said,

    November 20, 2006 at 5:31 pm

    I was shocked when my friend Sharon Houck (Yager) told me about Sue.
    we all went to school together, Northwest High. To the family, I am so sorry for your loss, she was a sweet girl…and she will be missed.

  7. Brian Little said,

    November 21, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    We will be having a “life celebration” for Susan December 9th near Jackson Michigan. If anyone wants more details, contact me at blittle01@comcast.net.

    Thank you all for your kind words.

    Brian Little

  8. November 22, 2006 at 12:23 am

    Thank you Brian.

  9. ALEX PICKFORD said,

    November 29, 2006 at 1:39 am

    I AM 12 YEARS OLD. AND IONLY KNEW SUSIE 4 YEARS AND SHE WAS ALWAYS NICE TO ME.MIKE WAS ALWAYS THE MEAN ONE NOT SUSIE.SHE BABY SAT ME. I SEND MY APPOLIGES TO HER PARENTS.I LOVED HER LIKE MY PARENTS.

    HOMESWEETHOME IF YOU COULD SEND THIS TO HER FAMILY AND MY EMAIL NUMBER THAT WOULD BE NICE. THANK YOU.

    ALEX P.

  10. November 29, 2006 at 2:33 am

    Alex, I am afraid that I have a policy not to pass around contact info. However, if her family stops back in, I am sure they will see this. I am very sorry for what happened to your friend.

  11. Jennifer said,

    November 30, 2006 at 6:09 am

    This monster should spend the rest of his life in jail, that is, if a truly ‘just’ judge handles his case. In jail he’ll be surrounded by admirers and be controlled by them, just the way he controlled his poor wife and finally taking her life. Whatever goes around, comes around.

  12. Jolene Brown said,

    December 14, 2006 at 1:05 am

    Brian, While I am sure you know that I am Kim’ s daughter, I guess I feel better saying it. I love all of you so much, and though I greatly miss Susan, I cannot imagine the way you feel. If you need anything, you now have my email. Love, Jolene

  13. Lisa said,

    January 10, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    My name is Lisa Keel and Susie baby sat my daughter Kailey for 4 or 5 years. My daughter loved Susie so much. She took very good care of her. SHE WAS MORE THAN A BABY SITTER SHE WAS A GREAT FRIEND!! I think about her everyday.

  14. Patty Grey said,

    June 11, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Susie was a very dear friend for over 20 years. She was an angle here on earth. She is missed everyday. I wrote this poem in honor of my friend.

    The Angel

    Today an angel left this earth.
    She lived and loved
    Devoted to those in her presence
    Nursing the sick
    Never meeting a stranger
    A smile so bright
    A hug so sincere
    A mother too many
    But never blessed with a child of her own

    Madness gone awry
    No one could hear her cry
    Deceit and anger in the heart
    Of her one true love
    The one she trusted most took her from us.
    The love she believed in
    Now has sent her to her grave.
    With her loving ways
    She would forgive
    The taker of her life

    Yes, today an angel left this earth
    To dwell in the beauty of another place
    Taken suddenly from this earth
    But leaving her legacy of love and kindness
    Leaving the legacy of an angel
    Here on earth.

  15. steven roy aylling said,

    July 17, 2007 at 10:48 am

    I am currently going through a very unplesent devorce and would be very greatfull for eny advice. thank you.

  16. July 17, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Sorry, any divorce advice is best given by an attorney. If it is the case that you are having difficulty coping with the divorce emotionally then getting a little short term counseling might help. Getting involved in something new may also help- join a church, a gym, take a class or something similiar where you will be meeting new people and learning new things. It is also a good time to reconnect with old friends that you may have lost touch with.

  17. Richard Roehm said,

    April 7, 2008 at 4:32 am

    My blog has a piece on Domestic Violence.

    http://www.deafadvocacy.org/blog/2008/04/sad-existence-of-domestic-violence.html

  18. April 7, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Richard, I bet you thought that I would deny that any woman (or man) would ever file false domestic charges didn’t you. Well, I won’t. It does happen. And it isn’t always women who falsely report abuse- both sexes have been known to do that. And a person who will file a false report about domestic violence (or any crime) is almost as contemptible as an abuser.

    Also, sometimes two different people will define domestic violence in different ways. Domestic violence can be more than just hitting. Forcible restraint is also domestic violence, as are threats and intimidation, biting, slapping and pinching.

    If you know someone who is being stalked or abused they should be contacting police- no matter whether they are male or female.

    But all of this is pretty much off topic since it has nothing to do with the murder of Susan Henslee

  19. July 4, 2008 at 4:58 am

    I agree, the divorced person often feels disassociated and alone. A lawyer can help with the process.

  20. DADVVA said,

    October 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    I have a blog where I connect with past and current victims of date and domestic violence (dadvva.blogspot.com). I am a former victim who believes we can overcome this together and help each other through it. Please add my blog to your blogroll and lets help support one another.

  21. Fabbi said,

    November 14, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    We are a group of friends that know and worked with a young woman named Joy Loftin while she was employed at the Vanderbilt YMCA here in New York City. During the length of her employment, several extremely disturbing incidents occurred that cause us to be concerned and call into question the motives and the integrity of Shan Colorado Finnerty, Hortensia Colorado, and Elvira Colorado.

    On several occasions, Joy came to work with visible bruises on her neck and arms. She eventually explained to us that Shan had punched, beaten, and choked her and she asked us for help. As wardens for the community, we tried to place Joy in women’s shelters around the city in an effort to mitigate the abuse. However, at the urging of Shan’s mother and aunt, Hortensia and Elvira, she returned to their apartment and refused to press criminal charges against Shan Colorado Finnerty. The abuse continued and one day, she came to work very early, visibly distressed and crying, with more bruises and abrasions. She said that Shan had verbally abused and beaten her once again; that she wanted to return to California, and that she was going to quit her job and reunite with her family. She tendered her resignation later that week. Out of concern for her safety and in an effort to find out what happened to her, we requested an officer from the domestic violence unit of the 5th Precinct conduct a welfare check at their home on Kenmare Street. However the officer was unable to find anyone at the apartment, and therefore could not verify that Joy was safe. We realize that she is suffering from battered women’s syndrome and may be unable to help herself due to the isolationist environment that the Colorados have formed around her. Abusive men are often enabled by their family, while the victim is persuaded to believe the abuse is her fault, and the pattern of emotional and physical trauma continues. Taking into consideration what has happened to Joy Loftin, it is especially deceitful that their display “Altar: El Llanto De La Resistancia” at the American Indian Community House was in part dedicated to victims of domestic violence.

    In light of these events, we are dismayed, disappointed, and outraged to know that members of the American Indian Community would commit, condone, and perpetuate domestic abuse and violence, while simultaneously conducting workshops, writing and performing plays, and displaying works and art that would have the public and those who support them believe otherwise. It is a vulgar and offensive misrepresentation of American Indian Culture, and further support of Coatlicue Theater, Hortensia Colorado, Elvira Colorado, Shan Colorado Finnerty and their work is tantamount to supporting domestic abuse and violence. Considering their duplicitous behavior, having them represent American Indian Culture is an insult to the dignity of American Indians and an affront to human beings.

    We therefore will not attend nor support any Coatlicue Theater productions or events where they will be featured. We will be encouraging others that might consider attending, participating, or funding them to do the same. Our actions are warranted, and to be associated with the aforementioned individuals and Coatlicue Theater would be equivalent to enabling and contributing to such offensive behaviour. We are urging everyone to reevaluate their support of Coatlicue Theatre and the Colorados, and question the individuals concerned. Until the responsible individuals are held accountable and measures are taken to verify that the abuse is no longer occurring, we will continue with our boycott of Coatlicue Theatre and we will strongly urge others to do the same.

  22. Jeff Eastman said,

    July 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    WebEMDR.com offers EMDR on line for PTSD victims. It is anonymous and it has had over 300 people go through the program. 93% of users reported a 47% decrease in symptoms. It has been submitted for an NIH grant.

  23. Indicators of an Abuser said,

    August 17, 2009 at 9:54 pm

  24. Wendy said,

    September 24, 2009 at 1:10 am

    If you have a story you would like to share with other people that have been or are in a violent relationship or who can offer support and advice.. could you please post it on our new site at
    http://www.violentman.com

  25. Janice said,

    November 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    My friend Yasmin is charged with killing her boyfriend in a struggle over a gun. She has been charged with second degree murder. I have known her since kindergarten. No matter who you ask, all of this is shocking. She was always such a nice person. A lot of people remember her as smart and she was smart. But I remember her as a nice sweet person. She was laid back and just never bothered anybody. She was funny. I took pride in seeing my girl do her thing. She got As, played basketball, was class president, got all kinds of awards and didn’t get the big head. She is not in jail now. The judge let her out without even having to pay bail. Some folks who went to the hearing said the lawyers showed pictures of fist holes in the walls and marks from her head on the walls because she was dying her hair when all this broke out. It was his gun. I wondered why her hair was such a mess. I don’t know what happened that day. I just believe my girl was fighting for her life. I guess if her face had been blown away or if she had been killed then people would understand that. It seems that everyday I am watching a news story about a woman who did not make it out. But because she is one of the few who made it people think she has to be guilty. I know she is innocent. Falling for the wrong guy does not make you a murderer. Her family is running out of money because people are hurting financially now and some are judging her by what they have read and not the person they have known. It really doesn’t bother me that people don’t think like I do because everybody doesn’t know her. What bothers me is that some have found her guilty already. They are not even giving her a chance to be proven innocent. If you are able then please help her at http://www.ylldf.org.

  26. Jodi Czarnecki said,

    June 5, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I happened to be doing some research online regarding Harry M Henslee who murdered my best friend Suzi on 10/20/06 and came across this site. I miss my girl so much it’s hard to believe it will soon be 4 years….. I was outraged earlier this evening as this murderer has (as do other prisoners) has a picture of himself in swimming trunks with Suzi cropped out (well most of her cropped out) asking for female friends, people to write him…. It makes me so angry that he has the audacity to complain about being lonely … what does he think her family and friends are without her?

    Suzi… I love you and miss you so much! RIP

  27. Shellie Johnson said,

    October 10, 2010 at 2:45 am

    Fall makes me think of Susan as this is the month of her murder. I couldn’t beleive when I heard it on the news that dreadful night nearly 4 years ago. She babysat my son, Nickolas for 2 years and was such a lovely person. I remember several times when I would drop my son off her talking on the phone with him and answering a million questions. He called her from his job, all day, asking what she was doing-she was babysitting kids, moron! She always had to do everything for him, he was demanding and controlling. Boy would I love for her to see Nickolas now, the young boy that she helped shape for a few years, into the boy he has become. May she rest in peace and may Mike rot in hell. Deepest sympathies to her family and friends. Shellie Johnson

  28. lorraine domitrovich said,

    January 13, 2011 at 4:14 am

    I just found out about this terrible act. Susie was one of my best friends when I lived across the street from her in columbus. We moved to pittsburgh in 1999. Susie and I did everything together. She loved my boys and they loved her! Mike was always a control freak. He was very jelous and very possessive she could barely breathe without him checking on her. We would spend time together with my little boys and he would be checking on her.She was one of the nicest people I have ever met and am devistated to find out she had to die such a horrible death by such an evil man. My prayers are for her and her family. I am very sad I will never see her again. Me andmy boys were planning a trip to Columbus this summer to see old friends and he took that away from us. She would have been so proud of them. We were just watching old videos of her with my boys. We loved her and will miss her terribly. Somehow I am not suprised Mike did this to her and I will never forgive him for taking my friend. We love you Susie! Lorraine, Regis, Regis andDavid Domitrovich. Our sympathys to Susies family who she loved dearly. She never deserved this!

  29. Suzan said,

    April 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you for creating this blog and all the work you do for DV!
    I have also created a blog sharing the struggles I face while piecing my life back together again after DV.
    http://survivingdomesticviolence2011.blogspot.com

    Please take a look when you have a chance 🙂


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