1 st Anniversary

Many of you do not realize, but Home Sweet Home has reached an important milestone. 01/25/06 was the day this blog began. So whether you wish to call it the 1 st anniversary or the 1 st birthday- we made it this far.

When I began, I didn’t know if I would be able to stick to it, I didn’t know if anyone would ever come to read, and I knew I had a lot to learn about DV. But in order to do a blog, I had to begin.

Finding something to write about is not a problem. Statistics say there are about 3 murders a day due to domestic violence. Many more are badly injured or disfigured, many more happen with no permanent injury. I have covered many but I can honestly tell you- I didn’t get them all.

Here are the statistics for the 1 st year for Home Sweet Home:

701 posts (most are DV or Child Abuse, though a few are off topic)

142,751 Total views for the blog as of right now

1,144 Best day ever

2,093 Comments

The journey to this point has been an emotional one for me. Many who come here are in pain. They have lost someone or they fear for someone- or they are struggling with their perceptions and fear of punishment for someone. Some of the crimes are horrendous and hard for me to concentrate on long enough to write, because my instinct is to avoid what is painful.

There have been touching moments, and yes angry moments. For one of the worst things about DV is how it splits a family and the extended family leaving children who don’t know where their loyalties should lie and extended families and friends feeling betrayed and grieving.

Many see the ones who committed the murder as monsters, and see the victims as saints. But the truth is that some murderers may have been horrible people- but some were previously nice gentle people. Some victims were indeed nice- and some may have made mistakes in their lives. But none deserved murder. Because of my feelings about that and because it is not my way- I seldom rant and I try to be fair.

The writing of the blog was a new experience for me. I had never written anything since I was in high school (and no I won’t tell when that was.) So the writing was a new experience for me.

When I began the blog, my instincts told me that some people would come searching for information on domestic violence and I resolved to try to locate links to resources. And I think I have been pretty successful at that. Until recently I wasn’t sure if anyone ever looked at the resources, but WordPress has now extended the ability to see what links in the blog are clicked on and I can happily say that almost half the clicks on this blog are to links on the resource list. (And no, I cannot tell who is clicking the links.)

I believe that one of the most important things that can be done on an anniversary is to reflect back on what has been accomplished and what didn’t work, then to look forward to see what direction it should go.

I am interested in your thoughts and reflections on the blog. Are you learning anything from it? What do you like, what would you like to see more of, and what would you like to see change? I promise to listen and to consider all opinions- even if they are critical.

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My blog anniversary did not go unnoticed. LiLO is my ‘blog mother’. She is the one who approached me with the idea of beginning a crime blog, and not only helped me get started, she has continued to offer help, encourage support and friendship ever since. She has even blogged about my milestone in her post Special Blogiversary. But really the thanks should go to her, as she began the idea.

Basil’s Blog blogs about the blogs. He explores what is being discussed in the blogs, new blogs that are beginning and just generally what is happening in the blog world. I have been very fortunate in that he has mentioned me a couple of times before- and he made note of my blog anniversay also. So thank you Basil.

And while I am passing out the thanks, I have to thank the whole True Crime Blogroll. They have all offered assistance and support to a newbie blogger as well as giving me insights into the issues of True Crime Blogging many of which I had not considered. Their experience and willingness to share has been invaluable.

The support of you, my readers has also meant a lot to me. Some offer different viewpoints, some offer support and encouragement, some share stories of how DV has touched their lives. All enrich the blog for everyone and I do thank all of you.

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Carnival of the True Crime Blogs LXI

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The world changes, yet it stays the same. Lives go on, day by day, always the same but ever changing.

One thing that never changes is that on Wednesday, there will be a Carnival of the True Crime Blogs. This week’s edition of the Carnival is up at T.O.Crime. So click on over and see what the rest of the group is up to.

He seemed to “play to the camera”

Dino M. Scott, 20, and Namrata Ceisel, 18, reportedly had no address and they and their 6 month old baby had been staying with Scott’s father frequently. Namrata Ceisel was also 12 weeks pregnant.

On Jan. 14 it is alleged that the couple did have a dispute over custody of the 6 month old baby. Scott called police but no arrests were made and no other details are given.

On Sunday at just after 7 am surveillance video showed the couple entering an elevator in the apartment building where Scott’s father lived. Allegedly Scott “smirked” at the camera and gave it the finger (the raised middle finger). Then he allegedly turned to Ceisel and began kicking and punching her about the body and face until she appeared to be unconcious.

Allegedly Scott then dragged her off the elevator by the arm. The video reportedly recorded him returning to the elevator a short time later and cleaning up the blood.

A friend or relative of Scott’s took her to the hospital where she was treated for facial injuries. While she was being treated she suffered a miscarriage. As of Tuesday she remained hospitalized in stable condition.

Reportedly Scott later showed up at the hospital. And police say when he was taken into custody there, he had a swollen and discolored hand and it appeared that he had blood on his pants and shoes. Allegedly during his interview Scott denied the assault.

The Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner said about the case

“is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s so brazen and so violent.”

It’s also bizarre, she said because “there’s no indication that [drugs] were involved,” and the attack did not seem to arise from an argument. “This seemed to come out of nowhere.”

Scott has been charged with one count of 2 nd degree murder of an unborn child and one count of 3 rd degree assault.

wcco.com   startribune.com    wctrib.com    kare11.com

kttc.com               centredaily.com            twincities.com

Driving

Kirby Grant, 46, and Kate Grant,32, were reportedly going through what has been called “a bitter divorce”.

Early on Sunday morning a family member of one of the couple noted they were absent and went looking for them. The family member found two vehicles belonging to both Kate and Kirby Grant parked alongside the road. The Grants were each in their own vehicles. The family member called 911 and police responded to the scene at 7:55 am.  

Kate Grant was in her vehicle and appeared to have a gunshot through the head, Kirby Grant was in his vehicle and also had a shot to the head, police say it appeared to be self-inflicted.

Police believe that Grant shot and killed Kate Grant while they were driving, then killed himself.

pe.com           cbs2.com           latimes.com            cbs2.com

Little is being said about what time this may have occurred or where the parties were coming from or going to. There is no indication of any history for the couple.

But it is important to remember that even if they don’t seem to, no one knows a spouse’s schedule better than the other spouse. Likewise, a spouse often knows who the other spouse will visit or where they might be found.

If during a separation things get violent or threats are made, a spouse should alter that schedule. Work at a different place, work a different shift, use different entrances to buildings, park in different areas and alter driving routes. If violence or threats occur, make a police report and follow through on filing charges and obtaining a protection/restraining order. If the order gets violated, report it to police. 

Contact a domestic violence agency, work on a safety plan and if at all possible, consider the use of a shelter.

Some tips about a safety plan can be found here:

NCADV

OCCCADV

ABA                 

(Also there are also tips for people who are in abusive relationships and still in the home. And as a tip, many more resources and suggestions can be found by doing a search on the keywords “domestic violence safety plan”)

A Needless Death

In June Astreverto Peralta, 33, allegedly threatened his girlfriend Darlin Romero but left when she called 911 to request assistance. Peralta was charged with criminal domestic violence. At a domestic violence hearing in August, Darlin Romero indicated to the court that she and Peralta were no longer together and she wished to stay that way.

Jump forward to Sunday and Darlin Romero’s friend and co-worker 30-year-old Rosa Merida is believed to have received a call requesting assistance because of problems at Romero’s home. When she arrived at the home, she was concerned enough to call her teenage son and request that he call 911. Rosa Merida did not speak English and usually relied on her son to take care of translating for her.

Police picked up the teen and responded to the home where they found sheriff’s deputies already there. Allegedly Astreverto Peralta shot Darlin Romero and her son. The son’s name and age is not given, the only information being given is that he was between the ages of 3 and 10 years of age and was not related to Peralta. Rosa Merida had also been shot and then it is believed that Peralta turned the gun on himself.

Rosa Merida died of her gunshot wound, Darlin Romero was taken to the hospital where she is reported to be in serious condition but is expected to recover. Her son is reported to be in critical condition. Peralta also died from his self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The teen remained at the scene until his father arrived.

groupstate.com          thestate.com       wistv.com

fox21.com        wltx.com            timesanddemocrat.com

Many times problems with not speaking the language will stop many persons from reporting domestic violence. And in this case it possibly caused delays in law enforcement response in that Merida had to call her son and explain to him, then he had to call 911 and explain to them. And all the while he is doing so, he is sitting at home wondering and worrying about how his mother and their friend were. Still and all, it does not take that long to shoot a gun. Probably even if Rosa Merida were able to make the call herself it would have been too late.

Darlin Romero tried. She made the first report of violence. She followed through by going to court. Certainly that would have been frightening for anyone, but especially for someone who may have had problems with the language. She indicated that she did separate from Peralta and 7 months have gone by.

But even after separating and even after time passed, she was still not safe. Her friend is dead, her child critical and she is also injured. A teen who was reported to have been very close to his mother, has lost her.

Many who do leave carry that fear with them for a long time, and many have very good reason. A neighbor called this a needless death, and that is a good way to describe most domestic violence deaths. A separation seems traumatic at the time, but as time passes it is possible to move on, maybe even to find someone new. Yet for some, they would rather die themselves or go to prison than to let that relationship go.

In Self Defense

The sheriff’s dept. was called to the home of Dennis Alvin Franklin, 63, and his wife Cynthia D. Franklin, 59, on Friday night. They found Dennis Franklin dead from a gunshot wound in a bedroom of the home. And allegedly Cynthia Franklin admitted to shooting him.

The family has issued this statement:

Mr. Franklin was killed during a violent attack against his wife of 41 years. She fought desperately to save her own life and by God’s grace she miraculously survived. Many knew Dennis Franklin had a drinking problem and that there were many years of verbal and physical abuse. He was a functioning alcoholic but was very abusive when he drank.Mr. Franklin retired from Bell South in October 2006 with 41 years of service. He served in the National Guard for 28 years. He was a good provider to his family, a dedicated worker, a loving father and grandfather.The family wishes for your prayers and for Mrs. Franklin’s physical and emotional healing caused by this traumatic experience and tragedy.

Neighbors have said that Mrs. Franklin had a heart condition.

The sheriff’s dept. says there were signs of a struggle in the home. And Cynthia Franklin had significant injuries to her head, face and upper body. Allegedly she had been struck with a long stick, like the handle to a tool.

Cynthia Franklin has allegedly told authorities that as her husband was hitting her, she was trying  to get away. She ran into the bedroom where the gun was kept and when her husband again tried to attack her, she shot him.

Cynthia Franklin was airlifted to the hospital where she was admitted in serious condition.

The sheriff’s department has said their are no reports that of domestic violence in the recent system (since 2000), but neighbors have told the dept. that there have been domestic disputes before and that law enforcement has been there before.

No charges have been filed at this time and the investigation is continuing. But the sheriff’s department says that all indications at this time are that Mrs. Franklin acted in self defense.

wistv.com           wltx.com     

  wistv.com    thestate.com

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It seems that Dennis Franklin had been previously charged with domestic violence in 1999 for a verbal threat. After being charged with criminal domestic violence he agreed to enter an anger management program. After completing the program the charges were dropped.

 Cynthia Franklin has been released from the hospital. Prosecutors have determined that Mrs. Franklin acted in self defense and no charges will be filed against her.

wltx.com                               wltx.com

If he couldn’t have her

Mosetta Peters, 21, was a single mother of a 3 year old daughter. She had been involved in a relationship with Revelle Loving, 20, but that had ended and she moved on.

Police say there was a history of stalking and abuse in the relationship with Loving. In Aug. of 2005 Loving faced charges of assault against Peters. But a systems change coordinator for the Coalition of Battered Women has said that charge was set aside by a “continuance for dismissal” meaning that the charge would be held for a year and see what happened before ruling.

Later in Aug. 2005 Loving was again charged with assault against Peters. The system coordinator says that should have ended the continuance. But it didn’t. “I believe it was inappropriate. The continuance should have been revoked right there,” “She did everything right. She had gotten away from somebody who was abusive, but it didn’t help. … There wasn’t a recognition (by authorities) that she was in more danger.” The second assault charge was still pending.

There are also reports that Peters contacted various police departments on three other complaints accusing Loving of assaulting her. And at one point he allegedly “trashed” her apartment. Allegedly he had made repeated threats against her, and recently threatened that if he could not have her, no one could.

Nevertheless, Peters attempted to move on. She began a relationship with 18-year-old JaNaurri Allen. And allegedly there were problems of a fight between Allen and Loving and at one point Allen’s car was vandalized.

Jan. 16 Mosetta Peters and JaNaurri Allen were at her apartment and allegedly fled to a relatives apartment. It was in the parking lot of that apartment building that police say witnesses saw a man with a gun running to or shooting at the couple’s car and at least one person saw a man shooting into the car. Police say they recovered shell casings from a rife and a handgun from the scene. Allegedly the gunman also shot at one of the witnesses. Both Mosetta Peters and JaNaurri Allen were shot and died from their wounds.

Police have taken Loving into custody and say they are looking for at least two other persons in connection with the shootings. Police did take two other people into custody, but they have since been released.

Revelle Loving has been initially charged with 2 nd degree murder. But the county attorney plans to take the case to the Grand Jury in hopes of upgrading the charges.

startribune.com  twincities.com wcco.com  kare11.com

kstp.com      twelve.tv     kare11.com       mnsun.com  

She tried. She left an abusive relationship. She filed charges and she followed through on the charges. And when that did not help she continued to ask for assistance. And somehow the system broke down.

Going to court is confusing. It is hard to know what to tell the court, sometimes it can be hard to get the court to hear what is involved. And it is hard to know what agencies and services can be utilized to help.

Going to a shelter is the best option. But not everyone will follow through on that. But even if not planning on a stay at a shelter, the domestic violence agencies can help in other ways. They can often provide advocacy with the court. They can help in presenting the situation to the needed services. They can help with a safety plan, to increase the chances of successfully and safely leaving the relationship. So even if not planning to use a shelter, make contact with that agency- and keep in contact.          

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Loving charged with two counts of 2 nd degree murder. No other arrests have been made.

austindailyherald.com

The children gave first aid

Douglas P. Susen, 44, and Christine M. Bonebrake, 44, resided in a home with their 3 children- twins age 10 and an 8 year old.

In December police were called to the home. Allegedly Douglas Susen had accused Christine Bonebrake of installing web camera’s thoughout the home and was putting him on the internet. He also had accused her of using a handheld camera to record him. He broke a cell phone because he thought she was recording him with that. Police responded to the home and found the dispute was not physical and found no webcams in the home. No arrests were made.

About 2:30 am on Tuesday one of the twins made a call to 911 and told dispatchers that his Dad was dead and his Mom was bleeding badly from a wound. A woman could be heard in the background speaking of her fear that she was dying. The 10 year old told dispatchers that his twin was attempting to apply pressure to their mother’s wound. When the child was asked what happened he said he didn’t know he had been asleep when it happened, but there was a gun next to Susen.

Officers found Douglas Susen dead from a gunshot wound to the head, and Christine Bonebrake badly injured with a gunshot wound to the neck. She was taken to the hospital where she underwent surgery. She has since been upgraded from critical to satisfactory condition.

The investigation is continuing and police say they will interview Christine Bonebrake when her condition improves.

sheboygan-press.com    thenorthwestern.com

sheboygan-press.com     abclocal.go.com

Carnival of the True Crime Blogs LX

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This week’s edition of the Carnival of the True Crime Blogs is up at My Life of Crime. Click on over and check it out.

Graphic By T.O. Crime

Remember to Commit a Random Act of Kindness, each and every day.

A Request for Help

Police received a call on Sunday about 4 am. They say the person who called requested help and said they had been stabbed. When asked who had stabbed them, the caller responded “my Dad.”

When police responded to the address they found  Johni Brand, 45, and her two children with multiple stab injuries. Allegedly David Larprade, 54, had stabbed them then had cut himself. Police say all 4 had life threatening injuries.

All four were taken to the hospital. Police have plans to charge Larprade with attempted murder and domestic violence.

The case is still being investigated. No information has been released as to the condition of the victims or the children’s ages.

journal-news.com           newsnet5.com           ohio.com

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The two girls involved are ages 14 and 17 years old. One is the stepdaughter of Laprade, the other was his daughter.

All were taken to hospitals and admitted in critical condition, but doctors now say that all are expected to survive. Police have not been able to interview them because of their conditions.

local12.com

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David Laprade has been arrested and a grand jury has issued indictments for three counts of attempted murder and three counts of domestic violence.

journal-news.com

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Thanks to Kimberly we have an update on the case. In Aug. of 2007 David Laprade pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder. The plea deal was arranged so that the young girls would not have to testify in court. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

journal-news.com

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