It doesn’t happen here

It doesn’t happen in this town, this neighborhood, this street. A very common reaction after a domestic violence murder. The town of Highmore is a town of 850 residents. A small, quiet town. The kind of town where lethal crime is a rarity.

Pamela Huber was a resident of that town, she grew up there, married there and had a family there. She was active in the community. She owned a business there, she was involved with many volunteer activities- the Girl Scouts, the Junior Shooting Club and others. Pam Huber was also the city financial officer for the community. So in that small a town, she knew everybody and they knew her. Pamela Huber was also the wife of the former police chief. And above all, she was a mother.

The family says that Pamela Huber had a secret, but if I know small towns it probably wasn’t all that secret. The family says that Pamela Huber was being physically and emotionally abused in her marriage and had been for 10 years. But her husband was the chief of police, so she never made a report.

The family attorney has said that after her husband Ken Huber, 41, left the office of police chief he changed. The family attorney alleges that he may have been suffering from some depression, and there may have been some abuse of medications, and alcohol involved.

On Sunday night Pamela Huber laid down in bed with her 11 year old daughter. The daughter has said she was awakened by loud noise, and saw Ken Huber leaving the bedroom holding a gun. The child’s mother was lying beside her bleeding. Ken Huber called 911, and at least one report says that he attempted to give first aid to Pamela. Pamela Huber was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.

Pamela lay in the hospital in a coma with a bullet lodged in her brain, on life support and was not expected to survive. Her son and her sister petitioned the court for a protection order prohibiting Ken Huber from contacting Pamela Huber or their children  and the order was granted, Huber was ordered to stay at least 1000 feet from Pamela and from their two daughters. Her son was appointed her guardian.

By Wed. there was an announcement that the Hyde County State Attorney would not be prosecuting the case due to a conflict of interest. The state attorney was friends with the family. The State Attorney General took over the investigation.

On Friday Pamela Huber was removed from life support and she passed away.

Police have questioned Ken Huber, but no charges have been filed as yet. Police and prosecutors are not talking about the investigation. But at least one report says they are still collecting evidence both in the home and in the town. At least one report says that Ken Huber has been told not to leave town.

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Domestic violence is one of those crimes that is not specific to any location, race, or socio-economic class. It can happen anywhere and to anyone. Big cities rural areas or small towns, poor crime ridden neighborhoods or areas with a higher financial base. Sometimes others may be aware of abuse in the home, sometimes they don’t.

And domestic violence, though often called a couple’s problem is really a community problem. The impact on this community has been huge.

I think of the children and what they heard and saw as they were growing up. And how the child was startled from sleep by a loud noise. How horrifying to awaken, find her father holding a gun and her mother bleeding. How long will it take her to recover from the trauma of the last time she saw her mother? And what she saw of her father. Then she had to talk to investigators and tell what she saw, she had to go to court to help get protection for her mother and testify against her father. And there is another child also who will also be grieving over her mother, and confused about her feelings for her father. And an older son suddenly thrust into the position of role reversal where he became the protector and guardian of the Mother who had been protector and guardian to him, all before he even had an opportunity to deal emotionally with the circumstances of her injury. Now they are all grieving their loss, forced to deal with the changes in their life and with the changes in their relationships to the people in their lives.

Domestic violence does not happen in every relationship. But it happens in more relationships than most will admit. If domestic violence is happening in your relationship, seek out a domestic violence agency and ask for their assistance. If you know of a relationship in which domestic violence is occurring, offer to help them to make contact with an agency. Ask domestic violence agencies if they have speakers that can come to your clubs and speak about domestic violence. Ask your county agencies and police departments what their policies regarding domestic violence and their employees are. Help your community keep its citizens safer by learning about domestic violence, by making your community aware and by making your community more accountable.

A big thank you to TGIRecovered for bringing this to my attention.

The community is supporting the family and the family has issued public statements to thank them for that support.

keloland.com        ksfy.com

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Ken Huber had checked himself into a VA hospital after the death of his wife. Police arrested him there. Allegedly Huber was having an affair with the state attorney. Huber and the state attorney spoke on the phone about 10 pm that night. After the shooting Huber called 911 and told them his wife was accidently shot when he was moving a gun, then he called the state attorney and asked her to come over saying there had been an “accident”. She arrived before police officers.

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9 Comments

  1. R.A. Moller said,

    November 7, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    This is far too close to home. Highmore is 30 miles away. Ken Huber was our chief of police for two months.
    But the Huber case is just “abuse” notched up to a higher level. Abuse goes on behind many closed doors, as it did in my home. I know how easily I could have been a Pam.
    Only when something so terrible happens do people seem to pay attention. Yet it goes on all the time, in all neighborhoods.

  2. Susan (TGIRecovered) said,

    November 12, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    I want to express my thanks again for writing about Pam. Though her husband Ken has been arrested. it is a long way from conviction and incarceration.
    Pam’s murder has been overshadowed in the MSM by the search for Stacy Peterson who is also the victim of her police officer husband.
    It is the voice of Home Sweet Home and others who care enough to keep her story alive via the internet that will hopefully prevent further injustice from being swept under the rug by corrupt or negligent city and state government employees.

    It is a shame that tragidies such as this cast a negative light on all law enforcement. Many good cops and governmental employees work hard to keep us safe. I appreciate that.

    Susan

  3. November 12, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Who do you call when your abuser is not only in law enforcement, but is the boss of everyone in law enforcement?

    The special difficulties of domestic violence among police wives made headlines big-time in Western Washington in April 2003. Tacoma police chief David Brame shot his wife Crystal (their 2 young children were in a nearby car) and then shot himself. Both died. Apparently there were warning signs for years, but they were consistently swept aside.

  4. November 13, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Susan, you are right. Law enforcement officers are individuals. Many, even most are warm caring people, and make good husbands. But DV is just like every other crime- when one goes wrong, it is very very hard to make accountablility happen and wrongs be corrected.
    Though I love most law enforcement, they are a very tight community. And when they hear of a wrong by a fellow law enforcement officer, it can be very difficult for them to believe the guy they work with could harm another without cause.
    There needs to be a lot more education in the police departments, they need to work closer to the DV agencies and they need to have internal procedures they can follow to stop a problem when it begins, and before it becomes lethal.
    Because of fears that spouses have about reporting and it affecting their jobs, I don’t believe that it should affect the job- as long as they are willing to take the preventive actions. Whether it be counseling, group therapy or whatever.

  5. becky j said,

    November 17, 2007 at 6:10 am

    Unfortunatly some of those with the power abuse it and then it ends up costing lives, lives of innocent victims, not only the abused but the children and others in the community who lose respect for those who are supposed to protect you. Thats when we teach to get help from your domestic shelters as well, then you have an advocate to help you and protection will be better because they will know the ways around keeping you safe and taking action.

  6. bingskee said,

    November 25, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    this story is sickening. i feel more than blessed to have a loving husband. i cannot imagine the horror the daughter had experienced. how long will the children be able to cope up with the aftermath? who would look out for them if the father is the killer and they are still young children who still needs an adult to take good care of them? really sickening.

  7. Becky J said,

    November 28, 2007 at 5:27 am

    I have a friend that, as we speak, is living in fear of her abuser, she has taken all the right steps, obtained no contact orders, pressed charges on him 4 times now, besides the fact that he has other charges pending from another woman, they have “not found him yet to serve ANY of those warrents” so he walks the streets, literally, in this small town, the police have told her, i was there to witness this….” we know who he is, and we know where he goes” he walks the streets of this town with no fear, he has assulted my friend, in public, on 2 occasions, in front of crowds of people, he text messages and leaves voice mails on her phone from his own number, without fear, he walks around with a cane that hides a sword, and we are all saying to ourselves “What the hell is he still doing walking these streets?” Let me tell you why………….. He is an informant for our local police department!!!!!!!! Now tell me how are we to stay safe when he knows damn well that he will not get into trouble for hurting these women, as well as threatening…..in front of a crowd of people that he is going to “kill your son, Ive killed kids before to get what i want so dont think i wont do it again” ………. This is the same reason they never arrested my x husband for all the violations, beatings, stalkings etc because he was more valuable to them out on the streets………….Doesnt matter if a stupid ass woman gets killed as long as we dont have to get off our asses and do our own jobs.!!!!! a little harsh but thats how i feel about these situation………

  8. November 28, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    BeckyJ, she should not have to go through that! But I know it happens.

    Has she contacted a DV agency and talked with them? She can ask them to advocate for her. And if that doesn’t work, have her call the prosecutor’s office direct. If she can, get an appt. with the prosecutor and take copies of the reports in with her. But at least advise them of the situation. Then she should put it in writing, and send it to them certified mail, return reciept requested. Other places to try would the legal aid society, the state police and the town newspaper. It might be helpful if she can get the other woman to join her in the complaints. She also could call the judges office that issued the no contact order and advise them of the problems.
    And last but very important, is to document everything. Times and dates of abuse, times and dates of reports as well as copies of the reports, dates of the no contact orders and copies of them, document any times he makes contact with her and document her discussions with LE (who, when, what etc) and she should give those copies to a close friend or relative. And if she should get to talk to a prosecutor, she should casually tell them that if anything should happen to her, they will have plenty of evidence to prosectue him, because she has documented everything. Don’t say who has the copies and no threats, just a casual mention.

  9. Becky J said,

    November 30, 2007 at 4:37 am

    HSH, thanks for the advise, she has actually left town for the time being but has contacted our Shelter and has an advocate working with her helping her to stay safe and she is documenting everything, but i will tell her to definatly give the docmentation to someone, thats a great idea i never woulda thought about that!! Thats another reason i love this blog site because in the heat of anger and frustration and fear sometimes you cant think quickly and theres always someone on this sight that comes up with something……..a wonderful support group!!!!


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