The Fear, The Terror

Cindy L. Bischof, 43, wore many hats. She was a realtor, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a colleague. And due to recent experiences in her life, she told family and friends she was considering putting on another hat. She was thinking of becoming a domestic violence advocate.

Cindy knew what domestic violence was like. She had been married, but her divorce was amicable and she remained close to her in-laws. Then she began dating. About three years ago she began dating 60 year old Michael L. Giroux. The two ended up moving in together and for a time things were good. But last year there were problems and the two decided to separate last May. And then more problems developed.

Bischof came home one day to find her home vandalized. She got a restraining order. She found Giroux on her patio one day trying to hang himself. He was arrested. She moved out of her home for a time, she had cameras installed. He showed up at her office and other places she went. Giroux was arrested for violating the protection order at least three times. At one point Giroux was reportedly in a psychiatric unit via a court order for several months, but he was released in Nov. At one point Cindy reportedly came home and found Giroux in her dark garage.

According to her brother

“This was eight months of terror,” “She had a constant fear for her life. She tried everything. The system failed my sister.”

In Nov. Giroux was also convicted of a violation of the protection order. He was sentenced to 63 days in jail, 60 days of home confinement and 2 years of intensive probation. Since then, things had been quieter. Cindy’s mother has told media that the end of Feb. her daughter did hear from Giroux. He called and apoligized for what he had done. Because the call appeared harmless, Cindy didn’t report it.

Giroux finished his term on home incarceration just this month. On Mar. 7 th Cindy Bischof was leaving work. As she tried to enter her car she was shot. After shooting her, Giroux turned the weapon on himself. Giroux was pronounced dead at the scene. Cindy Bischof was taken to a hospital where she later died.

Now her family and friends are left to pick up the pieces. And they remember what Cindy said about becoming a domestic violence advocate. Since she can no longer become an advocate, the family has decided to do it in her name. They are determined to become advocates on women’s issues and they are starting with the need for electronic monitoring in similar situations. They also want to make protection orders more effective, and try to come up with ways to make the victims safer as they try to get out of the situations.

According to her brother

“There are going to be a lot of people like Cindy, after Cindy, unless things change,” Mike Bischof said.

dailyherald.com          dailyherald.com    chicagotribune.com

chicagotribune.com    chicagotribune.com

She asked for protective orders, she followed through, she got cameras for her home, she moved out of her home and stayed elsewhere. She did everything she could to help herself short of disappearing.

And the system actally worked as far as it goes. Police actually made the arrests. Prosecutors actively prosecuted the cases. Judges did impose sentences including jail time. He was even sent for a psychiatric evaluation. Still Cindy Bischof died.  This case, along with others, illustrate how desperately domestic violence laws need to be strengthened, and how new technology needs to be incorporated into the laws. Had electronic monitoring been made available, there would have been an alert to the fact that Giroux was in the vicinity of her workplace.

Cindy Bischof’s Memorial page and the beginning of the domestic violence foundation. If you live in Illinois and wish to help, they have listed contact information. If you live in another state and are thinking of doing something similar, you may wish to make contact also.

There is a lot of good information coming out in the above articles. For instance information about risk factors

Studies of women killed by an intimate partner have identified common traits among the perpetrators. Among them: access to a gun, previous threat with a weapon, estrangement from the partner, stalking, forced sex, abuse during pregnancy, drug abuse and unemployment.

“When individuals are unemployed or they start spiraling downward … then that’s a huge, huge red flag,”

In certain cases, however, no jail sentence — no matter how long — would dissuade someone from harming their intimate partner, experts say.

That’s why women who face abuse or harassment are encouraged to seek help outside the legal system. Domestic violence agencies can assist victims in creating comprehensive safety plans, which can include changing their name and even relocating.

Sometimes only the most extreme measure works, said Kathy Doherty, executive director of Between Friends, which provides legal advocacy to domestic abuse victims.

“We’ve helped some women disappear,” she said.

chicagotribune.com

It doesn’t seem fair that the victim should have to be the one to change her lifestyle in order to survive. But until a better system is developed, it may be best to start  over somewhere new and make the changes, than to live with the fear and the terror or to not survive. And sometimes that is the only choices you have.

Meanwhile, there is a need to fight for stronger laws, better technology, more effective treatment for offenders.

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Today

Today a family is out there searching. They are having a wide range of emotions, high to low that may happen several times a day. They are searching for Nailah Franklin. Let me tell you a little bit about her story.

Nailah Franklin lives in Chicago, Ill. She works for a pharmecutical company and she has recently broken off with a man she used to date. Recently she went to police to file a report about threatening phone calls she said she was receiving from that man. It was recommended that she file a restraining order, but she declined to do so at that time. 

On Tues. one week ago Nailah sent an uncharacteristically short text message saying she was going out to dinner and would call them later. She hasn’t been seen since. When she failed to show up for an important meeting at work, someone there contacted her family and a police report was filed. Family and friends fear foul play, because they say she was always in contact, at least by phone or text messages but they haven’t had any contact with her since Tues.

On Saturday Nailah’s car was found abandoned in another city. Tests are being run on the car and the items found there. Family says they have no idea why she would have gone to that city. Police say her belongings from her car were thrown around. Police have been searching in that area and dragged a pond, but found nothing. Two computers were missing from her home- both her work laptop and her personal one.

Family is searching too. They are praying and putting up flyers, and everything else they can think of to try to find some scrap of information about Nailah.

Police have interviewed the man she had been dating, but he was released after the interview. Police have not called him a suspect. Another woman has filed two protection orders against him in recent weeks.

wbbm780.com        wqad.com    abclocal.go.com      chicagotribune.com (Picture at link)

chicagotribune.com   suntimes.com    suntimes.com

Is there foul play? Is this a case of relationship violence or random violence? Is the man she dated related to her disappearance? At this point it is too early to tell. Her history does seem to indicate that she wouldn’t just go off without her family or that she would fail to contact them at some point. Her car being found abandoned also seems to indicate that she did not just take off voluntarily. Relationship violence vs. random violence- police have not named him as a suspect which indicates they don’t have anything that directly points to him. If he wasn’t connected, the threats to Nailah and other women certainly called police attention to him. Whether fairly or unfairly that remains to be seen. Certainly if you are the type to make threats or obsessive attempts to contact ex’s, you might want to consider the attention this could draw to you if something should happen to them.

If you want to help and you live in the Illinois area, possibly you could get some of the flyers and pass them out. If you live in the Hammond or Chicago area you could check with authorities and see if they are doing any searches they need help with.

A big thank you to Ltr for the tip on this one.

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The FBI is now involved in the disappearance of Nailah Franklin and a $10,000 rewared has been offered. The man that Nailah has said was threatening her had a close friend deliver a message to this paper saying that he is innocent and he is also concerned about Nailah. The friend has also said that he is cooperating with police and has provided them with witnesses who can vouch for his whereabouts.

cbs2chicago.com

Website for tips about the disappearance of Nailah Franklin. Looks like the site would be suitable for printing missing posters for distribution.

bringnailahfranklinhome.com

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At 4:46 am today an unclothed female body was found in a Chicago forest preserve. That preserve was near the location at which Nailah Franklin’s work vehicle was found. That body has been identified as being Nailah Franklin. No cause of death has been announced as yet and no suspect has been identified.

indystar.com                                abcnews.go.com                       cnn.com

A big thank you to Ltr  and Peach for the update.

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Multiple media reports told about the body found near where Nailah Franklin’s car was found. Multiple media stations reported that the body was Nailah Franklin. But today’s reports indicate that body has not been actually been identified. Decomposition on the body that was found was severe enough that even race cannot be determined. Today they are doing an autopsy, but the family has not ID’d the body yet.

suntimes.com                      indystar.com             foxnews.com

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The body has now been identified as Nailah Franklin. Identification was made by dental records as the remains were too decomposed for identification. At this point police are not classifying it as a homicide as the cause of death has not been determined yet. Instead they are conducting a ‘death investigation’.

ap.google.com              wndu.com

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Reginald Potts was arrested on Fri. Police have stressed that the arrest is not related to Nailah Franklin. Ironically Potts was on the telephone with a reporter at the time that he was arrested.

Potts was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor assault and battery. Allegedly he threatened a gas station attendant. Police have reiterated that they have not named a person of interest or a suspect in Nailah Franklin’s death. Pott’s had been questioned again on Fri. in regards to her death.

suntimes.com                  postchronicle.com             wandtv.com

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It seems there is an underground war going on, with the private emails that were once exchanged between Nailah Franklin and Potts being circulated. And on newspaper sites and some forums he has his supporters. But not everyone agrees that the emails show what the supporters want them to show. The editorial also urges people to be careful what they write in emails and text messages, as there is always the possibility that they may someday become public knowlege.

chicagosuntimes.com

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Against the advice of his attorneys Reginald Potts Jr. gave an interview to media. In the interview he denied that he was Nailah Franklin’s boyfriend. But did admit that they were ‘involved’ and intimate.

Memorable quotes:

“I was absolutely not her boyfriend,” “I was shocked and I was saddened. A lot of things went through my mind. This was still somebody that at some point in my life made me smile.”

“I may talk a lot of s – – – — pardon my language — but me putting my hands on somebody isn’t really happening. “Making somebody disappear — having something to do with their abduction — having something to do with a murder, that’s kind of extreme. That is a huge leap,”

“At this point there is nothing, but I’m defending myself against rumors, speculations and a lot of gossip. It’s affecting my family, my business and my relationships.”

Potts also accused police of harrassment. He also alleges damages to his home that occurred during the execution of the search warrant. He says he has offered to take a lie detector test but law enforcement has not set one up. Police have not responded to the statements nor have they named Potts as a suspect or person of interest in the murder.

Potts talked about the email that was sent to his friends, purportedly an email that he recieved from Nailah when their relationship ended. Potts admitted that he did send it to his friends. The email made the circuit after Nailah’s body was discovered.

Potts denied threatening Nailah. Media did bring out the fact that Potts is subject to two other protective orders brought against him by his ex-wife and an ex-girlfriend, both of whom are the mothers of his children.

Potts alleges that he has recieved threatening emails.

suntimes.com

The interview reminded me of an old song. Maybe you remember it? “Why’s everybody always picking on me?”

A Bizarre Twist

Fielder, 30, had been known to have problems with mental disorders and aggression since the teen years. As far back as 1998 Fielder’s mother took out a restraining order, she says she had been hit over the head with a chair and threatened as well as threats made against other family members.   Four months later Fielder allegedly violated the order and was court ordered into mental health treatment as well as probation. There were other incidents of criminal charges of including tresspass and attempted assault.

In 2004 Fielder was convicted of harrassment and theft and spent 5 days in jail and was ordered into anger management treatment.

Eight months ago Fielder met someone named Kellerman, 36, and the two began to date. But friends say there were problems in the relationship. They say that Fielder was obsessively jealous and constantly accusing Kellerman of being unfaithful- but friends say that was not true. The relationship between Fielder and Kellermann ended about 6 months ago because of the problems.

There are also reports of problems since that time. Friends say that Fielder began stalking Kellerman and the behavior became bizarre. Allegedly Fielding made death threats, made multiple calls to Kellerman’s workplace and other attempts to make contact with Kellerman.

On May 18 Kellerman finally applied for a restraining order. The order was approved on May 21. Kellerman told the court that Fielding

“threatened to kill me in front of co-workers, . . . came to my home . . . blocked my car in driveway. Kicked door. . . Used security code to enter my truck. Waited for me to get in.”

Kellerman said that police had not been called as Fielder was not thought to have a weapon. Kellermann also said that Fielding might be suicidal.

Then word came to Kellerman that Fielder was dead from a drug overdose. Police say that Fielder had tricked some into believing she had committed suicide. Word of the alleged suicide had reached Kellerman.

On Wednesday at 5:30 am Michael E. Kellermann was leaving his home to go to work. Police say his ex-girlfriend Jacqueline Kay Fielder was waiting outside his home. Police say that Fielder began to shoot at Michael Kellerman, and he ran from her and the weapon. Allegedly Fielder chased after him.

Michael Kellermann finally collapsed and died a few houses away from his home. He had five shots in his chest. Police say that Fielder continued to shoot even after he collasped. Fielder fled the scene.

“Based on information from witnesses, the victim had apparently been grieving the loss of Fielder. All indications are that the victim would have been shocked to find the suspect alive when he saw her (Wednesday) morning.”

Police called her cell phone and tried to talk her into turning herself in or telling them where she was, but she refused. But a State Police trooper did have a sighting on her car at 7:40 am. When police attempted to stop her a high speed chase began.

She managed to evade a couple of sets of spike strips, hit another vehicle and a guardrail and reached speeds of almost 100 miles per hour before she finally hit another spike strip.

Fielder left the car and took off. Police were attempting to negotiate with her when they say she shot herself in the head.

Fielder was taken to the hospital and died on Thursday.

oregonlive.com    bendbulletin.com    kgw.com    ktvz.com

oregonlive.com     kgw.com    bendweekly.com   ktvz.com

Obsessive, abusive or controlling behaviors do not belong exclusively to men. We hear it happening with men more often, but it is theorized that men do not report as frequently. Michael Kellerman reportedly waited months before applying for a restraining order.

Few shelters take men. There are few resources available to them. And frequently people do not take a report of violence from a woman as seriously as from a man. I have never seen the reports of height and weight for suspect and victim in any report of domestic violence crime except this one. Yes, he was taller and weighed more. But when you add a weapon vs. an unwillingness to harm another- that can even out any differences in physique.

It is just as important for a man to take precautions and seek assistance and legal protection in a domestic violence relationship as it is for a woman. Because whether it is male or female, the results can end up the same.

A big thanks to D.P. for posting this one on CrimeNe.ws

The system failed

Her name was Yana and she was a Russian citizen living in Russia. She and her husband had a baby boy and she was attending college. Then her husband was murdered. Yana dropped out of college and with her mother’s help, set about raising her baby son.

With a young boy to support Yana looked for options. Some reports say that she was a “mail-order” bride through a Russian romance site, others say she met Scott Huss on the internet. Scott Huss visited Russia a couple of times, then the two decided to marry. She came to the U.S. in 2003 and the two married soon after.

Things were not easy. She had difficulty with the language. Relatives have said that Huss forbade her to speak Russian with her son. Soon after their marriage, the first report of abuse saying that Scott Huss fired several shots and threatened to feed her

“to the alligator’s.”

Yana’s mother moved to Holland and the two kept in touch regularly by telephone and the internet. Use of a webcam allowed the grandmother to stay in contact with the grandson she had known in Russia and to help get to know  the new granddaughter that Yana had with Scott Huss. In Dec. 2006, Yana took the children to Russia to meet their relatives. Yana was working as a nursing assistant and going to the community college, studying for a nursing license.

In the years since 2003, there were reportedly multiple calls to police regarding complaints of domestic violence (one report says 20 or more.) It is difficult to determine what happened with the charges, media says they were dismissed. On the ones for which Huss was arrested, charges were reportedly dropped. There are allegations that little was done to investigate the complaints despite circumstantial evidence available in some of the reports. Yana did recant her allegations at times. Allegations are that Huss repeatedly threatened to have her deported back to Russia at various times.

Charlotte County Sheriff John Davenport said it is possible that deputies missed opportunities to arrest her husband for violating restraining orders. He said deputies can become “complacent” when dealing with the vague accusations common in domestic violence cases. “We’re not perfect,” he said.But he said his deputies responded appropriately in most of the situations with the Husses.

Twice, Yana took her son to the hospital with injuries- staff there called authorities regarding a suspicion of child abuse. Yana allegedly denied the boy had been abused- but staff says on one occasion the child said that Scott Huss had punched him. Authorities say they did not have enough evidence to file charges. Now the school is checking to see if staff was aware of any complaints of child abuse. There are rumors that they had been told.

Multiple restraining orders. According to at least one article, Huss denied any domestic violence in an online posting alleging immigration/marriage fraud.

Multiple stays in a domestic violence shelter including one right before she died.

By March, Yana decided to leave. She filed for another restraining order and a divorce.

In the last 30 days of her life, Huss called sheriff’s deputies eight times to say her husband was harassing her with phone calls, e-mails and instant messages.

In a visit to the police station to report more calls, her phone rang twice more. A deputy allegedly told her that was not proof that the calls were being made by Huss.

Eventually Huss was arrested for breaking the restraining order. He spent a night in jail and  was out on bond the next day. It was several days later that he went to the church. A priest alleges that Huss tried to get him to convince Yana to talk to him (Huss.)

Police did begin increased patrol’s near her home.

On April 25 Yana’s 8 year old son appeared on Scott Huss’s mother’s doorstep allegedly wearing a bloody shirt. At some point she allegedly found a suicide note from her son and called police. Police say the child did witness his mother’s stabbing.

Scott Huss, 48, was arrested at a bus station. He was initially arrested on a manslaughter charge.

Her name was Yana. She was the mother of two and was 31 years old when she died.

sun-herald.com     heraldtribune.com     nbc-2.com

sun-herald.com    news-press.com      sun-herald.com

If you read any articles in this, I highly recommend that you read these two. One contains a timeline of the events that led up to the murder- and what evidence it is alleged that police had regarding the abuse. heraldtribune.com. The second is from a citizen. A man to whom I would like to extend a ‘virtual’ handshake. It is an opinion piece that asks the question of where authorities were when Yana asked for help. heraldtribune.com

One of Yana’s children was born in Russia and is a citizen of Russia. He is now 8 years old and saw his mother being stabbed to death. He is in foster care awaiting a court decision as to who should have custody of him. His grandmother has come to the U.S. to fight for custody of him and his sister.

Yana’s child with Scott is now 2 years old. She was born in the U.S. and is a U.S. citizen. Her other grandmother is fighting for custody of her also. Yana’s son is her sibling, but so is Scott’s other children from previous relationships.

No matter which way this is decided, the chances are excellent that one of the children is going to be moved away from a sibling.

Yes, she recanted. She left what she knew in Russia and moved to the U.S. Then abuse began. She did what was right, she called police. Police are there to protect people, right? And prosecutors are there to prosecute crimes? But under alleged threats of deportation- she recanted as she would do at other times in the future. Struggling with the language, a stranger to the laws and the system. Once her daughter was born, it would have been even harder. Because her daughter was a U.S. citizen. She couldn’t be deported. So her status if her mother was deported could be frightening.

And it must have been frightening to her to make that call to police, and find him out of jail very quickly. Often that gives the victim the sense that pressing the charges is useless- because it doesn’t stop them, they are soon out of jail and even madder. Yes, she may have recanted. She was probably too scared not to.

She recanted. By changing her story, the charges got dropped. Several states have laws in place that if an officer sees evidence of domestic abuse, they are mandated to continue with the charges. This is not one of those states.

Never-the-less the law enforcement and prosecutor’s have the latitude to continue with the charges even if the victim refuses to file, as long as they have evidence of the crime. They chose not to do so. More than 20 times. Despite allegedly having some evidence of crimes being committed. From what I have been reading about the emails and telephone calls, I personally wonder why stalking charges were not brought against him- prior to the murder. Even without her consent.

I write about DV. I know that sometimes it can slip through the cracks. I know that sometimes if the victim doesn’t cooperate with law enforcement, that it can make it more difficult for them to prefer charges. And I know that a victim recanting even one time can make it more difficult for them to convince authorities of how serious their situation is. But still this one is shocking to me. You would think that after 20 or more complaints and more calls to the police- that someone might have asked “what is happening here?” And maybe would have thought to take a closer look at what was happening.

I cannot deny it. Sometimes the system drops the ball. Sometimes police and prosecutors use the reasoning that it is a ‘couple’s problem’. And that if the victim chooses not to prosecute, then it is the victim’s choice.

They seem to forget the ‘fear factor’ in domestic violence. The fact that the one person who scares them the most, the one person who knows their schedule, the places they go, and all of their contacts, and the things that scare them the most– is putting them under pressure not to prosecute.

I will tell you- this one is high on my ‘shocked me’ list.

The Disappearance

Leigha Dix is a 22 year old woman who is described as shy and quiet, not one to seek attention. She has a job and she goes to school to be an X-ray technician. She is also the mother of a three year old little girl. She and the child’s father Dequency Batts had split up earlier this year and she moved home to live with her parents. Batts reportedly had moved on to another girlfriend.

But family says that problems continued with Batts. And on Mar. 27 Leigha Dix filed charges of assault and battery, destruction of property and stalking against him. That case is now on hold.

Batts reportedly now had another girlfriend. Some reports say that she was unhappy with the attention that Batts was giving his ex-girlfriend. On April 17 the two allegedly argued about it. Allegedly during the argument Batts choked her until she was unconscious. When she came to, he allegedly fired shots at her but didn’t hit her. The girlfriend has said that he  threatened her and he also threatened Leigha Dix. Allegedly she asked him what he would have done if she had died and he allegedly said

“Batts’ response was that he would have hidden her body and nobody would ever find her. He stated that he would also do the same thing to Leigha Dix.”

Last Thursday a friend says she saw Leigha Dix in the company of Batts. They were sitting in a car that looked like his sister’s outside her home. The two left and reportedly when the friend called her, Leigha Dix said she would be back at the friend’s home in an hour. She didn’t return and she hasn’t been seen since.

When she didn’t pick up her child from day care on Fri. her family reported her missing. Her car was found on Sunday with her purse inside. Her cell phone shows no activity since May 3 at 5:58 pm.

Police are treating the disappearance of Leigha Dix as a missing person at this point. No charges have been filed against Batts in regards to the disappearance and they are not calling him a suspect, but police say they are questioning him. They have gotten search warrants to search his home and his sister’s car looking for evidence that might be related to the disappearance.

After Leigha Dix’s disappearance the most recent girlfriend made contact with police and told them about the events of April 17. Charges of attempted 1st degree murder, assault, and weapons charges by a convicted felon have been filed against Dequency Batts in that incident.

Batts apparently does have a criminal record for a sex offense involving a minor child.

Family has posted a reward for any information which leads to the wherebouts of Leigha Dix.

progress-index.com         wric.com                 nbc12.com

timesdispatch.com       wtvr.com         press-index.com

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Thanks to Marcia and Tory we have an update. Hunters found a body on 10/23 about 5 pm. Jewelry found with the remains was shown to family and they believe the jewelry belonged to Leigha Dix. An autopsy of the remains has been requested and a formal ID as well as cause of death will come at that time.

No suspects have been named in the disappearance/death of Leigha Dix. Dequency Batts is currently incarcerated for one year on an unrelated conviction of assault and battery, for which he was sentenced to one year.

zwire.com     nbc12.com             wric.com

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Police have announced they have obtained a 1st degree murder warrant on Dequency Batts for the murder of Leigha Diane Dix. Cause of death has not been released. Batts was already incarcerated on a charge of attempted murder with another woman.

inrich.com

The Engagement

Holves Labissiere, 25, had reportedly stalked his ex-girlfriend in the past. And she did file charges on him, he was convicted, and he did serve several months for the crime. She also applied for and was granted a restraining order that was effective until the year 2025.

He was released recently. And he was evidently not happy. And apparently he blamed the girlfriend for his incarceration.

Allegedly he broke into the girlfriend’s apartment and abducted her. He allegedly took her to an unused apartment with boarded up windows. He allegedly shackled and handcuffed her and held her for two days in the apartment.

He reportedly told her that he wanted her to know what it felt like to be locked up. And he told her he loved her. And that if she loved him, she would marry him.

According to the report she was in fear of her life, and the lives of her family. She agreed to marry him.

After she agreed to marry him, he took her to the courthouse and tried to get a marriage license. Due to the waiting period they were unable to obtain the license and were given an application instead.

Two days after her abduction her unsuspecting mother sent her a text message. But all she got in return was a simple text saying “I’m okay.” That message to the mother is what led to her daughter’s recovery. Police did find the shackles and handcuffs in the apartment.

Holves Labissiere has been charged with rape, kidnapping, burglary and other charges.

wftv.com

Normally I try to find several articles on a crime in order to ensure a more balanced view of the DV crime. But despite several searches I only found one article.

This is the part that always confuses me about DV. He apparently wanted her to ‘pay’ for having him locked up. Yet he was bound to marry her, even if it was under duress.

There seems to be no understanding that though you can force a person to take certain actions, you cannot force the person to love.

You can force a person to stay in a relationship- through force and intimidation- but if they do not remain in the relationship voluntarily then they can never be trusted to remain in the relationship or to be happy in the relationship. And if one person in the relationship is not happy, then most likely no one in the relationship will be happy.

If anyone finds more information about this crime I would be happy to add it.

It’s a familiar story

A girl meets a guy and a relationship developed in the winter of 2000. They lived together off and on during that period. Most likely there was the usual give and take, but by the summer of 2004 the relationship was ending.

Instead of moving out and moving on, the two continued to live together. By 2005, there was the first known violent episode- shoving and closing a door on an ankle.

Over the course of the relationship, as usual the couple learn more about each other. She learned that he was living in the US illegally, and that he may have fled the United Kingdom to evade some type of trouble there. She learned that he could be charming, but wasn’t always truthful. And that he did have some involvement with drugs, a problem with alcohol and possibly theft. And she learned that he also used the names “Robert Richardson” and “Nathan Rowan” sometimes. And most likely she learned that some people liked him, but that some people didn’t like or trust him. Things that if learned at the beginning, may have stopped any relationship. But learned one tidbit at a time after the relationship had already begun- that lessens the impact.

The two continue to share a residence off and on, the next known incident was in Jan. 2007. According to the girl she comes home one day and he is drunk. An argument allegedly developed and items were thrown at her, she was tackled to the ground and punched.  She did not call police.

She did move out of the residence and she allegedly did try to tell him the relationship was over and she did not want to see him again.

Then the phone calls began. The guy leaves messages about how he cannot live without her and threatening to harm himself. But she didn’t call him back.

Then the calls turn more sinister, with the threats aimed  toward the girl and toward her sister and her sister’s pets. At that point two sisters take it court. They asked for and were granted temporary protection orders on March 6.

At first she did not want to file charges against him, but she soon changed her mind and decided to pursue criminal charges. By this time her sister was also receiving phone calls, threats and the phone calls and threats to the girl continue.

However nothing could be done on the protection order, because police had been unable to locate the guy to serve the protection order on him.

The girl took what actions she could to protect herself. She moved out.  She worked at home part of the time. She emailed her coworkers and advised them of the situation and asked them to keep an eye out for the boyfriend, stressing that he was not a danger to them- but he was a danger to her. She even made copies of the protection order and asked her coworkers to serve him with the order if he showed up at work.

Her name was Rebecca Griego. She was 26 years old.  And eventually she did have to return to work. And she was at work on April 2, 2007 when her ex-boyfriend Jonathan Rowan showed up.

First he shot her, then he shot himself.

Timeline of victim and attacker                                  
British loner kills ex-girlfriend at US university            UW victim did want to press charges against ex-boyfriend                                                                         
UW killer was a man of many tales, friends say          Man who killed UW woman had aliases, passports
Killer eluded police with fake names 
        

Of course there is much more to the story than what I have written here. Information about Rebecca Griego, the kind of person she was and her accomplishments. And there is more information on  the man who was known as Jonathan Rown, what was known about him and what wasn’t known. But reduced to the domestic violence issues, it is a familiar story. A reality that many people still live in.                        

Many think that domestic violence is a daily pattern of behavior. It can be, but doesn’t have to be. Sometimes it happens, then days weeks months or even years go by. Then it happens again. Often it seems minor- throwing something, a push and shove, a slap- no permanent damage, it may take time but will often be dismissed. There is usually a reason- they were upset about something else, they were tired, they were under the influence….. they were angry.  That explains it, right???

An apology and some charm, time goes by and nothing more happens- you guess it wasn’t so bad. Then it happens again. Soon it happens more frequently and the episodes get worse. But by then you are in the ‘habit’. You love, you excuse, you even lie about it. It is just something peculiar to them. They are nice people. It’s not so bad……really. Most of the time they are good to you. But it keeps getting worse.        

The farther you go- the harder it will be to get away. The farther you go, the more they learn about how to reel you back in. And it reinforces the fact that if they try hard enough, they can most likely get you back. And the more frustrated they are if it doesn’t work.

I was going to write about workplace safety and domestic violence, but this time- Seattle gets it. There are more articles out there on this case than I have ever seen about domestic violence. They are good articles, with a lot of info and tips on domestic violence, stalking, and workplace safety. So instead of writing it up, I am going to give the articles and just say that if you see anything in this situation that reminds you of your own situation or of the situation of someone you know, that I do recommend that you check them out.          

A piece of paper alone can’t stop abuse
How Do You Stop a Stalker From Killing You?
           Check background of potential partner                        Many get away from abusive partners, say experts     Protection order can’t stop person hellbent on doing harm                                                                                  No guarantee of safety from stalker                            Advocates for domestic violence victims: Stand up to battery          

I believe there are things a person can do to increase their own safety in stalking and/domestic violence situations. First- recognition of the stalking behavior. Second- honestly acknowledging the risk and dangers it poses. Third- becoming proactive in your own safety- reach out for help- with law enforcement, domestic violence agencies, family and friends. Fourth- recognize that at times you will have to become your own advocate…. press charges, attend court hearings, obtain evidence wherever possible, relate what you know in a calm and accurate manner.  And there may be times when you will have to insist on recognition of the danger you are facing. Last and probably most important- you have to remember that although the actions you are taking may get the perpetrator in ‘trouble’, it is actually their own actions that are causing their problems. You are only responding to their actions.  When your life is at risk, you can no longer provide them with excuses.                                                                            

And then these articles are more to do with how we as a society can work to promote safety. For instance, do you know what your company’s policy is on domestic violence and the relationship to work? Does it promote the victims safety as well as the other employees? How do you handle it when you learn that someone you know has been accused of domestic violence? Or has been a victim of domestic violence?

CNN shooting highlights safety in public workplaces   Domestic violence can be reduced                             Advocates for domestic violence victims: Stand up to battery          

This one was sent to me by an anonymous person and I want to thank them for thinking of how it relates this blog and for the kind words they had to say. Not only the domestic violence case, but the articles that have followed it provide valuable information about the issues. I apologize for the delay in posting it due to my physical limitations, but I also want them to know that without their assistance I probably would have missed it.

She had talked about being stalked

Mona Rose Llanes, 49, and her husband Nelson Llanes, 57,  had been married for more than 20 years. The parents of 4 grown children, a decision was made to separate.  Nelson Llanes moved in with one of the children. The two began divorce proceedings, but it was not yet final.

Mona Rose Llanes had moved on with her life, and  reportedly may have begun dating someone she worked with. She was a nutrionist for Headstart and coworkers have said she had a passion for her work. Mrs. Llanes had reportedly told some she felt like her husband was stalking her, but she did not call police.

She had worked on Monday, and reportedly had gone to a tanning salon after work. She told an employee there that she was preparing to go to a wedding.

Nelson Llanes was a landscaper and reportedly he wasn’t taking the separation well. Allegedly a dispute had developed over his wife’s beginning to date.

On Monday one of the children went to the home about 7:10 pm. She found her mother in one of the bedrooms, beaten and lifeless. Despite attempts at rescusitation, Mona Rose Llanes was later pronounced dead.

Police have said the attack was very violent. They have said the scene was  very bloody and that Mona Rose Llanes had been beaten to death with a heavy object.

Police began their investigation as the other children gathered at the home. It was noted that Nelson Llang’s did not come to the home. Some neighbors have said there was talk of domestic violence in the home.

About 1 am a police officer noted a car parked behind a bar with a hose attached to the exhaust pipe which ran to a window of the vehicle. The man inside was unconcious.  The officer managed the rescue and it was determined that the man in the car was Nelson Llanes. He was taken to the hospital.

Police say they have not been able to talk to Nelson Llanes as yet, they do not know if the suicide attempt was a result of grief over his wife’s death or the result of guilt over something he had done. He has been charged with 2 nd degree murder.

newsday.com  newsday.com  abclocal.go.com wnbc.com

There is no way to predict who will fall victim to an incident of domestic violence. But there are warning signs.

There are hot button issues like separation, acrimonious divorce, child support, custody disputes, new relationships with others, money and property divison issues and all the other issues that can come between a couple. But quite often they are settled without violence.

But other issues  can be indicators. Previous violence in the home (either against the person or the property), mental health problems, a history of violent or criminal behaviors and stalking behaviors. Personally I see stalking behavior as a major indicator. For an already angry person it doesn’t take much to make them more angry. Even an attempt to evade the stalking can make them angrier.

Stalking is often an attempt to gain the person’s attention and maintain control. Any attention, including negative attention. Yet the stalking behaviors are the ones most likely to be ignored or at least not acted on.

The FBI has done a study on stalking and has pointed out the prevalence and dangers of stalking in domestic relationships. It is an interesting study and has tips on what should be done if stalking becomes a problem.

A Plane Ride

Emily Johnson was 8 years old. She was away on a trip with her father this weekend and was expected to be back in school on Monday. However, she did not show up at school.

About 11:30 am her mother made contact with police and told them that she feared her former husband had abducted their daughter.

Her mother has said

“She had a feeling this morning something was wrong,” “I thought he would do something to get back at Beth,”

I don’t know if she was aware of what was happening at her mother’s home. About 45 minutes before the child was reported missing, a plane hit her mother’s home.

Her mother was at home at the time, but escaped the home with no injuries. She did report the plane made a terrible noise before it hit the home. And it was only after the police arrived that she learned of the pilot’s identity.

Witnesses say the plane had just taken off from the local airport, and appeared to be starting to land when it veered off course and disappeared from sight.

It crashed into her mother’s home, leaving the front half lodged inside the home.

The pilot of the plane that hit her home was reportedly her former son-in-law Eric Johnson, 47.

Her granddaughter Emily was also on the plane. Both died in the crash.

Police say they do not have a record of previous disputes between the couple. And they say the preliminary investigation is leading

“us to believe that this was an intentional act,”

but whether this was intentional or a tragic accident will not be conclusive until the National Transportation Safety Board makes a final determination. That could take up to a year. Police say they have not found any suicide note as yet.

The plane was leased from the local airport where it had taken off from.

Pictures from the scene wishtv.com

nwitimes.com      fortwayne.com          theindychannel.com

thetimesonline.com         pal-item.com           indystar.com

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Investigators say they hope to have a preliminary report by next week. Johnson was a student pilot, and though he had soloed before he was not supposed to be transporting passenger’s.

A neighbor says that a police car was parked near Beth Johnson’s home for several weeks last summer. Family says that Johnson threatened her with a gun last summer, police say they did not have any records of the incident. Beth Johnson had taken a protective order against Eric Johnson in July of 2006, but police declined to state the reason why.

The couple had been married for 12 years. Johnson moved out of the home in the fall, under police supervision. And family says he bought a home 3 doors down from Beth Johnson. Reportedly he had wanted custody, but settled for visitation.

On Monday Beth Johnson attempted to call Johnson several times that morning, before he finally answered the telephone and he reportedly told her

“I’ve got her, and you’re not going to get her.”

Allegedly she could hear Emily in the background saying

“Mommy, come get me, come get me.”

abcnews.go.com      news.yahoo.com     indystar.com

The Protection Order

In April Alene Knight requested an order of protection against her former husband Shad Knight. That order was granted, but was reportedly withdrawn after a court challenge.

Dec. 24, Shad Knight allegedly assaulted Alene Knight and her 14 year old daughter and then left. Police were called, but he had left the home.

Dec. 25, Shad Knight returned to the home and the children let him in. Again police were called. By Dec. 26, Alene Knight was back in court to again request a restraining order and it was granted. In her request Alene Knight wrote that police had come to the home and taken pictures and had said they had enough information for an arrest, but that her former husband had left.

On Jan. 1 Shad Knight was arrested at Alene Knight’s home. It is not stated in the articles if that was a new incident or if it was related to the previous assault.  Knight was charged with 2 counts of domestic violence assault and 4 counts of domestic violence disorderly conduct. On Jan. 2 he was released on his own recognizance. In court on the charges on Jan. 26 he pleaded not guilty. He had another court appearance on Monday and was due back in court on Mar. 16.

On Wednesday night, Alene Knight and a relative had gone out and she reportedly returned home between 1:30 and 2 am.

Early Thursday morning one of Alene Knight’s neighbor’s was leaving her home at around 6:50 am. She saw Alene Knight partially slumped out of her open car door and called 911. The vehicle was still running.

The cause of death has been reported as a stabbing.  They say her three children ages 14, 11, and 4 years of age were found in the home and were not harmed. Reportedly they did not witness their mother’s death. Reportedly Alene Knight had pulled into her drive and was attacked before she even made it out of her car.

Police interviewed Shad Knight in the murder and served a search warrant had his home. He was later arrested on a charge of suspicion of 1st degree murder.

kvoa.com            tucsoncitizen.com            azstarnet.com

kold.com                  azstarnet.com                    kold.com

She went to court for a restraining order, that was given then taken away. She and her daughter were then allegedly assaulted again. No arrest, and he was back at the home the next day. Again she goes back to court for a restraining order, and it was granted.

He is then arrested at her home. And was released from jail before even 24 hours had elapsed. On his own recognizance. And with domestic violence charges still working their way through the court, she is attacked again- this time fatally.

It is so very important that if you have to take out a restraining order, that you do work with the local domestic violence shelter to work out a safety plan and that you use it. A shelter may be necessary, and is very often advisable. Keep a cell phone on you at all times, and immediately call police if you see the other partner in your vicinity.

You cannot depend on the protection order for protection. A protection order is to tell the partner they must stay away from you- but requires their cooperation to comply with it. It is however a tool that assists in prosecution if they break the order.

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Alene Knight’s daughter and her neighbors and coworkers have talked with detectives about some actions of Shad Knight that might be interpreted as stalking.

azstarnet.com

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Thanks to a tip from Diane we have an update. Shad Knight has been found guilty of the first degree murder of Carmen Alene Knight. He will be back in court on Jan. 16 for sentencing and is facing life in prison or life without parole.

azstarnet.com     tusconcitizen.com