The brutal murder of this young College Lacrosse player by her ex - boyfriend in 2010 is more than tragic - it is a cautionary tale for all young women and girls of dating ages.
Statistically,it is bears out over and over again, that the period following a break up, separation (or divorce)especially the break- up instigated by the woman, is a dangerous time for any relationship with a partner who has a history of threatening, aggressive or violent behavior.
In this case, George Huguely, the 21 year old ex beau who slammed Yeardley Love's head into a wall multiple times until she died from bruising to her brain, had a history of violence that included several assaults and a serious incident that resulted in arrest with The Virginia Police department over a physical scuffle with a female police officer, which ended with charges of resisting arrest and attacking a police officer.
This is very telling; men that are prone to physically assault women or girls often take particular umbrage to females in positions of power or control, and seeing all of this retrospectively is the true tragedy as it paints such a classic evolution, with signposts everywhere, but no one understood just how dangerous they were.
Particularly tragic in this 2010 case was the fact that many of Miss Loves team mates were apparently aware of a series of threatening emails that Hugely had sent to Yeardley in the days preceding the murder. Some were also aware of a previous attack where Heugley had choked Love at a party resulting in other men present having to physically intervene in order to pull him off of a gasping Love. This episode caused Love to break it off and return home to get distance from her clearly mercurial and dangerous ex beau. No one reported the attack to Police, campus police, School staff or Loves family.
The choking attack had occurred months prior to Love's murder and Huegley had tried in typical abuser fashion to apologize profusely and win back his now very wary ex-girlfriend. They dated on and off a short while, but soon enough another incident occurred where Heugly assaulted a boy who he heard had walked love home from a party. That assault also was never reported to campus police or police, although many students and team members were aware of it and the word was that it was an extremely brutal attack on the other young man and Heugly spent months bragging about it to anyone who would listen.
More recently, just days prior to the murder a scuffle had ensued at Huegley's apartmen between he and Love and it resulted in Yeardley's purse contents being scattered onto the floor at Huguely apartment, resulting in Huegely coming into possession of his once again ex girlfriends cellphone. A friend had to retrive the purse contents for her and yet the phone was "missing"
The common themse running throughout the tragic evolution of this crime is that there were a fair number of friends, teammates and other people in this young girl - and young man's life, that could have and indeed should have intervened - on Yeardley's behalf, perhaps preventing her brutal murder. Police, campus police, College personnel, even her Lacrosse team coach, should have all been made aware of the many instances of violence volatility and the most recent events, including the email threats.
Cyber- stalking and electronic abuse within dating relationships is a growing problem and presents a whole new set of issues for young girls and women in today's world. In this murder, the first thing that Hugely did after smashing Love's head into the wall multiple times and throwing her down on her bed, was to grab her computer which contained the threatening emails that he had been sending her.
This certainly proves that he had a clear presence of mind, he knew that she was dead and he was trying to get rid of evidence that would point to him as the suspect. He later admitted to throwing Loves computer into a dumpster where police soon retrieved it, however, Hugely emails had been "mysteriously" deleted.
This proves an even more sinister post murder clarity where this guy actually went out booted up the computer somewhere, found and deleted his emails from his just slain ex girlfriends computer.
Hugely's lawyer claimed in Court that his client didn't mean to kill Love, that it was a tragic "accident" and would have the Jury believe that Hugely didn't realize Miss Love was dead
However, all evidence disproves any depiction of Hugely as some panicked young kid who accidentally banged his ex-girlfriends head and fled. Hugely had one thing on his mind after he had just taken this girls life - and that was evading arrest and prosecution.
Police managed to procure fragments from the deleted files but not the complete emails, but Fortunately there were multiple witnesses who had seen some of the emails as Yeardley had shown them to various friends and they fortunately testified to the specific threats within the letters.
Every College should have an accessible on campus agency with a protocol for students for dealing with suspicion of dating violence, stalking and/or abusive relationships, and our young people need to be taught just how serious these symptoms are. Sadly University of Virginia learned this lesson that hardest way imaginable and a sweet loving young woman's life was violently extinguished in the process.
George Huguely, suspect in U-Va. murder case, accused of slamming Yeardley Love's head into wall during fight