Oct 31, 2012

Ex Cop from Long Beach Gets over Ten Years for Assaulting Wife

Finally, we hear about a domestic violence case that actually rendered a verdict that was relatively on par with the crimes that were committed against this victim!

And let's remind ourselves that words like "case" and even " victim"  have a way of dehumanizing the entire realty of what has happened to our fellow human beings within these crimes, The word victim and case puts distance between the people who have found themselves either enmeshed in an abusive relationship or on the receiving end of a fatal or a one time near fatal assault, such as we read about every single day in our newspapers and view on the news.  The numbers of Victims that fall prey to dating and domestic violence are growing rather than ebbing as we imagine in the case would be in a increasingly aware society.

The "victims"  are  people like your sister, your daughter, your mother, your aunts, your friends, your neighbor, your co-workers and people that you run into throughout every- day lie.

 Victims of battering could be anyone; the nurse at your Doctors office, your Doctor herself ( statistically much greater chance (if she is a female doctor of course) your real estate agent, the cashier at your supermarket or the kind but sad seeming lady that works the counter at your corner coffee shop.

We are all around you.  We are you.

Official statistics bear out that one in four women will be the victim of partner, dating or domestic violence in their lifetime. This is the " official statistic" However anyone and everyone involved on any level with domestic and dating violence knows that these numbers are in fact much higher

.My most  modest estimate is that one in three women experiences intimate violence in one form or another at least one in her lifetime and typically more than once.  This is not some haphazard guess. It is based upon  conversations and interviews with thousands upon thousands of  women and girls as well  hundreds of exchanges with professorial;  advocates activists, those people entrusted with conducting studies involving  intimate violence/domestic violence in this country.

And when you add into the equation the fact that any women do not realize that they have been in or are in fact being abused. The percentage of women who are actually abused in this country only  becomes greater and thus more tragic.   This is true particularly with young women and girls;

Relationships was fraught with jealousy  insecurity and possessiveness  and like many young girls  mistake lower level violent incidents for intensity love or passion. Unfortunately and often tragically, the average teenage girl who is embroiled  in similar relationships also tells no one. They do not confide in others about the abuse, especially with adults. If they do share about it, it will likely be with peers or one particular friend.

These girls often feel ashamed, as if they caused the violence or the threats or the rage fueled fits.

In fact, many times, the young girls are told that they are at fault for the violence by the boy or young man that is committing the abuse or threats, and in our teenage years and even early twenty's  the maturity and awareness re abuse is not yet where we need it to be..

An example of abuse that might not be immediately recognized as such is a boyfriend or partner blocking his girlfriends exit from a room perhaps as she tries to walk away from an argument, or simply him.

This is a telltale sign of a controlling persona and the possibility of abuse is fermenting, a partner blocking that doorway -this is a man or boy already in the grips of acting out issues of power and control over women, or as the case is becoming more and more common -  teenage girls - and even pre-teens, as dating becomes more common at younger ages in this country, possibly due to social media and access to adult movies and  media in general. The fact  is becoming more and more difficult to censor our teens and tweens from television movies and  books via kindle that portray love in inaccurate and unhealthy ways inter dispersed with possessiveness jealousy and physically abusive leading men,it is no wonder our young people are unsure of what love dating and intimacy are supposed to look like.

 The "cases"  that we read about and hear about over and over every single week are comprised of physical beatings brutality and terror :Most commonly in partner violence the victim receives blows to their face and  heads - facial and head injuries are the the most common emergency room injuries for female victims of violence.   Traumatic brain injuries are a staple in the life of almost every woman who has been in an abusive relationship. Many times women aren't even aware of the symptoms that the repeated blows to her head and face have caused her or that the root of these serious symptoms are traumatic brain injury.

In domestic and intimate violence that results in murder, 62 percent die as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and or face. Another large percentage die of strangulation also known as choking.

And as the attacks including choking, blows to the face and/ or head continue, too often does injury to the vital brain,  the epicenter of our body, as well as the one organ that can truly be considered our identity, after all, our brain determines who we are.  Thus, when it is injured through attacks during partner violence, many women will experience Traumatic Brain Injuries, (once called concussions) and  anoxia  (deprivation of oxygen to the brain) anoxia  by both TBI and choking will cause permanent cell death in areas of the brain, this cell death is called ischemia and can cause many serious cognitive and central nervous system issues ..


Oct 24, 2012

Teen brothers held in 12 year old Autumn Pasquale's death

I have followed the story of Autumn Pasquale's disappearance since last Saturday. I prayed that she would miraculously be found alive, but  knowing that statistics were not in our favor, praying none the less.

There are no adequate words to describe the senseless brutality apparantly committed by two teenage boys ages 15 and 17 who have just been charged  in 12 year old Autumn Pasquale's murder.

The boys were reportedly tracked with the help of comments made on a Facebook page, dedicated to Autumn's disappearance, and subsequently her unsolved murder:.Autumns little body was discovered in a covered recycling bin that was left out on the curb with all of the other homes bins on garbage and recycle day pick-up in Autumnsjust blocks from her home in the small residential Town of          in New Jersey.  The entire nieghborhood has been grieving this childs dissapearence and  when her body was discovered, her callous murder. The mourning and pain however is boundless and  not limited by any geographic lines. Here in Connecticut I know that every

The two teens whose names remain anonymous due to their underage status were Neighbors of The Pasquale family and both were known to steal bicycles in the past as well the house was known as a teenage hangout with a good deal of what appeared to be parties and teenagers gatherings.

Ppreliminary reports are stating that the girl was killed in order to steal her BMX bicycle. The younger  brother was charged with luring  in addiction to the first degree murder charge that he and his older brother now face.  There has been talk that the boys might be charges as adults but there has been no confirmation of this by the States Attorney's office handling the case.

There appears to have been no sexual assault, thank god, at this juncture, but authorities have stated that it is not definitive until a full autopsy and tests are completed. Little Autumn died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. My heart is so filled with sadness and anger, There seems to be a never ending succession of child predation and violence against women in the past 8 months. Instead of getting better it would only seem that the evil people that perpetuate this kind of brutality are growing steadily.The horror behind the premeditated act of disposing of  victims of such violence is as or more disturbing, for this shows an utter disregard for any sign of remorse or a glint of respect for the fact that a human being was simply snuffed out of existence and then the evidence disposed of.

 I cannot come to grips with the mentality and mindset that accompanies despicable acts of this nature, especially to a child.

God bless Autumn Pasquales family and friends, may she rest in Gods arms eternally.

Teen brothers held in New Jersey girl's death - CNN.com

Oct 22, 2012

Annual " Love Walk" honors "Domestic Violence Awareness Month"

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is sponsoring the - now Annual - Love.Walk 
Sunday October 27th 2012 in: the Bronx, New York, Please visit the website for details and take part in Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Oct 12, 2012

Petit family murderer Steven Hayes says he wants to waive appeals and proceed to his execution

This could have been something that truly helped Dr. Petit and his family, as well as the still grieving community, had the request been bonafide and made for the right reasons.

But, once again the a typical sociopath's manipulation is clearly woven into Steven Hayes professed desire to be given his death sentence, sans the ludicrous appeals process that is literally built into every death Penalty sentence - prospectively that is. ( I won't even go there right now )

Steven Hayes makes it clear from the start that his intention to "waive appeals" in order to be given his death sentence, is a decision not based upon remorse or a self imposed justice, but rather his focus is on himself throughout the entire content of his letter to the Courant.

As different as they seem, like Joshua Komisarjevsky,  Steven Hayes has anti-social personality disorder, aka  he is a sociopath. There are drastic gradient differences in sub-types and their personality traits can vary quite a bit, but the underlying obsession with self and their inability to feel appropriate empathy or remorse- these are these qualities are what make a sociopath a sociopath.

One would imagine that having raped and strangled Jennifer Petit who had complied with all of his demands throughout the kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault as well his part in the arson murder of
the two young daughters this this would be at the nucleus of Mr Hayes wish to die.

Unfortunately it is not.

Hayes makes it clear from the onset of this letter that he is bitter and angry at the prison system for their alleged mistreatment of him while he has been incarcerated.

Hayes didn't make his claims of abuse as an aside but rather the sole reasoning for his wish to take his death sentence.  In doing so Steven Hayes entirely negated the sentence portion of the entire issue and in this he negates his responsibility culpability for these crimes.
As a people, and a society we want to see remorse we hope and yearn for it. It is in our fabric.

While it doesn't set things right, it makes us feel better.  Thus there is this perpetual desire and hope that even the most horrendous of murderers will come to feel some remorse over taking another life especially when children are involved. This helps us make sense of something that is so aberrant to us to begin with. The aberence itself has already causes a huge amount of collective pain.

Most of us simply cannot wrap our head around nor fathom any human being harming another so savagely and with seemingly little to no regret, as was illustrated when these men reportedly ran out of the burning Petit home laughing.

The laughter haunted us.

I remember when I first read a Cheshire Police-man's account of how he had watched from the bushes as the men ran out of the Petit home laughing  and jumped into the Petit family car to make their attempted but thwarted escape

The home invasion itself,  the predation, the brutal assault, the kidnappings sexual assaults and murders were already so very painful to consider. Yet we owed it to the victims not to close our eyes and cover our ears - this happened to their lives and the lives of every one who loved or knew them.

Two men  just set this family's home on fire, gas poured on a mother who lay strangled to death at their hands. Her two daughters were still alive, terrified, doused in gasoline tied to their beds. It couldn't be a more terrifying scenario.

The laughter between the men showed all of us that these men were not under duress and/or panicked
as they claimed during or after these horrible crimes. Rather the despicable laughter showed a mocking and a self satisfaction akin to giving each other the high five after murdering an innocent family!

Their laughter proved beyond any doubt not only full intention, but indeed a glee and a self satisfaction with their just executed murderous spree.

This  was just too much evil too comprehend for any of us, and it haunts me to this very day as I know it haunts thousands of others across the globe.

So when I saw that Steven Hayes, the man who has assaulted and strangled Jennifer Hawke- Petit in July 2007,was volunteering to bypass all of the built in obstacles to his death sentence -and seemingly " get on with it"  so to speak, I naturally felt a relief, a reflexive hopefulness that perhaps he'd had time to think about the horror of his actions and realized the depth and breadth of the pain that he had caused - not only to his victims and their family but so many others who were and still remain deeply pained and traumatized by his and his accomplices actions.

But as I scanned excerpts from Hayes letter to the Hartford Courant today I immediately saw that this was
actually narcissism at its finest' THEY are treating ME so badly, they are making me just want to die rather than continue living like this!"

 I wasn't surprised by the self absorption of the letter and indeed what turned out to be a giant complaintive lament/ bid for attention. The persecutory view and self victimization are hallmarks of Sociopaths and Narcissists alike. But still, still  I found myself, a  seasoned armchair forensic psychiatrist, who knew better, vividly disappointed and disgusted all at once.  There was just so much at stake.

A true conscientious request to have ones own death sentence carried out due to spiritual or emotional epiphany, a" better late than never" conscience by even one of these two murderers, would have healed and possibly even restored something in all of us so familiar with this crime. It is that inexplicable desire to make human, even the least human among us, despite our wariness, we still long for it. I know I was drawn in and I'm an old hand at this sort of thing.

And on top of it all adding insult to injury, we had to hear the obligatory Public Defenders office apologists/ advocates with their official take on Hayes's letter: 

The" plight" of men in solitary confinement, the subsequent natural suicidal ideations due to cruel and unusual  prison conditions yadda ya, all thrown in for good measure.

These are men who have raped children, shot and raped elderly women, murdered, maimed and willfully and wantonly destroyed innocent life. And yet our official spokesmen for the most treacherous killers in our state were, as always, ready at the gate to feel Steven Hayes' pain.

Who spoke for the victims pain, for the entire extended Petit family's pain? For the thousands of us who didn't need to know Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela to experience a tremendous sense of pain, regret and trauma for what they endured - because two career felons given early release parole by this state, were intent upon fulfilling their own sick desire for a fleeting sense of power and control over others?

Others that they perceived as having it better than them.

And as is too often the case, no one weighed in from the States victims advocates office or head State's Attorney's  office. Key issues such as early release parole and the death penalty repeal in all of it's supposed prospective glory - none of this was touched upon - not a word.

The argument can be made that perhaps the official proponents for victims didn't wish to give Hayes's  letter any more credence and attention than it had already received. Or...perhaps they weren't asked. Niether of these reasons passes muster with me. because the bottom line was that the result was that as per usual, the voice for the victims, the human beings who are the embodiment of these violent crimes, was once again glaringly absent ; Another opportunity missed to address the core issue's that Steven Hayes's letter presented to the judicial system the victims and the people of this state.

And.as a final insult, the reader had to wade through what  has become the Connecticut Public defender's and liberal legislator's obligatory Michael Ross reference, ie " pulling a Michael Ross"  a common refrain with  that stops a hair short of making a canonized martyr of the worst serial killer of women and children that our state has ever seen.

Article in the Courant re letter