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(2 more headlines) Distraught and Distracted? A Domestic Dispute (or, the economy) made them do it? These 2 men seemed Organized and Coherent (“Cool, calm & collected”) before, and after, 3 planned murders, apparently.

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Good afternoon, Plano, Texas and other visitors, I hope you are well today.  I include a headline contest below for viewers of the 2nd article.  Submit via comments.

Unfortunately, 2 (more) bleeding headlines.


(1)  California, “not a hot-blooded event”


The day before the killing, he delivered flowers and candy to her, and said they could just be friends….after a 13-year relationship

Follow up to the “distraught by economy” “domestic dispute” version of a double-homicide this week:  She was trying to end a co-habiting relationship, and, unfortunately, worked in a toll booth on a busy bridge.  When jogged up and shot her to death, there wasn’t a ready exit. Yet the first article portrayed it as a “domestic dispute,” a real knee-jerk, inappropriate phrase.  Before I could point this out in a post, Demian Bulwa of the SF Chronicle straightened us readers out in a follow-up article:  This murdering man set up the situation, and the unidentified 2nd man murdered was a friend of the girlfriend, a kind male who had given the woman a ride to work (which, did the murderer have work?  So, she goes to work, and is killed there…)

I did no follow-up research, but reading the first article, could’ve laid money, if I had some, that it was indeed a cold-blooded assassination.  Even so, the article below uses the word “rampage.”  No, the DC Sniper was a rampage.  The Columbine shootings, maybe not.  This one.  He didn’t shoot bystanders, or motorists.  He had two targets, and made them.

Folks, that’s ALSO typically how domestic violence goes.  I hope someday we “get it” that having a nice chat with someone doesn’t mean a lot, even when it’s daily for years, in these matters.  Do we just not KNOW each other, and know how to assess character any more?  Or characterize an incident after character just showed up, with a loaded gun (and apparently — below, a knife too).  


Bridge killer set up slayings, prosecutor says

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, August 13, 2009

08-13) 13:51 PDT RICHMOND— Nathaniel Burris, the man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and her male friend at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza, set up the rampage {sic} by slashing a tire on the man’s pickup truck so he could blast {kill.  the object was to kill.  The decibel level was not the main point} him with a shotgun as the victim waited for a tow service, a prosecutor said today.

(selections from the article):

The pickup truck belonged to 58-year-old Ersie Everette III of San Leandro, but was driven to the toll plaza Tuesday afternoon by Burris’s ex-girlfriend, Deborah Ross, a toll taker, said Contra Costa County prosecutor Hal Jewett.

Everette arrived later, having been dropped off by a co-worker after getting off his shift as a Golden Gate Transit bus driver, his family said.

Jewett said Burris, 46, punctured a tire on the truck, apparently with a knife, before Everette showed up, then hid where he could watch Everette though a pair of binoculars.

When Everette arrived and saw the damage, he called AAA for help, Jewett said. He was still waiting at 5:30 p.m when Burris approached and shot him once from close range, the prosecutor said.

{{I am so sorry that this individual, it appears did not suspect that his truck might have been chosen for a reason, rather than say, random violence.  Or that some other solution could’ve been had for fixing the tire.  There are down-sides sometimes to NOT being on alert.}}

According to police, Burris then jogged across traffic lanes to Ross’ toll booth and shot her several times before fleeing in a van that belonged to his employer, an airport shuttle company. He was arrested early Wednesday after he was spotted in the van on Interstate 80 in Placer County.

{{Can we deduce this man, driving for an airport shuttle company, did not have a criminal record?}}

Characterizing this crime as a tragedy is an understatement, particularly with the calculated and deliberate way he committed these crimes,” said Jewett, who heads his office’s homicide unit. “This was not a hot-blooded event but a cold-blooded series of killings, and we think the charges reflect that.

Ross, 51, and Burris were in a relationship for 13 years before she broke up with him just before the killings, Ross’ relatives said.  {{how much “just before”?}

The day before the shootings, Burris delivered flowers and candy to her in the Richmond townhouse a mile east of the toll plaza that they had shared, and said they could remain friends, Ross’ relatives said.

{{Just be friends after that long a relationship?  In general, don’t you believe that, ladies!  Well — are you SURE you know that guy?  If you were so sure, how come after years, the answer is, separate?}}{{and I do NOT know if tying the knot would make a difference or not.  At this point, I just do not.}}

{{Flowers and candy — if these aren’t normal, consider it a red flag?}}

Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French, a department spokeswoman, said it is not clear whether Ross was romantically involved with Everette.

{{Whether he was or not, he was probably perceived as such.  As helping her.  1. He was male, and 2.  he helped her.}}

Everette’s relatives said today that he and Ross had been engaged and had talked of marriage.

{{wait a minute — she broke up with him JUST before the killings, yet was ready to marry someone else, perhaps?  Although the two that were living together did NOT get married. . . .  That must’ve upset Burris….}}

Ross’ relatives, though, said the two had merely been friends from an Oakland church where Everette was a deacon.

{{Probably she shared about some of her troubles with Burris?  Was Burris going there too?  Was there a history of violence, or etc.  Were there really no indicators, or were people just not alert?}}

One of Ross’ sisters, Jane Walker of Oakland, said she was shocked to hear of the new allegations involving Burris.

“Oh my God, that’s scary to think that you can know someone all these years, and that they would plot and plan something like that,” she said. “He deserves whatever they give him. He’s not the person I thought I knew, and I’ll never forgive him.”

{{If my own family had similar sentiments, after I filed a domestic violence restraining order with kickout, I would not be here writing this blog.  We’d probably both — he, and me — have moved on in life without further escalations, child-stealing, fights around child support, and all that.  PROBABLY.  I tell you one thing that would probably be different.  I’d still be working in my profession, and have the children here.  But my own family, like MANY families, didn’t “get” the reality of the relationship}}{{Sorry, in their pain about their sister, but the thought comes to mind that NOW they are aware….}}{{What is the lesson here?  All that glitters is not gold?  People are not what they seem to be?  Nice guys can turn violent — or have criminal thoughts and act on them?}}


Burris is expected to be arraigned in a Martinez courtroom as soon as Friday morning. He is being held without bail at Contra Costa County Jail, where he declined a request for an interview today. Richmond police brought Burris back from Placer County on Wednesday evening.

The shotgun used in the killings was found in bushes under a window at the home of Burris’ mother, authorities said. Ross’ relatives said the mother lives in Sacramento. Efforts to reach her have been unsuccessful.


Read more:http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/13/BAHO1982PG.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0O6stJgMK

(2) Pennsylvania, I think

I’m running a contest for the most appropriate,

subject line for this article.  Submit in comments.

Non-sarcastic entries will be summarily dismissed

as utterly inappropriate:

Murder suspect wants to place kids

By Liz Zemba, For The Valley Independent Wednesday, August 12, 2009


A Fayette County man accused of running over over his wife with his car and killing her wants his parents to have legal custody of two of his children.


>>>YES, they did a good job raising this man, and would be great prospects for raising the children of the woman he murdered.  There are no other decent, mature adults around with terrific track records of children they raised, who wouldn’t be tempted to backpedal (or have a conflict of interest) on the issue that, their Dad killed their Mom, but was really a nice guy at heart. Which is going to be something, an issue, those children will have to deal with.  

>>>By the way one reason I didn’t post yesterday (other than aftershock off the tollbooth shooting, and other work) another case came up of a woman being recalled from iceland over a custody battle with a U.S. father.  Hoping to find out more about that situation, I ran across a “cold case” (so to speak) from the 1990s, in which two Mormon parents snatched their daughters baby and took off to Iceland.  (Hanes/Shelton/Zenith). This had uncomfortable reminders, as in my case, when family members get a certain opinion of a certain generation, and decide they’re better parents than others.  Add to the mix, the poor Mormon grandmother was on her 6th husband couldn’t conceive, and tried to persuade her own daughter to donate some eggs.  Maybe I’ll post that one — it has a runway snatch, shows how CHURCH folk often protect their own (case in point, when my kids were stolen, more than one church group appears to have helped try to sanitize the situation).<<

In addition, Ronald Lee Higinbotham wants the cousins of a third adopted child to have custody of that youngster.


Can we “just say no” when the guy has, allegedly, just killed a woman, intentionally, with a car???  How far does co-parenting (only she’s dead) and “Fathers, get involved with your children” GO?  How about setting a little standard.  I PERSONALLY think that if a man can’t stop hitting his wife, he should lose access to his kids, and stop sugarcoating it.  I didn’t think this 7-8-9 years ago, but now in retrospect, it would save society a lot of grief (and grief counselor social services).  Can we at least say:  “IF YOU MURDER YOUR WIFE, YOU’RE OUT OF THE PICTURE, THIS IS JUST “OVER THE TOP, out in left field, WAY out of line:  GOT IT?”  You want to murder her, and then participate in some decision-making process about your kids?  No!!!  Not only will we not follow your suggestions, we are not interested in them.  Someone who hasn’t murdered recently, or been accused of it, will make decisions regarding your children.  I know we aren’t all perfectly insightful, but I suspect you likely aren’t at this point, OK?

Then maybe the next person who had a domestic dispute, or felt a sense of loss when she left, or it was the economy — (or maybe it was overentitled narcissism? ???  In action?  Or, maybe misogyny, I mean we had a single man elsewhere just walk in a gym and start spraying bullets at women — not men —  hitting some and killing them….. to assuage his feelings of rejection.  Until he also killed himself…)

So, it’s  – – – No, No — you kill your wife, you lose custody privileges.  TIME OUT!!!   It’s called a deterrent to the next asshole.  (Am I allowed to call someone who (allegedly) ran over his wife and killed her with a car a bad name?  If he’s innocent, then I retract the appellation.  If not, then I don’t. ) 

Has this yet been tried, consistently, across the board, across the nation?  YOu kill the woman, you lose visitation privileges AND any whiff of joint legal custody.  What, is the man now suddenly (how suddenly?) repentant and “concerned” for his kids?  Was killing the wife part of how he expressed concern for his kids?

Has anyone posed these questions at a conference of experts yet?  I know Jack Straton of Nomas did in 1992 re Supervised Visitation.  Was he not on the list in the ones deciding these things?  He had a Ph.D., isn’t that an entrance requirement? (or, MFT, or being in law enforcement, or Esq., etc.)  

This culture is expert at turning its backs on and shunning mothers trying to leave, particularly women from communities that base a lot of emphasis on families (as mine did, although I had a leg in the professional world, which I FOUGHT to keep in there).  I mean, as I’ve pointed out before, the white house was real good at shunning the word “mother” and “motherhood” from its game plan (except in the context of home visitation nurses, or getting the kids back to Early Head Start and Mom back to school).  LOOK:  just TRY it, try turning the  back on men that murder — at least for a LITTLE while.  Give them some alone time to think about what just happened.

Higinbotham, 44, of Brownsville, is charged by state police with criminal homicide in the hit-and-run death of his wife, 30-year-old Carmen Higinbotham.


LADIES:  I can be wrong, but I recommended (based on some headlines that keep popping up in this topic) sticking to men within 10 years of you.  It’s not a guarantee, but it MIGHT be a deterrent to being used as a baby-maker. I know prime time is prime time (apparently she was 21 for the first daughter by him, and he? had previous children too).  But, in the U.S., there should be other situations you can help develop yourself in, for the kids’ sakes.

In a criminal complaint, state police allege Higinbotham drove his 2000 Hyundai Tiburon over his wife shortly before midnight June 20 on Route 40 near 7235 National Pike, then left her to die.


Not just into, but over.  Not his “estranged” wife, but his wife.

Yes, I think every one should trust this man’s judgment and follow his suggestions about the disposition of offspring. That way they won’t lose touch with the man who murdered their Mom, or at least people related to him.  AND anyone, well, who put adopted children into his care.

Carmen Higinbotham was the mother of six children, including two of her own, two stepchildren and two who were adopted.

According to separate civil actions scheduled to be presented in Fayette County motions court today, Ron Higinbotham is the natural father of two of the children – a 9-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. He is the adoptive father of a third child, identified as a 15-year-old boy.

The two younger children are staying in West Brownsville with Ron Higinbotham’s parents, Patricia Ann and Donald Lee Higinbotham Sr., according to one of the filings.

In a separate civil action, Higinbotham wants a judge to grant custody of the adopted 15-year-old boy to the boy’s cousins. The boy’s cousins, Eric W. and Maxine R. Rosie, of Smithfield, already are caring for the teen, according to the civil filing.

Attached to both filings are custody agreements, both of which have been agreed to and signed by Ron Higinbotham.


He sounds very coherent and organized for someone who did such a deed.  I wonder if he got help from a “healthy marriage promoting responsible fatherhood” funding, or whether he will get help from “mentoring children of prisoners” programs either to encourage father/daughter/son contact in accord with our national policy that the TRUE social crisis of our time is “fatherlessness.”


Well, this is part of its face, and part of how SOME fatherlessness gets started.

He remains lodged in the Fayette County Prison without bond. {That’s reassuring, for now}.  He faces a preliminary hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 28 before South Union Township District Judge Joseph George Jr.


{{I’m just a little speechless on how to summarize this one…. Help, readers…Analyze, comment, suggest: how could that question even come up?}}{{well, he has a right to file whatever civil action he wants to.  Just sounds real organized there, real together, or real, he got some help in that matter.  So how come women can’t get help on child support enforcement against a former ex, under current policy, if he falls into the “Father’s Return” policy target audience, eh?  90% of the “help” evaporates once a case gets into family law, and believe me, the word is out on that one.

I would’ve been SO much better not looking for help, at all, and just enrolling immediately in some law courses, while working, with children in the household, rebuilding a business, trying to establish boundaries, newer, healthier relationships, advocate for my daughters’ educations, after they’d been forced back into inferior situations (by this same persion) and healing from all that prior abuse.  I should’ve been sitting in a legal classroom rather than calling nonprofits, agencies, and so forth, the people assigned to take care of these situations.  Of course I’d have to do this during school hours while I was working, because women that work when are looked down upon in this venue for not being a homemaker.  They are also looked down upon for BEING homemakers, a situation that often puts them in need of child support, and vulnerable to secret bargaining with the access/visitation-mongers.

I made another serious mistake during a brief period of a single, evening job, duration about 2-3 hours, when both children were teens.  I said to my daughter, go ahead, go with your friend to her youth group.  BIG mistake.  Churches might as well have a target on the outside for stalkers and as a source of great, submissive, and needy 2nd wives, or people that will help such people down the road apiece in their quests.

That was SUCH a brief time, and it quite backfired for my situation. God bless the churches in this matter – — they are real faithful to those who come through the front doors, and real watchful also, to safeguard their flock from within and without (like the churches I was in while being battered at home those years).


After the emotions surrounding the latest femicide, homicide, aghast, we didn’t know, surprise, shock, grief, etc. (if there’s still some lost in the public bloodstream/ psyche), THEN what.  What action to take?  What insight to gain.  What policies to question.  What prevsiou assumptions to question about who you know how well?  Any – – – or none?  What’s the bottom line.


Here’s what the Bible says.  Of making many books there is no end, much study is weariness of the flesh.  Hear the words from a wise masterbuilder:  

Fear God, and keep his commandments:  this is the whole (duty) of man.

Ecclesiastes 12, end of the book.


From the mouth of Solomon son of David, whose father set the way for him to build the temple, lived a lavish life, possibly leaving descendants (more than possibly) in Ethiopia, had no end of women (wive and concubines both), even with all that concluded “vanity of vanity, all is vanity” and in the end helped burden and take down his kingdom, in great part through burdensome debt.  

He then had a son, Barack (EXCUSE me, Rehoboam), who when cautioned to ease up on the federal spending said, listened to his younger, progressive, utopia-minded advisors and retorted, “you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet, we will stimulate yet more economy” and under whose realm the kingdom split, possibly because of this.  Or because (it’s said) of all the other gods all those wives, making allegiances with other kingdoms, brought in.

It’s possible I have the facts (and probably I have the quote) quite wrong:  feel free to look them up, almost any version,or language, at 



“The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, given from one shepherd.  And further, by these, my son, be admonished:  of making many books, there is no end; and much study [including blogging] is weariness of the flesh.  Let us hear the conclusion of the matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments for this is the whole of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good, or whether evil.


I’ve been in the legal system now almost 10 years.  One  thing I have noticed — there are very, very few situations that don’t correlate to situations already described in the Bible, if you understand principle, the heart of the matter.  Our culture is in many ways as polygamous as any other, and as sexist.  There is still war, there is still poverty, there are still many gods, and there is still no utopia.  

BUT – – –  BUT – – — in looking at the 10 Commandments (Exodus or Deuteronomy), nearly every one of them has a correlative in some criminal law, except the sabbath.  There is no law about adultery, that I know of, but men still kill when they feel cheated on, so I’d say that’s a caveat.  This is not related to whether or not they themselves may or may not be cheating.

AND, moreover, a person who does not believe there is a God, or there will be a judgment and that their secret places are going to remain secret – — who really, really doesn’t think that someone will find out, or if through cleverness, deceit, immunity, or simply accumulating cronies, and power — criminal behavior won’t be caught — that person is dangerous.  

Thou shalt not kill (any complaints with this one?)

Thou shalt not bear false witness (any complaints with that one?)

The two outside ones:  Thou shalt have no other gods before me –and thou shalt not covet — are probably the hardest.  

The Catholics get around the 2nd one, no graven images, by omitting it, and then patching up the 10th one to come up with 10 total.  I saw this engraved in stone, and thought it was an anomaly, til I heard George Carlin’s version of the 10.  (If anyone has a video link please SEND it!) 

Honor thy father AND thy mother — well family law just shot that one to hell.  …… in the name of “co-parenting” we will ignore the behavior of one parent and reward the other.  . . . OK. . . . . . .  


Is it really that complicated?

$2.4 million for designer families in California, and cut the shelter money (but not the money to the DV coalitions nationwide).

I found out yesterday that of that $2.4 million, it was taken from TANF funds.  Go figure!

Oh, and that about $2 million was going to a Poverty Court for the homeless in SF, rather than, say housing.  They have holding cells though (see “poormagazine.com”), for homeless people who are being a nuisance and committing crimes or misdemeanors.  This should of course be a blog.

We are supposed to have as a nation a degree of self-discipline and self-control.  To encourage that, we are so confused about religion in the public schools, we supposedly eliminate this.  Then put back in Character Education to replace it.  The 10 Commandments are thrown out of a courthouse (after a lot of arguing), but the faith-based groups have a welcome home when it comes to both making and enabling policies.

Whatever happened to inalienable rights, and let us figure the rest out, for example how to get up, sit down, go out, come back, and raise our kids?  If we break a law, then punishment, if we don’t, then none.  

Although I did vote, and did catch a good deal of the last Presidential Election, I have not had a reprieve from “family court matters” yet.  I did, however, notice the Messianic promises of our current president (for whom, by the way, I voted.  And by whom, presently, as a former single “female-headed, father-absent” household, I feel betrayed.  I did not expect this person to confuse his background with the background of women who left because of violence and don’t feel like re-engaging.

For one, we also don’t, some of us, want to end up like the woman on the road above, or the woman in the tollbooth.  We don’t want our children to be emotional OR literal orphans as to their mothers.  WHAT is so hard to understand about that, National Fatherhood Initiative (and your nonprofit, governmental-agency offspring)? And why is the OVW (Office of Violence Against Women) curtsying towards this movement, as I last heard in an NCADV policy alert about funds to shelters being cut — a high-ranking woman in the office visited President Obama’s Town Hall on Fatherhood.  Take a stand with the rest of us and stop giving an audience to doctrines that get women killed.  Stop talking about “preventing” violence and do the right thing once it happens – – stop TALKING about accountability and let’s say that killing and beating and stalking and all this really IS wrong.


And let’s get that message into the family law system, or get the people running the place out of their offices and make them spend a few days in a shelter, or in a soup line, and ask women there how they got homeless. (The former was done, at least an overnight, once in NYS, I heard). OR, let’s get the homeless and others from the shelters (not just a single, sanitized spokesperson, or maybe two) and see what they look like, into these conferences — EVERY one of them — on what to do about all the poor folk.  We will personally explain (without threats) what we think of all this, and about being threatened ty the system after we have been threatened by individuals for thinking that we can think, and THINKING that it would be better to totally separate the batterer — not the reporter — from minor children for a least a very significant season, and too bad if this is sad for him, he should’ve thought before lashing out with kids around.  Or without them.

A recent joke (well, not that recent) going around a certain county, where they help people who lack food EAT, that the county was seeking volunteers to count the homeless.  They felt that this count might be better done by a few of them (and for pay, too).  

While I realize that there’s not an identified presence in any system for Burris, or that I know of for the other person here, I still say, let’s re-route some of those diverted funds that discuss “what to do” into “doing.”  For example, a year ago, I would’ve been content with a SINGLE (let alone 3 in a row) unemployment checks.  All I wanted then was phone and internet sufficient to keep going in a business I was already jumpstarted.  Years of living so marginalized through this system (NOT “the economy, I guarantee you in this case”) and with total chaos in relationships made building anything much up (with weekly visitations, any one causing an incident?) a moot point.

To “solve” this I now have no access to either child and am expected to buck up and do it again, and forget that for the past many years, each successive time I did so, it escalated and was stopped.  What was that, family entertainment?  

(end of whine).

The question is not, is the topic getting national attention.  It is.  The question is, what use is being made of all the funds that follow the loudest, or best connected, speakers?  A nation of non-investigating sheep is going to get sheared.  Then complain about the cold.  Complaining about the cold doesn’t make it much warmer.  Find out who are the sheep-shearers, and take the scissors.



And your local county business offices, etc.

Cross-check data between the two databases (which ain’t easy; yesterday I saw a missing $2.342 million in one state, marriage funding, from one database, different recipient names, one listing of programs is by program number, the other alphabetical by program name, but done inconsistently.  The years covered are not the same.  A program which receives MILLIONS in funding, and has for many, many years is not searchable in one.  The other one, you can search awards by number, but not get a description, however it appears to have more spreadsheet type functions, the other alllows one to sort on many more fields, but not total reports, etc.

(that’s only a start)





Until you have talked to a law enforcement officer, with guns, holding the immediate future or your children in (his) authority, realized he knows who has custody, and watch him and his friends turn down your requests to honor this, and thereafter ask a district attorney to do th esame thing:  Honor and existing custody order and file a report to get them back — it’s just something, that’s all.


And then just watch how aggressive and persistent the follow-up is when it’s serve and collect vs. serve and protect, same area.  Who were all those laws for, exactly?  ??  And why can’t our country do a little better than a single abusive family system did the prior decade?  Or better than a few religious institutions, in this single matter, single case.


Ah well, of making many books . . . . . . 

Don’t forget the headline contest, though….




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