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Archive for October 2009

Linus, MN — derailing the DV conversation, again. How dare they!

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It was misfortune, it fell down from the sky, accidentally, 2 days after an irate man with a fourteen-year history of violence was released from jail after the 48th DV call.  Now, let’s not talk about that bail, let’s talk about HER losing the battle, oh well.


Perhaps because restraining orders aren’t bullet-proof, I just have a hunch.  They equipped her with PAPER, and let him out of jail.  Now, oh dear, she lost the batttle. . . . . . PERHAPS we should look at the strategists this time, not the foot soldiers.


Police: Murder-suicide victim did ‘everything she could’ to protect herself



LINO LAKES, Minn. — It seems there’s never a typical neighborhood, and there’s never a typical victim when it comes to domestic violence. 


TRUE, but there are typical policies when dealing with it.  See if you catch one, below….

Friends say that’s definitely true of 48-year-old Pamela Taschuk, a woman they say was “vibrant.” 

“She was upbeat. She was moving forward with her life, whatever the circumstances. And that was consistent with the way she did everything. She always had a sort of upbeat, vibrant attitude and just brought a spark of life whereever she was at,” said Jeffrey Schulz, who worked with Taschuk at BlueSky Online Charter School. 

On Thursday night, Taschuk was killed (*) in her Lino Lakes home in what police believe was the final act of a long history of domestic abuse(**). 

(**) Did police call it domestic “abuse” or domestic “violence,” which is more accurate?….  “Violence” sounds like “vile” which it is.  “Abuse” well, it’s just a little softer sounding.  

I have an idea why it’s called “abuse” in Minnesota (as well as other places).   One is called Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs and the other is called the Domestic Abuse Project.  

(*) (2nd in order becuase I didn’t notice this first time through) . . . .   Taschuk was killed.   Well, ain’t THAT a little evasive.  What happened to the whoDUNit?  Of course, the story then gets to it:

Police say Pam’s husband, 51-year-old Allen Taschuk, dropped their 16-year-old son off at a nearby gas station. Taschuk then returned home, police said, and killed Pam with a single gunshot wound. He called 911 to request someone pick up his son before turning the gun onto himself. 

Officials say the case is both tragic and ironic — prosecutors say Pamela had met with them the very day she was killed. {{See later in story — she ALSO, the same day, attended a DV support group. I’ll get to this (one thing at a time. . . . but here it is:  “Moore says Pam was even at a support group just minutes before her murder.”}}

ONE thing that seems obvious to me — her support group was near the home — “just minutes” away.  She hadn’t left the family home.  Maybe the support group, in light of this, might speak to their organizers and consider recommending that women take an IMMEDIATE precautionary and SWIFT location-change.  And then let the prosecutors communicate with her, via fax, phone, mail, or from another prosecutor’s office, if necessary, perhaps?

“She was doing everything she could do to help us have a successful case,” said Paul Young with the Anoka County Attorney’s Office.

(Although 14 years after the assaults had begun — and I’m not faulting the woman, but I think perhaps this is a word to the wise for those women who may have access to internet and not wish the same fate….There is an element of gambling in these processes….  I don’t like gambling with the stakes being human lives, especially Mom/Dad parent lives  . . . Anyhow . . . . .}}

Someone pressed charges after he beat her:

Pam’s battle against her domestic abuse spanned more than a decade.

Wow,  A husband beating a wife just got gender-neutraled.  For that, see this: The Grammar of Male Violence

{{I’m quoting a radical feminist publication, so therefore by association I must be a radical feminazi and lesbian, right?}}

Well, is that relevant to whether or not there is more than one way to describe a situation on which the details were known?  For example, where is the culprit in that decade?  Who was hitting WHOM just got deleted.  If she’d been hitting him, do you think the news media would have omitted this?  (and the answer is probably No.  On the 2nd part, but it’s going more towards the feminazi, if this will help save lives, than away from it, if moderation will not.  I don’t think violence towards women is a moderate act that should elicit a moderate response on the part of friends, neighbors, clergy, or law enforcement.  And friends should examine themselves, as should immediate family, in these matters.  Which, admittedly, ain’t always easy or comfortable.

Finally, BOTH of them are now permanently deleted, by bullets.  And yet the descriptors remains (as reported by police, or at least these reporters), when HE assaulted HER, it comes out as HER battling “domestic abuse.”  Because it takes two to tango, and she’s tangleed up in this sentence, I will presume that an aggressive male who eventually shot his 2nd wife, leaving his children fatherless, and stepmotherless (where is previous wife, or their mother?


In a press conference on Friday, Lino Lakes Police Chief Dave Pecchia said police had responded to 48 calls to the Taschuk home in the last 14 years  (neither of the couple being available for comment, we’ll have to take this at his word, unless someone on-line wants to look the records up)

In August, police arrested Allen after he beat Pam and wouldn’t let her leave.

What about the other 48 calls — did THEY result in any arrests?  Why did THIS one — because it was beating AND false imprisonment?  Or because they have a limit of 4 dozen per decade per couple?  Or because the first 47 were just domestic disputes, and now that two people are dead, the polic want to emphasize that they DID arrest this dude?  

I’ll tell you something.  MOST beatings have an element of false imprisonment in them.  Unless you buy that women like it, most won’t stick around voluntarily.  If we could see something beyond the short time, generally, at shelters, for us, and/or our kids, and/or how to work after or in a shelter.  “Hi.  I’m going to beat you.  Could you hold still for a while?  Please?” 

But two days later, he posted bail and was released.  

You know what?  Perhaps this should be the headline and not “murder/suicide victim…” First of all, the second word came second, and by then she wasn’t alive enough to be a victim of it.  First all, she wasn’t.  Sometimes I HATE the deletion of active verbs, condensed into adjectives to make room for a sentence spreading a sense of futility and helplessness — “she did everything she could to protect herself.”


{{What about exercising her 2nd Amendment rights to meet potential escalated violence (it’d been escalating, right?) with more than externalized paperwork and meetings?  I believe abusers are cowards at heart.  ESPECIALLY of women.  Picking on someone helpless, and resorting to this to dominate, is a sign of weakness, and need to feel superior, but not the guts to face someone equal in stature and with equal means.  Who knows what a batterer might do if he (or she) ever had to face and armed VICTIM, as opposed to armed responding officers after they’d already shot (or whatever the means) their unarmed, often female (or male), victim?  For starters, they’d probably go target someone else, unarmed, which may not solve the problem they carry with them — but it MIGHT solve the problem for that one person being targeted..}}

{{You know what?  When I read a report about two people shot that shouldn’t have been shot, I don’t like PASSIVE tense and I don’t like “generic nouns” to describe something that obviously had a person, acting, involved.  “Generic nouns” are good places for things like rain, clouds, tides, and so forth.  Sun rising, and whatnot.  I don’t think murder-suicides following someone incarcerated for only 2 days when the history of violence dates back 10 years……should be packaged in as commonplace language as events we take for granted.  Even so-called “acts of God” {{meaning, in insurance terms, “natural” disasters}} have a scientific causality.  

That he “was released” is not an act of God or a happening, it was MATERIAL to two deaths, and it had a human agent.  If that human’s hands were tied by policy, then the thing is to untie the policy noose.  On the other hand, did that human in this case VIOLATE an existing policy?   We’ll never know, and this article is CERTAINLy not interested in asking WHY he “was released.”}}

The door just opened.  It just happened.

QUIZ:  Do arresting officers set bail?  (I think not).  Judges do.  DO judges have guidelines, and if so, do they follow them?  So then (“Cast, Characters, Script, Action” in the repeat performance of a domestic violence murder/suicide after a man who’d just been confronted on it was inexplicably given a bail low enough to meet, posted it, and went for his gun….  This is, I repeat, a REPEAT performance in the same old script..not to mention a repeat review.  Do they have boilerplates for this type of reporting?  “Ask the police, ask the prosecutors, as a friend or so and commerorate her, comment on how unavoidable it was, and promote the local domestic violence shelter,  which she wasn’t in,  or program, or support groups,..which she was.  Or batterer’s intervention groups which he was, passing with flying colors, right up til that 2nd shot…  Spin the tale, frame the conversation…….)  

 Can we try a variation on this?

who just got deleted from this account of what happened?  Answer — the JUDGE.    Who deleted it, or didn’t report it?  The author (or editor), probably Karla Hult of KARE11.com news.  She was doing her job, I know.  Typical report.  He posted bail (HOW MUCH?  DID ANYONE BRING UP, ON SETTING BAIL, THAT HE HAD A DECADE LONG HISTORY OF ABUSE, 48 CALLS IN 10 YEARS, AND REPRESENTED A DANGER?    NOW THAT MIGHT BE A STORY.  REMINDS ME OF THE OCEAN CITY (TOMS RIVER NJ) ACCOUNT.  See my blogroll — it’s usually one of top 5 posts visited.  And I asked that question:  WHY was the dude released then?  

But prosecutors, friends and domestic abuse advocates say Pam kept fighting. Earlier this month, she got an order of protection against her husband. She was also getting a divorce. 


I’d like to review these two sentences again.  My mind can’t just quite wrap around the verbal equating of “Pam kept fighting” with (14 years after he began assault & battery behavior against her (that’s what it is) with two activities:  Getting a protection order, and getting a divorce.  One more time, in blue, the 3 categories of Monday Night Quarterbackers, post-game analysts who ARE still alive (and probably still employed too) have this summary, and trick of language metaphor:

But prosecutors, friends and domestic abuse advocates say Pam kept fighting. {{HOW did she fight?  With what weapons?  Possibly as advised:)  (1) Earlier this month, she got an order of protection against her husband  {{actually that’s not fight, that’s closeer to flight, only not really for it, because no change of location was involved for HER}}  (2) She was also getting a divorce. 

How did her husband fight?   The last time, with a gun.  How did she fight?  with a protection order and a divorce.  

Filing for both the protection order AND the divorce, we ALL should know by now, the temperature is escalating — this woman is attempting to change the dynamics, and is getting help with it, too.  The “I rule THIS neck of the woods” dynamic is being shaken up.  She is in more danger now (if this be possible) when she was at home taking it on the chin, so to speak (wherever it landed).  if those were NOT life-threatening, although intolerable, illegal, and an indicator that her life WAS in danger, whatever it was then, it is now even moreso unless she gets ALL the way to safe FAST, because she is saying “STOP!”

So let’s look at this logic.  Things are going to heat up.  She is attempting to re-assert control, even defense.  Now ALL parties involved should know this by now, or they simply are illiterate and do not get on-line about DV, at all.  You can’t read too far before running across that truth.  “The most dangerous time is when a woman tries to separate….”  So let’s assess the survival tools this report just credited her (post-mortem, literally) with:

  • Man just out of jail with Gun v. court rulings (paper, theory).  
  • Man just out of jail, and history of DV, with Gun v. court rulings.  Let me see, which is likely to win? Gun, or court rulings? Place your bets, after all, it’s not YOUR life.

Which will win?  Well, that depends on the context and some variables.  Court rulings (“paper” or electronic) restrain in THEORY.  

Guns can restrain in PRACTICE, and for good.  They are heart-stopping (case in point)

QUESTION:  If it was someone you cared about, would you gamble on someone’s psychological or lethality assessment of a 14-year batterer, and logically, then wish the person attacked to have to live in a constant state of gauging that assessment, OR would you recommend something which would err on the side of SAFETY, for example, immediate and significant SEPARATION (distance wise, etc.) or DETERRENT-wise?  

Where’s your love at?  Where’s OUR love at?  

Is it moral or practical to play “paper, scissors, rock” with other people’s lives, at public expense??  After they have come to a public entity (or  nonprofit) for help and safety?  If unclear what this game is, see next section.  it’s a simple, context-sensitive game of wit, or odds, and only requires hands to play.  The losers may be humiliated, but aren’t hurt by the game, per se. . . Kids play it, grown-ups sometimes, too….

Paper, Scissors, Stone.

Reminds me of that kids’ game, “paper, scissors, stone.”  The key is context, and the thrill is not knowing what your choice will be met with from the other player’s.  For those who don’t know, I’ll let Wikipedia and Youtube illustrate:



  1. Video results for paper scissors rock


Now, let’s reconsider Pam kept fighting:  She got a protection order and was getting a divorce.


Her weapons:  court orders.  

His, Previous times:- ?? only those two, and any witnesses know for sure.  (Maybe the previous 48 calls to the home revealed).  This last time, a gun.  Who had the better odds, given that this guy wasn’t the most law-abiding sort, evidently. . . . ??  The odds were stacked against her.  Her weapons were metaphors, his were tangible and had projectiles.  Moreover, whoever kept encouraging her to get these obviously doesn’t read the newspapers that often, or at least, the policies are at odds with the evidence.

Now, let’s consider. Let’s analyze (again):  Who’s alive, who’s dead, and whose advice did the dead woman follow?  Perhaps if she’d had and been able to follow better advice, SHE’d still be alive.  

I suspect (though I may be wrong, but I bet) had she not been murdered by her husband, her husband MIGHT not have felt it necessary to make a quick end to THAT process (rather than stay in jail — remember, he’d just spent 2 days in jail, and was probably VERY committeed not to going back again…)

Homicide in the U.S. — Plenary Panel from the 2009 NIJ Conference

(references something tried in Baltimore, based on in part the J. Campbell assessment)

In Maryland, you can see that our partner homicide averages about 1,200 per year. Sixty.nine men, women and children in Maryland. Our goal was to use this instrument, directed by this committee, to look at what an officer can do on the scene to deal with the danger of death at the scene at the time that they’re there. Sort of the golden hour that the health care industry uses, or the golden 24 hours, to get intervention into that home.

A lot of the committee members included DSS, which are critical; the prosecutors of course; law enforcement; and domestic violence advocates, our nonprofit providers. Dr. Campbell found some key things in her research, and she helped us to identify the things that many law enforcement officers know by instinct. What is the victim’s perception of what’s going on here? What is their fear level? What is the access to weapons? What happens with the threats of violence at the scene? What’s the suspect’s employment status, et cetera? You can read the rest…

What were the leadership issues we experienced as an agency? Of course, our relationship with external partners was critical. If you don’t have them, it’s a little hard to build this base. We were really blessed to have a lot of that infrastructure in place.

Culture. What is the attitude of your officers in the area of domestic violence? Is there emotional intelligence, or is it an immature culture about the issue? And how do you, as leaders, attend to that? What is the attitude in general with your county of the role of the state’s attorney, prosecutors, judges, et cetera?  


. . . . So, I would err EVERY time on the side of safety, caution, and take NO risks, rather than unacceptable risks.  We have gotten to the point in some situations were restraining “orders” are instead red flags, instigating further escalations.  When people are in an “intimate” relationship, it’s part of this to let down their guard somewhat.  People who take advantage of this by REPEATED physical assaults have made a MAJOR transggression, and this needs to be addressed as such.  ONE call to the police is unacceptable, and a huge red flag.

I have 3 short proverbs, or “gifts” (of information) to the next women (or men) hoping to restrain and out of control intimate partner, or one that has been ejected from the home by them already.  Or, if they are considering it.  AGAIN, I’m not an attorney and every one is to judge her situation and LISTEN to her instinct, and do NOT listen to people who say, listen to US, not your instinct; we aree the experts.

In the field of survival we have God-given instincts (or, if you prefer, natural) for this.  Appreciate them!  Do not sign them over the closest entity saying “let us help you.”  Help is needed, but as you had that guard up with the aggressor, also be alert from people that are taking your confidences and advising you how to get out.  It may be a way out, or it may be a dead end, such as this one.  Then afterwards, you will 

OH — closer to the bottom of the article about the VICTIM, here’s actually something about the SHOOTER.


Allen Taschuk served on the Centennial Fire Department as a paid, on-call firefighter for the last 20 years, accoridng to Chief Jerry Streich. He was put on administrative leave within the last year for undisclosed reasons.


“Pamela did all the things she could do in terms of protecting herself,” said Connie Moore with the Alexandra House Domestic Abuse Shelter in Blaine. 

WELL, HERE’S ANOTHER COMMENTATOR, NOT THE JUDGE WHO ENABLED THIS WIFE-BEATER TO GET FREE BY WHATEVER BAIL WAS POSTED.  And I bet he wasn’t too happy about even those 2 days in jail, either, I mean the husband.  Future women in trouble should call this shelter.  (Free plug — come to us!)  You too, might end up like Pam.  

Moore says Pam was even at a support group just minutes before her murder.


So much for support groups!  I rest my case!  Safety FIRST, support, SECOND.  


and this is why (post-restraining order) I stopped attending, because I wished to devote my time instead to something which might stop the trouble, and it was escalating — and not learn how to endure it.  I already knew how to endure it, from practice, years of it, but the more freedom I tasted the less taste I had for returning to abuse.  This is when things OD escalate, when this is sensed by the other person.


Given her long battle, Moore says . . .

This tells you who, perhaps, Ms. Moore has been hanging out with.  i recommend she carefully review “The Grammar of Male Violence” and change her talk.  Stop talking about the women that lost, and analyze the case in terms of who did what.

Ms. Moore, if you’re reading this, could you get a copy back to PRAXIS and BATTERED WOMEN’S JUSTICE  PROJECT AND ANY OTHER TRAINING CONFERENCES YOU ATTEND AS A SHELTER WORKER?  I know they have organizations up in Minnesota that teach cultural sensitivity as to subgroups of people being assaulted by their partners.  There’s funding for Rural, for Native American, and I know there’s IAADV  for African-American issues, with Dr. Johnson.  Would you relate, from me, that it’s not “her long battle” but (seems to me, at least this case) someone’s incompetence, that let this one “suddenly spiral out of control.” after a guy just got released from another beating on bail.  Stop deflecting blame onto the woman.  Sounds to me like she was doing HER part, but others weren’t doing THEIRS.  Maybe that why “she lost ” “her battle.”  

Where were the analysts?  They were collaborating on how to train all the folks that weren’s supposed to set that low a bail, but give her time to get the heck out of there, and TELL her to!  

Please show grammar sensitivity for the sub-group of WOMEN and stop blaming them when their prime shortcoming was simply bad advisors, who didn’t say GET OUT and STAY AWAY!  

Pam’s death highlights what else needs to be done in the court system and community to protect domestic abuse victims.

Not it doesn’t, it’ OBFUSCATES what else needs to be done in the sentencing procedure.  Chalk it up to another mess-up.  It was just a few dozen or so domestic disputes, that’s all.  

I’m going to rewrite that:  “to empower battered women.”  or “to STOP or RESTRAIN men who batter women.And stop calling it “abuse!” Stop giving the standard post-murder/suicide spin, and start quoting from court pleadings and police reports, if you can.  The next time a reporter contacts you after an “event” tell them some graphic truth and be blunt about it.  You might lose your job, though, but maybe a better calling might ben investigating these bail orders handed out.  . . .   If they force traffic violators (speeders, drunk drivers, etc.) to sit through accident footage, why is this less?  


“If a victim is saying ‘he’s threatened me, he says he’s going to kill me,’ we need to take that seriously,” Moore said. 

We who?   How many (more) women, boys & girls, and/or men  are going to die before the full panoply of that “we” starts to try something different?  Can something be diverted from, say, abstinence education, to helping families in danger MOVE while he’s incarcerated?

Moore said the court system should consider following a “lethal assessment” policy that requires officials to gauge exactly how great a threat a suspect poses to his potential victim. She said officials could then choose a more aggressive response with those suspects who pose a greater risk.   {{they COULD do this now, and aren’t. It’s not really rocket science...}} 


You know what?  The court systems is considering its own behind, associates and paychecks.  The sooner DV victims realize this, the better.  I say that from the perspective of the fatherhood movement, superrvised visitation movement, access visitation movements, and the inane acting like a lethal incident just “dropped out of the sky” and was the dead people’s (or fortune’s) fault.  

THIS lethality assessment stuff is maybe one of the  latest “lines” (myths) going through the training advocates loop. Lethality assessments go back to 1985, as does the habit of ignoring this in favor of “Designer Families.”  It presumes officials don’t have a clue that someone is going to get killed next time, just like they say in the post crime scene cleanup press conferences.  MOreover, these are used to promote organizations that don’t seem to check long-term follow-up — when that thing goes into the family law system, which doesn’t LIKE calling a crime a crime (see AFCC.com, “about” & history pages), then what?

Ms. Moore, please seek outside opinions.  Is this what women tell YOU, or is it what you are to tell the women?

It presumes the experts know BETTER than the women themselves where safety is and what a danger is.  That is a lethality risk in itself, they don’t!  Why not?  It’s NOT THEIR KDIS and THEIR LIVES or THEIR WIVES.  

For what I typically think about restraining orders in some contexts – they will restrain a person who is more concerned about consequences rather than less; they will piss off a person who has shown he (or she) will not, under any circumstances, take orders.  Or take orders regarding someone (or a certain class of someones) he  (OK, or she) has formerly dominated, as part of a life-style, or as central to his ego, social acceptance, or religion  (and now you know why I omitted the “or her” this time)

Leave of Absence this month on “Domestic Violence Awareness”? — If only ….

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Recommended reading this month:

Women’s Justice Center, PO Box 7510, Santa Rosa, CA 94507.  See previous blog.  The title (above) is a URL.


Help, information, activism on rape, domestic violence and child abuse. Ayuda informacion, activismo sobre violacion, violencia domestica, y abuso infantil.


Let’sGetHonest regrets to refrain contributing significantly this year to “Domestic Violence Awareness” month, as her own situation is currently in motion, and requires legal action and other action & attention.  

This is typical.  The months, drives (White Ribbon drive comes to mind) and conferences roll on, as do the personal events.


Over the years, handling escalations of the original situation has often pre-empted participation in the latest drive, month, initiative, or move to stop it.  So I may be leaving commentary THIS month to the true experts — those who are less distracted by experiencing the stuff, NOW, and are in making livelihoods conferenceing and helping those who are too stressed out, on the run, or occupied in court, looking for missing kids, re-assessing lethality risk based on latest local indicators (i.e., the last communications from the person left), and keeping their options open to not become a newspaper headline.  Many leaders in this field DO come from their own experiences, but nevertheless, too many are talking as if about foreigners.  


So, I’ll have to table my original plan to introduce readers, by logo and description, to the “players” in this field, adding my suggestions to domestic violence experts and organizations on what to do with [[more specficially, where to put]] some of the ideas (and the funds helping those ideas self-replicate, nationally and internationally).


Over the years, the conferences continue, while life after life is cut short, or bady distressed.   “Are we done yet?”  . . . . . I always found it odd that the conferences presenting statistics kept on  meeting while the stuff on the streets kept on adding to the statistics.  Perhaps if less time were spent in conference, and more in soliciting input from the men & women involved (input from men has an innumerable set of sites, initiatives, government, private AND faith-based, most with the word “fatherhood” in them), AND children, there might be a different set of statistics.


For example, WHY are so few people “onto” the role of the child support agency (US) in tinkering with turning the family law courts into behavioral modification centers, and Designer Family factories?  It’s fairly obvious:  part of abuse includes control of finances.  WOMEN WOULD LEAVE OTHERWISE!  EARLIER!     SO – – – if she goes to welfare, they generate a court order, and then go after the Dad.  This upsets him.  Then, without telling her, they have programs to solicit fathers to become more engaged with their children.  It’s not allowed (yet) to say:  “We are selling time with children/ minors through the courts” and so other means of applying pressure (including REFUSING to when the mother seeks collection and  needs it).  Our case, stalling was refined to an ART, then the second custody was switched, BOOM!  This same ponderous beast (child support agency) SPRANG into action (within the month) and terminated the current support obligation, even though the custody switch was temporary and obtained illegally.  

I know men and women both who are furious with this agency, nationwide, and I personally think it’s a trap that’s sprung, and heats up the “stakes” in a custody battle.  


Perhaps this accounts for the aura of detachment in some arenas — experts are needed to explain what’s going on, and interpret it for them, as if it’s not directly observable in some other form

Small Line

I’ll just post a few recommended readings — note:  you won’t find these in the usual circles, I believe.  These are books that helped me, and I intend them for people who might otherwise get a certifiably unenforceable restraining order, and let down either their guard, or the amount of safety planning that would’ve taken place without it.  BE PREPARED!

In THE GIFT OF FEAR, de Becker draws on his extensive expertise to explode the myth that most violent acts are random and unpredictable and shows that they usually have discernible motives and are preceded by clear warning signs. Through dozens of compelling stories from his own career and life, he unravels the complexities of violent behavior and details the pre-incident indicators (PINs) that can determine if someone poses a danger to us. With THE GIFT OF FEAR, readers learn how to:

  • Recognize the survival signals that warn us about risk from strangers
  • Rely on their intuition
  • Separate real from imagined danger
  • Predict Dangerous Behavior
  • Evaluate whether someone will use violence
  • Move beyond denial so that their intuition works for them

Offering in-depth solutions to people who are dealing with domestic abuse or workplace violence or who are the targets of unwanted pursuit, de Becker also provides unique insight into death threats, stalkers, assassins, children who kill, and mass killers. After reading THE GIFT OF FEAR, individuals will be able to confidently answer life’s highest-stakes questions:

  • Will the employee I must fire react violently?
  • How should I handle the person who refuses to let go?
  • What is the best way to respond to threats?
  • What are the dangers posed by strangers?
  • How can I help my loved ones be safer?

With THE GIFT OF FEAR, Gavin de Becker has written an important book about human behavior, one which leaves readers stronger and safer. It put fear and violence on the national agenda in a way that empowered millions of people



Here’s another one written by a policeman who worked many years on DV calls.  I found it validating at least, that my instincts had matched his.  It’s also got some chapters relating to Christianity (moreso at the back) but the main points I gathered:  not to underestimate risk, but ACT.  My copy was utterly dog-eared, and I had to finally replace it for the library.


Refuge: A Pathway Out of Domestic Violence & Abuse 

By: Donald Stewart
New Hope Publishers / 2004 / Paperback

Product Description

A veteran policeman with in-depth experience in domestic violence cases compassionately shares the Lord’s love for women caught in the cycle of flawed thinking and the bondage of abuse. Sgt. Stewart offers practical help and strategic advice, as he affirms your biblical worth!/ / / / 


The empathy part didn’t do much for me.  The details of his incidents, and his accounts of academy resistance to even taking any DV training were helpful, as well as the RISK levels, and asserting that a certain activity (i.e., animal abuse, property destruction) indicates someone has crossed a line and “you’re next!”    Good luck getting family law to take that seriously, but at least the individual could.  When talking to a man who has answered calls, has to go and report who didn’t make it, has come to crime scenes, and followed cases, this was helpful information. 



Finally — get some training.  It’s GOOD to have:

(SELF-Defense from Arm behind the Back Takedown – Hapkido


NOTE:  I am just including reference to the self-defense class to make a point.  It’s mental, physical, attitude.  Do not be passive.  Do not think that asking everyone and the neighbor for help is the ONLY for of activity necessary, and becoming a magnet for “advise me, please!” purveyors.  Do things that empower YOU and one of this those is information gathering.  Another thing is assessing the value of the information you gather.  But it’s a YOU thing.



It’s YOUR life and YOU are valuable.  And according to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, simply by being human, YOU were endowed by your Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are, first, LIFE, also Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.  


Believing these rights ARE unalienable is an attitude. Defending one’s unalienable rights is essential and can be costly when they are challenged.  A war was fought over them, remember?  So yes, it’s tough, and costly, but would you like to stick around without these?  They are central to life.  It has to do with integrity.

Therefore patronizing, namecalling, situation-proclaiming activities and conferences are fine, but the individual decides in the long run what is safe and what is not.  Particularly as abusers seek to wear down their targets over time by many means, those targeted are indeed affected, BUT they also are more fighters than many organizations seem to realilze.  It can take time (different to each) to regain and retrain onesself how to resist the INTERNALIZATION of those concepts.  Even when you’ve fought back (and resistance is a form of fighting back), it’s wearing on the soul.  BUT there are only two places the blame lies — internal (possibly leading to self-destructive activities and internal turmoil with sense of self, and calculating the hazards of asserting self) or external (which then prompts one to action. My experience leaving abuse was that too many individuals (particularly in close comfortable) were much more comfortable with the former arrangement.  I had to resist and declare, and set boundaries,w hich weren’t respected.    Failing to persuade me, apparently, contact was reduced to aggressive namecalling, and these individuals simply went across more vulnerable individuals in our case:  My children (who were simply stolen) and my elderly parent (who was influenced, and communications essentially cut off).  

On the converse side, I speculate that POSSIBLY the abuser (the person who doesn’t respect you, or the law, and lacks restraint towards at least one individual chosen to receive the abuse & hate) is operating on the other extreme, fighting demons from (his/her) own life history, externalizing them in the form of the “beloved” rather than, with actually MORE courage, facing what’s on the inside.  So, to punish another, categorize another, blame another has a sort of (though temporary, like a drug) “healing” and focusing balm to (him/her) it does the opposite to the target.  They also often tend to find and attract, as it were, like-minded individuals with their own need to externalize, and on and on it goes.

AGAIN, this is speculation, and please note the word “POSSIBLY.”  Like anyone, I would like some answers, but I don’t expect pat ones.


Wyoming, MN


BY THE WAY:  Note to WYOMING, Minnesota (who has a pending comment) — see first paragraph above.  (This will only make sense to someone whose comment to a Chisago County, MN murder/suicide is in “pending” for a bit, here).


Although you appear to have confused me with a Kansas State legislator (which I am not), talked about my “legal jargon” and assumed that my only understanding of domestic violence is from my own experience ( a reading of this blog would show it’s not), accusing me of “libel” and “slander” because I’ve reported based on information I DO have access to because, unlike you, I am not local and accessing private information possibly you do, and demanding I take down the names of the Ouellettes – – if you have vital information as to the facts, such as they are not actually dead, and neither Candi nor Doug died in the manner the newslines have reported, or anything relevant to what’s NOT in the press, timelines, etc.  then please start a blog and share it with the rest of us (and send a link by comment here).  I am always trying to put together timelines myself, most news articles start with a lead and jump around erratically anyhow.

On the other hand, if you are picking on what is thought to be a major issue, but is a minor one, then I’m not interested.

Until then, based on who it appears you are (one of Doug’s close cousins) (how’s that for info available on the internet?), I will assume that perhaps your recent shock & grief has clouded some processing of the information.  It IS a LOT to process that someone you were close to is accused of murdering his wife in front of his twin daughters.  Even more to process might if this accusation WAS true and your assessment of him only pertained to YOUR interactions with him, and not his wife’s (see other comment on my site, from a close friend of the wife’s, who wasn’t able to prevent this, either.)

When a “nice guy” actually DID strangle his wife, or ex- then SOMETHING in your world has to change.  Hers already did (it ended).  Either you’re going to hang onto the “nice guy” or you’re going to acknowledge that he wasn’t all that nice.  OR that some people can be nice to YOU and awful to someone ELSE.  You are going to eventually let go of your investment in the “nice guy” or you are not.  

Another route many close family members take (alas) is to fail to examine their own enablement, participation, or IGNORANCE of what was actually happening in that household, when you weren’t entertaining or socializing or working with the accused man.  In order to do this, I can only see one way out of the dilemma:  It was her fault.  She asked for it.  He was provoked.  The child custody dispute, being estranged, the employment, or stress, or mental illness, or . . . . or. . . .  (the answers are wide-ranging and many I’ve heard offered) . . . MADE him do it, pulled the trigger, passion, jealousy, hurt, or  . . . . . . . (fill in the blank).

I am here to tell you that “blaming her” comes with a price.  You lose your MIND and ability to make sound decisions.  I’ve watched it over the years.  Now I have to deal, regularly, with relatives who cannot tell wrong from right, only WHO is wrong and WHO is right.  There is no reference to an outside standard of reference.  

It also is going to keep an innocent person stuck in the oppressive dynamic she sought to leave, and it WILL affect the next generation unless she can somehow overcome it.  She has to get stronger. 


Again, as I pointed out in a recent blog, because the police say something doesn’t make it so.  IF you have something to contribute to that dialogue, I am interested (I, the author of this blog, and please do not contact Senator Faust-Goudeau on issues in Minnesota; she’ll be utterly confused and besides, she’s busy).  

I started to blog on LINO, Minn murder/suicide, apparently after a decade of DV.  Perhaps that might bear investigation, for example, why was he put in jail for only 2 days after a decade of violence, and a reported 48 calls to the home in 10 years?  And HOW can women in her situation be protected, or be URGED to defend themselves seriously, primarily by LEAVING, if prosecution is going to (as it obviously did here) fall short?  

 So (I notice today’s visit), call this a rain check, so I can do a better job when I do respond to comment, and will likely post it to.  No promises though, life happens.  And mine is, right now.  

Gotta go. . . ,. 


I think I have one more post coming, a very short one:


Written by Let's Get Honest

October 5, 2009 at 10:42 am

Ever seen an armed and dangerous “child custody dispute”? Do disputes shoot? Responding deputies blame shooting on the dispute, not the guntoting young Dad.

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It wasn’t his fault, or his hands on the gun(s), it was that dang “child custody dispute” arising, say responding deputies.  It was half the (unnamed) ex-girlfriend’s fault, for not forking over the 3-month old when told to.  

And although 2 of her male relatives got shot, stepping in to protect, it is the poor, accused, walking wounded MAN (he attempted suicide after shooting, fleeing, being chased by police, including in a helicopter (??), and shooting himself) who grabs the headlines.



Here’s another “GIVE ME THE KID — or ELSE!”  that took a slightly different turn.  This time the shooter (Dad) wounded some others immediately (as opposed to just threatening to cut the mother’s throat, being jailed for this– for “about 16 months” plus “several months”–then when getting out of jail, calling 911, ambushing and murdering a responding sheriff in cold blood, drawing PLENTY of responding law enforcement fire, resulting in his own death, at age I think 27.)  


The knife-wielding, sheriff-punching/murdering man was married, the handgun/rifle-toting younger man was not.  Then again, the knife-wielding sheriff (or was it police?)-punching man later, in his ambush DID have a rifle, and after shooting the sheriff in the back, then grabbed the wounded officer’s own handgun and shot him again.

Perhaps the reason we have a fatherhood crisis is that when young and self-centered men don’t get their way in a custody exchange, they go start incidents that involve violence, and sometimes escalate to suicide.  

The infant daughter ONE was fighting over was about 1-1/2 months, the other infant daughter the OTHER was shooting relatives who intervened over was only 3 months old.  One father is dead already, the other one may die.  Clearly the PRIMARY social crisis both daughters will be growing up with is not early childhood trauma or any other “adverse childhood event”, growing up with, is not violence but fatherlessness, although the latter little girl had at least a grandpa and an uncle who protected her Mama, which indicates bravery & commitment.  

On the other hand, at age 3 months and 1-1/2 years they are already contributing to society — in the nature of newspaper fodder.  Later, if either mother requires any government assistance whatsoever, they will also be contributing to future social science studies by being low income,  possbly participating in a “female-headed household,”  and if mothers don’t learn from these incidents and pick a better man next time, another run through the system.  


Man accused of attacking Valinda family may die from self-inflicted wounds.


After reading article, please tell me why the headline doesn’t say upfront:  “Poor, accused (POLICE-FLEEING) MAN  may die from an owie (After shooting 2 other men, he shot himself).”

OR, it could come out and tell the truth, & mention a few other participants:

Publish under:  “Family” section, subheading “Fathers giving orders” (excuse me, I meant)  “Fathers can be nurturers too….”


“Girl, give me our infant — or I’ll shoot!  Your relatives, and then, when confronted on this, myself,” says Chino man, and does so, too.


Posted: 09/29/2009 10:14:39 PM PDT

By James Wagner, Staff Writer

VALINDA – A Chino man who deputies say shot his estranged girlfriend’s relatives and then attempted suicide Monday night remained in critical condition Tuesday and could die.


Photo Gallery: Valinda Shootings  (I’ll spare us….)

“We’re not too sure if he’s gonna make it,” said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Dwight Miley.

The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Bryan Ornelas, was taken to Citrus Valley Medical Center – Queen of the Valley Campus in West Covina on Monday night after the shootings.

A child custody dispute led Ornelas to shoot two members of his ex-girlfriend’s family, deputies said….

That’s a lie!  Can we start fining deputies for saying it and REPORTERS for writing, editors for publishing it, if there’s no disclaimer?  On this basis, she should have clawed out someone’s eyes or shot HIS family, if the dispute led to it.  I’ve been in a custody dispute for years, and I haven’t shot anyone.  How are law enforcement going to enforce if they keep putting this message out to the public — a custody dispute led him to do it. . . . . 

We have laws in this country.  One of them is against shooting people.  “The devil made me do it,” “God made me do it,”,” “unemployment made me do it,” “distress over the breakup of my marriage made me do it,” and “we had a custody dispute, which made me shoot someone,” are NOT legally valid excuses, and I would SO appreciate not having to read them in articles nationwide, year after year.

Then again, I’ve been in family law hearings, and you should hear the excuses for child-stealing and failure to work, and a few more.  These were received with straight faces by the personnel (and being in court, I didn’t gag til I read the transcript afterwards).  

If there is going to be a BIT of self-restraint in this country, ALL the ______ made me do it’s need to be flushed out of the headlines.  It’s ceased being amusing.  SELF-defense (not “ego-defense” or “pride-defense” or “my sense of masculinity-defense”) I believe in some circumstances MAY be acceptable reasons, although I have heard that women suffering long-term severe battering and abuse with no potential exit still go to death row, which is why movements to get justice for them have begun.  They typically get longer than men when sentenced.  

So a casual “A child custody dispute led Ornelas to shoot ANYONE is irrational and inappropriate.”


DEFINE “child custody dispute.”  As in, “I have the child in my arms (or house), therefore I have ‘custody’ “?  Or, there was a COURT order?  

If there was an order, it was either joint, or sole legal and joint or sole physical, and likely child support was involved as well.  If there was a COURT order, then it SHOULD specify visitation (of course, many of these are so  vague as to be unworkable, even when DV has been an issue, which we don’t know if it had, here.)

If there was a COURT order specific enough, then it may have been a child custody “dispute” but one party was wishing to comply and the other to deny its order.  So it is relevant.

Although I realize reporters can’t always find out (or reliably cite) who started the incident, in this field, a very heated field emotionally (and with lots — millions, nationwide — of $$ riding on it, highly entrenched interests — maybe not to the Ornelas/Rizo family, but nationwide), I find the over-use of domestic disputes “arising,” as if out of nowhere, and without cause, to be misleading.  Such things “arise” or “emerge” like the sun “rises” (or appears to).  There is generaly a reason for the season, or the emotions.  In the field of child CUSTODY, if there is something in the courts, than any dispute with that is a dispute with the courts, and not a private family matter.


Officers said  Ornelas shot himself in the head after a short pursuit.Ornelas and his ex-girlfriend have a three-month-old girl who was with her before the shooting, Miley said.

They are, or are not, living together?  Not shown – did she take off with the little girl after her relatives intervened?  (PROTECTIVE mother, eh?)  Apparently the little girl missed seeing someone shot, which was good, eh? But I’m sure the fatherhood folk will get her back with her Dad, if he survives.  After all, if not, he might shoot someone else.  Or, simply be an uninvolved Dad, not pay child support, and burden the state with welfare, if she can’t figure something else out for a livelihood.

The shooting occurred at 6:45 p.m. Monday in the 16200 block of Benwick Street in the unincorporated county area of Valinda.

Ornelas wanted to see the child but his ex-girlfriend didn’t want to give the baby to him, Miley said. Then a dispute arose.


Whose words is Miley reporting?  Why doesn’t he mention, “according to..” as he wasn’t actually there to see?  In courts, hearsay is hearsay.  Miley didn’t witness the dispute, so someone reported it to him.  

Apparently this WAS the dispute, and a common (and dangerous, sometimes) one it is, indeed.

AKA, baby as property.  Custody order was, or was not, in place?  I have an idea.  AT THE HOSPITALS, unmarried Moms are assigned sole custody which continues even during marriage til further notice or ABSOLUTE proof of neglect or abuse.  If a Dad is on the scene, participating, and proved this with DNA, let’s return to the days of “shotgun marriages” as it appears that the alternative is shotgun (or knife, or ball bat) “give me the kids.”


 It takes less than a half hour or so to start a baby, and around 9 months to finish the process.   MOTHERS, PHYSICALLY, ARE INNATELY MORE BONDED TO THEIR CHIDLREN BECAUSE THOSE KIDS ARE INSIDE THEM BEFORE BIRTH.  THEIR BODIES CHANGE REMARKABLY DURING PREGNANCY, AFFECTING MANY TIMES OTHER SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS (NOT ALWAYS, BUT USUALLY).  LABOR IS INDEED “LABOR.”  HAVING SEX IS, SUPPOSEDLY, MUTUALLY FUN, BUT LABOR TAKES HOURS (USUALLY) AND CAN INVOLVE HAVING PARTS OF A WOMAN’S BODY CUT (CAESARIAN) OR SNIPPED (EPISIOTOMY), SOMETIMES BY AN OVEREAGER MALE DOCTOR. (I thankfully avoided this, primarily by avoiding the hospital til right before birth, for one daughter, who was born very healthy).  Afterwards, if women nurse (“breast is best,” remember?  See my post, Australian authorities and Canadian trying to balance this with couples which split up so early).  It’s a radical readjustment of relationships, and I think a great one.  Therefore, to avoid shootings, abuse, threats to cut and 911 calls, kidnappings, and potential infanticide around exchanges, I have a simpler way (??).

UNMARRIED MOTHERS  — not their grandmas and not their boyfriends and not their aunts — GET CUSTODY UNLESS THEY ARE ON DRUGS or involved in gangs, etc.  As such, THEY are responsible unless rape (including statutory) or incest was a factor, and even then, she has the majority sayso because it’s HER BODY, and authorities go after the (____holes).   If stupidity on the woman’s part {{such as picking up, getting pregnant by, and then marrying an ex-Porn king on a rebound marriage at a bar, as happened earlier this year, resulting in her being beat to deathwith a ball bat on the baby’s 1st birthday, and the baby (GIRL) being, briefly, abducted}}was a factor, they still get custody and must learn to take care of their children somehow, and let’s give them the support.  If a young man, or middle-aged man, in this day and time is stupid or callous enough not to use a condom, when he’s uncommitted to the young (or older) woman, then he’s just not mature enough to handle children and can go practice first on small animals and at a job.


1.  Money, in the form of at a minimum reduced child support payments.  The Bible, at a minimum (I cannot speak for th eKoran or any other writinges) says clearly that the love of money is the ROOT of all evil.  Any version of paying a man to “love” his own offspring is promoting this.  It also is disturbingly close to human trafficking, when child support is reduced in exchange for pushing or enabling men to spend more time with their kids than the existing laws otherwise would enable them.  

2. Children themselves.  This is why sites like “Courageouskids.net” have become necessary, and why some adult children SUE the participants in their traumatic childhood once they turn 18.  This is not the majority of divorcing families, but it IS a social problem.  And ONE case of child molestation or any form of abuse or neglect during exchange with a newly-enfranchised father is too much.  ONE is too much!  As to foster care, it’s not much better.  But I believe the children would be better off with a STABLE relationship with their mother, and particularly when such a mother has already separated because of violence to her by the Dad.  Or, violence to her children by the Dad.  

I am witness -and by far not the only one — that THE destabilizing effect in my post-separation life was the family law system, as tweaked by both the father (and friends) and — I learned, belatedly — a system of grants designed to tweak it in favor of noncustodial “parents,” but oddly enough, many, many of those programs have the word “fatherhood” in theiir titles, and even more in their texts, while the word “mothers” barely appears in:  Family Violence Prevention Fund (unless under a special category) and on whitehouse.gov.

I had restraining order on, and a healthy, solvent, contributing-t0-the community, kids actively involved in the community lifestyle.  This was attested to by social workers, parents of kids I taught, and colleagues, and by how the children were doing also.  The ONLY way to make all that evidence disappear was to haul me into family law, defending custody of the girls, fighting to assert joint legal, and in a venue famous (I later learned) for suppressing evidence in favor of psychobabble bearing no (and citing no) evidence, and from there repeatedly upending my own life, as mother leaving violence and trying to economically re-invent myself, and with sole physical custdoy of two daughters.  

WITH RESTRAINING ORDER OFF, AND “THE SKY’S THE LIMIT” AS TO INTERFERENCES WITH MY ABILITY TO WORK AND LIFE ON A WEEKLY AND MID-WEEKLY BASIS, YEAR ROUND, NO VACATION BREAKS AND NO SUMMER BREAKS (any and all contact was cause for arguing, debate, threat, and more and more involving law enforcement to adjudicate — and THEY refused to enforce clear orders, repeatedly, which is their job !! Even up to a custody order!) our daughters, have had the “crime pays — if you’re male” and the double standard passed on.  They learned firsthand the dangers of reporting abuse and leaving it.  They have learned it’s better to stuff it, internalize and blame themselves, or externalize and find someone to hate (better to join in with the gang rather than go against it).  Apart from, and to some extents DURING the initial restraining order, the only true peace we had was while it was on, and the caretaking parent could actually function as a normal human being and they could, by association feel fairly normal with their peers and in the activities at which they were prospering.

We are at a turning point as a society (always, but especially now, it seems).  Either women are full-status citizens or they are second-class citizens.  Now, women, including young women, have had a taste at full-status; the horse is out of the barn, “who let the dogs out?”

While we have not used that responsibly gender-wide, I think I could make a pretty good case that men haven’t either (see Holocaust, wars, weapons of mass destruction) etc.  And a woman who has a fighting chance off being treated like a human being without ALL of society, including relatives, religious institution(s), law (and its inforecment) and such in her society, MIGHT just fight rather than crumple.  We have internet and books, and courageous people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali have already spoken out, just as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X did on racism.  Phyllis Chesler exists and has published, and I’m only naming a very few obviously.  

Now, either it can be guerilla warfare, plus some other forms of male on female terrorism in order to try to chase a bunch cats (ever done that?), or the males — including those in the mainstream media — can start to adjust.  When people separate, there are going to be custody disputes.  Either we could go back — and I do mean REgress — to some fundamentalist religions that endorse honor killings, genital mutilation, forced marriages, and whipping, stoning, or otherwise punishing women for showing signs of life, and a piece of skin, and raise generations of haters and women who cannot even trust in each other (polygamy is by definition something of a supply & demand artificially enforced situation) OR we can go the other direction, and stop men from trying to turn back the clock and “just deal” with women as BOTh citizens AND occasionally mothers.  To fully deal with this, the educational system (I’m talking scheduling more than content) needs to be loosened up and homeschooling de-stigmatized, allowing family members to actually get to know each other, and not feel like oddballs in the community because they are actively participating in it daytimes.  Don’t give me the Philipp Garridos for an example — he was under failed sex offender supervision.  For every such incident, there is at least an equal one that takes place IN schools, including shootings, sexual assaults and “worse,” dumbing down and slowing down.  Or failing to fully support those who need more help.  

One of the worst things I know — and I DO know it — is where males incite their associated females to hurt other women.  I’ve seen it (and been targeted, while with children in the home).  If there is no solidarity on basis of gender, and no fair legal protection, and faith communities are so economically codependent with their own males (plus the volunteer services of the wives and kids that come with them, AND at times the distressed single women or single mothers that come for social/emotional nurturing too, having no families of their own) they cannot confrton domestic violence and child abuse, or even confront a member on crimianl charges of any sort against family members — that’s terrible.  

This young woman’s relatives stood in for her, and took bullets.

Sorry to digress, but I am thinking this morning, about how ridiculous it is to read incident aftter incident, when I already know what resources are being poured — a tsunami, virtually – into agencies that are supposedlyo fixing the situation.  Maybe we ought to just let go of the paradigm of “fixing” families at all.  If they’re broken, let them be broken, but when anyone breaks a law, bring consequences, and bring it WITHOUT respect of gender, or where the pay is coming from.  (Yeah, in which utopia….)

Authorities aren’t sure how the shooting unfolded but according to family members, the girlfriend’s father, Jesus Rizo, and brother, also named Jesus Rizo, intervened in the dispute.

Now THAT is brave.  Or foolhardy.  But I might have too, being there.  

The ex-girlfriend’s 58-year-old father was shot in the forearm and her 16-year-old brother was wounded in the upper arm, authorities said.  {{IN OTHER WORDS, they’re not actually saying this young man Ornelas did it?  They “were shot” and “were wounded” (passive tense}}

Everyone else, including the infant, had an age, what was Mom’s?

The incident continued to a home in the 1600 block of Mullender Avenue, where authorities chased Ornelas.

Witnesses and authorities said Ornelas sped down the street in a car, ran to the back of the house, entered it and put a gun to his throat.


IN the house, shot in the head, or BEHIND the house, shot in the throat.  Only the EMTS know for sure.

Sounds like a combination of witnesses.  Someone saw him speeding down the street in a car.  Unless they were faster than him, someone ELSE saw him behind the house, and he did indeed shoot himself, with the same gun that shot the relatives.  Maybe details will come out, but probably not before some other young man or disgruntled ex tries to nab another young child somewhere in these United States, and pulls off another police-report-producing incident involving threats or weaponry.  

It was there that Ornelas attempted suicide, deputies said.

Staff Writer Ruby Gonzales contributed to this story.


(626) 962-8811 ext. 2236


ANOTHER COMMENT:     NAMED people in this story:  4 males:  Sgt. Miley, Bryan Ornelas, Jesus Rizo & Jesus Rizo — all male.  We also have all of their ages except the Sgt’s.   

UNNAMED people in this story:  the only 2 females (not county Staff Writer Ruby Gonzales, who contributed) ”  the infant girl and her mother, who  was named, in order “ex-girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, girlfriend, and ex-girlfriend.”  Neither her age nor name is not in there, or where she was during the shooting, although that the child wasn’t there seems clear.  She exists only as a man’s ex (a guntoting suicidal, orders-giving, retaliatory one, it seems).  NOTHING is said of her emotions or fears or reasons for declining to hand over a 3-month old baby.  (3 months, FYI, is pretty young.  That is a dependent child.  She was the mom….).  No reasons is given that she was not interviewed (as in, “could not be reached for comment” or “declined to comment.”    The story is only in the violence.  The headline emphasizes the man’s pain and suffering, and “self-inflicted wounds” — the word “wound” is a term used in warfare — the “wounded.”  This obscures the man’s violence.  Although someone (probably him) clearly DID shoot, because there are 2 relatives in the hospital; I tend to doubt it was the mother who fired the gun — the headline emphasizes that he was “Accused” of “attacking” family is very misleading.  He DID attack (shoot) and was chased for police by hit, to which he responded in an “adult” manner by fleeing.

I wonder, where was the girl’s MOTHER.  If an older female relative had been on the scene, might she have been able to talk down the young man?  She wa snot his “property” (i.e., sexually intimate) and she was not another male challenging the young man’s “property,” i.e., his little girl, and the order-giving status he held towards his “girlfriend.”  It seems to me that this situation might have done better with a voice of moderation around.  Then the armed officers show up (appropriately) and chase the guy.  

The account as given (he fled, and shot himself) It’s plausible.  It would fit a social pattern.  It may be true.  Point is, to the readers, it’s still hearsay, largely from the deputies.  No other witnesses are named in the article.


Now, this is the trouble with trying to find more information.  I googled “ornelas suicide” and unfortunately got this, a Mr. & Mrs. Ornelas

SANTA ANA – 3 Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide

March 20, 1993,  

A 44-year-old Santa Ana man apparently killed his wife and then himself after fatally shooting a man he incorrectly suspected of having an affair with his wife, police said Friday.

Homicide detectives believe Jose Lopez Ornelas shot Albert Lujan Galindo, 30, outside Galindo’s apartment on East Pine Street early Thursday morning, Santa Ana Police Sgt. Art Echternacht said.   {{note age difference — jealousy. }}

A neighbor discovered Galindo lying in a pool of blood just outside his apartment about 5:30 a.m.

Police said Ornelas then apparently drove his wife, Diane, 45, into southern San Diego, where he apparently killed her before fatally shooting himself, Echternacht said.

Police said the case is still under investigation and would not elaborate on what linked Ornelas to the Galindo slaying.

San Diego police, who are investigating the apparent murder-suicide in the Otay Mesa area, discovered Jose and Diane Ornelas slumped over in his 1988 Chevrolet pickup truck about 10 a.m. Thursday.

The truck was first sighted on the side of Otay Mesa Road near Heritage Road about 8 a.m., police said. The engine was running, the hood was up and the lights and radio were on, according to San Diego Police Lt. Greg Clark.

There was a small handgun in Jose Ornelas’ right hand, police said.

Friends and neighbors told police that Diane Ornelas and Galindo drove together to their custodial jobs at UCI Medical Center in Orange, Echternacht said, and “all indications are that they were not romantically involved at all, but the husband apparently got jealous.

A hospital spokeswoman said Diane Ornelas and Galindo had worked at the hospital for about 10 years. Police said they do not know why Jose Ornelas may have been jealous.

AND, another Google result:

Yet another Ornelas was just going to work, in Las Vegas Area (I guess) and landed in the middle of a “strange crime spree blamed on alcohol & depressants” (2008).  It really was out there, too. . . .

Strange crime spree ends in suicide

Alcohol, anti-depressants** blamed in Sunday’s string of events

When Marcos Ornelas was walking to work Sunday, the waiter at Joe’s Crab Shack thought it was going to be another normal afternoon.

But as he got closer to the restaurant near the intersection of Flamingo Road and the 215 Beltway, he was greeted by dozens of police cars and a helicopter circling overhead.

(**as opposed to economy, despair over breakup of a marriage (or affair), jealousy, resentment at actually having been punished for previous criminal activity, or simply a custody exchange, or God, or the devil….)


More on the Bryan Ornelas case, topic of this post:  3 Hospitalized in Valinda Shooting


Benwick Street after “a dispute … regarding child custody,” said Sgt. Dwight Miley of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s station in Industry.

Ornelas had been arguing with his ex-girlfriend when the two men tried to intervene, and Ornelas shot each man in the arm once with a handgun, Miley said.


Given how many sheriff-described “disputes” end up with people in the hospital, and sometimes dead or dying, I object to the word “dispute.”  If it is not actually a legal term, remind me to save up my money, attend one of the joint DV-training conferencees women like me are generally not allowed as speakers, and get my two bits in.  In addition to recommending early intervention and immediate prosecution of any felony (or misdemeanor) domestic VIOLENCE (not “abuse”) incidents, officers should be fined 1% of their weekly paycheck every time they (post-shooting) say the word “dispute” in connection with the incident.  This should go into a pro bono legal fund for women fleeing family violence who are bounced into the family law arena.  This will not actually equal the federal funding to states to help noncustodial fathers, BUT it would be at least a drop in the bucket.  

The sergeant said Ornelas and the woman (aka “girlfriend” aka. “mother”) were the parents of the infant at the center of the dispute.  A Sheriff’s Department helicopter hovered overhead as Ornelas fled the home in a vehicle with patrol cars in pursuit.


A 16 yr old is a man…  A mother is a girl.  However the 21-year old Ornelas is behaving kind of immature here, like a baby (only armed).

Ornelas led deputies to another home in the 1600 block of Mullender Avenue, where he ran inside and shot himself with a rifle, authorities said. Ornelas had been at that home earlier in the day and was known to the residents there, Miley said.

{{which may explain the “witnesses and authorities said.”  }}

{{This young man seems to have been pretty adept with firearms (if not emotionally mature) I would recommend that, should he survive,  — and it will come, believe me, the young mother get some weapons training, and the father be informed that she has it,  for the next court-ordered custody exchange.   After all, she may or may not qualify for federally- or state-funded supervised visitation, but even their own materials admit that women are still sometimes shot, and killed, outside such exchanges.  Her male relatives may not want to put their bodies inbetween for target practice next time.  She will be smart enough, soon enough, to realize that if a MOTHER uses a gun in an illegal manner against a father, she’s going down for more years than he is.  And the female prisons, I heard, are not so overcrowded as the male.}}    Perhaps mace, or a Taser, or pepper spray, might be a deterrent for such a father, but I don’t know offhand.  He doesn’t seem like the law-abiding, in control of his emotions.}}



Like the incident (a month or so earlier, post) in Minnesota, I’m wondering how the man could, being chased by police, pull off a suicide so fast.  I don’t handle guns, so I don’t know, BUT the first account says gun to his throat (a rifle?) and out back, not inside.  He was carrying a handgun and rifle both?  He was being pursued by police AND helicopter, but chose the rifle, not the handgun, to commit suicide with??  If he was going to do this, why not do it at the scene?  Who actually witnessed the last shot?

I can see why people are tempted to leave answering such questions up to the professionals, or local communities.  For one, with the internet, and nationwide coverage (of sorts), incidents like these seem to arise with breakneck speed.    Are they copycats?  Are these public messages to women/mothers as a whole that, “don’t even THINK about confronting me, or this could be you”?


Even if no action is taken, it is important, I feel, to think critically about what one reads.  I am uncomfortable (extremely) when the only source cited in a news report are the deputies, especially when an incident involves blood, hospitals, or any crime scene clean-up.



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