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Enraged, Estranged, Restraining Order, Released (same-day without bond), 4 kids (and wife) Dead, 5th injured, plus 2 orphans. All within one year.

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If you get ONE thing from this article and my blogging it, think twice before obtaining a restraining order. i really do suspect that the people who issue them get a per-capita reimbursement (say, if it’s a nonprofit encouraging the woman to get one), or who knows who else, for issuing one, to justify the existence of this charade. Of course, if a single restraining order would open a window wide enough and long enough (before the batterers’ intervention/supervised visitation/fatherhood-marriage-promotion shared-parenting people get in there) to actually REMOVE one’s ass, and children, and relocate — that’d probably be better. Of course, you might get, as a mother, thrown in jail for depriving children of access to their obsessive, threatening, stalking, jealous, death-threatening (and in this case, “clubbing,” as in alcohol and/or entertainment…) father. Pick one of several unpleasant choices for your individual situation…

(This article says “enraged” man also shot himself {to die? Or for emotional appeal post-murder?} but doesn’t detail whether he survived or was arrested THIS time, without ability to post bail, now that 5 people have died, and a 15-year old was critically injured).

I’m going to risk the wrath of AP and post (with credits) the entire article. I believe this is within copyright limits (see link on my blog to this), and moreover, I believe it MIGHT if heeded save another step-family mom wipeout. Particularly if one of the family members believes a restraining order means anything practically, which it doesn’t.

Let me rephrase that — a restraining order does mean SOMETHING practically (case in point). They piss off the person the restraint was placed on. We should call them (in addition to “certifiably insane”) “inciting orders.” The police then release this person after previous violence, and often a picture-perfect point-for-point match of every item on the typical “lethality risk assessment” check sheet. Perhaps THIS is how DCFS & foster care gets kids?? ??

I’m going to post the whole article ONCE, without interrupting or marking it up (like I usually do) with room for reader response afterwards. There’s a brief “What the ….” followed by blank lines, to put in the emotional expletives I hope will accompany the reading.

Then, a little more time for critical assessment — what did you notice (in the reporting, in the incident?) after which I will point out (besides the language of the report), an area of increasing concern for me, in these “it Bleeds, it Leads” headlines, as well as other of my own possible reading between the lines.

(1) – UNCUT article

Enraged man kills estranged wife,* 4 stepchildren,


“What the _ _ _ _? God D _ _ _! _ _

_!” 36-yr old mother of 7 children loses 4 of them, and her life, despite efforts to save it?

How did this happen? Why did this happen? Is someone responsible besides the father?

Who writes these headlines!?

Do they have a tumbler, one word per card, kind of like the lotto, and when the police blotter says XX people dead, a loose assortment of the verbs, adjectives, and a predictable assortment of posthumous/after-death commentary.

  • Enraged MAN, estranged WIFE.

Why not Man & Woman? But since it’s obviously about (another) domestic violence family wipeout, it should really be “Husband and Wife.” Even enraged, the word “man” encompasses more than “wife” which is a function in a relationship. Minor as it seems, I object to this phrase. How does it go at the wedding? “I now pronounce you husband and wife?” or “I now pronounce you MAN and wife.” If the latter, I recommend calling the wedding off.


Who writes these headlines? This man wasn’t “enraged” — he was a man of his word. He said he was going to put her in the morgue and her family would cry. He did, and I’m sure they did, too — what’s left of them…This was a rampage, as to its effect, but not necessarily as to the man’s mood, or emotions, being worse than normal — normal seems to include death threats, assaults, property damage with weapons that COULD kill (knives), although guns later did, and in general off-the-chart behavior, probably even for that neighborhood where shots were not uncommon.
Don’t you DARE pull “Marriage Promotion” out of this one. She was married, and very possibly need (5 children, one per year, approximately) required help?? Want to guess whether the first Daddy(s) paid child support enough for them to survive? #2, these were married! The children did NOT wake up in a “fatherless” home (if you count stepfathers, plus the two young ones). Now 3/7ths of them they will — I hope at least not with THAT father.


This is the LEAST relevant adjective to describe a woman, other than it typically precedes “dead,” so it at least warns the reader. “Terrorized” was more like it. He was the “Strange”one, from what I can tell.

The article says she repeatedly took him back “hoping things would get better.” While I believe her taking him back was more a factor of need (see list of children) and probable threats about what would happen if she left him, (see “jealous/obsessive/stalking, etc.) than her neighbor’s assessment of her mental state. Either that, or she was numbed/terrorized into “hoping” as few other alternatives seemed around. I say this as a mother (we are all still alive, last I heard at least of the Dad) who didn’t leave until guns and knives came into real serious play… And one needs a way to leave in order to do so…

So no, she wasn’t estranged — not until the final restraining order. They had irreconciliable differences, right? He wanted and threatened to kill her. She begged to differ. “Estranged” makes it sound like he holds the central ground, and she was “estranged” from him. (see above: she was a wife and mother. No work life?? Even at 36 yrs old?)


The horror that unfolded around 2 a.m. Monday was the culmination of a lengthy dispute that came to a head Dec. 20, when Whyte-Dell said her husband came after her with a knife, slashed her tires and scratched an “X” into the concrete driveway.


Noun: A disagreement, argument, or debate.

Verb: Argue about (something); discuss heatedly: “I disputed the charge on the bill”; “he taught and disputed with local poets”.” (DICTIONARY.com)

dispute – definition of dispute by the Free Online Dictionary

v. dis·put·ed, dis·put·ing, dis·putes. v.tr. 1. To argue about; debate. 2. To question the truth or validity of; doubt: Her friends disputed her intentions.
to engage in argument : debate; especially : to argue irritably or with irritating persistence. transitive verb. 1. a : to make the subject of disputation
I dispute the habitual usage of the word “dispute” (minus any direct object — it’s a transitive verb, see above definitions) in association with the following “death’ as if it were somehow causative. it ain’t. Death, i.e. here, “killings” following threats to kill, results from one individual murdering another which is a choice, unless in self defense (or war). It has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood (as to casuing the death). The cause of death in this case (unless I may legitimately bring up the police factor in releasing without bond, which presumably also involved the unmentioned “judge” (or, sentencing guidelines in the criminal venue) which allowed it) is bullet(s) stopping life. Don’t blame, or even try to implicate the low-level of conflict (by comparison), “dispute.”

This is no small deal when “domestic violence” mixes with “family law,” home of the thesis that this violence is a Dispute and ALternate Methods of Resolving it should be found, than punishing it as a crime, and protecting the victims as the victims they are, not to mention the communities where it occurs.

Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution

Mediating the Litigated Case

Irvine, California (thru Pepperdine Univ. School of Law)

January 20-22 and February 3-5, 2011Six day training program.
Register Now!

From 2005 to 2010, this program has sold out entirely through web site registrations, prior to our advertising the program!

cf., “. As increasing numbers of courts are requiring parties to mediate in order to accommodate an overburdened legal system, there is a growing demand for professionals who, in addition to being able to evaluate a case, can also facilitate negotiations between adversarial parties to reach innovative solutions. Now lawyers and other established professionals can use their expertise to break into a new area of practice with tremendous possibilities. The Mediating the Litigated Case program offers a unique opportunity to learn about the mediation process in a format geared specifically toward civil litigation cases.
Notice, it doesn’t say family, or criminal. Notice the new field of expertise. This says NOTHING about criminal violence, but the treatment of such violence (hich threats are) as IF they were a “dispute” is a violence to logic, sanity, and most particularly to the person , any battered spouse, forced into this. S/he has lost before going in the door — it’s already framed as a “dispute.”
The word “DISPUTE follow”d by DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEATHS is an INSULT. and produces cognitive dissonance. Please innoculate yourself mentally when reading it… It downgrades “Danger” like the word “abuse” downgrades “violence,” which abuse is. It is a mis-USE of a person (or relationship). People exist independently as souls, bodies (and many say — along with me — ) spirits. “Use” of people leads towards Auschwitz. People as people opens that door.

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

September 29, 2010 at 9:03 am

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