Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shattered Silence in the Blue World

Ammunition and knives found in the nightstand of retired NYPD crime scene sergeant Raymond Sheehan. He told his wife his forensics expertise would let him get away with anything.

In February of 2008, Barbara Sheehan(pictured above) wife of New York retired Sgt. Raymond Sheehan was charged with second degree murder.If it sounds simple it is not.

If you think Barbara Sheehan could have easily planned an escape away from the violence, I can attest to the fact, her only exist strategy would have been in a body bag, hers.

This morning the 47 -year old Barbara was interviewed on Good Morning America with her daughter sitting beside her. As I heard the woman speak, it was no different from my own mother's words. And, Barbara Sheehan is the same age as my own mother, Roberta Murphy, who was also married to a homicide detective out of Chicago.

My mother was not so lucky. She was carried out in a body bag.

Growing up in an abusive police officer home does not stop when the officer goes on medical or retires. Often the abuse and violence can increase. My mother use to say "once he's off the job, things will be better." Instead, while he was on medical leave, my mothers life was pure hell.

My father stalked my mother. He constantly kept track of her every move. When she did not do as she was told, he found a way to make her "behave". This included my father informing my mother exactly how she would be killed.

So am I saying it is alright to take a life? No, I am not. But, in the blue world, it is not as easy as you may think to have an exist strategy or a safety plan. And in my experience with other officers wives in violent relationships, it comes down to a him or me survival. And to survive Barbara Sheehan lived in psychological terror and a constant battle zone behind the blue doors. No she never made a police report or ever had him arrested, it would only fuel him further. And Barbara knew it.

A police officers wife has a difficult time seeking orders of protection. Often, they cannot access the same avenue for assistance. And women in or married to those in law enforcement who are abused understand because they have been told by the abuser "they will kill them" and get away with it. Or "no one is going to believe them."

I could see and hear from Barbara Sheehans words and body language that facing prison is not going to be as bad as the hell of an existance she was forced to endure for so many years. She has hired attorney Michael Dowd who will be representing her in her trial scheduled for sometime in the spring.

Yes, he was shot 11 times while in the bathroom. It is likely that was the only time Raymond Sheehan did not have immediate access to the heavy artilary he owned. The bathroom was the only place you would not find bullets, handguns or knives.

I am on the stump on this tragedy. My father use to say what appears obvious to the world in the aftermath of a crime scene, may not always be how it really happened. Hands are a funny thing, when tested on a crime scene you have your answers one way or another.

15 comments:

OD, NY said...

The law that says a police officer charged with DV loses his badge and gun has created a silent issue that can be deadly. Thats why these cases are so tragic.

LEO LA County said...

Your a LEO family there's a federal law states we'll loose our jobs. Meaning no way to pay bills, mortgage etc., Hands are tied with the law.

The law works the wrong. The penalty for reporting abuse is greater.

The other side? There is nothing in place for these families anywhere.

Anonymous said...

11 rounds? Looks like murder. But she will likely get off. Sad either way.

New Jersey said...

Lots of women leave. This is no excuse for pulling the trigger. I am certain their wil;l be a battered woman defense in the mix someplace. Violence is not solved with violence.

Anonymous said...

Okay this is bullshit he was an abusive husband, so fwhy not divorce the rat and get on with your life. To stay is to compound the problem AND screw up your kids too.

Delilah said...

If I were in a kill or be killed situation I would have pumped 20 rounds into him! No, violence does not solve violence, then why do we go to war?

To me this is a war of the wills, the will to live. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in a home where every drawer you pull out a gun and ammo appear. I can't imagine living with the threat of death hanging over your head every day and having absolutely nowhere to turn.

Those of you that wonder why she didn't just get out or leave don't understand the control issues of a police officer who participates in domestic violence.

Yep, 11 rounds....not enough in my book!

Anonymous said...

The courage it took knowing the weapon could have jamed or some other mishap is interesting. So after years of abuse she gathers courage?

Or did the woman kill her husband just because?

Ever hear of divorce?

Pottersway said...

She'll get a pass for being a woman and crying as she is doing in the photo . In the interview with her daughter yea she's so courageous. If it had been her husband he would fry. Gender in crime makes a difference

Rhode Island said...

I hope she does not loose her faith. She did what she had to do for survival. It is sad, but I am proud for the strength in her actions.

Ohio said...

Barbara killed the scum bag because the system failed her. She could not obtain a court order. If she tried to leave he would kill her. Seems to me she had no choice.

In these relationships its him or me. In this case she made the only choice available to her.

Anonymous said...

For anyone having survived and come out alive, kuddos to those. The others we read about in the news because they have killed. Barbara Sheehan you are my hero. I hope you remain strong during this time. My thoughts & prayers are with you and your kids.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this tragedy will wake up police departments. Instead of pointing fingers implement a system for wives. You make the department for Leo BUT NOT THEIR WIVES AND CHILDREN. This abused, beaten in fear for her life woman had no place to turn without being killed.

How many of these cases are we going to continue seeing before a plan of action is in place.

As a wife of a Michigan Sgt., there is no escape for me except death. We need somebody to help us because we are living in pure hell.

Maybe when Barbara Sheehan is found not guilty she can begun to unravel our lives of terror.

Mississippi said...

I am tired of strangers placing blame. There isn't any safety measures to protect a wife or girlfriend with an abuser who is in law enforcement. You can't go in and get help. When you do you wind up dead. It is easy to judge when you have not lived the life of a victim married to someone with a badge, gun and training in crime.

Anonymous said...

Try calling police for help. They send out a supervisor who says are "you sure you wanna do this?" "He could be kicked off ther force."

"Why don't you take some time to cool off. If you want to press charges we can talk in the morning." Then when your husband see's they did nothing you are threatened & terrorized further. He says "there will not be a next time". "Don't ever embarass me like like ever again, do you understand"

Officers prpotection their own and no one else gives a shit.

Anonymous said...

Once you leave a violent relationship boyfriend, husband, or significant other. You are at risk to be STALKED!!!! No, matter what you do, you will be KILLED! I am definitely not an advocate for violence, but in certain circumstances its a must! If your life is in danger or is about to be taken away, then it gives you the right to take drastic measures that you need to take in order to save your life. Its a human instinct.

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