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.
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.
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 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.
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.