The control over where she went, what she did to how long she stayed out to run a quick errand was manageable for Karen Kahler no different from others whom love their husbands and work hard to make the marriage work. After the birth of their daughters Lauren and Emily the violence increased and her husband Kraig Kahler’s jealously over his wife’s daily routine was a nightly interrogation. And if he did not believe Karen, she paid the ultimate price and was beaten. A third child was born, Sean, a boy and Karen prayed her abusive husband would shift the good part of him, the man she fell in love with and be involved with her son.
Kraig Kahler's yearly salary was $150,000 as the former director of the Water & Light Department in Columbia, Mo., where he faced other charges. But, when city officials learned he was also terrorizing his wife and family it lead to his dismissal. Online court records show Kahler was scheduled for trial in Columbia this past Wednesday on a domestic assault charge that stemmed from an altercation with Karen in March of 2009.
Karen like so many women who are abused filed for divorce rented a house and she and her 3 children began their journey of freedom. Karen wanted her children to maintain a healthy relationship with their father, but, as many violent abusers do, they dismiss the female children and shower all their attention on the male child as in this case.
(Lauren, Emily and Karen)
After the family moved Kraig Kahler became more obsessed. Although he was never “caught in the act” he stalked her, slashed her tires, became obsessed with her on-line computer activities, but was never arrested. Even though she obtained a restraining order it would be no match against the rapid fire power of a weapon.
Karen Kahler and her daughters Emily and Lauren were shot to death by Karen's estranged husband while they were visiting her grandmother, Dorothy, for the Thanksgiving holiday. Dorothy was also shot and and died a few days later. Sean, Karen's 10 year old son, escaped from the house, called for help and was not harmed.
That evening 3 generations were erased within moments by a man that with his entire being believed he owned the ultimate power of when Karen, Emily, Lauren and Dorothy would take their last breath.
Twelve hours later Kraig Kahler was arrested and is being held on $10 million dollars bond. In the months to follow people will point blame or perhaps say he was severely depressed or he was not in his right mind at the time of the execution of his family. The fact is he was in his correct frame of mind all along. He is not insane and his motive was clear. The years of agony and expense this will cost the State of Kansas with motions, hearings, continuances trials, appeals, is not worth the life of this serial killer.
Part 2 tomorrow