This week Patricia Mackenzie, 55, Norfolk VA, was discovered murdered by her husband, a police lieutenant. In my opinion, his name is not important he now joins the rank and file of “murderer.” He killed his wife in cold blood before turning the gun on himself. A coward with a badge licensed to carry and use a gun.
As I read the newspaper account in the Virginian-Pilot, my blood boiled. As the daughter of a Chicago violent crimes detective, whose mother lost her life at the hands of my father before he too, turned the gun on himself, I cringed at the words regarding the killer “Bill was a wonderful person.” Obviously, he was not. So why even print that?
Violent offenders of intimate partner violence and ultimately homicide do not suddenly wake up one morning and decide to make a snap decision and kill their spouse. The tension in the relationship and anger builds up over a period time. Just because no one actually witnessed any violence or “saw signs of it coming” means that the offender was experienced at hiding who they really were to the world. And their victims, rarely, if even at all will disclose, especially if married to someone in law enforcement that they are on fear for their life.
The article goes on to say “they may never know the reasons why” he did this? In my opinion the answer is simple, he was a violent controlling offender. Patricia Mackenzie perhaps was making plans to end the marriage. It is likely for her own safety that she did not disclose the details to anyone. The "oh so" well liked by all “murdering Lieutenant” got wind of her plans and in true offender form took control of the situation because she was planning on leaving and murdered his wife.
These types of tragedies written more like a glorified obituary for the killer continue to perpetuate the stigma and misconception society as a whole places on the epidemic of intimate partner homicide.
If you want to write a story, how about covering the facts and offering solutions as it relates to the victims. Why not include in your story how experts such as myself are keeping these women alive or information regarding the "Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit" and video in the book Time's up? I realize the headline makes for good ink in selling papers or traffic to a site, but responsible reporting is also important for those living in terror and fear. Especially when it relates to a victim involved in intimate police officer violence at the hands of a husband or boyfriend.
The final sentence in the coverage "He was somebody who, particularly as a lieutenant and sergeant - as a supervisor - was very fair," Amos said. "He would look out for his folks, make sure they were taken care of."
The article should have said, Patricia was murdered at the hands of someone who professed to love her. Our prayers go out to her friends and family. May she rest in peace.
I cannot stress enough, if you are in a relationship that has a history of violence, simply mustering up the courage to confront the person and say it is over, without the proper tools, can cost you, your life!
One of the major reasons women stay in abusive relationships is fear. They are afraid of what will happen to them and their children if they leave. Sadly, their fears are often justified; statistics show that a woman is at the greatest risk for injury when she announces her plans or leaves an abusive relationship.
The book "Time's Up A Guide on How To Survive and Abusive and Stalking Relationship" is the prescription, if you will, that every person must obtain before they announce they are leaving. Below is an example from Chapter 4, one of many unique tools provided in the book. It is available onAmazon.com, or you can purchase via e-book or on a cd. If you have questions, the email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Murphy Milano is with the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is an expert on intimate partner violence and homicide crimes. For more information visit http://www.saferelationshipsmagazine.com/ She is also in partnership with Pamela Chapman and iAscend Programs.http://pamelachapmanl.biz
Susan is the author of "Time's Up A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships," available for purchase at the Institute, Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" on Here Women Talk http://www.herewomentalk.com/ and is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated The Roth Show with Dr Laurie Roth. Susan is a survivor- the daughter of a police officer family intimate partner homicide by her father who murdered her mother before committing suicide.