Why do men kill their wives/girlfriend's????

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Post by CritterFan1 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:58 pm

The Boston Globe
Why do men kill their wives?
Could some of these murders really be no more than "divorce substitutes"? The upcoming trials of Neil Entwistle and James Keown might provide some answers.

Pop-up Husbands suspected, convicted, or charged with murder

By Keith O'Brien | July 22, 2007

A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, LISA HARTWICK WAS RIDING IN AN elevator in Boston when she overheard a conversation between two men. One of the men was going through a divorce, and he was venting to his friend about lawyers and child support payments. At that point, Hartwick recalls, the man suggested, within earshot of everyone, that maybe he should just kill his wife, that it would be cheaper and easier that way. Hartwick, the director of the Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was stunned. "I really didn't know what to say," she recalls. "Luckily, his friend said to him, 'That's a lot of money. I understand. I'm going through it myself. But you've got kids.'"

It was probably just talk. The man was frustrated and likely never had any real intention of murdering his wife. Then again, who knows? Spouses kill spouses for many reasons. But the most intriguing reason may be this: Sometimes men - and let's be clear here, it is almost always men - decide to murder their wives simply as a way to end a rocky, unhappy marriage and avoid a divorce that could ruin their bank accounts or trash their reputations or spoil a dream life they have concocted for themselves. It is bizarre, seemingly inexplicable choice, especially considering the type of men involved. They are not hardened criminals, by and large, but rather domesticated suburb dwellers with fine cars, big houses, and nice wives. When the cops show up after these same wives turn up dead, the neighbors are shocked. Not here, they say. Not this guy. He wouldn't choose murder over divorce, the risk of prison time over child support payments. He wouldn't do this. To observers - and ultimately to jurors - it makes absolutely no sense. And yet the list of apparently nice, normal suburban Massachusetts men who have made this decision is long and infamous.

Take Charles Stuart, perhaps the most infamous of them all. On October 23, 1989, Stuart, who worked at a furrier on Newbury Street, shot his pregnant wife, Carol, in the head and then apparently shot himself as well. Stuart lived - just as he had designed it, while his wife and unborn child died - and went on to tell a sensational story about a black man who had robbed the white Reading couple. What Stuart really wanted, authorities later determined, was to open a restaurant with the money he'd get from his wife's life insurance policy. And once it was clear in January 1990 that he wasn't going to get away with it, Stuart made a second decision: He jumped off the Tobin Bridge.

David Magraw, a real estate investor, strangled his wife, Nancy, six months later in the living room of their Walpole home to avoid what may have been a six-figure divorce settlement. Joseph Romano, a Quincy ironworker, killed and dismembered his wife, Katherine, in September 1998 with a power saw he had borrowed from a neighbor. This, rather than leave, as his wife had apparently asked him to do. The case of Dr. Dirk Greineder - a renowned Wellesley allergist who slit the throat of his wife, Mabel, to protect his secret sex life with prostitutes - captivated the media the following year. Only months after that, in July 2000, Dr. Richard Sharpe, a rich, cross-dressing dermatologist in Gloucester, shot and killed his wife, Karen, to keep her hands off $5 million in assets.

And now the state is gearing up for not one but two trials of high-profile alleged wife killers in Middlesex County. Neil Entwistle, an unemployed engineer accused of killing his wife, Rachel, and infant daughter and then fleeing to England in January 2006, is scheduled to go on trial in October. James Keown, a radio disc jockey who allegedly poisoned his wife, Julie, with tainted Gatorade in September 2004, should have his trial in November.

"It's just not that uncommon," according to Bill Mason, the elected prosecutor in Cleveland, where, he says, three seemingly law-abiding men have ended their marriages by murdering their wives in the last five years. It's become so common, in fact, that last year Mason coined a term to describe these kinds of murders: "divorce substitute." But just why men would choose to kill instead of leave remains a mystery to many.

"Honestly, I think that really is the $64,000 question," says US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan for the District of Massachusetts. "Why not just simply get divorced?"

DAVID ADAMS, A LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST, HAS SPENT A DECADE trying to answer that question. Adams, mustachioed and bespectacled, is a cofounder and co-director of Emerge, a Cambridge program that in 1977 became the first in the nation to offer counseling to men who abuse women. Adams spends his days sitting in a room with men who talk about why they hit their wives or girlfriends. About 10 years ago, he began visiting Massachusetts prisons to meet men who had killed the women they once loved. He wanted to ask that question - why? - and discovered that their motivations fell into five categories: Some men were jealous; some were hopped up on drugs; some were career criminals; some were suicidal or depressed; and some, Adams found, were what he calls "the materially motivated."

Men in this last category lack emotional involvement, remorse, and a conscience. "They don't get jealous, because they don't care much about women," says Adams, whose book based on his research, Why Do They Kill? Men Who Murder Their Intimate Partners, is due out this fall. "They care more about the assets." They're preoccupied with money and status, and they typically live in suburban homes separated from others by fertilized lawns and manicured hedges, where neighbors can't easily overhear fights (and hence are inevitably surprised when the wives turn up dead). Cases of men killing their wives to avoid divorcing them rarely occur in urban areas - and that includes Boston, according to Deputy Superintendent Margot Hill, the Police Department's chief of the Family Justice Division. That's not to say Boston police officers don't respond to their share of murder scenes where a man has killed a wife or girlfriend. But more often than not, Hill says, these are classic cases of domestic violence, often prompted by women trying to leave, with no plotting on the men's part to avoid divorce settlements or minimize damage to assets or good names. In the suburbs, Hill says, the murder cases often take on a different twist and become "more bizarre." The men involved often have something to lose: fine cars, nice homes, reputations they've carefully crafted, or lives that others consider perfect. Yet those lives are never as perfect as they appear. Typically, Adams says, these men are keeping secrets - secrets they will do almost anything to protect. "They tend to have affairs," he says. "They tend to have a lot of financial dealings on the side. Remember Charles Stuart? His secret wish was to marry his mistress and buy a restaurant with her. And when his wife became pregnant . . . that was taking him farther away from his dream."

Of course, lots of men aren't living their dreams. There are plenty who have jobs they hate but wives they love. So who are the Charles Stuarts of the world? "They're narcissists," says retired FBI profiler Candice De- Long, who lives in San Francisco. "Life is all about them." Stuart, for example, was said to show more joy over a great haircut than over the impending birth of his child. One of Greineder's reasons to get rid of his wife of 32 years was that she was "getting older" and "soft," he told a prostitute. And one expert testifying at Sharpe's trial in 2001 said the Gloucester dermatologist, who shot his wife in front of three witnesses, might have had a personality disorder that made him both arrogant and deceitful. In fact, experts agree that most men who kill their wives to avoid divorcing them are sociopaths, able to distinguish right from wrong but not caring too much about that distinction. They will do what's good for them, says De- Long, especially when the life they have carefully crafted for themselves begins to unravel.

"For narcissists, it's not just that they love themselves," DeLong says, "but it's how others see them. Their image to others, to the world, is what's really important. And to have a chink in that armor is totally unacceptable. And that chink can be anything." Often, it's a damning secret. Husbands and wives share things. They know more about each other than perhaps anyone else does. And in a divorce, especially a nasty one, issues once locked away can go public in a hurry, shattering overnight reputations that were built up over decades.

That was Greineder's fear, according to Richard Grundy, the chief of the criminal bureau at the Massachusetts attorney general's office. Grundy was a prosecutor in Norfolk County in 2001 and built the case against the Wellesley doctor, persuading jurors that Greineder not only killed his wife to protect his secret life with prostitutes but also planned the murder for months. Greineder's goal: Make it look like a serial killer did it. "And to do that particularly," Grundy said, "what he had to do was slit the throat, right down to the neck bone, of the woman who brought him three children."

But Grundy knows that protecting secrets isn't always the motive in the murder of a spouse. He also prosecuted David Magraw in Norfolk County in his 1999 retrial for the murder of his wife, Nancy. And there, unlike the Greineder case, the issue was mostly money. Magraw, whose first wife died in 1970 in a suspicious accident, didn't want his second wife, a Walpole schoolteacher, taking half of what they owned. And Nancy Magraw knew it. "He is very angry about my suggestion that I will ask for 50 percent," she wrote to her attorney months before she was strangled in her home. "He feels that I am greedy and don't deserve it because he worked for it."

The cases were different, the motivations different. But in both instances, Grundy says, these men wanted to keep what they had. And because their feelings mean everything and the feelings of others mean very little, murder becomes an option. These men actually believe they will get away with murder, says DeLong, and they begin to think like this: "Divorce is messier than a body in the bedroom."

THE NUMBER OF INTIMATE HOMICIDES - THE MURDER OF A current or former spouse or lover or a family member - has been dropping since the mid-1970s. But this year in Massachusetts, with 22 alleged intimate homicides by the beginning of this month, it's on the rise, already seven more than what the state suffered in 2005 and on pace to surpass last year's total of 31, according to Jane Doe Inc., a Boston-based advocacy group for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

It's a troublesome trend for Jane Doe's executive director, Mary Lauby. She worries that the statistics may be an indication that domestic violence programs are underfunded and failing to reach those who need help most. And that affects everyone, she says, no matter if they live in Boston or its finest suburbs. As she sees it, the Dirk Greineders and David Magraws, who go to great lengths to conceal the murders of their wives and later make for fantastic Court TV, aren't much different from your run-of-the-mill wife-beating husbands who get no headlines at all. Violence or threats of violence often precede their attempts to kill, says Lauby. These men feel as if they own the woman. And, most of all, they crave control. "What appears around friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers as a guy who's not 'out of control,' " says Lauby, "is somebody who's spending an awful lot of time ensuring that he or she - but mostly he - keeps in control of that relationship."

The most dangerous time for any woman in this sort of relationship is when she begins to empower herself, decides she's had enough, and makes an attempt to leave. Magraw strangled his wife four hours before they were meeting with their divorce attorneys. But sometimes the wife isn't ready to leave. Sometimes she feels as if she can't. Even now in the era of the amicable divorce, when women have greater economic independence than ever before, some women feel powerless, trapped in a relationship that grows more dangerous by the day. Take the case of Harold and Jamie Stonier.

They hit it off at their 20-year high school reunion in Plattsburgh, New York, in 1998. Both were divorced. Both had children. And Jamie was quickly taken with her old classmate. He was good-looking, a Marine. He was confident and smart. Put together, she thought. They went to the Marine Corps Ball in Washington, D.C., a few months later. She became pregnant. They moved in together in Virginia, got married on a boat on the Potomac River, and then, when Harold retired from the Marine Corps that fall, moved to Massachusetts. He had a good civilian job at an IT company. He drove a BMW, and they had a great house in Westwood.

But there were already cracks in the foundation. Harold was prone to fits of rage. At first, Jamie figured her husband was just going through a stressful time. He had a new wife, new kid, new life, new job. But the problems continued. They went into counseling, separated, and got back together. And then, in April 2003, Harold asked a New Bedford mobster to kill his wife. He wanted out of what he called "that little hell of a marriage." But the mobster called the feds, and the feds set up a sting, and just when Harold thought he was getting out of his marriage, he got arrested instead.

On the stand at his trial in 2005, he gave a wandering explanation for why he wanted to hire a hit man to off his wife. There were financial problems. He alleged that she was a bad mother. That she only wanted him for his money. That he was under a lot of pressure. That his job was very demanding. That his wife was out of control. That he was having a nervous breakdown. That he was trying to do everything he could to save the marriage. But it just wasn't possible, he told the jurors, and he began to think about having her killed. As far as he was concerned, this was perfectly logical. Everyone having problems in their marriage, Harold Stonier testified, must from time to time think about these things. Right?

Keith O'Brien is a Globe staff writer covering suburban live in metropolitan Boston. E-mail him at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

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Post by CritterFan1 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:48 am

what really gets me, greed is usually what makes men kill their wives....then when they get caught all of their money they saved from alimony payments now goes to the legal system. Makes no sense.

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Post by laga on Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:42 pm

Why?....sadly, because they can.

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Post by CritterFan1 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:32 pm

Why Do Men Kill Their Families?
May 27, 2009 by
Walt Crocker

"Familicide" May Be Linked to Depression, Inability to Provide
The big news in St. Louis these days is about Chris Colemen, the man who purportedly killed his entire family while they lay sleeping. An angry crowd of people gathered at the courthouse yesterday with shouts of "murderer" as he plead not guilty to killing his wife and children.

There have been more and more cases of "familicide" in recent years and it doesn't seem to be tied to the poor economy. Psychologists who try to look for the cause of these types of things say that it stems from distorted thinking and depression. While healthy people can't imagine killing
their own family, these people justify it by thinking that they are saving them from an even more horrible fate. According to CNN, ( [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] some may even commit suicide afterwards. They kill their own family to spare them the shame of a suicide.

The person who kills his family views them as possessions. He feels that they belong to him no matter what and he'd rather see them dead than to lose them. It's sort of like the Norman bates syndrome. They may carry these feelings around with them for years before acting on them. Then, all of a sudden, the dam breaks and they can't fight it anymore. And that's when the unimaginable happens.

Sometimes the mass murder is triggered by an event that threatens the person's ability to take care of the family such as a divorce or loss of a job. And some studies show that the intense news coverage that usually results in these cases may actually trigger more of them. The so-called "copy cat" syndrome.

Every 16 minutes in the United States, a person commits suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide is now considered a mental illness, not some weakness or character flaw like it once was. It's hard for people to realize that it's a chemical imbalance in the brain that may be helped if treated like any other form of illness.
Why Do Men Kill Their Families?


Why Some Mothers Kill Their Children
More than 200 women kill their children in the United States every year, according to a recent study by the American Anthropological Association. Homicide is the leading cause of death in children under four.
By Kelly Sons | Published 12/16/2005
Differences Between Mothers and Fathers Who Kill Their Children
Mothers often plead insanity. What about the fathers?
By Jennifer Thompson | Published 7/26/2007
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Post by CritterFan1 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:03 pm

February 1, 2009
Fathers Who Kill…Why Do They Want to Kill Their Families

With all the fathers deciding to kill their families and then themselves, I am horrified with the growing frequency of this. I was given this list of possible motives (although some of these should be prefaced by the worsening economic situation). A couple of these I fear predominate the situation…the ones that mention revenge against an estranged wife are often cited in these cases. I am afraid we will see more of these murder-suicides unfortunately…

There are other theories that fathers kill because they fear losing control of their families, and other possible motives [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Ewing offers a list of motives for familicide, as does Dr. Herbert Stream in Our Wish to Kill and Christine Jackman in “When Dads Get Deadly.” Jointly, they cover the following reasons why men kill their families:

* Losing control over the family circumstances/panic over powerlessness
* Seeing only adverse circumstances ahead in life/desperation/frustration
* Feeling overwhelmed and unable to let the family live while he dies
* Seeing the deaths as a necessary sacrifice
* Believing the children cannot survive without him
* Revenge against an estranged wife, or teaching her a lesson
* Grief over losing the family in a divorce
* Discipline gone too far
* Possessiveness/entitlement/ownership
* Psychosis
* Self-enrichment
* Projecting their self-hatred onto the children
* Killing witnesses to abuse
* A joint crime with the mother—erasing the family
* Compassion
* Duty to the family
* Suicide by proxy
* Jealousy of children who are getting involved with others
* Difficulty adjusting to being a parent
* A long tradition of abuse in the family that just continues
* The idea that children must serve the parent’s needs
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Post by CritterFan1 on Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:39 am

The Scientific Fundamentalist
A Look at the Hard Truths About Human Nature
by Satoshi Kanazawa
Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at LSE and the coauthor (with the late Alan S. Miller) of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters. See full bio
Remaining puzzle #10: Why do men murder their pregnant wives/girlfriends?
Why do men murder their pregnant wives/girlfriends?

Scott PetersonThere have seemingly been a spate of cases where a man has been convicted or suspected of murdering a wife or girlfriend pregnant with his genetic child. The most notorious of these recent cases include Scott Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife and their unborn child and was sentenced to death, and Bobby Cutts, Jr., the former police officer convicted of killing his pregnant girlfriend. Marine Corporal Ceaser Lauren has been accused of murdering and burning the body of his colleague, who once accused him of raping her and was likely carrying his genetic child. Why do these and other men kill pregnant women who are carrying their genetic children?

Murdering a woman who is carrying their genetic child is a mystery from an evolutionary psychological perspective, under any circumstances, because these men always have the option of abandoning them. It is possible that some men, under some circumstances, are not capable of investing in their children or willing to do so for various reasons, but in such cases the most obvious course of action is to abandon them. There is absolutely no reason to murder them. Murder of ingroup members has always been heavily condemned throughout human (and probably protohuman) evolutionary history. It is therefore an extreme act. So why, again, do these men resort to it?











From an evolutionary psychological perspective, the answer could not be that these men were afraid that they would be legally established as the genetic father of the child by a court-ordered DNA test and then legally required to pay child support by the court, with the threat of imprisonment if they do not comply. A DNA test, paternity suit, criminal court, and prisons did not exist in the ancestral environment, so men’s brain cannot truly comprehend them and they are not likely to act out of such concerns.

The human brain has difficulty comprehending and dealing with entities and situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment more than 10,000 years ago. This is known as the Savanna Principle. For example, if men’s brain can truly comprehend artificial means of contraception, such as condoms and the pill, then they should not be upset at all if their wives commit adultery when they are on the pill, because the men would then not be cuckolded by their adulterous wives and duped into raising the resultant child as their own. In reality, however, it makes virtually no difference to the men whether their wives were on the pill or using a condom when they engaged in adultery. It would upset them extremely regardless.

By the same token, if men’s brain can truly comprehend the pill, they should not find the prospect of having sex with a young attractive woman on the pill exciting or arousing at all. In reality, of course, it makes virtually no difference whether the woman is on the pill or not; men find the prospect of having sex with her equally exciting. Nor do they prefer having sex with a less attractive woman not on the pill to having sex with a more attractive woman on the pill. This is because the pill did not exist in the ancestral environment, where more attractive women were always more fertile on average than less attractive women.

Similarly, the reason why men are compelled to kill their pregnant girlfriends and lovers could not be that they are afraid that the birth of the child might jeopardize their marriage, because, once again, they always have the option (exercised by countless men throughout history) of abandoning the lover and her child. Throughout evolutionary history, “married” men have often sired children by other women, and their “wives” usually did not care very much as long as the men did not abandon them and their children. It is only when the men are tempted to leave the wife and her children for the other woman that the women get jealous.

In fact, I cannot think of any reason why men should want to kill women. This is an issue (probably the only issue) over which I disagree with my esteemed colleague, and the Dean of Modern Evolutionary Psychology, David M. Buss, the author, most recently, of the book The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind is Designed to Kill. I agree with Buss that humans probably have evolved psychological mechanisms that are designed, under some circumstances, to compel them to kill all sorts of other people. But not women, their wives and girlfriends in particular. I can clearly see that men are designed, under some circumstances, to rape women, beat up their wives, or abandon them, but I cannot think of any circumstances in which men should be compelled to kill their wives intentionally.

Female reproductive resources are the most valuable resources in the world. I believe that women -- reproductively capable women who would have your children -- are simply too valuable to kill, and it is therefore a great mystery for evolutionary psychology (and, once again, only for evolutionary psychology) why some men do.

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Post by CritterFan1 on Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:24 pm

As the search widened for Maria Lauterbach's suspected murderer, Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, initial autopsy results on Lauterbach's burned body, found buried in a North Carolina field, indicate that Lauterbach was eight-months pregnant with a baby girl (The Blotter) ABC News' Brian Ross reports. Earlier reports from Lauterbach's hometown in Ohio had said the unborn baby was a boy, to be named Gabriel Joseph.

The wife of fugitive murder suspect Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean was riding in a car with her husband when he confided to her that he had buried Lauterbach, the pregnant Marine who had accused him of rape, behind their home.

Laurean, the father of the couple's 18-month-old, then confronted his wife with a wrenching decision.

Laurean asked his wife "if she was in on this," newly released court documents state. Christina Laurean told police that she responded with a question of her own. "I do not know," she said, according to the document. "Is there anything that you have not told me?"

It would be another 24 hours before Christina Laurean would go to the police with the grisly information, and her hesitation may have given her husband a crucial head start on a fugitive manhunt that has now stretched into Mexico.

Nevertheless, the Onslow County Sheriff's Department in North Carolina has filed no charges against the wife and considers her a cooperating witness.

It's now been one week since Laurean disappeared just hours ahead of a police announcement that Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach was dead and that Laurean was the prime murder suspect.

Newly released information, contained in Onslow County search warrant documents, provide a timeline of what Laurean shared with his wife about Lauterbach.

As Laurean and his wife drove to his attorney's office Jan. 10, the Marine stunned her by telling her that Lauterbach was dead and buried behind their house.

He told his wife that the pregnant woman had demanded money from him so she could leave the area and that he had bought her a bus ticket to El Paso, Texas. He said that Lauterbach returned to their house, argued with him and then slit her own throat.

Terrified by the scene, Laurean said he took her body to a wooded area near the house and buried her, according to information his wife provided authorities.

Then came the question and the wife's delay.

#
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Post by laga on Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:29 pm

Dear Satoshi Kanazawa , Your book sounds like a bunch of BS to me. You think because women are reproductively capable they are too valuable to kill and therefore, speaking in evolutionary pyschological terms, men should never have a reason to kill a woman. However, your "Savanna Principle" does not apply to all men. Some men have no sense (I could end there) of anyone's importance other than their own. The only reason others exsist in their evolved minds is to satisfy their own needs and wants. Therefore, they see all women as potential bearers of their offspring should they desire to reproduce. In that case, offing a wife or girlfriend who no longer was able or willing to satisfy their needs and wants is neccessary. This is called the "Peterson Principle". Oh, and just for your info, speaking in evolutionary terms or any terms, it takes more than the female to reproduce. Although, I do agree that females are valuable, so are males, and it isn't just for the purpose of reproduction. The life each one of us lives is important, even to the future of mankind, whether we reproduce or not.

BTW, I have read all the many, many reasons in this thread and I still stand behind my reason....because they can.

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Post by CritterFan1 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:17 am

that is right, because they can. Women are very capable of murder as we all know.

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