The number of women who have been murdered by their intimate partners is greater than the number of soldiers killed in the Vietnam War.
Women are 10 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate.
Nationally 42 percent of murdered women are killed by their intimate partners.
Women often rush into relationships out a desire for companionship and then choose to remain in them, even after it becomes obvious that the relationship is troubled, often "explaining away" less than honorable behavior for the same reasons.
Worldwide up to 70 percent of female murder victims are killed by their male partners (WHO 2002).
Bringing it home....
Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives, by author Marilee Strong, brings together 5 years of research in forensic psychology and criminology. Strong provides more than 50 case studies to profile a widespread and previously unrecognized type of murder. This isn’t your text-book crime of passion; instead, this is a calculated, well-planned, and carefully executed form of “erasure.” Strong writes, “These are women who have been ‘erased.’ Some have simply vanished, never to be seen again. Others have been found dead under mysterious by unexplainable circumstances—their deaths attributed to a ‘tragic’ fall, an apparent drowning, suicide, or some senseless street crime. In fact, they were murdered by a husband or boyfriend, then either made to disappear (their whereabouts left and open-ended mystery) or the crime scene rearranged to point police away from their true killer.”
Eraser killers kill for convenience. “Their actions are dispassionate, almost businesslike, yet their crimes are unimaginably cruel. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they do it anyway because they believe that rules don’t apply to them.” You see, they rationalize that the victim deserved what she got. The world is a better place without the victim in it. She was in the way of his plans. And the children left without a mother? Oh, he already had plans for a new one.
Is the hair on your arms standing straight up yet? There’s more.
“These crimes are often committed by men with no criminal record or history of violence whatsoever, men leading functional and often successful lives until the moment they kill the women, and sometimes children, they claimed to love. A surprising number go on to kill a second or even third wife or girlfriend, often in exactly the same way.” Eraser killers feel no guilt for their actions. They don’t fear punishment because they don’t believe they will be caught. And they very, very rarely admit their crimes. These killers tend to have three overlapping psychological traits that researchers call the Dark Triad: psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism.
Are you with me so far?
And perhaps the most vile eraser murder, according to Strong, is the killer who tries to make a murder look like a suicide. He tries to make the victim “out to be her own killer. These murderers inflict not only the trauma of sudden loss on the victim’s friends and family but also the stigma of feeling complicit in the death, for not recognizing the victim’s emotional pain and doing something to prevent the tragedy.” And when there are children involved, they are left with a hurt for which there are no words.
“We can’t even begin to get an accurate assessment of the number of women murdered by a “loving” partner because so many of these cases go undetected or unpunished. Between murders disguised as unexplained disappearances and those staged to look like accidental falls, drownings, suicides, natural deaths, carjackings, or other randomly perpetrated crimes, untold numbers of eraser killings every year are never even recognized as domestic homicides. The system for investigating unnatural or suspicious deaths in this country is incredibly faulty and outdated. Michael Baden, a top forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner of New York City calls it a national disgrace. Marilee Strong provides specific steps for reform into the death investigation system. She says poorly trained police, and coroners or JPs, often unwittingly help eraser killers get away with murder.
Often it is only a family who refuses to give up that brings an eraser killer to justice. Hear that Dulin family? Keep on!!
Strong writes that eraser killers have an advantage over investigators because of their ability to alter a crime scene to fit the scenario. “If he (eraser killer) places himself at the scene or pretends to have “discovered’ his dead wife, he has the enormous advantage of being able to give police and emergency responders the first description of what happened. His version of events......what he saw, what his wife was doing, how she had been behaving prior to her death, his claims of how he desperately tried to revive her......can create a lasting impression in the minds of the investigators. In addition to physically setting the stage, the killer is able to provide a verbal narrative that can have a very significant impact on how the death scene is viewed.” This sounds frighteningly familiar.
My son’s teacher was erased. We will not give up. Those of us who cared for Kari, love her daughters and support her family. We won’t give up. A friend sent the following commentary the other day. She said she was reading scripture associated with a devotional, and next to the verse she was reading was this:
Justice delayed is still justice. Even in our court systems, where crimes are punished years after they are committed and medals of honor are awarded decades after a war, justice is done. God promises that no evil will go unpunished; no good act will go unrewarded. As Solomon said. “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Eccl 12:14).
If there is anything we can count on, it’s God’s justice.
For Kari. For her daughters. For her family. For justice. We will not give up.