Thursday, June 19, 2008


Chew on this....

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.


Jen said...

Thank you, Shannon, for reminding us that while evil surely exists in this world, it will not escape God.

I will read this book.


Anonymous said...

We may never know why Matt wanted Kari "erased" from his life and all of our lives. But Matt, rest assure that just because you think you have erased her from your life and her daughter's lives, she still lives strong in all of ours! Kari's family and friends will never give up until justice is served. Kari loved her husband and her children and lived strongly everyday for them. She was the rock in their family. There's something dark within Matt that felt he could no longer go on with Kari on this Earth. Maybe he feels like "mission accomplished." But guess what, Matt, this mission is far from over.

JF said...

Go to Strong's blog for her discussion of "why" these killers don't just get a divorce. Additionally, Strong highlights some of the erased women about whom she has written.

I bet we will see Kari's story on Strong's blog one day.

Hey--can you answer this one, Matt?
Why didn't you just get a divorce?
Like Scott Peterson, were you looking to "simplify?"
You didn't quite get the happy ending you were expecting did you.
There's more coming, buddy. Lots more.

Brandi said...

Kari can never be erased from our hearts. Kari was my dear friend. I have so many memories of our years together. Those memories will never be erased. And I will see her again one day in Heaven. God's words can never be erased.
I am grateful for this.

Linda said...

Thank you, Shannon.

JK said...

If you haven't seen the 48 Hours story, I suggest you watch it (everyone!). It doesn't leave much doubt in a person's mind. The link on this blog no longer works. However, this link works. These are shorter segments but they provide the entire program. y=0

Just copy and paste to your web browser.


JK said...

JK here--
If you want to watch the program, you have to type in the preacher's wife. Go to the website I provided above and then type in the name of the program. There are 6 short segments for the entire program. Hope I didn't confuse you.

Frank said...

on a whim, I went back to the In cold blog site:

You can link to it from this blog.

Man, the Matt supporters are a little crazy. Alot crazy. One dude (yardie) said he was an old friend of Matt's but was beginning to question his innocence. A couple of people went after Yardie. Even attacked his gender. Said they didn't believe "he" was a "he." WHOA. Like it even matters.

What I really notice is that these supporters throw out lies like they are factual. They trash anything or anyone that shows the flaws in Baker's story (and there is so much).

What is really incredible is that they state the DA and Hewitt police have blown this case off. Have that not kept up with the news at all? I guess the Texas Rangers aren't involved either.;)

These people are delusional. Support Baker. But don't throw out lies, man. Don't attack other people for reviewing information and coming up with conclusions that are different than yours.

BTW--one of Baker supporters said there wasn't a support blog for Baker because it wasn't necessary. "You had the truth." I don't know if it is still up but I found a support blog for Baker not too long ago. It had been up since March. It was called justice something. It only had 3 or 4 postings. If you are going to lie, make sure you don't get busted.

Frank (so, you gonna bust my gender)

Anonymous said...

to Frank, and it doesn't matter if you are a he or a she. Basically you are saying that anyone that has anything in support of Matt then it is lies. No questions. And when someone seems to get too close and really does mention facts, then they are lying, and no questions asked. I keep waiting for someone that supports Kari to mention facts. Not just beliefs, but facts. Proof Kari did NOT go to doctor the week of her passing, proof she had an excellent interview. Not Kari's words, but someone that was actually there.

I am tired of just word games and the belief that only Matt could be the one writing on this blog. Difficult to believe he is even reading these.

sg said...

Frank I too recently went back to In Cold Blog post the other day and was surprised by the recent comments. I mean really, that was posted over a month ago! And I too felt for Yardie. I don't think they would believe Matt's own Mother is she said she had doubts. There are those who still believe Scott Peterson is innocent. I don't understand it.

Shannon this "Erased" article/book/blog eerily describes what Matt did to Kari and why. It really is creepy!

So what is the latest on the civil trial? Any news?

JK said...

anon at June 29, 2008 10:05 PM:

Could you PLEASE give yourself a name....pick one....

You said: "Basically you are saying that anyone that has anything in support of Matt then it is lies."

So far, everything you have stated has been what Matt has told you. Of course, the are lies. Yes, I do know soome things....talked to plenty of people. I live in Waco and know people who knew both matt and Kari. I don't want to write anything specific because I don't want to say something I shouldn't.

I think it is pretty interesting that people who knew both Matt and Kari believe kari would have never taken her life. and they believe Matt is very capable.


Shannon said...

SG -

While the Dulins can't say anything specific right now, it is my understanding that a trial date will be set before much longer. I KNOW the Dulins are ready to see this go to court.

Shannon said...

To Anonymous 10:05 -

I don't believe anyone has said Kari did NOT go to the doctor the "week of her passing."

And yes, "someone that was actually there" at the interview has spoken. More than one "someone that was actually there" has spoken. Either you're not being told everything or you know better but think if you put this stuff out there, people will just buy it.

Nope. Not here.

Sadie said...

Excellent post, Shannon. Yes, Matt Baker fits the profile. I don't doubt that Marilee Strong will pick up on this case, since it is a classic "Eraser Killer" scenario. Keep up the good work.

I have something to say, which I feel is very important in this case.
* * * * * * * * *

Which Matt Baker do you believe in?

"The good Matt?"
Innocent, pure man of God
Victim of an incredible string of bizarre coincidences
A warm and loving person
Tormented by misguided rumor-mongers and lying accusers
Vilified in the public eye and the media
Worthy of support, trust, and financial assistance,
A father who should be exonerated, freed from suspicion, and left alone


"The classic Eraser Killer?"
Deceptive, narcissistic sociopath
Cold-blooded wife murderer
Victimizer of Kari, Vanessa, and many other women
Appalling liar and arrogant con artist; a user of others
Dangerous man and abusive parent
Adulterer, porn addict, and sick sexual predator,
A monster who should be held accountable, prosecuted, and punished --

Which Matt do YOU believe in?

I know which Matt I believe in. I know which Matt Jim and Linda Dulin believe in. I know which Matt their investigators believe in. I know which Matt Kari's friends, her coworkers, her counselor, her students, believe in.

Does anyone ever wonder which Matt Vanessa believes in?

She has been silent. She has been presumed complicit in Matt's evil deeds. Does it occur to anyone out there that Vanessa's heart is the key to justice in this case?

Here is a story that may sound familiar to those who have followed the Baker case:
- - - - - - - - - - - -
"Once upon a time there was a lovely young woman in her 20's. She was trying to live a good life, but she had a few rueful mistakes in her life history. She had a beautiful little girl. She was divorced, and there were rumors about her daughter's paternity. But this woman wanted to focus on moving forward, and leaving her mistakes behind her. She wanted to make a good life for herself, and most of all, a good life for her daughter, whom she loved with all of her heart.

This woman met a man. A good-looking, warm, charming man. He had charisma. He was very likable. And he was offering her all the things she had dreamed of. Companionship, adoration, financial stability, a good father for her daughter ... there were a few little red flags, but she easily overlooked these. He was so convincing. So thoughtful. He said all the right things and she so needed to believe in him. This lovely young blonde mother fell in love, and she fell hard. After she decided to let him into her heart, she would face many instances of doubt. But each time, he would manage to convince her to believe in him again. And each time, she became more and more invested in the relationship.

Something happened. Something bad. Something really huge. This man had a wife, and the wife died under suspicious circumstances. Her family turned against him. They were crying out for justice. The media was all over the case, like a pack of vultures. The man had told lies. He looked very suspicious, but acted as though he believed he had nothing to fear from those who doubted him. Just as he would continue to do with her, he calmly, evenly denied any wrongdoing. He sought the pity and compassion of those near him. He was in a tough position and now more than ever, he really needed her. She was in very deep by now. She had thrown her heart over the bar, she had taken a road that would have been difficult to return from, even as she began to realize that his lies to her and his lies to others were unraveling into a tangled mess.

The truth was, that this man, the love of her life, her intended future husband and the man who could help her raise her child -- this man was actually guilty of the unthinkable. He had conceived of a plan to rid himself of his wife, so he could be with this young woman. He had thought it through carefully, researched the details on his computer, steeled himself to the investigation that would come, gotten his story down pat so he could stick to it after the fact. He knew he was going to do away with his wife. He made preparations, purchases, plans. And he did it. He killed his wife and began to weave his web of deception and denial. He really did believe he was that good, that smart. He thought he had gotten away with it. And at first, it seemed he had. But then the suspicions started growing.

Suddenly, this young mother, who had entrusted her heart completely to this man, was thrust into the epicenter of a media spotlight. All of her life was open to the curious, insatiable eyes of people who quickly began to condemn her and suspect her. Her life would never be the same, all because of her involvement with him. She was seen as "the other woman," and vilified fiercely by the media and by the dead wife's family and friends. Her name was bandied about in the national news media. Gone was her private identity, public was her shame. She wanted nothing but to retreat into her own private world again. She was riddled with anxiety and fear. She suffered self-recrimination, but also felt terribly misunderstood and unjustly accused. It was like living in hell. She began to wish she had never, ever met this man at all."
- - - - - - - -

Yes, this story sounds familiar. But how does it end? Well, in the case of Matt and Kari Baker, and of Vanessa, "the other woman," we don't yet know how the story will end.

But the story you are reading is NOT the story of Vanessa and Matt and Kari! Nope, it's not.

It is the story of a different beautiful young blond mother of a toddler daughter. It is the story of another woman who was taken in by a smooth-talking, easy-lying, narcissistic sociopath; a different -- and very famous -- "Eraser Killer." In the story you are reading, we DO know how it ended. Because this is the story of Amber Frey, a California woman who was duped and courted by now-convicted wife-killer Scott Peterson, who thought he could get away with "erasing" his wife Laci out of his life to pursue a new, better life with the beautiful, young, blond mother he had fallen for.

Two different cases, but the lies are the same. And just as in the Laci Peterson case, "the other woman" in the Baker case, Vanessa, was also the victim of a sociopath who has used her, lied to her, and exposed her to public attention and shame. Who broke her heart and put her through hell. Who made her question her own mind, her own judgment, her own will.

Here is the most important parallel of all: Just as in the Laci Peterson case -- an "Eraser" killing that garnered worldwide attention -- THE KEY TO JUSTICE LIES IN THE WOUNDED HEART OF "THE OTHER WOMAN" -- in this case, Vanessa.

Please, I beg the bloggers, the community, and the media: Please, set aside your hate. Stop pointing the finger at her in righteous judgment. Put yourself in Vanessa's shoes for just a moment. Maybe you could gain some insight by reading Amber Frey's book, "Witness for the Prosecution," or looking up the transcripts from some of her interviews.

Here are three quotes from Amber's Today Show appearance with Matt Lauer.
[1] Lauer: "So, every time you got uneasy about something, he had a knack about him where he could find a way to not only settle you down, but take on the responsibility himself, and move on?"

Frey: "Right."

Lauer: "So, again in hindsight, he had a great knack for stringing you along?"

Frey: "Pretty much, yeah."

[2] Lauer: "As you watched those interviews, what did you think?"

Frey: "That he was just a piece of work. You know, there isn't any truth that comes out of this man's mouth."

Lauer: "At one point he was asked in an interview about you. And he was asked if he loved you. And he said no, ouch. Did it hurt to hear that? No?"

Frey: "No, not really, it kind of made me laugh a little bit just how quickly he answered no."

[3] Amber was beginning to realize she might be the key to investigating Scott Peterson. Remember, at this point there were suspicions about Scott but no concrete reason not to believe his story that Laci disappeared near their home, while he was away on a fishing trip.

Frey: "I would see the family and the friends talk about their support for Scott. And I'd just get so frustrated. Because they didn't know the truth. And I just felt, you know, every day I say I'm here and I know nobody knows . . . I was so angry that Scott was being supported by these people that loved him so much, and talked about this perfect marriage that they had, knowing that there was me, and the information, and what I knew, and what he was telling me."

Amber now knew that Scott Peterson had spun an elaborate web of lies for her as he must have also done for his wife, family, and friends. At first Amber was grief-stricken, in shock. But soon she came to feel she had a mission to expose the truth about Scott Peterson's secret life and maybe, in the process, help find out what happened to Laci.

Frey: "I was thankful there was me. Because if there wasn't me, then people wouldn't see, I guess the real Scott, the Scott that nobody knew about."

Lauer: "The police said to you at one point, we've been praying for someone like you to come forward."

Frey: "Yes."

Like Amber, Vanessa would probably like nothing more than to forget any of it ever happened. She most likely beats herself up every day for having fallen prey to Matt Baker's lies. She probably regrets nothing in her life more than giving her heart to a man who turned out to be the opposite of what he seemed. She is a woman who had a dream that was shattered by the man who promised to fulfill it. She is the lucky one -- Vanessa was the one he wanted, therefore it was Kari whose life was snuffed out. Vanessa is lucky to be alive. She probably fears for her own life, which may be one reason she remains silent on the subject of what she knows about Matt Baker and his actions and behavior before and after Kari's death.

Think, people. If you can set aside your judgment, and look at Vanessa the woman, Vanessa the vulnerable young mother, Vanessa who fell for Matt's smooth lies and false persona, just as many others have done; Vanessa who never anticipated that her faulty decisions would result in public ostracism and humiliation, never thought she would be involved in a murder case -- you can begin to feel the compassion; you can begin to understand how she must feel inside.

How will this story end? Will there be justice for Kari, as there was for Laci Peterson? Will Kensi and Grace, Kari's two beautiful, vulnerable young daughters end up with their lives ruined by the man who killed their mother, or will they be rescued from his snare and be able to grow up in love and safety? Will there be ever be closure in the hearts of Jim and Linda Dulin, and Kari's family and friends?

Will there ever be peace in the wounded heart of Vanessa?

It is easy to point the finger at Amber, too. She, too is guilty of less-than-stellar judgment and some stupid life choices. But know this: Scott Peterson is sitting on death row. Justice has prevailed there, and it wouldn't have happened if not for the courage and strength of Amber Frey. Amber was a hero. She decided to do the right thing. She knew she would someday have to explain it all to her daughter. She wanted the comfort of a clean conscience. And she wanted justice for Laci, especially since she realized she, too, had been a victim of Scott.

If Vanessa were to decide to entrust her heart to the cause of justice in this case, it could help to heal her from the scars that Matt Baker left her with. She can choose, as Amber Frey did in the Scott Peterson case, to wrap herself safely in the arms of Justice and do what is right.

Vanessa is scarred from her involvement with Matt Baker and with the case. As the case drags on, she continues to be hurt. This is something she lives with every day, every night. Vanessa is a victim of Matt, just as surely as Kari was. Just as surely as Kensi and Grace continue to be, day in and day out.

Kari deserved better. And so do those little girls. And so does Vanessa. The girls are cruelly being brainwashed and used by their cunning father. They are defenseless against his manipulations.

Kari no longer has a voice. Her voice was silenced by the man she only began to fear in the days before he killed her.

But there is still Vanessa. And while there is Vanessa, there is hope for justice. Do you realize that her heart holds the key? She is the only one who has the inside knowledge of how Matt hurt her, and the clues to his murder of Kari. She is the only person who has the power to speak for Kari and for Kensi and Grace at this point. And for justice.

Let's all stop pointing the finger at Vanessa and look into our own hearts. What if Vanessa were your daughter? Your sister? Your friend? What would you want for her?

She deserves our sympathy and compassion, not our derision. Matt has wounded and damaged so many women throughout his adult life -- there are so many victims. And it won't ever stop until he is held accountable.

Vanessa holds the key. Please, offer her your compassion and understanding, not your hatred and ugly gossip. Make it safe for her to do what she needs to do, to find justice for herself and for Kari and the girls. Love her and encourage her to bravely speak out the truth she holds in her heart. Offer her the healing and unconditional love that she can only embrace if it is genuine and Christlike. Can you forgive her, so that she can do the right thing and forgive herself for falling for his dangerous lies?

Vanessa's heart -- just like Amber Frey's heart -- is the only thing that can make the difference.

My friends and I will be praying for Vanessa's heart. For healing. For forgiveness and compassion. For truth, and for justice.


tired of the Matt's blinders said...

I have personally talked to the man who interviewed Kari. He was shocked by her death. The interview went extremely well. He was going to hire her.
I have talked to a woman who saw her at Wal-mart after the interview.
I have talked to a woman she talked to after the interview and told her it went very well.
Where have you been that you do not know that these are established facts?...Let me guess... Kerville? Look around you. Many are creeped out by Matt. many do not believe him. It is a total miscarriage of justice that Matt is walking the streets.
BTW "miscarriage" is another word the good people who support Matt need to look up. I actually read the supposed evidence of Kari's "great sin" It's a load of crap! Anyone who has ever miscarried knows it's a load of crap!

4truth said...

You displayed a great deal of insight and compassion for Vanessa in your posting. She has a daughter. She has told many people that she adored Kari's daughters. Doing the right thing is often very difficult. I pray for her, too. I pray that she will find the courage to do the right thing. What a lesson she will show her daughter.

Vanessa---if you read this blog--
If you want to be able to live with yourself, you must step up and do what is right, no matter how difficult. That is the only way to liberate your heart...your soul.

Vanessa, you have said you are a child of God. I hope you have turned to Him for guidance during this time. He will comfort you and let you know how loved you are. He will also give you the courage to do the right thing. If you do hold the key,as Sadie believes, you must step up. This is not just about justice for Kari. By telling the entire truth, no matter how painful or embarrassing, you will help save Kari's daughters.

You are in my prayers, Vanessa. You are a victim. Telling the truth will change you from victim to hero. You have it in you. I know you do.

Thank you for your insightful comments, Sadie.