Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Millet AB mother charged in murder of her 2 sons - Meritt BC dad sentenced as "not criminally responsible"

Similar to this case in Oregon, Allyson Louise McConnell was charged in February in the cruel drowning of her 2 young sons Jayden, 10 months, and Connor, 2½ years on Feb 1, 2010.  They were found by their father, Curtis McConnell,in the bathtub in their home.  Curtis and his wife were separated and had received a (presumably interim) court decision that gave the parents joint custody and prevented the mother - who was originally from Australian - from leaving the country with the 2 children.

There was speculation the women attempted to kill herself by driving off an overpass in Edmonton an hour before the children were found.  She is in custody and being evaluated.

Here is an excellent resource on female offenders that I found online.

The day before, Allan Schoenborn was found not criminally responsible for murdering his 3 children - 10yr old Kaitlynne, 8yr-old Max and 5yr old Cordon - in April 2008 in Merritt BC during a visit after his common-law wife had relocated from Vancouver with the family.    He was found 9 days after the incident - having clearly failed at taking his own life.    Here was some key points in the judge's decision:

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Powers, who heard the three-month trial in Kamloops without a jury, found that the killings were deliberate and planned by Schoenborn, but that he was not sane at the time.
"I find on balance of probabilities he was suffering from a disease of the mind," Powers told the court Monday.
Powers rejected the Crown's assertion that Schoenborn killed his children as revenge against their mother.
"I find it unlikely [he] would have killed his children out of anger given the close and caring relationship he had with his children," said Powers.

"Mr. Schoenborn, if anything, was overprotective. The irony is that the real danger to the children was Mr. Schoenborn himself and none of the dangers that he imagined in his mind."
But Powers said Schoenborn's imaginary fears can't justify his crime.

"Any reasonable or rational person would know that was wrong," he said. "However, due to his psychosis at the time he was not able to make that decision."

Schoenborn spoke out twice during Powers's reading of his judgment, saying only, "bullshit."

References: PDF1, PDF2, PDF3.

Update - 2013 Sept "Child killer Allyson McConnell found dead"  Sydney Morning Herald


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Suicide Rate Greater Among Divorced Men, Research Finds

(March 10) -- American men are four times more likely than women to take their own lives. It's a troubling phenomenon, rooted in such factors as genetics, upbringing and even career choice. But a growing body of research suggests that divorce is one of the major culprits in suicides among adult males. 

Women, however, seem immune to the stress and sadness that can be wrought by the end of a marriage.

Dr. Justin Denney, a sociologist at the University of Colorado, is studying the relationship between family structure and suicide rates. He's using national data collected on over 1 million people, and their households, to pinpoint how family dynamics can precipitate, or protect against, suicide mortality.

Denney's research is the first to examine so many cases at a national level, but experts have been aware of the link between divorce and men's suicide risk for decades. According to a compilation of research published by JRank and confirmed by Denney, suicide rates are higher among divorced men, and lowest among those still married. Single men fall somewhere in between.

The impact of divorce on suicide is so strong, it can even be gleaned from international comparisons. Among industrialized nations, those with the highest divorce rates also have the highest suicide rates. 

For example, a 2008 study out of the U.K. concluded that suicide and divorce rates saw parallel increases and a simultaneous peak in the late 1990s. Suicides then dropped while divorces did not, likely because of more intervention among teenage boys, the researchers speculated.

But divorce also tends to crop up more in regions that are susceptible to alcoholism, drug abuse and widespread migratory tendencies -- oil and gas boom towns, for example. So suicide rates might be less about divorce, and more about a confluence of precipitating factors -- factors that are clearly taking a greater toll on men, who account for 79 percent of the 32,000 suicides in 2005.

Denney's research, published last year in Social Science Quarterly, concluded that men who are divorced are 39 percent more likely to commit suicide than those still married. The difference increases to 50 percent when a man is a widow. 

Among women, differences in suicide risk among those who were married, divorced or widowed were statistically insignificant. 

Health experts remain unsure of the specific reason for the widespread incongruity, but Denney suspects that marriage offers a support system for men that's uniquely beneficial.

"Maybe they forge a relationship and a reliance on their partner that's specific to that relationship," he told AOL News. "Much as marriage is important to women, it just doesn't seem to be the driving factor."

Other research has already shown that married men enjoy major health benefits, including a boost to longevity and a decreased risk of smoking or alcohol and drug abuse. "Married men don't engage in the same risky behaviors," Denney said. "That stability could be a further protective factor."

And while married women often balance employment with child rearing, Denney said statistics suggest they're coping quite well. "Women remain the primary caretakers in most households," he said. "They're working more, yet feeling better."

That might be what explains a divorced or widowed woman's relatively low suicide risk. Denney's subsequent research, published in February's Journal of Marriage and Family, concluded that children offered a major protective effect against suicide. For each additional child in a household, adults were 6 percent less likely to commit suicide.

Denney's latest research, which has yet to be published, indicates that this protective effect is even more significant among women, whether married, divorced or widowed.

"Closer relationships with children mean more connections with people outside of themselves," he said. "It's enough to distinguish women from men when we're talking about suicide and family structure."

Preventive efforts already treat isolation as one risk factor for suicide, and Denney wants that broadened to incorporate marital status. For now, though, more study on the protective benefits of marriage is needed. 

"This remains a neglected area," he said. "But more and more, there seems to be a connection between living arrangements and the risks they entail for one's life."

[Addendum: 2010APR10 NYTimes - Is Marriage Good for Your Health?   Outlines the very early assumptions that there a health advantage to marriage and to identify marital loss as a significant risk factor for poor health. Not to confuse correlation with causation. (Better health among the married sometimes simply reflects the fact that healthy people are more likely to get married in the first place.) it seems to me obvious that "healthy" marriage does appear to have benefits - physical, mental and social (although I would caution against counting all of that benefit to a spouse as  it one should consider the contribution of children and subsequent extended family.) 

For many years, studies like these have influenced both politics and policy, fueling national marriage-promotion efforts, like the Healthy Marriage Initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. From 2006 to 2010, the program received $150 million annually to spend on projects like “divorce reduction” efforts and often cited the health benefits of marrying and staying married. Even the Healthy Marriage Initiative makes the distinction between “healthy” and “unhealthy” relationships when discussing the benefits of marriage. “When we divide good marriages from bad ones,” says the marriage historian Stephanie Coontz, who is also the director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, “we learn that it is the relationship, not the institution, that is key.

This article gives real exercise to the idea of a "gaping wound".  
“I don’t think anyone would encourage people to stay in a marriage that is really making them miserable,” says Linda J. Waite, a University of Chicago sociologist and an author of the study. “But try harder to make it better.” Even if marital problems seem small, Waite says, the data suggest it’s wise to intervene early and try to resolve them. “If you learn to how to manage disagreement early,” she says, “then you can avoid the decline in marital happiness that follows from the drip, drip of negative interactions.”]

Rape Fables

Monday, April 26, 2010

Feminist jurisprudence hurts men and women

In a report published in 2003 in the Florida State University Law Review, Professor Linda Kelly from the Indiana University Law School states, “Men and women commit violence at similar rates.” Kelly’s research, which cites various in-depth studies from over three decades of legal scholarship, found that “women match, and often exceed, husbands in the frequency with which they engage in violent behavior,” and “wives were found to engage in more severe acts of violence than husbands.” In 1975, for example, 3.8 percent of husbands and 4.6 percent of wives engaged in “severe violence,” defined as “kicking, biting or hitting with a fist; hitting or trying to hit with something; beating up; and threatening with or using a knife or gun.” Kelly identifies another disturbing trend: since the 1970s, the incidence of male violence “has declined steadily”; female violence “has remained virtually the same.”
Feminist “theory” has not only infested the justice system, but it has also elevated its leftist lunacy to the level of disinterested scholarship and is now ubiquitous in this country’s major universities. In 2006, Crystal Gail Magnum, a prostitute and drug abuser, falsely accused three Duke University men’s lacrosse players of beating and gang-raping her in their fraternity house. The district attorney, in line with Kelly’s research, withheld exonerating DNA evidence from the judge for over one year. But before the case even entered the courtroom, 88 Duke professors, including 72 percent of the women’s studies department and 80 percent of the black studies department, published a letter in The (Duke) Chronicle citing anonymous reports of “racism,” “sexism” and “terror” on Duke’s campus. Even after the charges were dropped, the three men were ostracized, given failing grades and eventually driven from the university.

The relevance of Kelly’s study to the Magnum case became apparent when, on February 18, 2010, Durham police received a disturbing 911 call from Magnum’s nine-year-old daughter. Ms. Magnum now stands charged with identity theft, communicating threats, damage to property, resisting an officer, misdemeanor child abuse, arson and attempted murder. Kelly’s study, which states that punishing female batterers protects not only men, but also women and children, was not only near-prophetic but a bold call to action.

—Mike Durakiewicz is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Science. He can be reached at

Monday, April 12, 2010

How EPO's can strip men of more than constitutional rights of due process

This article  "Two Judges Slapped Down for Requiring Police Report Before Issuing TROs" by Glenn Sacks Editor Robert Franklin provides a stark look at how Florida judges are brought to heel by DV Supporters and the Family Law "industry".   The best quote?
An injunction of protection against domestic violence, also known as a temporary restraining order (TROis easy to obtain in the state of Florida.  Did you think you'd have to actually take an oath before a judge?  Produce evidence?  Please.  All you're doing is depriving your target of valuable constitutional rights, so no evidence, no notice, no due process and no opportunity to be heard are necessary.  It makes filling out a credit card application look like advanced calculus.
Here are the two subsequent articles that describe how the two "rogue" judges are returned to the fold.  Is this really America?

Of course that is just the beginning.
[As] over 70% of divorces in the United States are filed by women, and every family lawyer with a pulse knows that TROs help get custody for the filer, so anything that makes getting a TRO even a tiny bit more difficult will get their dander up.  And that's exactly what's happened in Sarasota.
Seems to be similar to what the practices I hear of in Canada all the time.