No crime is as horrific, as mesmerizingly perplexing, as a child's murder at the hands of a parent. In most cases, the perpetrator is the father. A veteran journalist explores five examples of "family annihilators" in this troubling snapshot of American crime twisted by the dark trajectory of machismo in economically stressful times. Her research includes some fifty in-depth interviews of victims' friends and family, an examination of police files, and detailed profiles of the researchers who track these "killer dads." She also presents experts' theories on the causes that drive men to commit these heinous acts-ranging from economic pressures, the stress of perceived failure, and distorted egos, to the disturbing statistics on abuse of adopted children by step-fathers and the connection between murder and pregnancy. Finally, she discusses factors in contemporary society that may foster such crimes, and measures we can and should be taking to prevent them. Well-researched and often-shocking, Killer Dads provides disturbing insights into the dark forces that can turn family dynamics into the worst imaginable nightmare. KILLER DADS-The Twisted Drive That Compels Fathers To Murder Their Own Kids-Mary Papenfuss
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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you are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers and true crime history and the authors that have written about Gacy, Bundy, Dahmer, the night Stalker Dck every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killer, true crime, history, room murder, with your host journalist and author Dan. This is Nancy good evening. This is your hosted. Dances asking the program, true murder, the most shocking killers in true crime, history and the author, that are written about them. No crime is as
and now, an ad from dad? Alright save money on car insurance when you bundle home and auto with progressive, is awful right. What is this? This looks good where did you get this? I'm talking to you with the hair yeah? Where did you get this good stuff that's not the near that solid stuff! Progressive, can't save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto progressive casualty, insurance, company, affiliates and other injuries discounts not available in all states or situations Rific, as mesmerizing Lee perplexing as it Miles murder at the hands of the parent: in most cases, the perpetrator is the father. A veteran journalist explores five examples of family annihilators in this troubling snap.
Shot of american crime twisted by the dark trajectory of machismo in economically stressful times, research include some fifty in depth, interviews of victims, friends and family, an examination of police files and build detail profiles of the researchers who track these killer dad's. He also presents experts theories on the causes. The drive man to commit these heinous acts, ranging from economic pressures, the stress of perceived failure,
friend distorted egos to the disturbing statistics on abuse of adopted children by stepfathers and the connection between murder and pregnancy. Finally, she discusses factors in contemporary society that may foster such crimes and measures. We can and should be taken to prevent them. Well, sir, researched and often shocking killers, dads provides disturbing insights into the dark forces that can turn family dynamics into the worst imaginable nightmare. The book that we're featuring this evening is killer dads that wish Drive that compels father's to murder their own kids by my special guest journalist and author Mary Papenfuss. I just got an email from Mary just moments ago and she the number I had given her she said, didn't work. So there was some problem I resent the number
I did somehow give her the wrong original number, so I guess, She is calling in now with that number. I imagine so again. I apologize, ladies and gentlemen for another technical air brought to probably by my error, but how will we just lame blogtalkradio for right now? and wait for Mary to come on here. She is good evening Mary. Thanks so much for having me. You actually gave me a phone number with the numbers transposed, but being the good sleuth that I am, I figured it out, so I did you. Did you just I just sent you another email a second ago. So oh right right here, it is ok. Well anyway, I apologize because I probably did give you the wrong number and
Sorry for that and welcome to the program. I'd already done the introduction. Now let me get this right. What is the proper pronunciation of your last name? Merry: Publicis, okay! I wasn't too far off at all. Okay, welcome to the program and it like I said we did the introduction, which is basically the synopsis of your book. So what I'd like to do it? First off is again congratulate you on on a very unique and very, very interesting and different book. I want to congratulate you on that. It's going to be a treat for our audience. I think tonight. Well, thanks so much yeah, it was kind of an odd niche publication. I think publisher didn't quite know how to market it, because it's sort of a true crime meets sociology book. Yes, but there are more and more books like that as people's
think what has happened over the years of dedicated, true crime. Readers is that people underestimate the capacity for these people. Two year after year desire to hear more, and so after you hear the actual rough details of crimes. The next step is the Y and alright, and that's exactly why I love true crime, because I'm really, you know, I'm constantly searching for clues. Some unlock the behavior of these killers. You know somebody who didn't never picked up the tab for pizza. I don't know. Is that a clue? That's why I'm so interested in the details, but must your crime books don't go much beyond simply the narrative of the crime. So I wanted to try something different now exactly now we're not going to go exactly the way the book has
just been laid out chronologically, but what I wanted to do was it 'cause. This is probably the most unique thing about your book is some of the information has been brought together Like I mentioned to you in an email, I had heard something about these Langgar studies, and but you put it all together and it's amazing the context you put this in so tell us about the studies who the researchers were Intel is basically how you came to this these studies and then now how you've used them as sort of a a basis for the start or the beginning
of sort of a connection evolutionary wise between this violence that we're talking about this evening, killer dads dad's, the twisted drives that compel Father's to murder their own kids in the synopsis. It really doesn't hint at this, and I think this is one the most fascinating aspects of your book. So please tell us about how you discovered this or when you do over this and tell us about these fascinating studies involving these langor. Is it monkeys or apes? Tell us about the langers yeah? I? That was actually probably my favorite part of the book too. So it's interesting you drawn to that. I really this the whole idea of killer dad has been on my mind for like twenty years I used to work at the New York Post in the New York Daily NEWS, a reporter and editor, and I editor- and I think, when editor, you see the amount crime that comes across your desk, especially domestic violence. You can always do domestic violence story that I think were largely blind.
And then years later, when I was in California, I covered the Scott Peterson trial. Who is you no doubt remember, killed his pregnant wife Lacey, and I was again every day I went into the courtroom and I thought how can this happen? I thought this was against every conceivable instinct that you know I thought I was convinced the guy was guilty from day one an I thought, he's going to go to death row and he's never going to have another baby. How does this happen? I thought. Is it something in us? lately, or is it something we do to people in our society and I just started. You know I started doing some internet searches and the things that the thing that really resonated me with me were some of the theories by the evolutionary psychologists who found actually reasons in our ancient past in our ape, like paths of nation ships to the people. We love the most, both our spouses in our our children, so I started looking into that and I've been actually reading about it for years, the most fast
study I found was he's the winger monkeys in India who are very easily observable because of the monkeys, use you. Be in the city, so scientists have actually studied them for probably since the beginning of the century, if not, I mean one thousand, probably even earlier, and something that was noted about these liners at that, because people Call them a lot. People remark that they would see apparently male lingers killing baby monkeys and they couldn't understand why it was happening. And a lot of scientists dismissed it. As you know, psychopathic monkeys or you know, a bear the behavior. They can come up with any theory. Now a woman in northern California Serra? Hertie start? It was really fascinated with us. It was something that really intrigued her in and she studied the fillings over several years,
and indeed she saw this. This happen. She would see a new mail come into a troop and system matically kill the infants that were already in the troop before he would mate with the females. Now today this is known. This is well known as a as a male reproductive strategy that Male, like a male lion, comes into a pride and he instantly destroys the the rival males infants, so the female become. Receptive to him and he can raise his own dna. Of course, he's not thinking about DNA he's just thinking about accessibility to the female, but Sarah Hrdy. This was like in the 70s. She was the first one who actually came up with this theory that that this wasn't crazy. It was actually a reproductive strategy that the language practice in a way to gain access to a female and that sort of monkey immortality by.
Continuing to procreate and and then following that, if this is really a breakthrough that we they found, this is the case and at least fifty different species now that it and I think, a would I drew from this. Is that primal relationship for a male, at least in our among our ape ancestors is with the the the love interest. You know in the human case would be a wife or a a lover, because that's really the way that the mail reproduces himself is is the love interest, whereas a female, because she has many fewer children or offspring- is very tide to her children and has to protect those few offspring if her dna is to survive beyond her lifespan, so Sarah pretty reassured people after her first study that you know, don't worry men aren't out there. You know wiping out rival mens infants, so don't
sorry about it, but some other researchers in Canada, Margo, Wilson and Martin Daily started thinking. Well, you know this is kind of interesting. Are there other kind of evolutionary drives be high male violence are behind. You know what feels violent, familial relationships and they said well well, let's look at step children because that's what they're her he is found that step children essentially are the ones are wiped out. So, let's take a look at step, children and they know it is all the fairy tales in human culture across cultures, about evil, step parents and and in fact, it's probably more frequently than evil step mother, but they still your eyes that because the mother was telling the tales, typically in cultures, that they were warning their children, if, if a stepmother is brought into your life, be careful, it could be there
so they began to look at canadian statistics and american statistics and they found shockingly that having a stepparent was the number one risk factor for both severe child and murder by apparent parent. They they weren't using the same sort of perspective that Sarah Hrdy was her strategy or her through, so is that male wanted access to the female. Their idea was that another evolutionary drive is the specific bond between our biological children and that we will. You know if there's a burning building. More more likely to save our own biological children over someone else's child. But in fact, I think there is an issue of access to the female, because I think and can frequently they get jealous of they can get jealous of stepchildren. You know if there's if there
household is full of children from another male and their new wife for their new lovers, paying too much attention to those kids. I think they can they can get angry and in fact, one of the cases in my book. I think a man who cut the throat of his step child talks about how in the in the in the middle of an argument with his wife, the step child sort of intervenes, any becomes so angry. He takes her. He kills her and in his mind he sees that chance that step child is coming between himself and the woman. He calls his soul mate. So I it's a fascinating theory, because so I think it does give us kind of a platform to analyze all kinds of relationships among humans, and you know now: I see it everywhere, like any kind of shake, spear play or or for me
yeah- I see, like you, know, women wearing burqas as part of this whole Langer thing that that men are very possessive of women and they want them for themselves because it's very important for their their dna immortality now. The other thing that I found interesting too is that you also look. He said it was an initial resistance to these theories that, because of sort of a the division between creationists and again intelligent design, or even legal Lucien, airy or people to believe in Darwin, and obviously people that don't sell and- and basically this. This idea that we evolved from apes is not is pretty distasteful to a big portion of people as well, and, and there was a certain again certain bias that kept people from looking at. Maybe what was now seems kind of obvious that in every
fifty species there is this, this evolutionary drive and involves killing their own children with which you included is is not the dismissal, but you discuss how poverty, drug abuse and mental illness really warrant as big a factors as may be thought of before, or at least these other things in society that we're we're supposed to be key factors, so tell us a little bit just a little bit about that. I you know, I think they are definitely exacerbating factors, but I think there is sort of a sort of an issue angel human nature that you know we just have to be alert to Certainly you know, I feel a little bad because I don't mean to be attacking men and you're, like my husband. Never in a million years would I ever worry about him hurting one of my children, but I think there's is a sort of proclivity that we have and some of these,
researchers I spoke to said you know one point: it was just no one would ever accept the fact that there is an essential human nature? that we're all free and independent and we create our natures, but but I think there is an a and I think we would to to protect children in their homes. I think we have to be a alert to some of that and in a larger sense. Sometimes I think that all of this, It has this sort of proclivity like there's a sort of acceptance of a certain amount of violence. Then that is it that we that we think well, you know some men are going to be violent. What can we do about it rather than say this violence is unacceptable or you know these rapes going on in India. Now they are, you know some cities are talking about banning lingerie displays in windows. You know instead of saying violence is unacceptable or saying men are going to be violent and we have to figure out how not to provoke them. So
In a sense, I think, we're all sort of you know we're still sort of in the thrall of this alpha, males that you know that violence is is acceptable. I think today I I think whether whether people were creationists are or intelligent design. I think it all a little it it was to everyone to think that we were as brutish as we may have been painted in by these missionary psychologists, but today it's interesting whenever I talk to People- and I mention step child killing. People say: oh well, a stepchild, so it's it's almost. As you said, it seems so obvious to people now, but it was unheard of at that point. I think some of these same evolutionary psychologist, since they have also said that we also have capacity
great cooperation and intelligence that can overcome some of the things that you know, I'm embarrassed to say now, I'm I'm a child of the sixties, so I used to believe that there were. There was no difference between men and one but other than physical or that, if there were, we had no idea, because we have been so tainted by social expectations and now I'm completely convinced we're practically different species, and I think, society could be our way to grow and evolve further and as long as we're alert to some of these tendencies that we we can change things and make things for the better and protect the most vulnerable in our society that you know a six month old babies killed by a father we have to. We have to
taking over taking charge from that sort of alpha male mindset. Well, I you know, I agree with everything you're saying, but you also do have when you say that men and women seem to be of different different. Well, you know these. Radically different species, but you can also look within men these days. It is as different as the I don't know the lion in the and the house. Cat in terms of one's is domesticated understands, never been, never been violent in their whole life. It doesn't, I don't even know, has a capacity for it in terms of innately where another person, like you say, the alpha male, if you ever watch a hockey game- and you know Canadians are supposed to be so meek and mild and polite and watch a hockey game and they take their five year olds for the hockey game. Watching people get punched out so violence there's a certain level of violence in sport and of course sport is celebrated
and you get the phenomena of OJ sort of an Oj Simpson, not realizing. You know you know. So I I agree with you with that. But at the same time, like you say we did this man has this great capacity, but it, I don't think it's a far cry from the savagery and barb barb ever barbarism that we see from men, especially today and in the past, so there there have been a lot of studies as well that when you look at the overwhelming ability of men to murder versus women, then I don't think you have to apologize for saying jeez, I'm beating up on men, When we talk about violence, no, I know, but there are I mean you know the of these researchers males who are you know they're, appalled by it- and I don't know this, but you know there's been a viral video going around of John Patrick Stewart who the actor british actor, who grew up with a
I'm very abusive father and at night if he did something very moving. He said man, if you know, if you want to stop violence, is it's a up to us and I found it very moving. You know part of the reason I focused on minutes because they're they're more of a black box to me. I think you know women do killed. They tend to kill when they're, I think in the throes of post partum, depression or they feel trapped or you know, of course, isn't you know mentally mental illness cases, but something that struck me about men is a sort of cold calculated planning. How to kill and there's a lot of murder of biolage call children to punish the the you know, the lover or the woman. Who is divorcing, and I just can't stand that, I can't understand you know like losing control, an wanting to kill
being in such a rage that could hurt someone. So I decided to study that, but you know you do have to I mean it is, I think you know we have a brain, so we can override every motion. Sometimes I'll. Yes, you would you do is a great job with this book is that you do take very different cases. As your case studies and- and it was interesting that you discover the case- the laces of the Scott Peterson case, and then you do say that this is a again a sort of an extreme. If there is an extreme example of a killer that it's this one and let's first talk about Scott Peterson, an why you chose this case and what you want, the audience or the reader to really what you're trying to convey with this part case study and then we'll go to another case, that's like say James, which is much much different. So, let's start off with Scott Peterson and the case itself for those
in internationally and our fans everywhere gal the case a little bit because it's it's particularly bad. When you talk about the timing of it and his behavior and the affair, and so let's, let's get into how bad Scott Peterson and what his case particularly shows in this examination of killer dads. Well, I I definitely picked him because that case just sort of riveted the nation and also because I was assigned to- and I sat in court single day and it was fascinating. I I determined I mean I made up my mind to that case. That Scott was in fact his wires were bad. I think he was a psychopath. I think, He there were a lot of thing but their case that galvanized the american public, because Lacey went missing. She was almost eight months pregnant. She went missing, I believe it's Christmas Eve, so there's a hole
daytime and Scott crying looking for his very and why- and it was sort of this sad magic holiday story- people were looking, you know they were reporting sightings of Lacey, hoping to find her hoping the baby would be ok. And uh I don't know, I was suspicious, of course, when you're a journalist, you know you see, you see these visuals and you see the spouses crying and, of course, in any Koppel, well you you know anytime, there's a kid murdered or a spouse. The number one person they look at is the family member, the spouse or the father or the mother. So you know I Suspicious right away, and then he was skipping, some vigil rules- and you know turned out that he had a mistress on the side in after the end of the case, I thought that Scott was a psychotic calls. Life he's very, very spoiled child. He was the last
child of a the last late child of of late marriage. Two people married to had previous children and Scott's mother had put up to were, I think, two or three children for adoption. So Scott was sort of her baby and I think this Modesto fertilizer salesman rather a mundane life had he met Lacey in Southern California, while they were both in college and he for well. He ran a restaurant and I think when he you know he was in Modesto and he thought he had a baby on the way and he thought you know. I just don't like this life, it's a little too pedestrian and he's a very handsome guy, and when you see him and in person. You know in the courtroom. I just thought he was kind of stunning. You look like an actor's on these very handsome, so I'm sure he,
you know, had a lot of looks from women till after they she was pregnant, and this was just you know a few months before she disappeared. He set out to find a lover. It's not like. He saw his lover across the crowded room and thought I can't live without this woman, I'm going to have to explain myself from this marriage. I think he decided he wanted to end the life he had and start a new one, an I think to do that takes a particular lack of emotion and and, as far as I could tell in as far as anyone could tell, there was absolutely no hint of trouble in that marriage in Lacey. Everyone said that Lacey's best friend was her mother Sharon Rocha Anne Lacey, never shared any problems with her mother. In fact, her mothers husband. They were RON Grand Ski, I don't think they were married, but they've been living together. He actually raised Lacey. He said at one point that Scott put up with too much from Lacey, because Lacey
sometimes could be a little pushy and talked a lot. He called her Jabber Jaws Scott never argued with her at all, so they had a two perfect relationship. I think, and then just some of the trial transcripts that I have in the book are you know he was like a pathological liar, so he started to woo this one Amber Frey, and I you know. Of course he had. He had to explain away his double life because he has to be with if you had another life, so he would tell Amber that he was traveling to Europe for work and he would call her on his cell phone saying that he was looking at the the
New year's Eve fireworks at the Eiffel tower. In meanwhile, you know people were dragging the canal for the Bay for Lacey's body and he keeps saying what I can't hear you amber. I can hear like he's having a bad internet connection and he's talking about the cobblestone streets and Brussels and- and he says that you know his family- has a compound mean and he's going to go, fly fishing in Alaska, and I mean just the law. Guys were just appalled and yet he was totally attentive incredibly creative romantic partner to Amber just the way he was with lace. He took Amber one night out two on a hike with her three year old daughter and they looked at the stars and he made dinner for and bought her groceries. I mean like romantic flourish is that my husband would have a clue, but you know there's something about that sort of psychopath. That's very pretty
Tauriel and knows exactly how to get what he wants so and- and I think, there's very few killer dad like that. I mean the ones I mentioned in the book are Jeffrey Mcdonald, who. Hum killed his three his two daughters in his wife and Joe Mcginnis did one of my favorite true crime, books, fatal vision, and I think the most fascinating aspect about that book is what Jeffrey Mcdonald's, It's about himself he's he's like such a liar and he doesn't realize it. You know he talks about the perfect marriage and then actors later he'll say you know the affairs had stopped and I thought what affairs he hasn't mentioned this before and Neil Entwistle, who shot his wife and baby in Connecticut the same sort of, This sort of really chilling lack of N the real emotion. And, of course you know the the
the definition of psychopath. They they don't have human emotions, though they are very good at mimicking. And they know how to say spy people to give them what they want without having those needs themselves. We is very interesting, is Jeffrey Mcdonald that you put him in the book because he's a fascinating case. It's interesting to most people. True crime fans have seen him on tv lying and he's very much like Peterson. These people have been successful, their whole lives and I think, that's part of their that's all edgy and all that they, the cycle path, ology that they believe well distance with keep going it's work so far and they come up with the most fantastic deal. Scott Peterson's tales were sick, but he was still trying to spend these yarns and Jeffrey Macdonald. The same thing with his wild band of drug crazed. Hippies killed his wife, and you know so
right. It's in who knows if you know, if their lives have been a little different, I feel, like you know, Scott Peterson might have gone through his entire life. Without you know how coming or killing anyone. If something it's been different, you know he you know. If, It really wanted a baby and he was excited about the baby or Jeffrey Mcdonald. I just think the first time in their lives, they hit an obstacle, they couldn't get around easily and they thought you know, I'm just going to eliminate it, and that was the first time people realized. You know, there's something really wrong with this person and they just don't operate by the same moral compass, but the rest of us do yeah yeah. Now you it's a couple of interesting things that you put in the introduction. Well we'll talk about those and then we'll talk about James and will also talk about how you talk about that a woman.
Skill killed by her suicidal husband visit you from the grave basically through email. So we want to talk about that very profound, but also the relationship that you again, you found quite odd that you'd be having any kind of relationship with the person that killed. Anyone so again tell us about either one of those right now well after with James, because he really for me he was a very a real contrast to Scott Peterson and James, is you know one of those names. He asked me to go by James because he's actually he's in a state, prison and he's in a particular part of the prison because he says, if identity is known by his fellow inmates. He would be killed because he's a child murderer. He cut his. You know five year old, stepdaughter's throat. You know he's easy to find. If you read the book, you know his victims. Name is in the book and also his photos in the book. I said: are you sure you want this folder and you said yeah don't worry about it. I just
I don't know that that was the line he drew. But I I happen to find you know it was just a case that drew me because it was particularly brutal and one of my evolutionary psychologists, Martin Daly, had been interviewed about this case and he said well, you know that's really brutal and that's something he'd Martin Daly and found in his research that step children. The level of brutality tends to be much higher with the murders of stepchild children or abuse. There's there's even a higher level of viciousness in those attacks, so they they reached out to him. You know the reporters reach out to him after after that case, so I look up James on the internet and I sent him an email, and I sent him working on this book. I'd love to talk to you because, of course, a couple of my killer jazz are dead, they committed suicide and I really was looking for insight and you know he wrote back to me said sure if it would help any and he's pretty amazing because he feels horrible that what he's done and he makes no excuses
for it. Although he was troubled, he knows he had issues rage. He short before he murdered his stepdaughter. He was being treated he was diagnosed as bipolar, and the Good NEWS about that case is that he did reach out for help. He was seeing an anger management therapist. He knew he was having trouble and you know he says the therapist said well, work is done here in James said. You know, I didn't think it was done. You know if he connected with the right professional. Maybe this would have happened, but he was someone you know his sister was on the scene. He killed his his stepdaughter during a family vacation which he said was always really stressful.
Him and his wife. We love desperately we're arguing on the vacation and he was feeling sort of a build up of stress. We both work full time. She had two young daughters from a previous marriage and he felt like he was being exploited a little bit in taking care of the kids. His wife is a nurse and you know he told me she rolled out of bed in the morning and he had to get the kids ready for school ready for preschool one feed them and any felt like he was being disrespect a little bit or or unappreciated and his wife. Meanwhile they they both spank, the kids to discipline them and his wife was concerned because she thought he was a little too angry when he's spank spank the kids. So these are some of the issues that that and he actually, you know I asked him. He wrote a chapter of the book. I think, if you just write down everything you can think of that might have something to do with what was why this happened and he turned out to be
very articulate writer and I think most of the issues I mean he came. You know he came from a broken family and a lot of drinking and some I don't think it was you see extreme. Although, interestingly, there were two step parents in this life, he did. He was worried about his reiji city. You know he pushed his brother down the stairs one time I you know that can happen, I don't know but but but things like that made an impression on him. He said looking back I think I think that was wrong and when it came to the actual Murray had a hard time writing about it and he sort of dictated what happened to me. So I took that down. He got very, very upset. You know his voice started shaking and
sadly, now I think you know he would he would like to do something to make amends for what he's done. He knows he can't make up for it, but he would like to do something to make up for maybe a fraction of it somehow, and he just doesn't have that opportunity in prison. I mean he just sits and waste time to sit for the solid silly does and he really off. You know we don't offer people any any way out any way towards some kind of redemption. But what really struck me about James after you know the whole Scott Peterson thing is that he's he's very personable and you know he's funny and he talked about his. His sister was at the cottage where the murder occurred, and he said you know my sister. He was very close to the sisters of my sisters and talked me since that happened, and he said that's really hard on me and he said. But of course you know it's much harder on her, so I thought you know this again. If things got Peterson when the
said because he was thinking about someone else's feelings. It wasn't all you know me Mimi and pour me my sister is not talking to me. It's like well, you know I brought this on and what a bad guy- and you know my sister so horrified she can't talk to me it's funny, though, once the book was published. I thought she, let's you cycle, did he just like totally lead me on, but I don't think so. He's just seems real genuine and you know he's friendly and, and he just you know he was in a rage. He he killed his step dad. He was having this fight with his wife and the five year old is being kind of needy and he just picked her up. He told the kids, he knew he was going to kill her, and I asked him about He said in his mind he kept thinking. Her name was Clary said if Claire's not here than Seren. I can't fight of Claire's, not here Sarah, I can't fight, so I thought there's that sort of you know access to females again, like the most important person.
James's life with his wife and he wanted to get the kid out of there because he wanted to relate better to his wife, and you know she thought she would die instantly and she didn't so. He sort of came out of his whatever it was, and then he hoped desperately that his wife could save her dog, yes, life, because she was a nurse. Unfortunately, I didn't happen, I think partially, because responder's were concerned that the killer was still in the house. Of course, even his wife says on the nine hundred and one Paul he's fine he's not any threat, it was like over. He had this rage and then it was over and spent so yeah. Now I feel like I'm the only conduit to the outside world for this guy and someone who is just going. Suffer for the rest of his life really and what was the it sure is how how actually did he kill his child and will and how
Again, I like to know that I think the audience would like to know that, but also I like to know how, in his mind again not we really ever ask for. Do you no definitive answers, but how could he get quite that mad and then tell us what he did exactly, but how does it explain how we got that mad. Well, he actually cut his daughters throat with a kitchen knife. He took her into the kitchen, put her down on the floor and cut her throat and I don't know you know when he talks about it. It's almost like uh, it was almost like a nightmare. There were a lot of things building up. I think you know he was having these continual fights and um. He talks about, I mean it did during the murder he he said he was really anxious before they went on the trip that he said. You know.
He says he never does well on vacations. His wife talked him into calling sick an extra day, so I think and it was like a holiday. He called in sick Friday which he felt guilty about an anxious about and then, as he was packing up, he said someone had lit up brush next to him on fire next to his house on fire. So he said he was sort of discombobulated and nervous and his wife even said: should we just call this off and do it another time 'cause, you're, so agitated and he said no, no 'cause. He wanted to see his sister and his step. Brother also went along in, and it was some you Know- was pleasant for awhile and then he said he and his wife got into it. They just you know, started fighting and she threatened at one point to take the kids and leave him behind, get in the car and go home and and then he
he said it calm down and then the five year old is being you know. She was sort of misbehaving and causing it more Anxi. Ready and then he went up to his wife was up in the bedroom and he went up to talk to his wife about making dinner or barbecue ing something and they started fighting again. She was still angry at him and then his stepbrother walked up with his stepdaughter and, like you know, saying you know, Claire needs something. He said I felt like. Everyone was calling me a bully and he picked up clear and he went down the kitchen and he said the one thing you said me was: I wanted everyone to hurt and yeah. I don't think he understands that you know he and he says, think about it every day of his life- and you know he said if he could give us life for Clarice, he would and-
He knew you know who's on some kind of medication for bipolar. He said he knew he was getting angry again and agitated, and he said you know. Maybe I need this other medication. He said you know, I don't want to blame. The medication was totally my fault, but he was aware that things were starting to spin out of control, in shortly before that. He said he slapped his wife, something he had never done in his life and he said they were both stunned by it. So just you know a man who didn't really have very good contr. All of his rage and whatever things in this life for building up to trigger that. Now. Another case study again is much different, because we you even touch on what was once considered an honor killing, or will this first regarded as an honor killing an explain. That's not really what was. Let's talk a little quickly about Bill Corrente, because that's
another type of again that you talk about the family. Annihilator talk about Bill Perente, and that case please well some another uh expert whose writings are really enjoyed. Where are appreciated, where Neil web scale he's a professor at Northern Arizona. You versity who studies like two hundred family annihilations and he's come up with? it's interesting. You know he he likes with the evolutionary psychologists have come up with, but he says they don't go far enough. He said we. We still don't know out of this vast population of father's, which ones are going to become killers. He said we need to refine a little bit about. You know what might be leading to these Ann Webb sales. Addition to that, but Body of thought is, you know, there's something in the american culture that might be particularly tough on males. He feels like you know. We have this sort of rugged individualist,
Culture that I know we have to stand on her own two feet and we don't got it. We don't get a lot of support from you know. We don't get a lot of financial supporters, social service support and that that men, you know the the demands and men are really difficult to me. You know, men have to be super competitive they've got to be financially successful, they've got to be aggressive in the work force, but they've got to be nurturing and kind of home and romantic they've got a hell, raise the kids. So he says that there's two types of family annihilators, one which he calls because the livid coercive, which is a man who murders his family in rage and the civil reputable which was William Parente, They tend to be tend to be white males in their 50s- they tend to be very successful businessmen and very devoted to their families
maybe two devoted, I mean. The one thing I found out about William Parente is that he didn't seem to have much of a life outside work and family, and there's no usually actually no history of abuse or no complaints of any kind of abuse, psychological or physical. But there is frequently some sort of financial fall or in some particularly humiliating financial issue, like maybe a you know, a lawsuit on for firing at work or maybe fraud, or something like that. So William Parente's situation. He lived in. Garden city, long island. He worked in Manhattan and he had been running. Maybe a ten year ponzi scheme maybe longer than that, and he wrote he wrote checks before this family nightly worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which he knew were going to all bounce and he collected his wife and his eleven year old daughter, Catherine.
To roles to Loyola College in Baltimore, so that his college age daughter could die with family in the hotel room and, of course, that he struck me because his family notation, but also this college daughter, Stephanie so are because this was the one member of the family was almost beyond the orbit of the family. Someone who is strike your own and at the beginning of her adult life, and also the driving down there and he spent like four five days before he killed them all, and you have to think what was going through his head, like you know, taking them shopping and taking him out to dinner and thinking I'm going to kill my family when this is all over it's summer. Ann,
Ann Webb still talks about those kinds of murders, really shake society, because these people tend to be pillars of the community, but they also. You know. There are clearly, I think, suffering in silence. They are strong, but he knew his world was crumbling and the idea is that their egos are so big. Typically, there's white, that's partially, why they're successful they are very, they can get things done and and they think they have the power and see themselves as having the power that they have a hard time seeing where their egos end in their families begin and they think, if they
suicidal and the best thing for them is to decide on the best thing for everyone to see side. But I think to the you know: they don't want their families talking behind their backs and want their families to say negative things about them once they commit suicide. So I think there's a lot of narcissism involved and the other family notation. You may go into the trash pile catcher. Yes, so the other example of the live. It courses, family annihilation, was Josh policies who wife went missing, is presumed murdered in near SALT Lake City and then the blow up and self, and his two young children in Washington State the Tories case. His wife's body has never been found. In that case, what still would say
Josh Paul came from a very troubled family, broken family. He had a lot of problems when he was a teenager. He seemed he married a a pretty mormon girl from Washington State near where he lived, he seemed set on five: a woman he could could wanted to start a family which is very typical of of this type of family annihilator. Webdale would say that he is ticket to normalcy, was his family and a killer like Josh Paul one wants to find a family, so we can support them and look like a normal member of society and you, he's a little too demanding and grasping, because he's so desperate for this? For those which is in the sea of the family- and he can you can take a here in the family- can destroy the love he seeks so desperately because he's so grasping and they tend to be abusive and controlling, which Josh Paul absolutely.
He he moved with his family to West Valley, UT and his wife was actually probably the primary and some often the sole breadwinner, and yet he totally confined controlled finances. She had to fill out all for grocery purchases and an Excel in Excel spreadsheet at his desk and the interesting thing But that case was that Susan Powell kept a journal all of her life and she she x and what she was going through to her close friends in a series of emails. I think a lot of people say how can a woman stay with them? like that. What's wrong with that woman, an you seeing these emails which become their own chapter, so I actually have a victim chapter as well as the killer chapter. She was a very intelligent, articulate woman. Then someone who wanted desperately to save her marriage, but to a point. So she
used to talk about how you she's clearly afraid of Josh. She said she doesn't specify with the threats were, but she said you know. I worry about myself and my kids. We do try to leave Josh after what he said and she actually left a note for in her office that police found saying if I die it. It may not be an accident, even though it might look like one, because you know my husband's out to murder me, but he she was going to give him an ultimatum that he had to get. Therapy and maybe medication or she was going to leave him, and I suspect you know she finally did give him that ultimat made a man. The result was that she lost her life and he subsequently had custody of the kids, which is mind boggling and in Washington. He moved back in with his
father in Washington State and he rented a home any booby trap the home with several gas tanks and he said the place on flames and they also found hatchet marks in the two boys Braden and Charlie. Now, Susan's parents used to live in Washington are desperately trying to find. Or remains they think she might be somewhere along the highway from Utah SALT Lake City to Seattle. So that's really heartbreaking. Incredible now. You also talk about a case study where There was a lot of another phenomena or the thing that we see that to truly horrifies the public is the the idea, the concept of a whole honor killings, but you say that what we want to look like an honor killing at first wasn't so tell us about this. The two have a near and
chapter called clash tell us about that that case. Well, it's a a young woman, Jessica Mokdad who just shot in the head by her stepfather, a man that who had raised her since the age of seven. I believe it turned. It was first described as an honor killing. He was muslim and- and she was her- her mother was Rahim all set Lonnie. His wife was muslim, convert actually a polish woman who converted to Muslim it's there's a big in Warren MI, there's a big muslim community. In there the prosecutor described it as an honor killing because Jessica. I believe she was maybe twenty at the time.
He felt that right. He felt that he was. She was too westernized, she wasn't wearing her veil and then is it. It turned out that he had raped just get one point. So there's there's different issues. I think you know he was a stepfather SOS a step child killing for one thing and also You know it seems like her mother told me you know. Maybe Jesse was more like his wife, a wife who is trying to leave him rather than rather than a daughter, and I think there were definitely aspects of an honor killing because he this sort of control and they did fight over. You know whether or not to wear a veil, but I really because there are definitely. There have definitely been honor killings in America and I think it's it's in uh
iteration of Father's killing children, one that we have to look at. You know in a strange way: it's like an inverse of a family annihilation because supposedly the father, like his humiliation reflects badly on his family he's trying to get them find a way out for the we killed them all in an honor. Killing is the the daughters reputation it reflects badly on the father. You know, unfortunately, in both cases the daughters get killed, so there's no breaks, but I also thought you know this whole idea of honor. You know, isn't it yeah isn't doesn't exist in some of these other killings. You like these, these men who are so angry about their wives, leaving that they kill their children to punish their wives. You know: there's just Aaron Shop Housing in Wisconsin just got three consecutive life terms for killing his three young children through
young daughter. She was furious at his wife for divorcing him and not getting back together with him, and you know he murdered them all in her home and called her up and said you can come home now. I've killed your kids. Of course they were his kids. Well, but isn't that a kind of honor killing too, I feel, like you, know it's humiliating for men to lose control of their of their wives and they punish them. So you know this whole concept of honor. It's not just an you know I a young, a young, adult daughter, who's. You know trying to become independent and not following her father's ways, but there have been some horrific honor killings in America, and I just notice, I think, there's something in southern Cal
on your right now a young girl ran away from home because she was going to be forced into marriage, but it you know at, and I you know I don't mean to beat up on. I certainly don't think the you know. Muslims have cornered the market on paternalism, but it's something we should look at in this concept of honor, which you know really cuts across cultures. I think that can be deadly for females. Well, it was interesting too, because you show that the person might call an honor killing is sort of it, a defense that cultural defense, but at the same time, this killer dad it said that, but had another couple of excuses too. So it seemed just like a convenient thing to say: might as well, try it, but it really wasn't his so well. Interesting in ACT two when, when his wife called him, she didn't know what had happened? She called him at the police station
and she called him and said what are you doing at the police station or he called, and he said you know I'm at the police station, then and he said well you're probably going to hear about this, but I smacked Jessica and what a strange word to use like you know it's like he corrected her. He gave her a spanking. He smacked her. Actually, you know, walked up behind her and shot her in the head. So it was a weird, weird sort of fatherly thing to say now. Would you talk about in the introduction is interesting as well, and it's it's sort of the time where you're your most passionate, I think in terms of some of your opinions, and would you start is some startling statistics as well, and the article you sent me from the Huffington Post is interesting to, In terms of this summer of killer, dad's is in the last four years that there's been at least a ten percent increase in child murder
and you were talking about forty two murders in like eighty four days at least tell us about some of these statistics and some of the things that when you talk about Terry, you create you, compare the example, the budget and the emphasis on terrorism, homeland security and then compared to this. Maybe we should call an epidemic, or at least should look at a lot more carefully. Tell us about some of these statistics that you found alarming and what you have to say about it. Well, right, I just you know, I thought I did this last summer I was doing the book. I thought I'm just going to look at. Reports, who's, just news reports, just cases that came to the news, and I found forty kid killings in which cases in which the father's had been arrested. Although there were one thousand two hundred and twelve father's committed suicide after killing their kids and we shot dead by cops, the rest were charged in the murder of their kids. That's the kid every other day, and that's only a news reports in America. I tell people that make
and they say you mean around the world. I know just America and they were an additional. I think thirty three father's who are sentence, tour convicted of earlier deaths, including like in Schaffhausen, Just don't get why we are upset about this. I you know we're. We were so upset about sandy hook and that number of kids are killed every week by their parents. So I just don't know why we're so. Blinded might you know, might be justice. I don't know what you know Maybe evolutionary psychologists can explain why you know it just doesn't seem to bring any alarm bells are because of the you know. We read about them now and then it did it's not a big impact, but you know there's. Approximately in the last several years, there's been about one thousand five hundred kids at least one thousand five hundred kids who die of maltreatment in America and not that's. You know: mothers, fathers, both mothers and Father's, though it almost all cases I've
come across of mothers and fathers. Usually the mother is charged because she has a protected her child or because she knew about the abuse and it's really the the father and and the others are typically lover. The mothers who are in the home they're, not you know, married or they're, not officially, Step father's, but but they're they're males in the home. You know and that's half the toll from nine hundred and eleven every single year. You know. Why aren't we doing something about this? And you know in the Huffpost story I mentioned that You know if a three year old were were kidnapped. Well on them. Can family were touring the Mideast, for example, by a terrorist and bludgeoned to death. He would international incident. We might go to war over that, but you know earlier this month,
Army Kramer was charged in the killing of his three year old Son Brody, because in Washington State his wife told him. They couldn't go on a vacation this summer because they couldn't afford it and he was apparently angry and Brody's bones were found in Wisconsin a Montanha park better the next day. So you know, why aren't we talking about that killing and I think, there's sort of this attitude? Well, you know what can you do you can only get violence? So solo and then what can you do? But America has the highest per capita number of maltreatment, of any industrialized nation in the world. Well, second, to Mexico, based in unison figure. So that's like twenty seven of the wealthiest countries we have the highest per capita, does maltreatment death rate in those maltreatment. Death rates do not count. Homicide rates, like you know, like the Brody killing,
because those are only cases that have come before a child welfare agency or where there's a there's already a history of abuse and the g AO did the government Accounting Office did a study of those numbers and thought that they probably significantly undercounted, because a lot of cases can never be proved. I mean a father can drown his kid and how do you know you know you could say I answered the phone and my baby slipped under the water. In fact, he might have been furious at the kitten held him underwater, but who can and if people in the household are terrorized. Are they going to talk about that? So I I feel, like you know not. I don't know what the answer is, but I think we have to start with this perspective. You know we the last campaign. All we talked about was abortion and you know like we're so concerned about the unborn, but we don't care about the porn. You know these people
you know these babies or whole wheat lead defense? All babies can do is scream and we just don't seem to want to intervene to protect us. Kids. I don't get it I it's just like you know. We have to step through the looking glass and see see things very differently to do anything about this. When you say what we, you know, you. We put our hands in the air and we we we don't know what to do as a result of this, and- and you certainly say you don't have the answer as to how we can get people to focus on something like this. What was your conclusion in terms of evolutionary draw? our our primal instincts or our throwback to our ape, like ancestors, in terms of case like james- which almost mountains and almost it fits right into your theories and your and your study itself in terms of this person, that's
only is remorseful genuinely morrisville and really didn't have any any violence background. That would predict anything like this, but what, if anything, what kind of conclusion did you come in terms of this evolutionary drive in a connection to human beings now presently and their ability to kill their own offspring? Well, you know, I feel, like I really feel like. We are still in the throes of these. This evolutionary drive socially, and I think we have to think collectively about how we can change some of the rewards we give people like you know James. The good thing about that story is that he did reach out for help and there wasn't adequate or good enough help forum. You know you reached out to the wrong professional or you know there was actually a similar case in Finland, which I talk about in the book. They had a real problem with
family night lay Sunday. They decided we're to do something about this, and one thing they did was like Hell. Care workers were much more intrusive about questions. You know like asking the mother: how are things going at home when you bring in your baby for a well well baby check up? You know how are things going? Are you stressed? How is your husband dealing with it and just to try to find out, what's going being a little more intrusive, trying to find out what's going on in the family and in reaching out giving these people, like you, know, therapy or social service help or parenting classes, whatever the means whatever they need? I think we have to be more aggressive at that. I think just some of our attitudes about violence have to change, which is, you know, really difficult to do, but you know men, I think our frequently rewarded for being violent. Like you said, you know sports like hockey, you know the more violent guys are there rewarded, they can become professional
please, you know they're cheered when they when they fight a lot. You know a fight on the ice or you know guys who fight in the are over women. You know there's a certain kind of admiration for the winner, and certainly I think you know our culture. Our culture is very competitive, you know very violent, and I think we've got to give up that sort of you know I can order that sort of alpha male winger mentality and- and I think it's it's- you know- individuals have to do it, but I think we have to you know we have to sort of re, educate ourselves and deal with things interesting Lee. You know, I'm the whole abortion thing. I think two is kind of it's like this sort of instinctive push or push for life, just like the hangers there's this constant procreation, but it's like you know once
the offspring are on the ground. It's like well, you know catch as catch can there's sort of on their own and you know, take the yes, I can be really brutal on in our society can be really brutal for children who you know end up in the and the families. One of my one of my expert says something: you know the best thing the safest way kids can be is to be born in the right families. You know that the safest families, the next thing is you'll, be protected by society because they, you know, they can't protect themselves, and we owe it to these kids to help them, and we we owe it to the scene of the the horrible, the victims. I wrote about the they haunt me in which we could stop more from joining them. Yes, is there any fear- and I I think this is where some critic
It might come in? That would say you know, because almost no one is deemed insane in US courts. You know very, very, very small percentage and there clearly are some insane people before the courts for murder. Do you fear that they may use some of this as some and they excuse ing the behavior of murders in terms of ever sure a drive it we're told, there's so much conversation now about prefrontal cortex damage the difference in in certain offenders grains, maybe even the the effect of brain damage and again that doesn't really help you in court in murder. Cases too much, do you fear any kind of excusing of behavior when you can get a person like Josh cause? I know that in Canada we have a much much different system, just for example, what was in was big media.
Story in the last ten days or so. These are the details that and that were released to the public through the media. Two children were found dead, killed to presume that the uh There had killed these children, then it was a search for the mother. They were asking her to turn herself in and they were dry watching the river- and they found her. I guess she threw often the river, but the difference between American Canada is stark in the the way that story was portrayed in the in the news they weren't hunting this killer. They were looking for a mentally ill woman that must've mentally ill to do what she did. So you can see a difference in how we are looking at something like that. But is there any fear that this evolutionary drive might be used to excuse still, and he urged there the intent to kill and in Canada that did they tend to get later sent?
They go to, and you know Healthcare is Yahoo should rather than prison. Well, the the thing is what the Americans maze of fear is that they were that the perpetrator put in, two hundred am an institution and then be released where again, statistically, that doesn't happen in Canada? Does happen and the case that the most profound example is the events and leave the bus b header who is now it looks like scheduled for a couple years from now to be released completely. He is now a non unescorted passes outside of the institution. And they are. They are claiming that he is making incredible strides because he is benefiting from his medication and it looks like they're looking they're using him as a poster boy, what I say a poster boy for psychiatric rehabilitation.
And he will now around today. Okay succession can't ever imagine that having in the US, I don't know, how can you can share a border and be so different I'm I you know, I I hear a judicial system. How can we share same you? Distill system is what I'm wondering you know yeah the snow that much different- I look at you know I I I'm always reading about these cases, because the this is really been on my mind for decades, and I just I never see that you know Sometimes I think you know no one ever says someone's a psychopath, which I think is you know you know psychopaths brains apparent. It was very different. I mean I I want want them walking around in the street, but I think, but you know, there's actually a case in in California. That's coming up it's it's not a murder case, but I think this person is clearly
psychopathic, but you know that the attorney will never make that sort of argument because the which is never made an american courts- and I don't see any kid killers who call actually come to court, don't ever seem to get off easily easily. I think the which seems more sympathetic to women, because women frequently kill you know. Postpartum, Russian or you know, sometimes a baby there's an exorcism going on the woman is clearly out of her mind. This sort of case you're, talking about with a family annihilation, is really unusual for women there it's like nine thousand and ninety six to ninety. Eight percent are done by men and women almost never kill their husbands. They don't feel that sort of ownership of their husbands, So I don't really see that. I think the thing that's happening here is that people are never even brought to court, because they're they're, very smart about you, know, there's
case in Colorado. Now that I don't want to, I don't know really what's going on, but the kid Dylan Redwine went missing during a court ordered visitation with his father, You know a few of his bones were found in the woods I mean. How do you prove that case against anybody? So I think that's more of the issue that some people are missing in there. Never. Found or cases are Denver made, but I think once they come to court in the US. I can't think of a single kid killing case where people have gotten off easy and I don't think that's ever going to happen on this side of the border. It was a case in a Montreal Okay case in Montreal two years ago, and I will stop at these case examples, because these are profound. This guy was a doctor. His wife was, he discovered. His wife is having an affair with one of his colleagues and killed his kids. I know that case yeah yeah, while he's out he's out of the institution-
and there is an amazing honor killing case in Montreal right, the guy, the guy's, wife and three children. Three daughters were found at the bottom of a river, and then the step and the step wife or the former wife sorry for them all in there. He he, the sun, killed
some other news well, but the the father and so a family killing the other part of the family, and that was an honor killing that personal likely never see the light of day. That is, but this is doctor. Turcotte, though used it was that the fence was incredible and it really didn't resonate past French Canada through the one province. That really wasn't much of a story, but there was there were major protests in call back, but in one province, but that was about it and quietly that he's out and so yeah I saw something programming, you know the difference. No, you have a a website, and
and how can people contact you if they're interested in what the for tonight and fear are you a facebook fan or how can people? I I yeah, I get a call in my name and my website is my name: Merry: Publix's dot com and there's an email on there. I'm. Sort of trying to do twitter in you know. Having deposed I plan to write more, these sort of crime stories like to do something and Dillon read, went, and I think that my twitter and possibly my emails on the Huffington Post to and, of course, by the so it's available in Ebook as well and ends from Prometheus books right and that Amazon and Indiebound and Barnes and noble on on line so easy get you get the you know do what I do get the Kindle version. I probably shouldn't particular brand, but well, I think, there's people that might even get both and I think there are people- definitely there's I don't think
we're back is ever going to go away. I think the book is a great addition and it's nice that it's competitive, sometimes some books or way out of price range. You know sometimes some books, I've seen text books even and so you folks help in that area. So some people right, so he is they're, easy on a plane well and long commutes. When you get right, right, right, right, yeah! Well, it's been very thank you for a very informative interview, an again if people been listening, we've been talking about killer dad's and the twisted drives that compel Father's to murder their own kids of fascinate book by Mary Happen, Foos and well. Thank you very much for this interview, Mary. Thank you very thanks so much for having me denim huge, I'm. A huge fan of your show us on huge fan of true crime, trying to stop the killers out there. So, thanks for having me, yes,
thank you very much, have a great book. Congratulations on this killer that and hope to talk to you again in the near future. Thank you very much and good night Drake, and I The Starlight lounge presents an evening with the Progressive Box here: let's you go tickling the ivory's he just saved by bundling home and auto, with progressive, going to finally buy a ring for that gal of yours. You go send him my condolences. I owe this next ones, for you too, there's a burglar in my heart. Thank you because, apparently, it's discounts on available in all states are situations loyal. Is all about being there day in day out
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Transcript generated on 2019-11-06.