Monday, April 6, 2009
James Harrison, Another Example Of Fathers Going Off The Deep End?
It's not right, but it is reality. Domestic violence is on the rise. One perceived reason that is whispered among judges and attorneys in private conversations is the disparity in treatment between men and women when it comes to divorce. Face facts, men appear to have a disadvantage when it comes to custody, decision making, alimony and support.The result can be a depressed Dad, an angry Dad, and even a violent Dad. A proposed step in the right direction has been offered: SUGGESTION. This is not to say that it would have prevented James Harrison's recent rage. But certainly the feelings of seeing his wife with another man and understanding the ramifications of the current divorce laws and practice which would likely cause him to pay alimony could have been a contributing factor. We won't know for sure because he took his own life. But one thing that is certain, the gravity of the situation can no longer be tolerated.
James Harrison, 34 years old, shot and killed his five children in their Washington state home. Then he killed himself. The precipitating event was an argument with his wife, Angela, after he apparently saw her with another man at a convenience store. (Harrison and his 16 year old daughter found his wife with another man on Friday night after tracking them with a cell phone GPS function. Angela apparently told James that she would not be returning to the marital home.) James returned home and about 15 hours later committed a heinous crime. His children, ages 7 to 16, were found dead in their Pierce County, Washington, home Saturday. The murderer, James Harrison, returned to the convenience store and committed suicide. He was found dead inside his SUV in an adjacent county according to CNN Radio. Angela Harrison, Jame's estranged wife was not physically harmed. But the deaths of the children: Maxine, Samantha, Heather, Jamie and James are bound to leave a mark.
After Harrison and his 16-year-old daughter found his wife with another man on Friday night, the couple argued. Harrison and his daughter then returned to the family home without his wife. Harrison and the children then held a family meeting. A few other relatives were present. Sometime after the other relatives left, Harrison shot four of his children as they slept in their beds. A fifth died in the bathroom. Legal Pub recognizes that James Harrison was no angel. Candy Johnson, Angela Harrison's aunt, has given a statement to the press describing Harrison as a strict, controlling husband. She said that he did not allow his wife to make any decisions without consulting him first. James apparently impregnated Angela when she was 13.
James apparently worked as a diesel mechanic. He may have also worked part time as a security guard. Angela apparently works at the convenience store. Ron Vorak, a neighbor, has described Harrison as "not too friendly." Harrison apparently had no criminal record; however, he was placed on a parenting plan by state child welfare officials in 2007 because of a minor physical altercation with one of the children. It was a relatively minor matter as he agreed to the plan and the case was closed according to the police.
This massacre comes follows a Los Angeles, California shooting two months ago where a father killed his wife and five children after he and his wife were fired from their jobs. Police are still investigating another California family shooting last week in which a man killed two adult family members, three children and wounded his wife. The man also committed suicide after the shootings. Whatever the reason behind this savage behavior, it is unacceptable. Yes the laws need to change. But the violence must stop now.