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.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another senseless waste of humanity!

Anonymous said...

Are all men insane? This insane jeolousy is what must stop.

bertha said...

Harrison is an example of a controlling domineering man who should have been locked up long before these murders!

Bertha

Anonymous said...

Come on, not all men are bad Bertha... Just most of them.


Margie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for covering this with names. The victims are real and folks need to know that.

Anonymous said...

I feel for the remaining family.

lurker said...

James Harrison and his 16-year-old daughter, Maxine, tracked Angela down on Friday night using the GPS function on Angela’s cell phone. James had all five of their children in the car when he confronted his wife at a convenience store in southeast Auburn.

Angela apparently said she was leaving him to be with her new boyfriend. The boyfriend was with her at the store. The boyfriend apparently works at the Indian Country Store on River Road in Puyallup. I believe Angela Harrison also works there.

Less than 15 hours later, Harrison, killed his children in their home. Later, James drove back to Auburn near where he confronted his wife the night before. He shot himself apparently after realizing the gravity of his actions.

Harrison probably went to Auburn on Saturday looking for his wife in order to kill her too. Fortunately, he only killed himself.

Lurker

Legal Pub said...

Thanks for the update, Lurker.

Anonymous said...

Good job at completely fictionalizing the motivations of a murderer.

Well sure, the guy could have been contemplating some perceived unbalance in the divorce laws of his state....or he could have just been maddened by the thought of some other guy donking his wife and in ages-old male aggressive, stalking, posessive fashion, he decided to punish her by destroying the thing she valued most: her children, and then like the coward he was, killing himself.

I like my theory better.

Anonymous said...

The mother's aunt, Candy Johnson, said that Harrison was strict and controlling and didn't let Angela make decisions without asking him first. She added that Harrison impregnated Angela when she was 13. "My niece has been so controlled from the time she was young," she said.

Harrison was put on a parenting plan by child welfare officials in 2007 after a "minor assault" on one of the children. Ron Vorak, who lived across the street from the family, said, "He was always hollering at the kids. He seemed to be strict with them," according to the Associated Press.

Anonymous said...

Jealous is a factor. But don't trivialize men's knowledge of how skewed the divorce laws are against men.

Kyle said...

Exactly! A sleazy spouse can have an affair, ruin a family, collect half of the mans assets and still get paid alimony to boot. It just ain't fair!

Kyle

Roberto said...

Fictionalizing? Are you one of the nuts that just wants to keep ignoring the fact that men are becoming insane not just because of cheating spouses but because wives can cheat and even be rewarded for it with the current property distribution and alimony laws?

Anonymous said...

You men make this seem like it ia another Boston Tea Party instead of the cold blooded murder that it really is.


Sallie

Anonymous said...

An eye for an eye, so to speak.

Ms Calabaza said...

IMHO, he wanted to punish his wife and knew exactly how to do it. As unfair as divorce cases can be toward men, there is no excuse for this. What gave him the right to shoot his children?

Anonymous said...

Someone point out exactly where in any coverage of this story, it's been pointed out that this murderer was motivated by anything to do with divorce law. He wasn't even in the midst of a divorce!

The only fact we have is that he learned that his wife had found another man. He then murdered his children and himself.

Way, to twist the facts to fit your own agenda. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break! Do you really think divorce was not happening. She said she was not coming back! you don't have to be Einstein to know that divorce or death are the only way they are going to split.

Now I agree with Calabaza. The wife cheated, she chose the other man and he decided to punish her by flying into an insane rage.

It is wrong. But I agree with the pubmeister, the divorce laws are unfair, especially in states with alimony. Men are driven crazy by a system where there wives can cheat and yet through divorce keep paying her through the teeth.

I am one such divorcee and my standard of living sucks. While I would never harm my kids or my ex, I can emphasize with the smouldering motive that is present in so many of these tragedies.

Anonymous said...

I get what you are saying about underlying motive. But isn't it just easier to conclude that all men are violent, jealous pigs and that us women are simply inevitable victims of the violence?

Anonymous said...

The fear of violence would keep me from ever cheating on my spouse. If it weren't for the threat of a heavy hand, I would take the money and run. Alimony and child support aint too bad of a deal when compared to living with a pig and being a slave to his decision making authority.

Anonymous said...

"Heavy hand" You need help!

Anonymous said...

Men were murdering their wives and children out of jealous rage long before the divorce courts were awarding alimony.

Plenty of marriages break down and it means heartache for dad, mom and the kids.

Only a posessive, controlling creep would resort to murdering his children in order to inflict pain on a departing spouse.

If you don't like the divorce laws, change them.

Legal Pub said...

Above, in all do respect, some lawyers are trying to change the dissolution of marriage laws. However, some have a vested interest in the present situation. There are some who handsomely profit from the litigious nature of the current custody and alimony laws. Clearly not all domestic violence is motivated by a perceived disparity in the divorce laws. "Control" is a dominant theme as well. Current divorce laws often leave a "control orientated" ex spouse with little to no input in the raising of his children and the use of his child support and/or alimony. In sum, this fuels a burning rage that is sometimes shared with attorneys behind closed doors. In some cases the underlying subliminal reality of child support, alimony and little to no control is in fact present in some unstable divorcees. In my interviews, I have discovered it smouldering like hot ashes awaiting a dry wind to spread it's very existence.

Change the laws. Indeed, that is what people should do rather then resort to violence.Violence is never acceptable or to be condoned.
While I advocate the strictest of retribution and punishment for violent criminals, the goal of prevention and improving the current system should not be abandoned.

Legal Eagle 7 said...

Wow, the big guy seldom makes posts like the above. One can disagree with L.P.'s plan or offer suggested improvements, but few can argue with his experience or insight on these matters. Thanks L.P. for posting the above.

Legal Eagle 7

Anonymous said...

Angela Harrison, the mother of the 5 murdered children stated that she was not having an affair but believed that her husband did this in order to punish her. An obvious question then, punish her for what? If it was not an affair or something, why would she feel that her husband was trying to punish her?

If this was an abusive relationship, she should have left and taken her children out of harms way long ago. If she was having an affair, she should have come clean and agreed to some type of joint parenting program.

Anonymous said...

Another man flying off the handle like a Roman candle.

Anonymous said...

How about Mary Winkler! There is a woman who does not miss when she handles a gun.

James S. Huggins said...

I am curious about the impact (if any) on the GPS system/use which permitted the husband/daughter to track/locate the wife.

Legal Eagle 3 said...

James, thanks for joining the world of the commenters. So many lurkers and so few that speak up.

The GPS tracking is built into the phone. It allows you to track the phone to a specific address. The impact in this case is that it allowed the daughter and husband to locate mom with relative ease on Friday night. This allowed for mom to be discovered with another man. (Incidently she claims she is not romantically linked to that man yet she says James tracked her and then killed the kids to "punish her.")

Legal Eagle 3

Anonymous said...

GPS phones should be able to locate missing children. Arm them each with a cell phone.

Anonymous said...

"in all do respect,"

The phrase is "with all due respect".

Anonymous said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the opposing Lawyer trying to give rebuttal after L.P.'s closing.



Harry P.

Anonymous said...

Yup round goes to L.P.

Old School said...

L.P. is right on when it comes to this subject. And the funny thing is, he does not have a dog in the fight! He is just an advocate of reform based on years of trying to clean up the mess usually long time after the damage has been done.

Old School