After I read the chapter, all I could say is the world's really strange-maybe gone mad. First-off, it's pretty disturbing when you think that love could actually be a key to homicide-that "love" itself could be the very root of motives for murder. Whenever I see the news on TV about intimate or family-related homicides, it awes me and makes me wonder how could they do such a thing. But anyway, I've observed that some do it to hide an affair from the spouse, some are for money, others are for authority (certain family status), and some are just for attention. It usually happens between couples. Intimate partner homicide usually involves a man killing his female partner, often after a long and escalating pattern of woman battering.
When women kill male partners, they typically do so in self-defense, although such defense may not qualify as such in a court of law. However, deaths attributable to domestic violence far transcend intimate partner killings. Non intimate partner family members also kill each other in so called 'family homicides.' Fathers kill children, mothers kill children, children kill their parents, and brothers kill sisters, and so on. Men sometimes kill other men over a woman they sexually compete for. These 'sexual competitor killings' are much smaller in number than either intimate partner or family homicides.
In some cases, however, like in the Scott Peterson case, we can see that there's this thing about getting away from responsibility (I. e. , fatherhood) and running off with somebody else. Sometimes we can't even expect that homicide would actually occur to such a "happy" marriage, because they appear to be quite normal.
Regarding this, there was a time when I had this conversation with a friend about marriage and she just said, "Sometimes I pity those who get married, because I see most of them just stay in the marriage because of commitment but never with love." It's such an irony, but I admit it's true for some cases, since we see them happen in real life now. I'm not saying all marriages or relationships would end up that way, but we never know what's going to happen, because anything's possible. Some perpetrators, when realizing their actions, also commit suicide. Many more Americans die from suicide than homicide. Most of these suicides involve male victims, some of whom kill their female intimate partners before taking their own lives. Specifically, I think 'in most cases we believe battered women are provoked to attempt suicide by the extent of control exercised over their lives.' As I've noticed, the proximity between woman battering and women's suicide attempts in general, strongly suggests that battering may be one of the principal causes of the suicide attempts.
It is pointed out that a number of studies identify abuse as a factor in female suicide attempts. And most of the battered women, as most studies show, would 'visit the hospital with an abuse-related injury or complaint on the same day as their suicide attempt.' As the proportion of the elderly in the U. S. in the population increases, researchers have become increasingly aware of domestic violence among their ranks. Old stereotypes die hard, and social service providers and law enforcement agencies sometimes assume that because people are elderly they are not capable of committing or being victimized by domestic violence. One example is from the chapter itself, with the former military man, Ronald Gene Simmons who executed his entire family on Christmas.
He did it because he wanted to control everything in his family. Speaking of families, there are also cases when the assumption of homicide is usually taken in the form of "mercy killings." I've also seen movies wherein family members just take the life of one sick member, particularly the elderly. And the reason's simple: because they'd rather see the person dead than suffer. Some do it because they think it's better-some in the form of homicide-suicide. Police officers or others who investigate the homicide-suicide and find a note telling authorities that the couple could not live on with ailing health might hastily label the death a 'mercy killing.' Upon further investigation we find it is nearly always men who commit these killings and that in a significant number of cases their female victims had expressed to other family members a desire to live not die.
Evidence that women killed in so-called mercy killings or suicide pacts had previously expressed 'no desire to die' may suggest they were being battered before their demise. I also have a friend in L. A. who once told me that she knew a lot of homeless women who had experienced brutal battery before. And that some became prostitutes-and even been crime victims. Deaths traceable to domestic violence and therefore subject to fatality review, increase considerably if we include women who die as prostitutes, HIV victims, or from causes related to homelessness.
For example, one might argue that because battered women appear more vulnerable to HIV infections than non-battered women, some deaths of women attributed to HIV or some complication thereof, might be traceable to the women's compromised status as battered. The same could be said of homeless women dying on the streets since roughly half of homeless women report 'fleeing abuse' as the reason for their homelessness. Likewise, prostitutes have experienced enormous amounts of interpersonal abuse at the hands of male intimates, family members, and their clients. Sometimes people are downright unpredictable. And the society itself could just be the thorn on our sides. After I read the chapter, I don't know what to feel or even say about it, because at one point it sounds impossible.
If it wasn't for the book, I wouldn't even find out that there's such a thing as "intimate" murder. But the more I read about it, the more I realize there are even deeper questions. I noticed that in murders, you can't really idenitfy motives in general. Each has an individual motive and it's very intricate. We can't even tell if the suspect is crazy or has a psychological imbalance. I might have been watching a lot of CSI or Law & Order, Court TV and such, but to me I think through reading, it makes me more aware of how dangerous we people could be..