Monday, April 2, 2012

Columbus Teen Charged with Girlfriend's Murder

A Columbus teen is charged in the shooting death of his girlfriend. From the Ledger-Enquirer:

Kayla [Castro], a 16-year-old Hardaway High School sophomore, the victim of a shotgun blast to the chest, was pronounced dead at 9:40 p.m. Saturday at 4944 Wellborn Drive, where police said the shooting happened in a bedroom about 9 p.m.

Kayla’s boyfriend, Benjamin Brantley, 18, was charged with her murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a sawed-off shotgun. Police say Brantley told them the shooting was an accident.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Castro family.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Murder/Suicide in Tift County

WCTV reports:
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued a press release detailing their investigation on what they say is a murder suicide. They say that evidence indicates that Darrell Ward shot and killed James and Shirley Peters in their home late Sunday night.

He also shot his ex-wife, Kayla Peters, but she survived. Ward then shot himself in the chest. Relatives of the Peters' family say that Kayla divorced Ward two weeks ago.

"The cops they had the road blocked off from Mitchell Store down to 319, on both ends. They wouldn't let anybody down, wouldn't tell anyone anything, it wasn't until a couple hours afterwards that we found out what happened," said one of the Peters' neighbors, only wanting to be identified as Heather.

Relatives said that Kayla's condition was improving, and that they had informed her on Tuesday afternoon that her parents had been killed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Peters family.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gwinnett Man Charged in Wife's Strangling

The AJC reports:

A 70-year-old Gwinnett County man remained hospitalized Tuesday afternoon, a day after he strangled his wife and then tried to kill himself, police said.

Officers were dispatched to a home on Summerfield Way, in the Sycamore Crossing neighborhood of Bethesda School Road near Lawrenceville, around 4:30 p.m. Monday for a welfare check after the couple did not show up for a meeting, Cpl. Ed Ritter said Monday evening.

Inside the stucco ranch home, officers found 62-year-old Eva Blatt dead and her husband, Alex Blatt, in medical distress, Ritter said. Police declined to say how the man attempted to kill himself in the apparent homicide and attempted suicide.

Alex Blatt was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center, where he was in critical condition Monday night, Ritter said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Blatt family.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Warner Robbins Man Accused of Killing Girlfriend

From The Macon Telegraph:
Russell Daniel Holt, 28, of Warner Robins, has been charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the 2:27 a.m. Sunday shooting of his girlfriend inside his residence in the 100 block of Ledford Way, said Tabitha Pugh, Warner Robins police spokeswoman.

His girlfriend, 27-year-old Jessica Nicole Wolfe of Bonaire, died from a single gunshot wound to the chest, an autopsy found Monday. The manner of death was ruled a homicide, Pugh said. No other physical trauma was noted in the autopsy, Pugh said.

Wolfe was pronounced dead at the scene of the domestic violence incident, Pugh said. Police were initially dispatched to the residence in reference to a woman not breathing, Pugh said.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wolfe family.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bad Advice

When it comes to domestic violence, most of us don't know the signs, yet we love to blame women for not noticing them and not getting out of the relationship fast enough. Case in point, a man writes to Cary Tennis, an advice columnist, and his letter is peppered with red flags. On Feministe, where we first saw this advice, Jill breaks them down:

I mean, we have some Classic Signs of A Controlling Man here.

  1. Isolates her from her friends and family.

  2. Criticizes her.

  3. THREATENS SUICIDE when she tries to leave him.

  4. Lies, or at least can’t keep his story straight, when he’s appealing for sympathy (see “we ended up having a screaming incident in front of our apartment” followed up with “I never threatened her or even raised my voice”).
The advice columnist, who by the way is paid to be an expert on relationships, has this to say:

It’s sad. I wish you two could patch it up.
This is the advice women are given. We are told to compromise so we won't end up alone, and then people are surprised when the violence escalates and we don't realize something is wrong until we are in too deep. To this advice columnist, the victim is the villain.

How hard would it be to tell women not to compromise, but only to commit to other people who treat them as equals and with respect? How hard would it have been for this advice columnist to tell this perfect stranger that his behavior is alarming and that his girlfriend is right to stay away? Domestic violence will not end if we tell women to put up with it and it certainly won't end until we are able to point out to men when their behavior is controlling or threatening. We need to stop ignoring the warning signs and start treating domestic and dating violence for what it is: a problem that needs to be addressed and can't be explained away.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gwinnett Man Arrested in Roomate's Violent Death


Gwinnett County police have arrested a man suspected of beating a woman to death in their apartment off of Power Avenue in Buford.

Investigators went to a home in the 300 block of Power Avenue for a welfare check on Wednesday afternoon and found Vickie Bowles, 54, dead on the floor of her apartment.

“There were obvious signs of violence in the apartment and blunt force trauma about her body,” said Cpl. Edwin Ritter with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Thursday morning, police confirmed they had arrested Dennis Puckett and charged him with murder and aggravated assault in Bowles' death. Police said Puckett and Bowles both lived in the apartment where the body was found.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bowles family.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DeKalb Man Accused of Killing Ex

The AJC reports:
A man who fatally shot his ex-wife and injured another woman Wednesday morning in DeKalb County was arrested that afternoon when he showed up at a school in Duluth to pick up his son, authorities said.

Jason Bryant, 26, was arrested around 3:15 p.m. at Monarch School, a public school for Gwinnett County special needs children, nearly four hours after allegedly shooting the two women multiple times, police said. Charges against the man were pending Wednesday afternoon.

Angelina Bryant, 23, was killed outside the Windchase apartment complex in the Pine Lake area, and Trina Nwoke, 20, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition, DeKalb County police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said.

"He was arrested ... after attempting to pick up his son from school," Parish said. "DKPD notified Gwinnett and school authorities shortly after the shooting about the possibility that he would be headed in their direction."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Not An Isolated Incident

You've seen us write before that the purpose of this blog is to connect the local work we do to larger issues that contribute to a culture that tolerates and encourages violence against women. Part of that culture is a deliberate insistence that incidents of violence against women are isolated incidents. This opinion piece in the Washington Post shows how the media contributes to that view:

A Washington state study of 230 news articles about 44 deaths related to domestic violence found that nearly all the stories portrayed these incidents as isolated events, rather than as part of a larger social problem.

A similar Rhode Island study of the media coverage of domestic violence homicides found that journalists often portrayed the murder as an “unpredictable private tragedy” rather than part of a larger pattern of abuse. Both studies found that media coverage generally failed to provide accurate information about the dynamics of domestic violence or utilize experts as sources for stories. When experts were quoted, however, the media coverage was much more likely to describe the murder as a part of the societal problem of domestic violence and to discuss community resources for responding to violence.
If we can't see domestic violence homicides as connected, and we can't see the larger societal attitudes and issues that contribute to violence against women, how can we devise a solution? That is why it is vital to share what you've learned about domestic violence with those around you. You can help them connect the dots and only then will we be able to come up with solutions that are truly preventative.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Alleged DV Homicide in Colombus

From the Ledger-Enquirer:
An investigation into the Wednesday death of 90-year-old Annie Morgan has led to the arrest of her husband on a murder charge, Columbus police said on Saturday.


The charge stems from an 8 p.m. Wednesday call for paramedics at the couple’s apartment for a person stricken by a possible cardiac arrest. After paramedics arrived, they noticed a possible stab wound to the victim’s chest.

She was taken to The Medical Center where Deputy Coroner Charles Newton pronounced her dead at 8:45 p.m.

On Thursday, Annie Morgan’s body was sent to the crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy that determined the woman’s aorta was punctured by an unknown sharp object, possibly a letter opener.

Statements from her husband weren’t consistent with the investigation, police Lt. John McMichael said.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morgan family.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mass DV-Related Shotting in Norcross

A mass shooting at a Norcross, GA spa is now suspected to be DV-related. From CNN:

The shooting deaths of five people at a suburban Atlanta spa Tuesday night was a murder-suicide triggered by a domestic dispute, police said Wednesday.

A man shot himself to death after killing his two sisters and their husbands at the Su Jung Health Spa in Norcross, Georgia, according to a police statement.

The man had been asked to leave the business earlier in the day, but returned at 8:40 p.m. and began shooting with a semiautomatic pistol, police said.

The names of the dead, all in their early 50s to mid-60s, have not been made public.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Police: Man Shot and Killed by Coworker's Ex

Another example of how domestic violence is not just a private, family matter:

Joshua McColley found his former girlfriend cowering in the back of the Pizza Hut and aimed a .38-caliber revolver at her, police said.

She begged him not to hurt her: McColley had already shot her co-worker and left him in a pool of blood behind the store's front counter. He obliged her plea and turned the gun on himself.

In the end, her life was the only one spared.

McColley, 23, fatally shot himself at the south DeKalb County pizza store Saturday morning, and Pizza Hut employee Samuel Wallace died from his injuries Monday, according to DeKalb police.

Wallace, 34, was shot twice following a brief confrontation with McColley and was "unconscious and unresponsive" when emergency responders arrived at the store. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he later died.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wallace family.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Alleged DV Murder in Emmanuel County

From My Swainsboro News:

On Sunday, Feb. 12, at approximately 8 p.m., the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office and Emanuel County Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to 40 Ebenezer Church Road in Emanuel County in reference to a female suffering from gunshot wounds.

According to Sheriff J. Tyson Stephens, deputies arrived and arrested George Walter Kirkland, 46, in connection with the shooting. Sherry Kirkland, 49, the wife of George Walter Kirkland, was located within the residence and pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.

Investigators from the sheriff’s office and crime scene specialists from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were called in to investigate the death. Sherry Kirkland’s body was transported to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsy. George Walter Kirkland is currently charged with murder and remains in the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Detention Center without bond.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call Investigator Ashley Riner at the sheriff’s office (478) 237-7526 or the GBI at (478) 374-6988.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kirkland family.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Covington Man Wanted for Ex's Murder

From the AJC:

A man wanted in the drive-by slaying of his former girlfriend turned himself in to Covington police Saturday, authorities said.

Hannibal Wayne McMullen, 47, was charged with murder in the death early Friday of Ketitra Techelle Jones, who had filed for a temporary order of protection against the man.

Police said McMullen turned himself in around 5 p.m. Saturday. Police along with family and friends of McMullen had been in touch with him via cell phone and text messaging since late Friday, urging him to surrender.

The fatal shooting occurred on Washington Street near Carroll Street in Covington. Witnesses told police they heard and saw shots being fired from a blue Toyota Corolla and into a silver Dodge Ram truck driven by Jones.

Both vehicles were traveling northeast toward Covington’s town square. After the shooting, Jones’ truck crashed into an awning at the Pure Station on Washington Street near Carroll Street, police said. She was fatally wounded.

McMullen, who owns a detail shop in Covington, was identified as the suspect and was considered armed and dangerous.

Police said Jones and McMullen had been in a relationship that ended several months ago. Channel 2 Action News reported that Jones had sought an order of protection against McMullen.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jones family.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Benevolent Sexism

Readers, have you ever gotten a "compliment" that seemed intended to genuinely be a compliment that nonetheless didn't feel quite so good? Scientific American actually recently examined that topic in a great article on benevolent sexism.

In 1996, Peter Glick and Susan Fiske wrote a paper on the concept of ambivalent sexism, noting that despite common beliefs, there are actually two different kinds of sexist attitudes and behavior. Hostile sexism is what most people think of when they picture “sexism” – angry, explicitly negative attitudes towards women. However, the authors note, there is also something called benevolent sexism:

We define benevolent sexism as a set of interrelated attitudes toward women that are sexist in terms of viewing women stereotypically and in restricted roles but that are subjectively positive in feeling tone (for the perceiver) and also tend to elicit behaviors typically categorized as prosocial (e.g., helping) or intimacy-seeking (e.g., self-disclosure) (Glick & Fiske, 1996, p. 491).

[Benevolent sexism is] a subjectively positive orientation of protection, idealization, and affection directed toward women that, like hostile sexism, serves to justify women’s subordinate status to men (Glick et al., 2000, p. 763).

Essentially, there’s now a formal name for all of those comments and stereotypes that can somehow feel both nice and wrong at the same time, such as the belief that women are “delicate flowers” that need to be protected by men, or the notion that women have the special gift of being “more kind and caring” than their male counterparts. And yes, it might sound complimentary, but it still counts as sexism.
Benevolent sexism also still counts as a problem and still contributes to society treating women as second-class citizens. Check out the full article here for all of the ways how.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rape Culture Refresher Course

If you've read our blog for any length of time, you are familiar with the term "rape culture". If you don't know the term, or need a refresher, the blog Racialicious has a great breakdown that starts as a conversation about "Don't' get raped" vs. "Don't rape" as prevention strategies, goes through "Not saying no does not equal yes" and ends with violence in movies, books, and music in a full illustration of the permeation of rape into our culture. It is well worth a read.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Explanations to Our Daughters

Because of the recent birth of his daughter Blue Ivy with wife Beyonce, the Internet has been buzzing with rumors that Jay-Z will stop using the word "b---h" in his music. They seem to be just rumors, but they would also make sense. How can men with daughters justify using derogatory words to describe women, no matter their line of work?

You may not think it is that big of a deal or that the word has become so common that it has lost much of its meaning. Well, Dawn Turner-Trice from the Chicago Tribune decided to ask teens girls what they think of the rumors. Check out what these girls between the ages of 13 and 17 have to say.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Clayton County Murder-Suicide

From 11 Alive News:

An 11-year-old boy coming home from school walked into a bloody scene where his parents had been killed.

Clayton County Police said the couple died in a murder-suicide. Their bodies were found in their Riverdale home Thursday afternoon.

According to a Clayton County Police officer, Edmond Martin, 33, shot his wife, Fitcha Martin, 31, and then turned the gun on himself.

The child called 911 after finding a large amount of blood inside the house, Clayton County Police spokeswoman Tina Daniel told the Clayton News Daily. She said the boy did not see his parents' bodies.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Martin family.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Attempted Wilcox County Murder-Suicide Leaves Shooter Dead

From NBC 41:

According to Investigator Thomas Stubbs with the Wilcox County Sheriff's Department, a woman was shot twice by her on again off again boyfriend Monday night. Authorities found her conscious in a home on Tippettville Road. Her boyfriend was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The victim was transported to the Medical Center of Central Georgia in stable condition where she is being treated for gunshot wounds to the neck and head.

Stubbs tells 41 NBC the couple had a a tumultous [sic] past. The victim was visiting her boyfriend since Christmas. Authorities are not releasing the name of the victim or shooter.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the woman's family.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Boyfriend Charged in Atlanta Teen's Murder

According to the AJC:

Atlanta police arrested the boyfriend of a teenage girl who was found mortally wounded in southeast Atlanta late Friday and who later died, authorities said Saturday.

The girl was not identified, but the suspect was identified as Edward Johnson, 18, who was charged with murder.

Police said they found the girl with a gunshot wound to her side around 9:15 p.m. in the 2000 block of Rhinehill road. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she later died.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Rookie Mag has an amazing post by Sady Doyle, a rape survivor, on the journey that a woman goes through in healing after such a trauma. It is written to survivors from a survivor, but it also gives us a glimpse at the toll such an invasion can take on a woman's life. We encourage you to read the piece in its entirety.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Man Charged in Catoosa County Double-Homicide

From CBS News:

A 59-year-old man told his estranged wife and her mother "they'd be sorry" before he pulled a handgun from his coat pocket and fatally shot both women at a Georgia hospital while people watched in the waiting room, police said.

"He shot the mother-in-law-first and then shot his wife," Fort Oglethorpe Police Chief David Eubanks told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Saturday, a day after the shooting...

The slayings happened at Hutcheson Medical Center in north Georgia, about 10 miles from the Tennessee state line. Police identified the man accused of the shootings as James Benson, a security guard from nearby Chattanooga, Tennessee. Investigators say he drove to the police station and turned himself in shortly afterward.

Police say the suspect had been separated from his wife, 56-year-old Mary Benson of Rossville, Ga., and their marital problems apparently prompted the violence. She was killed alongside her mother, 76-year-old Charlotte Johnson of Chattanooga, as they visited a relative being treated in the hospital's intensive care unit.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Benson and Johnson families.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Murder-Suicide in Augusta

From the Augusta Chronicle:
According to Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Carrier, an FPL Foods employee, identified as Emanuel Jordan, 21, fired several shots outside the security gates at the business about 1:15 p.m.

Jordan, who worked at the facility, killed his wife, Tia Jordan, 40, then turned the gun on himself, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Bowen.
Jordan has previous Richmond County charges of family violence, simple battery and theft by receiving stolen property from 2008 and a charge of possession of cocaine from 2009, according to law enforcement.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jordan family.