No need to panic; it’s just Schrödinger’s Family Annihilator

The force said a suspect had been identified and ‘is contained’, and officers were not looking for anyone else. […] ‘We are treating this as an isolated incident and there is no evidence that any other members of the public are at risk.’

Such comforting words!

“There is nothing to lend us to believe that there are any other persons of interest,” he said.

More comforting words!

These are the words of the police this week, in two different countries, being interviewed after similar homicide* incidents. More correctly, domestic violence murder-suicides, where the male of the family has killed one or more members of the family, then himself. *In the UK incident the six year old girl is currently in hospital in a critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head.

Put this in the context of two women per week in the UK being murdered by a current or former male partner, one woman per week in Australia murdered by a current or former male partner, or three women per day in the US being murdered by a current or former male partner.

These are not words of comfort for the families of these murdered women. These are not words of comfort for the millions of women and children all over the world currently living in a situation of domestic terror. If anything, these ‘words of comfort’ terrorise female victims living with domestic violence even more than they already are.

These are words to assure the general public that they are not in danger from random stranger male violence, the victims were the ‘only’ specific targets of this outbreak of male violence. It is matter-of-fact, it is routine, the cops know what to do next, because it is all too common.

Superintendent Noble said police were preparing a report for the coroner but detectives were not looking at any other persons of interest.

Business as usual under patriarchy. A woman and her three young children gunned down at their home, by the (current) husband, who then took himself to a dam on the property then shot himself.

Hunt-Family

Victims Kim Hunt (41), Fletcher (10), Mia (8), and Phoebe (6), pictured with their murderer, Geoffrey Hunt. Photo: Lee Smith/The Daily Advertiser

The police at the time (before they had found Hunt’s body) seemed far more concerned about the murderer, rather than anything more matter-of-fact than taping up the crime scene of where a woman and her children were brutally slaughtered.

Commander of Wagga Local Area Command, Superintendent Bob Noble, said police were looking for a man who is “normally an occupant of that premises”. […] “We’re very concerned for the welfare of that individual,” he said.

Really? I just have no words to describe the level of revulsion reading the Superintendent’s “concern”. But what did the local residents have to say?

A businessman in the Lockhart area told News Corp Australia he had seen Hunt at a cropping meeting last week, and Hunt had appeared “completely normal.”

“There was absolutely no indication that anything was wrong or that anything like this was about to happen. He appeared to be in fine spirits. He’s a lovely guy, very easy going and he seemed happy and perfectly normal,” he said.

“The cropping meeting was about the frost, which was worse this year than it has been in the past. Geoff was worried about the frost but he hadn’t lost anything. I mean, all of the farmers are in the same boat and he certainly hadn’t fared any worse than anyone else.’’

“Happy and perfectly normal”, these are the words describing a man who has just slaughtered his entire family. Is it really normal for men to slaughter their families, because if these are the actions of ‘normal nice guys’, then all women should be aware that the ‘normal nice guy’ they are living with could massacre themselves and their children at the drop of a hat. It is not therefore, unreasonable to treat all men as ‘Schrödinger’s Family Annihilator’ (see Schrödinger’s Rapist), because any of them could go on a murderous rampage at any moment, it is committed by ‘normal’ men.

I also would question the sanity of society, when anyone could even consider that mass murder is a likely outcome for some possible frost-damage to crops. To me, this does not seem like a reasonable connection or outcome. But to that local businessman, presumably another ‘nice normal guy’, he ponders the connection. Again, what does this say about ‘nice normal guys’?

What happened in the days leading up to this family slaughter?

Geoff Hunt and his family celebrated a relative’s birthday on Saturday and went to a local football game on Sunday, before his children were dropped at school for the last time on Monday.

Only 74 students attend St Joseph’s School so, when the Hunt children failed to turn up on Tuesday, it was noticed.

This reminds me of the case several years ago, when millionaire Chris Foster slaughtered his wife and daughter, as well as the family’s horses and dogs, set the mansion on fire, dying in the massive blaze that he created.

Foster-Family

Victims Jill Foster (49) and Kirstie (15), slaughtered by Chris Foster (50). Pictured just hours before they would all be dead.

On the day in question, an August Bank Holiday last year, the Foster family  –  Chris and Jill and their vivacious, horse-mad daughter Kirstie  –  attended a neighbours’ shooting party and barbecue. They seemed a happy, loving family, enjoying the fruits of Chris’ success in business.
[…]
Belinda Fathers, the Fosters’ housekeeper and friend, recalls that Friday as normal, ‘nothing out of the ordinary’, with Chris and his family ‘larking about’. But there was one possible signal of the impending horror: Chris and Jill had been looking at family photographs, including his childhood pictures. As Belinda recalls: ‘They watched the wedding video and cried.

Looking at family photos, the family attending a party just hours before they were killed by Foster. Foster appearing ‘happy and normal’. Perhaps ‘happy and normal’ males should be forbidden from attending parties with their families?

His last moments were captured by the CCTV cameras he’d set up to protect the family. It shows him approaching the kennels and stable block at 3:10am, with a .22 rifle, with a silencer and a lamp attached to illuminate the target.

‘He’s come out with a plan in his head, and he’s carrying it out,’ said DC Beeton. Having shot Jill and Kirstie, he shot the horses, and set fire to the stables, and then puts the dogs in their kennels and killed them.

Then he dragged their carcasses to the stables. Dominic Black, the first forensics officer to enter the house, was deeply disturbed by what he saw. ‘He shot the dogs in the head, shot the horses in the head, shot the wife in the head. No distinction is there? It indicates he classes them all the same.’

Indeed, he regarded them all the same, his possessions, to be disposed of at his will. It was later revealed that Foster was in financial difficulty, however, this again is still not a valid reason for going on a murderous rampage. The footage and timeline in the Foster case indicate just how calculated and calmly these Family Annihilators go about their ‘business’. This is never about ‘just snapping’ and losing control, it is quite the opposite, a dramatic and calculated exercise of control. The final act of control, usually bringing infamy to the perpetrator, rather than quietly going off to kill himself somewhere. It is a general media rule that they do not report suicides, so this is how these ‘nice normal guys’ get their suicides in the papers, to be remembered. They just don’t care how they are remembered, just as long as they are.

Time and time again we hear the police say “there was nothing we could do to predict that [family annihilation, or female partner assassination]”, even when women have reported the violence or threats to kill them, the police do nothing. “Come back when he has actually done something” they say to women, time and time again. These were the words that local police told to Christine Chambers, just five days before she and her youngest daughter were slaughtered by her former partner in 2011. Police fail to protect women (and children), the police are still not taking threats and domestic violence against women seriously. Is this really a case that the police cannot tell one ‘normal guy’ from the next, or do they just not care? Is ongoing domestic violence just one of those ‘facts of life’ that women must put up with, therefore the police cannot really tell which ones will end in a femicidal slaughter?

In the cases of Jill Foster and Christine Chambers, friends and family knew of their “problem marriages” (the euphemism for living in domestic terror). At this stage we do not know if Kim Hunt’s friends and family knew of her situation, many women live in hope that the situation will get better, or that they are not in any real danger—even though many women do realise they are in mortal danger. But how can women reliably leave a situation of domestic terror, when there is no reliable support from the police to act on breaches of restraining orders?

We may never know if Kim Hunt was in that situation, frequently the national papers fail to follow up on these cases. And of course, there will be another 50-70 women killed between the time of her and her children’s murder, to the time of the Coroner’s Inquest. That is a lot of dead women to count. Karen Ingala Smith attempts to count them all in the UK. The UK body count has remained relatively within the same range for the last ten years (the same ten years that the UK Domestic Violence Crime & Victims Act was introduced). It has made no difference at all, if anything, numbers appear to be on the rise, both in the UK and Australia. Even though the NSW Government have taken it upon themselves to dismantle the women-run domestic violence support sector.

I write this post on the day that Oscar Pistorius has been cleared of the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. She was afraid of him too, although apparently not afraid enough. Glosswitch has written a very powerful post on the implications of that case.

We women are given volumes of ‘helpful’ advice and aids to ‘protect ourselves from being raped’ from you-beaut nail polish to wearing appropriate attire and not drinking or going out or anything. We have to protect ourselves from Schrödinger’s Rapist. No one seems to question the ‘nice normal’ men and boys that do all the raping. We must ‘accept it’ and ‘protect ourselves’, just as we have to ‘accept it’ and ‘protect ourselves’ from Schrödinger’s Family Annihilator, or if really ‘lucky’, just continue living in a state of domestic terror. No one wants to help us. We are told we must accept violence from ‘nice normal men’. Because:NAMALT. Which ones of these ‘nice normal men’ are dangerous and which ones are not, we are expected to figure that out, otherwise, we are told, we are ‘tarring all men with the same brush’, we are being ‘unfair’ to men. Husbands, boyfriends and fathers have proven themselves to be far more deadly than sharks. Yet no one calls for a culling of violent ‘nice normal’ men, many of them like Pistorius, are allowed to roam free (the culpable homicide verdict is barely wrist slap). Dead women just don’t count. Dead women are not regarded as important enough to count or protect.

Throughout this post I have deliberately used the words ‘slaughtered’ and ‘murdered’. The former is never used in mainstream press, the latter sometimes used—but often times, the sanitised words of ‘dead’ or ‘killed’ suffice for the mainstream media, to hide the true horror of what is really going on for women and children living under patriarchy.

The slaughter has to stop.

If this is what the ‘nice normal men’ do, then I really don’t want to meet any of the ‘bad’ ones.

 

Postscript:

I am adding a number of related links, as there have been quite a number of posts and articles appearing just within the last week. I think that most of us who monitor or work within the sector are sensing a distinct increase in the hostilities towards women. Some of the posts below are Pistorius-related, but some general posts that echo what I have written above. If you only read one article on Pistorius, then read Meghan Murphy’s, straight to the point leaving no doubt at all.

General:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/womens-blog/2014/sep/12/women-being-assaulted-abused-murdered-misogny

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/remember-reeva-steenkamp-and-the-thousands-of-other-women-killed-by-men-every-year-9727469.html

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/09/are-beheadings-terrorism-palmira-silva-was-third-woman-be-decapitated-london-year

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/10/ray-rice-domestic-violence-hotline_n_5798462.html?ir=Politics

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/27/police-failures-domestic-violence-damning-report

Pistorius-related:

http://feministcurrent.com/9546/oscar-pistorius-knew-exactly-what-he-was-doing/

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/09/oscar-pistorius-not-guilty-murdering-reeva-steenkamp-woman-he-killed

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/12/oscar-pistorius-verdict-reeva-steenkamp-defence-implausible

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Sources:

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/woman-and-three-children-found-dead-in-boree-creek-farmhouse-near-wagga-20140909-10emkb.html

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/what-led-to-the-death-of-kim-and-geoff-hunt-and-their-children-20140910-10f5ih.html

http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/new-body-find-after-mother-and-three-children-shot-dead-near-boree-creek-rd-lockhart/story-fnjbnts7-1227053424737

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2752518/BREAKING-NEWS-Armed-police-swarm-quiet-Sussex-village-man-shoots-daughter-kills.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1167196/Revealed-Why-millionaire-Christopher-Foster-slaughtered-family.html

http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-13682925

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2191901/Shocking-police-failures-left-sadistic-killer-free-murder-ex-partner-daughter-shotgun.html

http://kareningalasmith.com/counting-dead-women/

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/28/contents

https://davinasquirrel.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/the-end-of-an-era-with-dire-consequences-for-women-and-children/

http://www.smh.com.au/world/oscar-pistorius-eight-key-pieces-of-evidence-20140910-1060un.html

http://glosswatch.com/2014/09/11/reeva-steenkamp-and-oscar-pistorius-not-a-question-of-fact-but-perspective/

http://mic.com/articles/97302/if-we-gave-men-the-same-rape-advice-we-give-women-here-s-how-absurd-it-would-sound

http://sarahditum.com/2014/09/03/in-which-i-consider-some-pragmatic-rational-responses-to-male-violence/

https://davinasquirrel.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/namalt/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_attack#Statistics

http://grist.org/list/australia-responds-to-shark-attacks-by-attacking-sharks/

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15 thoughts on “No need to panic; it’s just Schrödinger’s Family Annihilator

  1. Apologies for the ranty nature of the post, I was angry, very angry.

    A couple of other links that I will throw in here, although there are many on the cuts to services in the UK, and poor police handling—it would be a very long list to list them all.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/10/women-die-legal-aid-rules-domestic-violence-victims

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/27/police-failures-domestic-violence-damning-report

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this post Davina, brilliantly laid out. This attitude from police and media, the “good bloke” (who just happened to murder some woman and kids) is just vile.

    Can second the recommendation for the glosswitch post, one of the best I’ve read.

    Also, feeling very very disappointed by the judges dismissal of abusive male behaviour as ““normal relationships are dynamic and unpredictable sometimes”. Complete misogynistic apologism for violent men.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thank you Davina for succinctly stating the facts in detail and your piece was not a ‘rant.’ Men commonly claim ‘women are ranting’ when we hold them to account for their endless lethal war on women and children. ‘Rant’ is mens’ method of dismissing womens’ lived experiences and male violence perpetrated against them. Another common ploy men use is the ‘reasonable man standard’ or as it is now termed ‘the reasonable person standard’ but both are male defined and it is always mens’ lived experiences/justifications/excuses/denials which are considered by men to be ‘the human experience!’ The reasonable woman standard isn’t allowed to be written into mens’ laws because that would supposedly bias mens’ Male Supremacist Legal System! So women have no ‘reasonable standard’ because our lived experiences are defined by men in order to justify/maintain male oppression over all women.

    Glosswitch mentioned the ‘reasonable person standard’ in her succinct article on Pistorius’s cold blooded murder of Ms. Reeva Steenkamp. Mens’ reasonable standard approach means cold blooded murderer Pistorius did not murder Ms. Steenkamp.

    Despite all the overwhelming evidence of pandemic male hatred of women and mens’ continuing lethal war on women and children – men continue to play the three wise (cunning) monkeys (male stance) by claiming ‘we see no systemic male violence against women; we hear of no systemic male violence against women and we definitely do not speak of systemic male violence against women!

    The chilling conclusion I draw from the facts Davina has presented is that men en mass view all women as dehumanised objects. It is irrelevant that not all men commit violence against women because 99.9% males collude/condone/excuse/erase pandemic male violence against women and children. Mens’ police forces collude with this male erasure as evidenced in malestream reportage and still the men stick their fingers in their ears; ‘sing lah lah lah’ we can’t hear you dehumanised things called women!

    Think men don’t hate women? Read this article and consider the facts because this is not about isolated incidents; a family tragedy; a male suffering from depression; loss of control etc. etc – it is calculated pandemic male violence being inflicted on women and girls on a global scale. And the male perpetrators know their crimes of male hatred of women are being excused/ignored/justified by their bros.

    But we women mustn’t be worried or frightened because the male controlled/male dominated police forces and the male representatives from mens’ Male Supremacist Legal Institutions are continuing to utter lies by claiming ‘procedures have been changed; lessons have been learned blah blah blah!’

    Don’t believe mens’ lies because this is male propaganda designed to keep women simultaneously in a state of terror and believing the white men on their chargers are doing something to curb pandemic male violence against women and children.

    Here in the UK the only ‘moral panic’ being accorded malestream coverage is teenage males knifing other teenage males sometimes to death! Missing as usual is the fact these are males not females and also missing is a Feminist analysis as to why these males are fighting other males for power and control! As usual the mantra being propounded by malestream media is ‘where were the parents of these children (sic) – and ‘I blame the parents!’ ‘Parent(s) is male code for mothers – meaning women because as usual women are blamed. Men have always blamed women for mens’ accountability because blaming a ‘dehumanised object’ is easy since it ensures focus is never on men; their social construction of masculinity and how this construction justifies and reinforces male domination over all women! Blaming women en mass is mens’ cunning method of ensuring we women don’t look at how men’s structures and institutions uphold and perpetuate Male Supremacist System.

    So just more ‘isolated incidents’ and (male) members of the public needn’t worry – because whatever men do within the privacy of their ‘personal fiefdomes’ (aka the home/family environment) is not an issue. After all these men are just murdering non-humans!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, the “reasonable man standard” was never meant to apply to women, and certainly not women living in a state of domestic terrorism, actually the “reasonable (man) standard” is rarely if ever allowed for women. Even the self defence laws are biased. Look at Marissa Alexander who was prosecuted for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and got a mandatory 20 year sentence, for firing a shot into the ceiling, not killing anyone, while she was under domestic attack by the male partner. The so-called ‘fair’ laws are rarely applied fairly to women when they do fight back. Even the dude she fired the warning shot to said he never feared for his life and she was justified in doing it.

      And yes, the “isolated incident” is another frequent phrase uttered by the police. Again, we (and supposedly including women!) are supposed to be comforted and relieved that this is supposedly “isolated incident”. In reality, they are not isolated at all, but an integral part in upholding male domination (which is why the NSW Govt has taken it upon themselves to dismantled the women’s DV services, they know exactly what they are doing).

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for this succinct and well-structured piece. Sometimes it helps just to know that I am not the only one who is furious in the face of these events, the real motivations behind them, and the prevailing attitudes that seek to lessen the importance of women as people who should be able to be safe among family in their own homes.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Jodie, welcome.

      Family is actually the most dangerous place for women, but the safest place from men (shown by the trend in the homicide stats). Then when you also include Child Sexual Assault into the figures (estimated 20% girls, 10% boys) then ‘home’ does not safe for anyone except the male ‘head of the household’. There are about 20-25% of children who live in or have experienced/witnessed domestic violence, which translates to about 10% of homes generally (the 10% figure was one from a British Crime Survey a number of years ago).

      The reason ‘home’ does not work to a significant degree is the het nuclear family model, and under patriarchy. It works for men fine. What does work far better for women and children is copying the communal living model (the women and children live separately to men). There are some variations on this, that can include more intergenerational separate family units (‘headed’ by grandmother), that will sometimes include the grandmother’s sons. It is a matriarchical structure. It was a deliberate strategy by the white man to wipe out not just indigenous cultures, but very specifically, all matriarchical indigenous cultures, which has very much broken the spirit and cohesion of those peoples.

      So we need to dump the white man’s vision of het romance, nuclear families. Get back to matriarchical lineage, and sideline the males. Even with the common rituals involved in het romance and courtship, many of those things are actually warning signs for future potential domestic violence relationships—but it is a case of not seeing the wood for the trees.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. So many links in my facebook feed, a flurry of articles not just on Pistorius, but along the same lines as my post—the undeclared War on Women and Girls. I will probably add a few more links as I see them, so check out the Postscript box at the end of the post, I will add additional links there.

    Like

    • The Mail has an interview with the mother of Sammy Taylor, a previous gf of Pistorious. Unsuprisingly we get an account of a violent, abusive, control freak, nasty tempered man who repeatedly gets away with his behaviour.

      She says she regrets not speaking out earlier. However, even if she had said something at the time, what would have happened ? Same old “false accusations/ruining an innocent man’s life/boys will be boys/her word against his/ come back when he actually does something”.

      This is the worldwide culture that makes sure that women will not be believed if they speak out, that effectively silences women’s testimony everywhere. It’s a huge part of how men continue to get away with it.

      http://www.donotlink.com/bm1j

      Liked by 1 person

  6. On Pistorius – It isn’t enough he’ll get a wrist-slap sentence for murder, but now he wants to write a book ‘telling his side’ (wtf, I thought the overly long trial was already the platform for creative stories). And the para-olympic mob have welcomed him back, anytime he wants.

    Killing a woman is barely a disruption to a regular schedule these days.

    I have another ranty post planned in the aftermath of the Hunt family by the “loving” patriarch, who was, according to many many articles “such a nice guy”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a really good of how the media coverage evolved.

    http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/geoff-hunt-lockhart-family-murder/

    At its heart, the change in coverage is classist. This was a reasonably wealthy dude, from a wealthy family, and heaven forbid that anyone put the two and two together and realise that male domestic violence against women and children happens throughout all classes and races. And as the article states, the mentally ill are far more likely to be victims than perps.

    What really sickened me was that the family decided to have a joint funeral, perp and victims together.

    It took me a while to figure out the reason for that. It was ‘show’, and again, rooted in a class mentality. They were a wealthy family, and it was a form of self protection of reputation for the family, not to be sullied with the association of a cold-blooded woman and child killer.

    Contributing factors were that one or both sides of the family were catholic* (the kids I believe went to a catholic school) – so divorce was not an option. After Kim Hunt had her car accident, about 12-18 months before, she had made a remarkable (albeit slow) recovery from some serious brain injury. In those early days of Kim’s accident, of course the entire community were showering HIM with accolades of what a great and supportive bloke he was. I gather that once Kim returned to work part time and was more visible in the community, those accolades became far and few inbetween. Given divorce was not an option (*even if the catholic theory was incorrect, he’d look like an asshole to divorce her), that was the decision he took – massacre the entire family. Self-centred prick.

    Hunt deserves zero sympathy.

    Like

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