Death by Domestic Violence: Preventing the Murders and Murder-Suicides

Death by Domestic Violence: Preventing the Murders and Murder-Suicides

Death by Domestic Violence: Preventing the Murders and Murder-Suicides

Death by Domestic Violence: Preventing the Murders and Murder-Suicides

Synopsis

What awaits us beyond the grave is perhaps the fundamental human mystery. Visionary accounts of the afterlife are attested long before the Common Era, and loomed large in the imaginative universe of early Christianity. The medieval Irish inherited and further transformed this tradition, producing vivid eschatological narratives which had a profound impact throughout Europe as well as being works of remarkable literary and spiritual power in their own right. Under the headings "Soul and Body", "The Seven Heavense", "The Next Worlde", and "The Judgement and its Signs", this book presents critical editions, with translation and commentary, of 26 eschatological texts from the Old, Middle, and Early Modern Irish periods, together with related material in Latin and Old English. Some of these works are here edited for the first time. Extended essays survey Irish eschatological literature a whole, and place it in its wider context; and the volume concludes with a comprehensive handlist of Irish eschatological compositions.

Excerpt

When former Police Sergeant Drew Peterson, aged 54, became the prime suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, aged 23, the police began to wonder about the strange circumstances surrounding the death of wife number three who reportedly had drowned in a bathtub (Associated Press 2008a). So they reopened the investigation into her death, exhumed the body, and ruled her death to be a homicide. All this time, the search for the body of Stacy Peterson continued, while the suspect and his lawyer paraded around to the prime time talk shows to proclaim his innocence. Meanwhile, interviews with relatives and close friends of the women who were married to the police sergeant revealed a pattern of chronic physical and psychological abuse, possessiveness, and plans by the women to get a divorce from this man.

This high-profile case is reminiscent of an earlier wife-murder by a man also named Peterson. When Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant, suddenly disappeared, the search was highlighted daily in the press for months. When her body washed up on the shore, Scott Peterson was arrested and after a muchpublicized trial was sentenced to death. the jury did not believe his alibi that he was fishing at the time (NBC News 2005).

We read of such glamorized cases in the news, watch the interviews with family members on cable tv, and listen to the commentary of legal experts. Missing in the reports is an analysis of the dynamics of domestic violence and domestic homicide, of the motives of the men to commit the crimes, or the suffering of the women trapped in the violence of such a marriage. Missing also in the news reports are attempts to relate what we learn from the highly publicized cases to femicide (the killing of one’s wife or partner) in the local community. One exception occurred in the 1990s with the O.J. Simpson trial; the huge media attention gave visibility to the issue of domestic violence and brought the topics of . . .

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