Stories Of Abused Men In Alaska


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Lovestruck Army Ranger given three restraining orders but woman fails to show at any hearings

Former Commissioner of Public Safety killed and wife wounded by jilted girlfriend

Anchorage woman accused of murdering her former boss and boyfriend

Anchorage woman cut off boyfriend's penis, police say

Former MIss Anchorage, Rhodes, and Fulbright scholar convicted of fraud after filing restraining order


Lovestruck Army Ranger given three restraining orders but woman fails to show at any hearings


Abstracted from article in October 11, 2008, Rocky Mountain News

During the 2008 campaign of Joe Whitcomb for a seat in the Colorado Senate it emerged that while serving with the Army Rangers in Alaska a woman he had been shacking up with obtained three ex parte temporary restraining orders against him. Whitcomb described his behavior in the affair as "dumb" rather than malicious.

The orders — dated October, November and December of 1995 — are short on details. When contacted by the Rocky Mountain News the woman said Whitcomb never threatened or harmed her in the course of their two-month relationship. In a telephone interview the woman said: "He would not stop calling me. He would not stop following me...He sent unwanted gifts that were returned. He was told repeatedly to leave me alone and that didn't work." However, Whitcomb said he never saw her after they broke up.

According to one of the orders, the woman said that she feared for her safety [a standard part of the redfem script for obtaining a restraining order].

Whitcomb was an Army Ranger stationed in Alaska at the time and said he was going through a divorce with his first wife, who he married in 1991 and their divorce was final in 1996.

Whitcomb said the woman he began living with was also coming out of a marriage and that they were together two months.

Then, Whitcomb said, he left for Louisiana for a month on Army business and when he came back, the woman was gone. Whitcomb said he didn't know why and, after trying to talk to her about it and not succeeding, he left a rose and note on the windshield of her car.

That was when the first restraining order was issued [for leaving her a note and a rose] . About this incident Whitcomb commented:

"When you're 25 and you're certain you're in love with somebody, you might do something silly like put a rose on their car. When you're 25, you might make bad decisions about who you want to be with. But I didn't do anything at all that was remotely threatening to anybody to warrant a restraining order against me. I was a lovestruck kid at 25-years old trying to win back a girl he cared about."

The second restraining order apparently resulted from his efforts to get rent money she owed him from the time they were shacking up together.

The third restraining order was issued just before Whitcomb left Alaska. He was trying to return some things to her and dropped them off at her work when she wasn't there.

Whitcomb said when he showed up in court for each of the temporary restraining orders the woman did not. According to court records each was dismissed. Nonetheless, in 2008 the woman still claims Whitcomb was stalking her. The newspaper didn't bother to report how many other restraining orders this lunachic may have obtained against other men before or since then.


Former Commissioner of Public Safety killed and wife wounded by jilted girlfriend


August 4, 2002 — A woman fatally shot the former head of Alaska's state police, wounded his wife, and then killed herself Saturday, August 3 rd , authorities said.

The armed woman ambushed retired Alaska Commissioner of Public Safety Glenn Godfrey and his wife, Patricia, as they arrived at their home in Eagle River near Anchorage.

Police identified the assailant as Karen Brand, 33, vice president of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Brand was apparently distraught over the breakup of a relationship with Godfrey, who had been separated from his wife, authorities said. The Godfreys had since reconciled.

Godfrey was public safety commissioner from August 2000 to June 2002. Before that he was director of the Alaska State Troopers.


Anchorage woman accused of murdering her former boss and boyfriend


© 2004, Christine Nangle, KTVA

Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

March 21, 2004 — A 29-year-old Anchorage woman accused of murdering her former boss and boyfriend went before a judge on this date to be formally charged. Aakatchaq Schaeffer was indicted by a grand jury Thursday for second-degree murder. She managed to elude police for two days before turning herself in on Saturday without incident. Her murder charge stems from a January 31 st shooting. According to court documents, Ms. Schaeffer admitted she shot James Lee. Court papers say Lee was hit by gunfire three times in the back and he may have tried to run away. His body was found face down in Ms. Schaeffer's driveway.

At the courthouse today as Ms. Schaeffer went before the judge the Lee family was present and saw Ms. Schaeffer for the first time since their loved one was murdered. The family of James Lee sat in silence in the courtroom watching the arraignment of Ms. Schaeffer unfold. This after almost two months had passed without anyone charged in connection with Lee's death. The family is now happy the alleged killer is in custody. "We are just glad she was in custody not knowing where she was at, it was kind a scary. So, it's nice to know she is in custody," Lee's son, James Lee III, told a reporter.

James Lee leaves behind a wife, a 27-year-old son and a 35-year old daughter. His family says his favorite activity was spoiling his 8 and 10-year-old grandchildren. "They spent last Christmas with their grandfather and that was the only Christmas that we ever had together. And he wanted it to the best and when they came down the steps their eyes would just pop open. So the living room was just full of presents...I mean he bought them everything in the world," says Lee's wife Diane M. Lee.

The woman who stands accused of killing Lee appeared disturbed. A judge read Ms. Schaeffer her rights and told her in court, "you were charged with murder in the second degree and the law is that you can not take the life of somebody under circumstances that manifest to the dying of their life." This charge carries a possible sentence of up to 99 years in prison. Ms. Schaeffer is being held at the Anchorage jail and her fate will now go to the hands of a jury.

The judge also said Schaeffer will go before a Superior Court judge to enter a plea, guilty, or not guilty. Her bail will be also set at that hearing.

Court records show that James Lee had two prior restraining orders, one from his wife, filed on January 30, 2004. The second was from Ms. Schaeffer who had also filed a restraining order on the night before Lee's murder. However, police had not served James Lee the papers before the time Ms. Schaeffer killed him.


Anchorage woman cut off boyfriend's penis, police say


© 2005 by Anne Aurand, Anchorage Daily News

Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

Assault: Wastewater worker retrieves organ from toilet; police rush it to surgeons who reattach it.

February 21, 2005 — Surgeons reattached an Anchorage man's penis over the weekend after his girlfriend, apparently upset over a pending breakup, cut it off with a kitchen knife, Anchorage police said Sunday.

A city wastewater utility worker recovered the penis from a toilet down which the woman had flushed it. It was rushed to Providence Alaska Medical Center, where doctors performed reattachment surgery early Sunday morning, according to police reports.

Police said the knife attack occurred during an argument involving the 44-year-old man wanting out of the relationship. The woman drove the man to the hospital after the attack.

Police arrested Kim Tran, 35, Sunday morning at the bloodied home where the attack occurred. She was arraigned Sunday afternoon on charges of domestic violence assault and tampering with evidence and remains in jail with no bail set.

Neither drugs nor alcohol was involved in the attack, but it did involve a triangle of relationships, according to police spokeswoman Anita Shell.

The man, whom police would not identify, was married to Tran's aunt, Shell said. All three had lived together for a while, during which time Tran and the man had a relationship for at least a year, Shell said. The man moved out of the home on Moose Run Circle sometime recently, but Kim Tran and the aunt still live together, she said.

"The aunt was aware of the relationship, and it was causing problems," Shell said. She would not release the aunt's name. Police don't know where the aunt was when the assault occurred, she said.

The man wanted to break up with Tran, but the woman resisted that idea, Shell said. The two were arguing about the issue sometime before midnight Saturday, but at some point they decided to have sex.

After he allowed Ms. Tran to tie his arms to the window handle above the bed, she pulled the kitchen knife and severed his penis, Shell said. The man's testicles remained attached, she said.

Ms. Tran flushed the penis down the toilet, untied the man and drove him to the hospital, according to police reports. She parked in a no-parking zone while she walked into the emergency room with the victim, who was conscious and able to walk, but shaking and in shock, Shell said.

After finding a nurse, Ms. Tran said she was leaving to move her car but drove home instead, Shell said.

Police rushed to the home and found her cleaning up the bloody scene. A trail of blood stretched through the house, Shell said.

Police got the details about what had happened to the penis. They summoned the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility to see if it could be recovered.

"AWWU pulled the toilet from the base, tipped it into the tub and it fell out," Shell said. The penis had been lodged in the "S" curve of the toilet for more than two hours. Officials put it on ice and drove it to the emergency room.

The AWWU worker who was summoned to the scene declined to be interviewed Sunday. AWWU general manager Mark Premo said utility staff work around the clock to be available for emergencies.

Around 6 AM, about six hours after the knife attack, hospital officials said the surgery was successful, according to police reports. A hospital spokeswoman would not discuss anything about the case or the patient Sunday.

Shell said she's never heard of such a case here. In fact, she doesn't know of it ever happening except for the famous Lorena Bobbitt case in 1993 in Virginia.

Bobbitt cut off her abusive husband's penis, then drove away and flung it out her car window. The penis was located and reattached. But Bobbitt claimed she had been raped and abused, and Shell said physical abuse did not appear to be a part of the Anchorage case.

"This was, if anything, more of a mental anguish," Shell said.

The surgery used to reattach a penis is the same kind of surgery used to reattach a severed finger but far less common, said Dr. Sarah Troxel, a local plastic surgeon.

The procedure is called micro-vascular surgery, and it requires reattaching blood vessels, the urethra and other parts under a microscope. She went through training for microsurgery at Stanford.

With fingers, "if the blood vessels take, and the finger doesn't die...with a good surgeon and a clean cut, it's not unusual that they survive."

But in the case of penises, she said, the function of the urethra after the surgery could be a problem.

"I'd say it's more likely that it might not work very well," she said.


Daily News reporter Anne Aurand can be reached at or (907) 257-4591.


Former MIss Anchorage, Rhodes, and Fullbright scholar convicted of fraud after filing restraining order


Abstracted from various news reports

March 5, 2009 —Rachel Yould née Hall was a Fulbright and Rhodes scholar who spent four years at Oxford working on a Ph.D., is a former Miss Anchorage, worked with Mother Teresa and was named by Glamour magazine as one of the most notable college students in America. But on this date a federal grand jury indicted her on 10 counts of fraud including felony charges of mail, wire fraud, and making false statements to influence a bank .

Investigators say Rachel Yould, 37, created a second identity after filing a restraining order to get two sets of student loans, using one of them to invest in a Smith Barney account and a private business.

A Bartlett High graduate, Mrs. Yould was living in Japan and working as a professor of media and government at Keio University when she was indicted.

According to previous media reports, Rachel Yould née Hall was an acclaimed academic star. After graduating from Bartlett in 1990, she went on to U.C. Davis, Stanford University, and then Oxford University in 1997. She told a reporter at the time that she wrote a book of poetry at 17, had worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta helping AIDS patients, and was honored by the U.S. Congress with a Congressional Gold Award.

Her reported employment has included interning at the White House and working for the U.S. Department of Defense, according to her resume posted online. She was Miss Anchorage in 1996.

Alaska court records confirm that Yould sought a restraining order against her father, Robert Hall, in 2002. In seeking the restraining order Rachel claimed her father sexually abused and stalked her.

No criminal charges were ever filed against her father. And according to federal prosecutors, Yould didn't use her new identify for refuge. Instead she used it to defraud lenders out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan money that she reportedly used to play the stock market, purchase a condo, and launch a business.

Prosecutors say in 2003, Rachel Yould obtained a second Social Security number under a special regulation of the Social Security Administration for victims of domestic violence and harassment. She then took on a new identity and used the names Rachel Hall, her maiden name, and Rachel Yould and the two different Social Security numbers to obtain student loans from the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, the Stafford loan program, and private loans from Sallie Mae Corp.

She used the name Hall to co-sign for student loans for Yould, and didn't notify the lenders that the two Social Security numbers belonged to the same person, prosecutors say.

She was also is accused of falsifying her income to the lenders and misrepresenting to Oxford University the types of loans it was certifying.

According to the indictment, Rachel Yould moved to Japan in 2001 to do research toward her Ph.D. That year she was told she had maxed out her lifetime borrowing limit of state-subsidized student loans, which was $60,000. In 2003, she maxed out her subsidized Stafford loans at $65,500. That's when she got a new Social Security number and started applying for loans under that name.

The scheme started in 2003, and Mrs. Yould continued to apply for money until 2006, according to the indictment. Prosecutors say she provided fraudulent documents and statements to lenders, and did not inform lenders when she was no longer a student.

On September 13, 2010, former Alaskan beauty queen and Rhodes scholar, Rachel Yould, was sentenced to nearly five years in prison and ordered to pay more than $700,000 in restitution by a federal judge in Anchorage after pleading guilty to fraud using double identities that she obtained after claiming abuse.

In a 2 1/2 day sentence hearing prosecutors revealed detailed information that proved Rachel Yould fabricated pay stubs and W-2 statements to support several of her loan applications. She forged letters from academics to gain more student loan money, according to prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge John Sedwick concluded that Yould was smart enough to know that she was breaking the law, regardless of her past or any incorrect advice she claimed she received from federal bureaucrats.

Sedwick then sentenced Rachel Yould née Hall to 57 months in prison.



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Last modified 5/16/18