Stories Of Abused Men In Massachusetts


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Lawrence woman arrested after shooting her ex-boyfriend

Young men should be cautious of marriage

Catherine Newell given lifetime restraining order against former husband despite known psychological and drug problems

Ex-wife has Ken Newell arrested by Halberd, Brockton Police...for 27th time!

Wife fatally shot husband in Dartmouth while he slept

Boys: Mom set fire to house in Worcester

No bail for Natick woman charged with running over female friend in fight over boyfriend

Wife charged in stabbing death of husband in Springfield

Joann Sliech-Brodeur found guilty of first-degree murder

Palmer woman charged with husband's murder and held without bail

Deathbed confession reveals murdered husband's body in freezer in Somerville

Dominatrix acquitted in death during bondage session in Quincy, body gone


Lawrence woman arrested after shooting her ex-boyfriend


September 22, 1998, Lawrence (States News Service) — A 19-year-old Lawrence woman is being held on $100,000 cash bail following her arraignment on attempted murder charges. Akeita (uh-KEY'-ta) Burrus is accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend yesterday.

Jeffrey Nassiff is listed in critical condition at Massachusetts General Hospital with wounds to his chest and neck.

Authorities say the shooting was sparked by a dispute over child support payments for their two-year-old daughter.


Young men should be cautious of marriage


©2001 The Massachusetts News

Judge shows young men that a wife can destroy a family at her whim

April 2, 2001 — Many young women are being told by their boyfriends they're not sure they want to "commit" to marriage.

Those young men got valuable advice about being cautious last Friday from a Massachusetts judge.

This judge's decision will result in serious damage to the institution of marriage and to all mothers and their children, say observers. They caution that no man should ever enter into marriage without understanding that his future wife can destroy him and her children at her whim.

"This will make the feminists very happy," said the Publisher of Massachusetts News, Attorney J. Edward Pawlick, "because they have stated many times that they want to destroy the institution of marriage in order to make women 'free.' This judge has given them a giant step toward doing that."

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Margaret Marshall, is an avowed feminist.


Catherine Newell given lifetime restraining order against former husband despite known psychological and drug problems


Catherine N. Newell was given a permanent, lifetime restraining order against her former husband, Kenneth Newell, by Judge Robert L. Langlois, even though the woman has been:

• On drugs.

• Diagnosed by the courts with serious psychological problems.

• Recommended for treatment in a hospital, and

• To date she has made twenty-seven false charges to police of violence by her former husband, the latest being in October 13, 2001.

"When we first discovered Ken Newell and his family a year ago, we knew we had the perfect case to tell the public the terrible things that are happening to families in Massachusetts. Here was a man who was striving to help his wife who had mental problems and to protect his young children. But we never believed in our wildest dreams that any judge could be this stupid or this arrogant. The best you can say about Robert Langlois is that he is suffering from burnout after his six years on the bench. Everyone knows that if a judge hears only domestic cases every day, it leads to burnout."

"Newell has had one of the best lawyers in the state, Chester Darling, working for him for the past year, but it really doesn't seem to matter to many of the judges in this state what the facts are."

said the publisher of Massachusetts News, Atty. J. Edward Pawlick.

Langlois' decision is causing many observers to wonder if the husband should have abandoned his children as advised by the court therapist at the time of divorce. "Ken, you have to understand one thing," Dr. Krock told him. "You will never win. What will probably happen is you're going to end up in jail."

Many other fathers are also saying that Newell should have known better. What made him think he had any chance of winning any more than the thousands of other men who have suffered at the hands of the feminist judges?

"Langlois will now hide behind his judicial robes and say that he can't comment. It's just another indication of why we need to have election of judges where they have to report back to the people every five or ten years. It would not be a perfect system because there can be many things wrong with a system of electing judges. But nothing could be worse than this arrogant travesty we saw today."

said Atty. Pawlick.

Started two years ago

When Ken Newell told Massachusetts News in the fall of 1999 that his family had been persecuted by his mentally disturbed wife and her free poverty lawyers for a year, the paper was skeptical at first. But after a thorough investigation by Ed Oliver, we published the story in full in March 2000. Newell had been forced to declare bankruptcy after a hellish year of over 20 false charges by his wife to the police which left him fighting those false charges in three different courts.

"With all of the power and all of the federal and state money that Legal Services are granted, our family didn't stand a chance," he said.

He was particularly concerned about his two children who were unnecessarily exposed to this conflict.

He said that after he tried to follow the advice of his wife's doctor to get her mental help in 1998, she was able to use the system to destroy the family by making repeated false accusations of violence and death threats which resulted in an arrest record against him in her divorce and custody cases.

He was fighting those cases in Brockton and Quincy District Courts and Dedham Probate Court.

Court tests show wife's mental problems

He had found a copy of his wife's psychological tests in his court file and produced them at an interview with Massachusetts News in early December 1999 as evidence to support what he was telling us. He felt that with his back to the wall, a growing arrest record and a legal system geared to women's causes, there was no other way to defend himself other than to go to the press. He was subsequently ordered to return any copies of the test results.

"The psych test came back and my wife is practically declared crazy," Newell said.

The results said his wife is "experiencing numerous psychological problems." It continued, "Ms. Newell's degree of stress and depression raise genuine concern about her safety should she find herself in more emotionally charged situations." At such times, "She is prone to act impulsively and has an extremely psychologically immature manner of coping with situations."

It continued:

"Ms. Newell's significant elevations on scale 4 and 6 (Psychopathic Deviate and Paranoia) suggest an individual who is often viewed as immature, self-centered and self-indulgent. They typically make excessive and unrealistic demands on relationships. Individuals with this pattern often seek attention and sympathy from others. They may tend to be suspicious of others and resentful of demands made on them.

Relationship problems are characteristic of their psychological conflicts, especially those involving members of the opposite sex. They are often viewed as irritable, sullen, argumentative, and resentful of authority."

It said further tests were needed to rule out organic impairment. Other possibilities were substance abuse (for which she tested positive, it said) or more serious emotional disturbance. The test called for a re-evaluation of her current treatment regimen based on the severity of her level of depression and stress.

The test results say clinical elevations were also noted on scales 1, 2 and 3 (Hypochondriasis, Depression, and Hysteria) and mild elevations on scales 7 and 8 (Psychastenia and Schizophrenia).

In contrast, Newell's test results revealed mild depression due to his family and legal circumstances but said he was coping fairly well with stress. It said further there was "no evidence of a disturbance in his thought processes." The report concluded that Newell "might benefit at this time of great upheaval in his life" from therapy.

Newell is given orders

Kenneth Newell was ordered by Judge Langlois, who completed a one-page form, to always remain 100 yards away from Catherine Newell, even if she seems to allow or request any contact with him. He was ordered to stay away from her residence or her workplace, if she ever gets a job. (She is presently on Social Security disability because of her mental problems).

Newell was ordered to surrender all guns, ammunition, gun licenses and FID cards.

Although there is no evidence that Newell has ever been anything but a good father, he was ordered not to "stalk" his children.

Newell's persecution by the Commonwealth continues

Ex-wife has Ken Newell arrested by Halberd, Brockton Police...for 27th time!


Copyright © 2001 Massachusetts News, Inc.

by Ed Oliver

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

Police Violate Law by Arresting Without Probable Cause

His former wife has mental problems and has filed 26 frivolous charges of violence against Ken Newell over the past three years, but the Brockton and Holbrook police didn't hesitate to arrest him again last month after more spurious charges came from the former wife.

The police in both towns know about the false reports that the wife has filed and about the court's psychiatric report which says she has mental problems.

Newell spent Saturday and Sunday night in jail before being released on his own recognizance.

"This is a classic case of an unlawful arrest where the police had no probable cause to arrest," said Atty. J. Edward Pawlick, publisher of Massachusetts News.

He noted that a federal judge in Boston held last year that a Lawrence policeman had to carefully investigate to see whether there was probable cause before arresting a man who was accused by his wife of violating a restraining order.

"Obviously, that was not done here by either police department. If they had, they would have laughed at her. These police and the towns can be sued," said Atty. Pawlick.

The federal case with the City of Lawrence may possibly be settled soon with a cash payment to the father, who tried the case himself.

Police Violate Their Oath

What caused Ken Newell to be thrown into a filthy jail cell for two days?

He went to a visitation center in Brockton where he picks up his children every Thursday and every other Saturday for visits. On that day, he was told to arrive at the center fifteen minutes before 9 a.m. and park behind the building. He then enters the building when an employee opens the back door and signals him.

The former wife is supposed to arrive with the children at 9 a.m., park in front of the building and enter through the front door.

The children get transferred to a room in the rear of the building to join their father. The woman is supposed to wait there while Newell leaves with the children.

According to Newell, on Saturday morning, October 13, he arrived at the visitation center at twenty minutes to nine. Another gentleman arrived a few minutes later and they stood waiting in the lot discussing flag stickers on their trucks.

"Then a girl came to the back door and opened it, so we had to go in," said Newell.

"As we were walking up to the door, on my left-hand side, there is another parking lot about thirty feet away divided from us by a six-foot-high, chain link, security fence.

My ex-wife pulled into that parking lot, then all of a sudden backed up fast because she saw me. Then she stopped. I looked and gave a smile to my daughter. Then we walked into the building."

Newell waited inside until five minutes after nine. "The woman came out and said: "Your kids didn't want to go with you. You're going to have to wait here an additional ten minutes for the wife and kids to drive away.'"

He waited for ten minutes and then she said he could go, says Newell.

The rest of Newell's morning and afternoon, he says, was filled with business paperwork and various errands. Newell then went to a friend's restaurant where he did some work.

At quarter-to-five, as Newell left the restaurant, two Holbrook police cruisers drove up and blocked his vehicle.

Newell says the police informed him that he was under arrest for violation of 209A (restraining order) because he saw his wife at the visitation center.

Newell told the police he did not violate the order. He said he was at the center for the visitation and the former wife arrived early and parked in the wrong lot.

Visitation Center Employees Agree with Newell

According to the police report, the employees at the visitation center agreed with Newell's story. The report says, "Victim Catherine was not parked in the correct parking lot."

The former wife told police that when she drove up, she saw Newell put his hands in his pockets and give her a "penetrating, mean looking stare." She also complained he was six to nine feet away from her when he should be one hundred yards away.

The daughter agreed that Newell made a face, according to police. Newell explained that his former wife tries to alienate his children from him and tells their daughter what to say, a common complaint among divorced fathers without custody.

According to the police report, the former wife was upset when she went into the visitation center. She asked two employees to keep Newell there for twenty minutes while she drove away to call the police. She also told them to tell Newell that the children did not want to visit with him today.

Filthy Jail at Brockton

Newell was kept at the Brockton police station from Saturday through to Monday. There was blood on the walls and floor in the holding cell. He was told the previous occupant smashed his head on the wall and was bleeding. Nobody cleaned up the mess.

"The cell was very filthy. There was urine on the walls, spit on the walls, plus the blood and everything else. The toilet reeked. There were ants floating around on the floor and I slept on a hard wooden board, " said an unshaven Newell after he was released.

Newell stood with his hands and feet shackled at his arraignment Monday in Brockton District Court. He was released on his own recognizance and his case was continued until Nov. 30.

Brockton and Holbrook Violated Constitution

It was Judge Edward F. Harrington who said last year that a policeman and Lawrence could be liable for damages in his U.S. court for doing what the Brockton and Holbrook police did to Ken Newell.

The city of Lawrence attempted to have the case thrown out before a trial was held. But the judge refused to do so, holding that if the plaintiff could prove what he alleged in his Complaint, he would be entitled to cash damages.

The facts in Newell's case appear to be stronger for the father than they were in Judge Harrington's case.

The policeman there argued to Judge Harrington that he had followed Massachusetts law. He claimed he had investigated the case thoroughly and had good reason to arrest the plaintiff because he had obtained a copy of the restraining order, researched the law, consulted with both his supervisor, Sgt. Robert Nochnuck, and the clerk magistrate of the Lawrence District Court, Keith E. McDonough, before issuing a warrant for the arrest of the plaintiff.

However, the father-plaintiff in that case, James Nollet, argued that under a 1991 opinion, Lewis v. Kendrick, from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston, the policeman should have realized that the accusation by the ex-wife was totally unsupported and unverifiable and therefore did not constitute probable cause. He argued that the police can not arrest as soon as they hear an accusation from a woman without determining that there was probable cause to arrest.

He also argued to the judge that the policeman made no attempt to talk to him and hear his side of the case before issuing the warrant for his arrest.

In the present case, the harassment of Ken Newell is legend in both towns and the police know all about it.

In the case from the U.S. Court of Appeals which was cited by Judge Harrington, the court wrote that "an asserted victim of a crime is a reliable informant even though his or her reliability has not theretofore been proven or tested," but, if possible to do so, the officer must verify the facts and cannot take the word of just the alleged victim.

Nollet sought damages for "false arrest" and "false imprisonment." He told the court in his original Complaint,

"[T]his is urgent because [plaintiff] believes Defendant's illegal warrant and arrest was not an isolated incident, but rather is something that happens frequently and routinely in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in that men are always arrested, even without Probable Cause, as soon as police officers understand that it is an accusation of Domestic Violence or violation of a Restraining Order that has been made. It is Plaintiff's belief that police officers everywhere must be sent a message that constitutionally sub-standard arrest cannot and will not be tolerated, even if such arrests are performed to attempt to alleviate the serious problem of Domestic Violence."

Told He Will "Never Win'"

When Newell and his wife first separated, the court psychologist, Dr. Krock, advised Newell, to leave the state and his children. "Ken, you have to understand one thing. You will never win," she said, continuing, "The best thing for you to do is let your wife have everything she wants. Give the kids to your wife and leave the state for a few years. Then come back and everything will be calm."

Attorney Chester Darling tells Massachusetts News,

"This newest case is another instance of an abuse of the court system by women who deliberately manipulate it to their advantage and to the disadvantage of their children. It's always the children that get hurt in these procedures, and it's my intent to bring an abuse of process action against this person to stop her from this illegal activity."

What Is Wrong with Holbrook and Brockton?

The last time Ken Newell's former wife called the police was on November 30 last year. She told a Plymouth police officer that Newell was following her in his truck. He was, in fact, out with friends that evening in another town. The police officer noticed that the woman's story did not add up after questioning, and he wrote in his report:

"At this time I asked Ms. Newell to fill out a victim statement form. Ms. Newell was adamant about not filling out the form. Ms. Newell further stated that she does not want any further police services. Due to the inconsistencies of Ms. Newell's statement and the lack of cooperation, this officer is not seeking any charges in this incident."


Wife fatally shot husband in Dartmouth while he slept


by Thomas Caywood

© 2002 Boston Herald

Thursday, December 5, 2002 — A Dartmouth woman who investigators say fatally shot her sleeping husband in the face Tuesday morning and then pressed the .38 special into his hand to stage a suicide was ordered held without bail yesterday in New Bedford District Court.

Peggy Ann Tolan, 32, is charged with first-degree murder.

Tolan told police she fired the revolver accidentally as she took it from her husband Edward, 43, who she said was sleeping off a beer-guzzling all-nighter on the computer. She called 911 shortly after 9:30 AM on Tuesday, police said.

Bristol County prosecutor Gerald FitzGerald said the couple argued Monday night over the looming loss of the Fisher Road ranch house they shared with her 80-year-old father, four dogs and a dozen puppies.

FitzGerald said the house, which had been foreclosed on, was coated in layers of garbage and animal waste. The Dartmouth Board of Health has since declared the squalid home unfit for habitation, he said.

Tolan kept changing her version of the shooting under questioning from police, but maintained the shooting was accidental throughout the grilling, FitzGerald said.

He said the various versions of Tolan's story weren't consistent with evidence at the house, which is on a sparsely populated stretch of wooded road. The fatal shot was fired just 2 inches from Edward Tolan's sleeping face, he said.

"The bottom line is that Mrs. Tolan admitted that she fired one shot into his face," FitzGerald said, adding that she also admitted arranging the gun in her husband's right hand with his finger on the trigger.

Tolan looked dazed as she entered the courtroom in handcuffs and shackles. She hung her head low throughout the arraignment, where she pled innocent. Her lawyer, Francis O'Boy of Taunton, said she had no criminal record and worked steadily as an optician.

O'Boy said the gun, one of several in the house, was registered. He called the inconsistencies in Tolan's story "minor matters" and said the shooting was "manslaughter at best."

"She feared he was going to take his own life," O'Boy said. "He made a sudden movement and the gun went off and, unfortunately, caused his death."

District Court Judge Kevin O'Dea ordered Tolan held without bail in the Bristol County House of Correction until her next court appearance on January 9[, 2003].

O'Boy, who said he'd appeal the order, described Edward Tolan as a heavy drinker with a bad temper. FitzGerald said he wasn't aware of violence in the relationship.

Neither member of the couple had taken out restraining orders in New Bedford District Court, authorities said.

Outside the courthouse, Sandra Straznickas of Rhode Island called her sister a good person.

"I'm just confused," she said. "I can't picture her doing that."

Peggy Ann Tolan was convicted of murdering her husband on November 11, 2004, by a New Bedford jury and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.


Boys: Mom set fire to house in Worcester


Abstracted from story by Laura Crimaldi

© 2003 The Daily News

Tuesday, August 26, 2003, Worcester — Lying beside her two young sons on February 13, 2001, Carol Kampen promised death would come quickly if they inhaled the smoke from a fire she allegedly set to get revenge against her ex-husband, one of her sons testified yesterday.

Kampen's two sons, ages 8 and 14, described how their mother pushed a bureau in front of their bedroom door and awaited death on a lower bunk bed on the opening day of Kampen's attempted murder and kidnapping trial.

"If you breathe the smoke you can die quicker," Jesse Kampen, 8, said his mother told him.

Police Officer Scott Provost rescued Kampen, Jesse and his half-brother, Christopher Morgan, 14, before the fire at the 71 Center Street, Bellingham, home reached the boys' room.

Kampen faces two counts of kidnapping, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault to murder and one count of arson of a dwelling.

Standing barely tall enough to see over the courtroom bar, Jesse Kampen needed a red cushion to boost him high enough to reach the microphone on the witness stand.

"She lit it (the fire) with a yellow lighter with black writing on it," said Jesse, who was 6-years old at the time of the fire.

Christopher woke up in the bottom bunk bed with the smell of oil clogging his nose and flickering flames climbing a wall in front of his eyes.

"I was screaming, 'Help,'" Christopher said. "I think she (Carol Kampen) was just lying there."

A letter police found tacked to the back door of her house suggests she wanted to kill her children to make her estranged husband, Neil, suffer for what Carol Kampen called his money squandering and deception.

"Drugs and whores always came first. Live with it (expletive)," Kampen wrote, according to Assistant District Attorney Joseph Moriarty Jr. "Hope the drugs and sex was worth starving your children, you (expletive) liar."

While her sons testified Kampen loved her husband too much to break up with him earlier, they knew their mother's life was coming undone when she allegedly spread cleaning solvent throughout her house and torched it.

"I told her that she should just break up with (Neil) because they weren't getting along. They already had a couple of fights and I said the next one would be big," said Christopher.

The day before the house went up in flames, Neil Kampen made his wife late for her mother's funeral in Norwood, according to court testimony. Neil's late arrival capped off weeks of turmoil in which her mother committed suicide, her husband left her and the bank threatened to foreclose on the house.

"She gave my dad money to buy groceries and he spent it on beer," said Jesse, who only acknowledged his mother when asked to identify her by the court.

While his stepson Christopher said Neil Kampen, 45, had a drinking problem, he never saw him lay a hand on his mother. Carol Kampen has testified she doesn't remember the fire because Neil severely beat her on February 12, 2001.

Bellingham Police Sgt. Paul Peterson found Carol Kampen and her sons in a truck outside the house as firefighters fought the blaze.

"I asked her a basic question: 'How did the fire start?' She said, 'I started the (expletive) fire,"" said Sgt. Peterson.

Sgt. Peterson then said he asked her if she knew people could have been hurt and "She said, 'I don't (expletive) care anymore,'"


Laura Crimaldi can be reached at 508-626-4416 or .


No bail for Natick woman charged with running over female friend in fight over boyfriend


© 2004 Story by Norman Miller, Metro West Daily News

America has lost the ability to deal with insane women

Tuesday, April 27, 2004, Framingham — A Natick woman accused of running over her friend last week was led crying and screaming from court yesterday after a judge ordered her held without bail.

"No, I don't want to go. Please, no. Don't make me go," Marlene Dawson, 46, screamed after her hearing in Framingham District Court to determine if she is a danger to the public.

Judge Paul Healy found Dawson to be dangerous and ordered her held at MCI-Framingham. The outburst that followed the ruling was just one incident in a strange day at court.

Ms. Dawson and a court officer wore surgical masks and gloves in court because she had defecated in her pants while in a holding cell. She also attended the hearing against the recommendation of her attorney, Michael Brennan, and a court psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel MacPhiels.

"She wants to be present. I know there's concerns about her being able to control herself," Brennan said.

Dawson is charged with assault with intent to kill, operating a vehicle negligently as to endanger, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in personal injury.

At one point just prior to Healy's decision, Dawson addressed the court, again against Brennan's recommendation.

"Mary Connolly is my best friend, I never meant to hurt her," Dawson said tearfully.

MacPhiels testified at the hearing he believed Dawson had some mental and drug problems but was still fit to stand trial.

He also recommended she be sent to MCI-Framingham rather than a mental hospital if she was ordered held, urging that she be watched.

"She is very capable of harming herself to get out of an unpleasant situation," said MacPhiels, before advising against Ms. Dawson attending the hearing. "She is prone to emotional outbursts. I wouldn't recommend her coming up, because, if she has any chance of going back to MCI-Framingham, she could have an outburst."

Dawson is accused of running Mary Connolly down early Wednesday morning after the pair had argued in front of Connolly's Hollis Street home in Framingham.

Officer Benjamin Grigg found Ms. Connolly on the ground with an injured leg and a cut head. Connolly, who suffered a broken leg and needed eight staples on her head, and a witness said a Marlene "Dobson" had hit her with the car.

Ms. Connolly told Officer Grigg they were arguing over her boyfriend.

It was later discovered "Dobson" was Marlene Dawson, and she was tracked to her Natick apartment. After a warrant was issued, police forced their way into the apartment and found Dawson hiding in a closet, Grigg said.

"When she was in the cruiser, I didn't ask any questions, but she asked me how Mary was doing," said Grigg. "I didn't answer her, and she asked me again, 'How is she doing? Is she hurt bad? She's my best friend.' She said, 'I didn't hit her, she jumped onto my car.'"

Brennan argued his client was not trying to hurt Connolly. "The actions presented do not prove she is a danger to the community," he said.

Brennan argued that Dawson should have been released and allowed to check into a secure medical facility for treatment for health and mental issues.

Prosecutor Deb Bercovitch argued that the callousness of the crime — speeding onto the sidewalk and slamming into a woman hard enough to flip her from one side to the other — is proof Dawson is a danger.

Marlene Dawson also has a long history of violence, having been convicted as far back as the 1980's for various assaults and larcenies, including separate assaults involving scissors and a knife, Bercovitch said.


Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or at


Wife charged in stabbing death of husband in Springfield


© 2004 WGGB ABC40

July 30, 2004 — Police in West Springfield have charged a woman with murder in the stabbing death of her 70-year-old husband.

59-year old Joann Sliech-Brodeur is accused of fatally stabbing 70-year-old Joseph Brodeur on Wednesday night in their home on Bear Hole Road.

Joseph Brodeur's body was found Wednesday night after police were called to the couple's home Bear Hole Road. Brodeur, a retired mechanical engineer, had been stabbed 34 times with a kitchen knife.

West Springfield police and investigators from the Hampden County District Attorney's office obtained an arrest warrant yesterday for Mrs. Brodeur in her husband's death.

She later pled innocent at her arraignment in Springfield District Court and was ordered held on $250,000 bail or $500,000 surety.

Prosecutors say Mrs. Brodeur attempted to clean up the scene after she killed her husband and that the couple was in the middle of a divorce.

Detective Scott Talbot says investigators have not determined the motive for the crime.

Joann Sliech-Brodeur found guilty of first-degree murder


February 25, 2006 (AP) — Joann Sliech-Brodeur was convicted of first-degree murder February 24 th in the fatal bedside stabbing of her 70-year-old husband.

Lawyers for Sliech-Brodeur, now 61, had said she could not be held responsible for the slaying because she was suffering from mental problems brought on by her husband's plans to divorce her.

Prosecutors said she was sane when she stabbed her husband, Joseph Brodeur, 34 times with a kitchen knife.

Defense attorney Linda Thompson said Mrs. Sliech-Brodeur, a former secretary, had become completely shut off from friends and family when her husband announced he wanted a divorce after 10 years of marriage.

During the weeklong trial, a defense psychologist testified that Mrs. Sliech-Brodeur doesn't recall stabbing her husband and lost her senses of sight and sound during the struggle.

But prosecutor James Orenstein said Sliech-Brodeur planned the crime and was perfectly aware of what she was doing. "He was threatening to leave her and she decided that wasn't going to happen," Orenstein said. "She was and is criminally responsible for her actions." He said Sliech-Brodeur had written a note after killing her husband that listed a "litany of complaints and grievances against her husband." The note ended with Joann Sliech-Brodeur asking forgiveness from God.

Orenstein said the murder "was as atrocious and brutal a crime as you can see."

Joann Sliech-Brodeur, stood and held hands with her attorneys, Linda Thompson and John Ferrara, when the verdict was read. The jury had deliberated about three-and-a-half hours, and Superior Court Judge C. Brian McDonald sentenced her to a mandatory life in prison sentence.

"Dad, I only hope that now you can rest in peace because justice has been served," Brodeur's son, Robert Brodeur, said after the guilty finding.


Palmer woman charged with husband's murder and held without bail


© 2004 Associated Press WGGB abc40

August 18-19, 2004, Palmer (AP) — Police say a man was fatally injured in Palmer after being struck by a van driven by his wife.

Palmer police say Starleen Rutkowski, 46, intentionally hit her husband, Richard Rutkowski,50, with the couple's mini-van several times.

The incident occurred around 8 PM August 17 th in the parking lot of Country Manor Apartments off Lariviere Street. Police said they received several 911 calls about the incident Tuesday night and told reporters it was the result of a domestic dispute.

Police found Richard Rutkowski severely injured outside the apartment complex in the Three Rivers section of town where he and his wife lived. The victim was taken to Wing Memorial Hospital in Palmer where he was pronounced dead.

Starleen Rutkowski was charged with murder at her arraignment in Palmer District Court and has been ordered held without bail. She entered an innocent plea.


Deathbed confession reveals murdered husband's body in freezer in Somerville


One wonders whether a man's name would be covered up after he confessed to murdering his wife?

November 19, 2004, Reuters — A mother's deathbed confession led Somerville police today to a dead body in a freezer, and officials said the corpse may be that of the woman's husband whom she murdered more than a decade ago.

The woman apparently told her children as she was dying that their father had not died in a car crash as they thought but that she had in fact killed him and that his body was in a rental storage facility in Somerville, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts.

Family members then contacted police, who searched the facility and found a large freezer wrapped in duct tape and giving off a strong odor. Inside, they found the remains of what they think was a man.

Local prosecutors said the man may have died as a result of a domestic homicide that took place more than a decade ago in California. The body was thought to have been shipped from California to Massachusetts, where it has been in storage since at least 1998.

Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley's office did not identify the woman, who has since died.

Coakley's office said it would contact law enforcement authorities in California as part of its investigation.


Dominatrix acquitted in death during bondage session in Quincy, body gone


January 31, 2005 (AP) — A dominatrix was acquitted of manslaughter Monday in the death of a man who prosecutors say suffered a heart attack while strapped to a replica of a medieval rack.

Barbara Asher, a 56-year-old woman who called herself Mistress Lauren M, was also cleared of dismemberment.

Prosecutors said that 53-year-old Michael Lord suffered a heart attack in 2000 during a bondage session in a "dungeon" in Asher's condominium and that Asher did nothing to help him for five minutes for fear authorities would find out about her business.

According to police, Lord, a 53-year-old retired telephone company worker from North Hampton, New Hampshire, died in 2000 while strapped to a replica of a medieval torture device in Asher's Quincy condominium. Ms. Asher had her boyfriend chop up the body of the 275-pound retired telephone company worker, and they dumped it behind a restaurant in Maine, prosecutors said. His remains have never been found.

Prosecutors said Asher confessed to police, but the confession was not taped, and investigators testified they did not save their notes.

Asher's lawyer, Stephanie Page, said there was nothing to prove Lord was even dead — no body, no blood, no DNA.

During his closing argument to the jury, prosecutor Robert Nelson put on a black leather mask with a zippered mouth opening and re-enacted the bondage session. With both hands, he reached back and clutched the top of a blackboard as if strapped to the rack. Then he hung his head as if dead.

Asher's lawyer objected, and the judge agreed. "That's enough Mr. Nelson," Judge Charles Grabau said. "Thank you for your demonstration."



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Last modified 5/16/18