Dennis Yaklich, a Pueblo, Colorado, police officer, just didn't seem to have much luck with women.
In December 1985, at age 38, Dennis Yaklich was gunned down in front of his Avondale home by brothers Charles, 16, and Edward, 25, Greenwell. They testified Donna Yaklich hired them to kill her husband. There was never much doubt that she hired the two brothers to kill Dennis. But in court she said she did it because Officer Yaklich was violent. She stated that because he was a police officer no one would help her and she hired the Greenwells to kill him because she feared for her life.
Lenore Walker's book The Battered Woman first appeared in 1979 and it is always far too easy to play upon the sympathy of a jury for a woman. But its hard to sell "self defense" when the murder was clearly planned. Nonetheless, the Yaklich jury apparently sympathized with her and in 1988 handed down a conspiracy conviction but acquitted her of murder. She was then sentenced to 40 years in prison.
But facts don't matter in the redfem world, where emotions and feelings always triumph over logic, reason, and the law. So in 1994 the feminist industry produced the made-for-TV documelodrama: Cries Unheard: The Donna Yaklich Story. In this propaganda film Donna Yaklich is visited by her son in the correctional facility where she explains the terrible circumstances of her incarceration. According to Donna, her troubles began when she fell in love with Dennis, an upstanding and seemingly stable police officer. In her tale of woe she discovers that Dennis, an obsessive weight-lifter, is regularly taking large doses of steroids. These drugs not only bulk up his muscles, they also make him dangerously aggressive and verbally abusive. Afraid for herself and her children, Donna tries to leave Dennis, but he refuses to let go. After many skirmishes and futile attempts to leave, Donna feels that she will only be free when he is dead.
The Equal Justice Foundation often hears from relatives and last week we heard from Dennis Yaklich's daughter, Vanessa. She has given us permission to use her story.
" ...I will forever defend my father and his name because he was a good man and a beautiful father. His life was taken because he was going to divorce my step-mother and not because she was the victim of abuse.I never feared my father nor did I observe any abuse, whether it be psychological or physicalperpetrated by him. His demeanor was calm and loving; his words encouraging and supportive. I can honestly state my step-mother did not provide my siblings or myself with the same. She was harsh and condescending. I grew up being told on a regular basis that my father was 'stupid' because he 'loved' me. I can remember my step-mother shoving my head into the wall at age 4 as she pointed her finger in my face and told me, 'your mother killed herself because you're a bad little girl.' The stories go on and on, but I will not explore them further at this time.
Iwould liketo take this opportunity to thank you and your contributing staff for putting forth the effort to cite the truth. Obviously, my father is not here to defend himself, hence, I have taken this upon myself because I know the truth as well as the injustice that has been performed.My step-mother's legal defense was paid for by my father's life insuranceproceeds and my family and I believe sheprofitedfrom the made-for-television monstrosity. Most recently,her financial status has provided her with the ability to hire a media publicist.Both he and her high-priced attorney have manipulated a representative of the media who, in turn,placed political pressure on the Pueblo County Sheriff's Department to re-open my mother's death. She passed away in 1977 and the autopsy, performed at the request of my father, determined her death the result of a potassium deficiency. The task force assigned to this case has failed to speak with her doctors, etc. toverify she was ill and under the close supervision of her medical doctorthe last year [before] her death.Rather, they are focusing on the lies of a convicted murderess. I have implemented my own investigation for which I have evidence substantiating my mother misused Lasix which led to a potassium deficiency, which led to cardiac arrest. My eldest brothers were home the day of our mother's death, but again, this is just another fact being tossedto the wayside byinvestigators whose job it is todetermine the truth."
In October 2005 Donna Yaklich was given parole after serving only 18 years of her 40-year sentence. According to the February 5, 2006, Denver Post (p. 2C) Donna Yaklich was sent to the Arapahoe County Residential Center on February 3, 2006.
She is to meet the parole board again in July 2006. The community corrections board did not publicly state the reasons for releasing Yaklich to a halfway house but it would appear this cop killer will soon be set free.