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Survivors of abuse behind bars

By Lisa Brody
News Editor
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After the attack, Nancy cried, took a shower, and went in late to work, where co-workers said they saw her looking disheveled, beaten, and like she had been crying for days.

When she went home, she realized Bob was dead. She bought tarps, tape and cleaning supplies, and wrapped his body and cleaned the home. She also put his body in the back of her vehicle, and told her sons and others, including police who searched for him, she had no idea where he was, that he sometimes disappeared for days.

At trial, it was revealed from a surveillance tape that she had bought a hatchet at Home Depot on Mother's Day, and then shoplifted one and returned it on Tuesday. She alleged she used an old one in her self-defense attack from Bob, and that she had bought the one on Sunday to do yard work.

After three days, police found Bob's body, bound up in a tarp in the back of her vehicle, and arrested her. They acknowledged, during testimony at her trial, that they had never seen a garage so clean.

"The only way I could deal with things was to take care of it," Nancy said. "I shut down. When I saw his body laying there, I could not face the reality."

"No one sees behind the blinds. I was flooded by letters that they couldn't believe that Nancy could have done this. But it's about a form of love that goes with violence. Love is separate from the violence," Walker continued. "Every battered woman has said and I've interviewed thousands 'Get rid of the violence and our relationship is perfect.' The loving part of him is what they think is real. They think if they can help him, the violent part will drop out. In some ways, there's co-dependencies."

Nels Thompson, who was Nancy's (and Karen's) prison psychologist at the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility, in an interview with Kelle Lynn of Justice Thru Storytelling, said he does not believe she premeditatively planned to kill her husband in any way. "In fact, she premeditated how to leave him without confrontation, and safely," he said. "She went to great lengths to escape, to avoid the very thing that happened, and it didn't work. Nancy is a non-violent person. She went into excessive killing called overkill using excessive force when he attacked her on that fatal day in May 2004, because when a non-violent person is suddenly forced into a fight with fear for their life, they have no idea the force they are exerting, because they've never used force or weapons. Sometimes convicted women are convicted of stabbing their victims 15 or 20 times. Of course they were. They had no idea any of those stabbings were having any effect whatsoever. They may empty their gun into their abuser. To them their abuser is so powerful, nothing can stop them in their whole experience. He has overpowered her over and over again.

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