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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

[NY] Interview with murder-charged Barbara Sheehan & her daughter Jennifer

...Barbara Sheehan said her family lived in fear of her husband, Raymond. That is, until February 2008, when Sheehan snapped and police say she admitted to shooting and killing her husband with 11 bullets from his own gun...

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WOMAN SAYS KILLING OF EX-POLICE OFFICER HUSBAND WAS SELF-DEFENSE
Barbara Sheehan Said New York City Police Sargeant Husband Terrorized Family
[LINK to the original source]
By Sade Baderinwa with Jonann Brady
Nov. 3, 2008

From the outside, the Sheehans looked like a happy family -- she a devoted mother of two and school secretary, he a respected former New York City Police sergeant with 20 years on the force, and a church volunteer.

Behind the smiles and closed doors, though, Barbara Sheehan said her family lived in fear of her husband, Raymond. That is, until February 2008, when Sheehan snapped and police say she admitted to shooting and killing her husband with 11 bullets from his own gun.

Sheehan pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. She is out of jail on a $1 million bond. The case is expected to go to trial in the spring.

Sheehan, 47, said the ex- cop terrorized the family for 18 years, and she believed she had nowhere to turn for help.


"I was sure that he was going to kill me. There was no doubt about it," Sheehan said in an exclusive interview with WABC-TV in New York.

Sheehan said the abuse began after the birth of the couple's second child. "It started with pushing, shoving, him apologizing, and then it would get worse, and then it got to a point where he just stopped apologizing. He was blaming it on me," she said.

Her 22-year-old daughter, Jennifer Sheehan, said her father would lock her and her brother, Raymond, in the bedroom and told them he'd kill them if they came out.

"It's terrible to say, but it's better since he's been gone," Jennifer said. "But I still have nightmares that he's gonna come home in the middle of the night. I wake up sweating, crying" she told WABC-TV.

Final Act of Violence

A 2007 family vacation to Jamaica turned into a horror show. "The walls in the hotel were like cinder block and he kept banging my face into it until my head cracked open. There was blood all over the room, and I wound up in the hospital on the island of Jamaica," Barbara Sheehan said.

Sheehan said she didn't dare file a report or call the police on her officer husband.

"She couldn't go to the law because he was the law," said psychologist Nando Pelusi. "It sounds like in her mind she reached that point where it was all or nothing, and it was survival or death."

Like most battered women, Sheehan said it's just not that easy to leave an abusive spouse. "He was not going to allow me to leave."

Sheehan said even after Raymond was retired, he was always armed. He wore a gun around his waist and another strapped to his ankle, and he pointed a gun at her many times, she said.

"He'd put it to my head and told me if I left or told anybody that he would definitely use it. 'He would go down in glory,' is the words he used," Sheehan said.

The day before her husband's death, he allegedly punched his wife in the face and broke her nose after she said she refused to go on a vacation to Florida with him.

He took her to a nearby hospital for treatment, but Sheehan told the Daily News that Raymond called her on her cell phone while he waited in the parking lot and told her he would kill her if she told anyone what happened. [LINK]

A note precious to me:

3 comments:

  1. Selected comments from original news page. There are several pages of comments there.
    http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/comments?type=story&id=6169148

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    The only thing worse than an abusive husband is an abusive husband who happens to be a cop. Poor Barbara and her children had no hope ever of escaping him and his evilness. I don't condone murder, but sometimes it is killed or be killed. I pray that the jury or judge would show this woman some sympathy. What her and here children have already gone thru is worse than what any prison system could ever do to them.
    Posted by:
    getoverit2007 Nov-3
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    Never judge someone until you have walked in their shoes-I've been in a few abusive relationships-police officers have a very high rate of domestic abuse-police officers have the need for power and control that's why alot of them choose the field of police work. God Bless Mrs. Sheehan and her family.
    Posted by:
    mauihawaii01 Nov-3
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    For those of you who dont believe that this woman could not leave - please listen to what most everyone here is saying, if you have never been in that situation please do not think you understand it. Abusive men are masters of threats and mind control. Even the strongest of women who have healthy self-esteem can, over time, be broken down into believing they are helpless. Most abusers are extremely charismatic and likable. They act in such a way that no one on the outside would ever believe they are capable of such behavior. Physical violence is only one aspect of their control. Very often it is the verbal, emotional, spiritual and sexual abuse that causes the most damage to the victims. When someone lives in an enviornment where they are constantly watched and judged and accused and threatened their reality becomes distorted because they have been bullied into believing they no longer have rights or can choose for themselves. If they do happen to act upon their own decision they are very likely to regret it because the vengence of an abuser is relentless and non-forgiving. I am so very sad for Mrs Sheehan that she felt as if she had no other alternative. I too feel her pain because like many here, I have also been there. I will pray for the judge and jury who will decide her fate. I hope they educate themselves on the facts of abusers and their effect on their victims so they see that this woman has already been punished far beyond the consequence of prison. She has already been there. I believe she deserves to live what life she has left focusing on getting help for herself and her children. Through loving support and long term counseling it is possible that because of her experience she can be a blessing to others who are victims of the same.
    Posted by:
    imamomfirst Nov-3
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    To robert,I am wondering if you are my ex. Robbie, when i met you I was in a state of grief & shock over my son's death. I later found out that you had questioned people about me & knew my circumstances. When you approached & asked me how he was & acted so shocked that he was dead from a wreck, you proceeded to convince me that you were the last one to see him alive. I did'nt want to marry but your kindness & sympathy got through my fog & telling me that he had wanted us to meet, etc. 11 days after that marriage when you broke my ribs & put out my eye, threatened to throw my sons cremated remains out in the mud & rain, you left me laying for 2 days until some of family came & got me to a hospital. I did as you said & lied to the er dr & the surgeons at the hospital that they shipped me to about having sustained my injuries from a wreck they flat let me know they knew better.Thank you for getting rid of my home, my furniture & you were right, when you got done with me (which would have been only by my death) i didn't even have a pair of underpants left. i won't even go into much more of the abuse but the hot pot of coffee poured on me was real sweet too.You wonder how I got away. Even though I was never allowed to be alone with anyone other than you or to even shut the bathroom door while using the toilet, I managed to write a note on toilet paper during one of my relatives visits & slip it to them. In the note I told them what you had said about killing them all including my 4 year old niece. They managed to get help from the law & get you out of there. I had no opportinity to ever escape on my own & would have killed you hae I not been able to.When in spite of the restraining order you came back & took me at gunpoint, telling me that come dark you were going to kill me & leave in the woods off the interstate, I believed you. As usual, while with you I did alot of praying & God answered.
    Posted by:
    the sculptress Nov-3
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    People who can't understand this woman's situation fail to understand that not only was this woman up against a cop who was her husband, but an entire department if she attempted to leave. People don't realize that cops are some of the most elusive and most protected when it comes to domestic violence or violence against the average citizens. There's more to discredit the spouse or the citizen than ridding the department of an abuser. They will circle their wagons and protect the abuser and go after the one who complained. Try filing a report with I.A. and see what happens. See if you don't start to get drivebys or cops parked outside your front door. Policing in America is like an organized and legal gang. They don't go to jail unless it's something so horrific that it can't be ignored. They get promoted. Look at the Petersen cop, whose wife is still missing. It appears that he might have even murdered a previous wife. It also appears that everyone, possibly even the coroner, helped to cover it up for him. So that's how far up the chain of events it can go. All the way to the top, unless you're a cop who wasn't a team player and they wanted to get rid of you anyway.
    Posted by:
    Many_Can_Relate Nov-3
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    Gee, where have I heard this story before? "Bully cop terrorizes family..." Usually, the line ends, "...kills wife and then self." If this woman's story - and those of her children - are to be believed, then she was being held against her will and repeatedly assaulted and threatened with death by an armed captor. As such, she had every legal right to simply blow him away just has if she had been kidnapped, held and repeatedly assaulted and threatened by a complete stranger. The bigger question is, why was this guy EVER a cop, and why was he not discovered, disciplined and permanently disarmed a long time ago?
    Posted by:
    JLS1950B Nov-3
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    Many who say this woman could have just walked away don't understand how difficult that can sometimes be in cases of domestic violence and especially so if you are the wife of an authority figure such as a cop with several years in the department. All of his fellow police friends, who are probably domestic abusers too, will come out in support. All the way to the top. I.A. (Internal Affairs). Just ask any civilian who has ever attempted to report an abusive cop to I.A. and let them tell you what happens. I.A. is often made up of fellow police officers, civilians whose job it is to protect the image of the police force. They're first is to discredit the individual filing the complaint. Sometimes, other means are used such as harrassing or even making subtle threats to get the complainant to drop the issue. Then there may be a long wait, sometimes over a year, and you might get a letter in the mail telling you that none of your accusations could be substantiated. But in between time no one made any attempt to contact you. The finaly report is based on the officer and fellow officers and folks sitting around a table most likely cracking jokes about the crazy people who dare to file a complaint in the first place. In years past, a wife in an abusive relationship with a cop had to leave town in the middle of the night to get away from him and his friends, and eve that didn't always work. The buddy system within the profession is nationwide. It's like a big gigantic nationalized legal gang. And cops have access to all kinds of personal records. Even if the victim were allowed to change their name under some witness protection act, the cop may could still get hold of the new identity through his connections.
    Posted by:
    Many_Can_Relate Nov-3
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    JLS1950B, you ask why was this guy ever allowed to become a cop and why was he not disciplined, discovered and disarmed a long time ago? Believe me, departments know they have these types on the force. In many ways they even encourage these types of behavior. Remember, most cops are given medals and rewards when they do these same type things to civilians on the streets. Or the dept. will try to blame the victim and cover up for the cop. They know these types are there. They just pretend shock and awe when some tragedy happens that can't be ignored. Whose knows how many others he terrorized and got away with it during his career? NYPD and LAPD are some of the worst law enforcement departments in the nation. They all act like heman terrorists on steroids.
    Posted by:
    Many_Can_Relate Nov-3
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    Many_Can_Relate 7:44 PM : Yes, I generally agree. My question was really rhetorical. The fact is that police use and at least tacitly condone bullying tactics as a means of protecting police "authority" even when that authority is misused. It parallels the use of bullying tactics by public school administrators, teachers and staff: children learn that bullying is acceptable from school personnel much more than from peers or even perhaps from siblings. Police and school personnel learn to use bullying as a sort of "crowd control" method and as an obvious extension of their own childhood experiences. My point here is that bullying at all levels is something that really needs to be addressed systematically and systemically: we need to put all persons in positions of authority on notice that bullying - of whatever kind - simply WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Until we do this, I would advise women everywhere to be very careful about engaging in ANY kind of relationship with a male police officer: the lives you save may be your own, your children's - and even your parents, siblings, nieces and nephews!
    Posted by:
    JLS1950B Nov-3
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    wow!!! i feel like i am reading my life with my ex-husband. i completely understand the horror she had to go through. my ex was also a sheriffs deputy. they would not arrest my ex at all!!! it took my father, who was also in law enforcement, to take me to the DA's ofc and demanded my ex be charged, i had visible marks on my face, legs, and arms. he is now serving 6 years in prison!!!! it is a terrible life to be controlled by the one you thought you loved. it's not ever easy to get out. when your husband is in law enforcement and the abuser, his "brothers" never want to arrest them they say "let him take a breather". it is unfortunate that this ended so tragically, but he put those bullets in his own body and dug his own grave. from one victim to another GOD BLESS YOU you will get through this. and thank god your daughter is standing byyou. there needs to be more laws against domestic violence......and not "restraining orders" that just #### off the abuser. they need more harsh consequences. mandatory 1 year in prison (not "jail), immediate divorce (bcuz they will do it again), placement for the victim and children (in a home, not shelter). sorry if im going "off" but all these other "non-victims" who say "she should have gone in hiding or she should have seeked refuge in the hospital" HELLO!!!! he was a cop. cops protect other cops. there are so many wives out there married to cops who are being abused and do not have the resources to get out. we all need to help these victims more instead of blaming them for killing their abuser when they have finally had enough.
    Posted by:
    perfectnurse Nov-3
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    Be strong Barbara....you are a strong person...dont give up now.
    Posted by:
    shosilk Nov-3
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    KuroSekiRyu, the comment that "Even today it is pretty simple to cover your tracks well enough to NEVER be found" is not exactly true. In his position, he had a lot of resources to find her. Believe me, I tried to "hide" from my ex and he found me every single time. It's like cops are one big fraternity. And do you suggest that she take her kids and just "disappear' too or leave them behind???? There is no good choice there. She couldn't just leave the kids (no matter what their ages). In the interview she said he was coming after her so she defended herself. She doesn't seem proud of it, but it sure says a lot that her daughter says that life is much better without him in their lives. When you terrorize your family for years, then you are asking for something bad to happen. Do I think he deserved to die? No, but he had no right to back her into a corner so she had to literally fight for her life. I can say that I am very lucky that I got away from my ex. But I can also say that when I was leaving the state had he done ANYTHING to try to stop me, I was more than willing to do whatever it took to get away from him. Again, this woman's marriage was prison enough for her. The judge should take that into consideration.
    Posted by:
    fromtheshadows Nov-3
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    Has anybody noticed that of all of the posts here only ONE person thinks this woman is guilty? I think that says a lot. There is no way that this woman's actions can be construed as "premeditated" murder. This is a case of self defense and I hope and pray that the jury sees it that way. How much can one person take before they finally fight back? Does anyone think this woman would have had a chance at a fair fight with this monster? Not likely. She did what she had to do to protect herself and her children. Would the one poster who disagrees prefer that the cop finally blew his top and did kill her? How ridiculous.
    Posted by:
    eyedrive3 Nov-3
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    Few of us on this blog have all of the knowledge of what went on in their home. I've been there and seen that as a retired Deputy Sheriff from Los Angeles. I'm ashamed to admit there are cops out there that exhibit exactly this type of behavior. We can only hope the evidence in this case will reveal the true facts. Was she terrified and completely abused or "hiding" behind the badge as an excuse to commit murder? My sense of it from reading the article is the woman is telling the truth and should be exonerated.
    Posted by:
    OkieThom 9:06 AM
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    ReplyDelete
  2. Terrified wife of a Police Officier for most of my life... It has been a living nightmare for me and I always tried to hide it from my kids, who saw the results of his rage against me and heard the name calling, and disregard for me as a person. I'm an old lady now and have Post Tramatic Stress syndrome from the fear I've lived with. Never wanting to make him mad at me. I'm still married to him after 46 years, as I tried to divorce him for someone else and he said he would kill him, me, and his family. That was just 3 years ago, so I stay, but live seperately. Even living apart he will call me to yell at me and call me names and tell me what an idiot I am. I've prayed many times for him to be gone, or me to be free.......but it will never happen....I don't have the strength any more. He has had many other women and has told me about it just to hurt me worse, saying I was nothing more than a wrinkled up old whore, in front of people that love me. Believe me no matter how long you are in this it never stops hurting. Alone but happy!!

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  3. If you ever want to talk just email me and I'll send you my phone number. Thank you for posting this.

    You've been doing this alone for so long... from lonnnnng before anyone was really talking about it.

    HUGZ

    ReplyDelete

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