whose body lay on the asphalt, her head in a growing puddle of blood and brain matter.
David's dark state of mind did not include caring what his children would see that day - and subsequently have to live with for the rest of their lives.
He did not think ahead to the pain of his own family members who love him.
He did not consider the police department personnel who looked to him for leadership, or of the city that would collapse for the next several years to come.
He did not consider the life of Crystal as something that belonged to her, or the hearts in her family that he would shatter, never to fully recover.
He thought, from that dark space he was in, of what he wanted to do. He set out to fulfill his terrifying threat to kill her. HE BOUND HER NAME TO HERS FOREVER with two bullets. He became in his mind the god of her fate and how she would be remembered. She had left him but he DETERMINED AND EXECUTED HIS DECISION THAT SHE WOULD NOT GET AWAY.
Crystal wanted to live.
She tried to live before AND AFTER the shooting. She had moved in with her parents, daydreamed out loud of one day being able to walk in the sun with their kids - without fear, and after the shooting - a direct contact Glock headshot - she lived for a week while her family sat by her bedside. She tried.
The memorial's text in our newspaper today, identical to last year's:
- David Allen Brame 7/28/1958 - 4/26/2003 We will love you, miss you and positively believe in you forever, David. We know the truth. We haven't seen our grandchildren for six years. Your loving family. [Link]
- View/Sign Guest Book
No one doubts that David Brame's family misses or loves him. We all know that they do. It is a pain that no one can imagine unless they have experienced it.
But it's the other part I need to address this year:
I wouldn't say anything about this - and I'd remain quiet like everyone else - except this published memorial is very likely going to continue every year to blame the victim, Crystal, for her own murder.
We all have hearts, and we all hurt for this family, but the toxic intent of continuing to publicly blame the murder victim year after year should stop.
So what is this "truth" they speak of?
Investigations on this murder-suicide were conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Washington State Patrol, The Pierce County Sheriff's Department, The Tacoma Police Department, The Gig Harbor Police department, and the Washington Association of Sheriff's and Police Chiefs. The State Troopers actually ran two investigations - one was criminal and the other administrative.
Whatever all of those law enforcement investigators and experts found, whatever the investigative reporters from three competing newspapers discovered, whatever the child psychologist determined, whatever the children's appointed guardian [ad litum] recommended, whatever Crystal's own psychologist, her family, or Crystal herself said - along with David Brame's own co-workers and the other victims of David's power-gone-wild said -
the chief's family is certain that
it's ALL lies.
It must be the most coordinated conspiracy of all time.
- David Brame's admitted rape of a woman - with his gun on the table next to the bed,
- the sex club he frequented with a clan of subordinate Tacoma officers - looking for people to (unsuccessfully) pressure his wife Crystal to have sex with,
- the finding that he was ruling his department by intimidation and fear - with a photo of Al Paccino as the Godfather hanging on his office wall,
- the systematic and long-term physical, verbal and psychological abuse of his wife,
- the sexual harassment of another officer,
- the failed psychological evaluations that should have barred the chief from ever becoming even a rookie,
- and every other impropriety discovered during the intense and overlapping investigations
From what I've read from this family in the news, the center of this coven of conspiring liars is Crystal. They say it is Crystal who abused David physically and verbally, was unsafe to mother her own children, crazy, and who finally drove this "brilliant" man -
"an angel on earth" -
to commit the unthinkable.
The fact that Crystal is dead, for them does not appear to validate even one word of what Crystal tried to tell the world when she told many people that she feared for her life.
They publicly lament that they never see the kids, but I'm going to guess that
their own words
have a large part to play in that decision - and I will guess that they did not want to follow through with what they would have to do to fix that.
There's always a plan offered.
Classes, ongoing therapy, assessments and recommendations.
Here are news excerpts of "THE TRUTH"
in their own words:
Brame mourners show love, speak of good
The News Tribune
May 4th, 2003
[Excerpts] ..."Everyone can believe what they wish," Brame's sister Jane Brazell said. "But the Brame family knows
He was an angel on earth, and now he is an angel in heaven"...
David Brame reached limit of what he could tolerate
May 20th, 2003
[Excerpts] I am the proud mother of David Brame. Our family feels that the city of Tacoma, the Tacoma City Council, the city manager, the mayor of Tacoma and the Tacoma Police Department should be made aware that the real David Brame did not betray them. He deeply cared for each of you and was of the highest integrity, honesty and loyalty... There is an answer to each of the allegations that has been made against him... we must all remember that there is a limit to what any man can endure before he goes over the edge and his mind snaps... I hope his tormentors are happy now.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR FROM DUKE BRAME
May 11th, 2003
[Excerpts] ...Now here we are in the midst of a massive media saturation with its sights set on my cousin's character and integrity. Those of you who are truly concerned need to know that this attack on David's character is completely wrong and unfounded... David Brame was an awesome human being whose mind snapped...
CRYSTAL KEPT HER FAMILY IN THE DARK
The News Tribune
June 26, 2003
[Excerpts] During the 13 years Crystal Brame spent with David Brame, her family saw signs of the Tacoma police chief's controlling nature, but never knew he was physically abusing her until she was ready to leave him... After years in what she said was an abusive, controlling marriage, David Brame started pressuring her to have sex with other people... David Brame fatally shot Crystal Brame and then killed himself, with their two children nearby, April 26... Beverly Brame, David Brame's mother, said Crystal Brame's accusations of violence and sex aren't true. "Oh, brother," she said. "He was a great kid and a great man. And they better stop taking it away from him, because it's not right. What we've not been able to understand is when her allegations came out, they (media) ran with it like it was gospel"... Beverly Brame said she has been kept from her two grandchildren because a psychologist and the children's court-appointed guardian [ad litum] said it would be too traumatic - and she doesn't have the money for a custody battle... Beverly Brame said David was the abused rather than the abuser...
[Bev Brame was to later win a lotto prize of $250,000 yet stopped their battle for rights to the children after the winnings.
Inside David Brame's police department
Favoritism, cruelty, intrigue tarnish 15-month reign
SEAN ROBINSON; The News Tribune
Septemeber 14th, 2003
[Excerpts] ...The accusations against him [Chief Brame] of death threats, choking and controlling behavior were lies, he said, part of his wife's unstable character... He said Crystal had punched him. He included pictures - taken by his mother, he said - of an ugly bruise on his arm, supposedly left by Crystal's small fist. Crystal and her family had expected the counterblows from David. He had boasted of his plan to her, she said. The bruise on his arm came from a dropped barbell. As it discolored, he told her he would blame her for it if she tried to leave him. He would tell the authorities she was crazy. They would believe him, he told her. He was the police chief. Today, Brame's father still insists Crystal's claims of abuse were false. "David never struck Crystal," says Eugene Brame, Sr. "During their entire marriage, he never struck her"...
(HOW would Eugene Brame know what never happened behind David and Crystal's closed doors?)
THE FAMILY OF DAVID BRAME SPEAKS OUT
The News Tribune
[Excerpts] ...The family has studied the police reports, read the media coverage, replayed the details in their minds. "We are not in denial about this tragedy," says Brame's 71-year-old mother, Bev. But they say the former Tacoma police chief is not the manipulative, abusive man he's been portrayed to be... The family's bitterness over the fallout of the shootings and the ugly things said about David Brame is immediately evident. The Brames deny their son scrutinized his wife's weight or kept her on such a tight budget she had to save her change... "We've lost their entire family," Gene Brame said. "We loved Crystal"... Family members say they realize others believe the Brames are lying to themselves about the allegations that David Brame tormented his wife behind closed doors... They don't believe David Brame could have manipulated them and lied about how he treated his wife for the past eight years...
EXPERTS: NO BRAME CHILDREN VISITS
The News Tribune
August 19th, 2003
[Excerpts] The late Tacoma Police Chief David Brame's parents want to visit his two children, but a psychologist and a court-appointed guardian [ad litum] say they shouldn't yet because Haley and David Brame Jr. fear their grandmother, Beverly Brame. "Haley is adamant about not seeing her grandmother Brame," says guardian [ad litum] Tanya Pemberton. "David is afraid of his grandmother." Psychologist Philip Frank made his recommendation after meeting with 8-year-old Haley Brame 18 times and with 5-year-old David Jr. 19 times since March... Frank's letter to [guardian ad litum Tanya] Pemberton and her recommendations to the judge describe two youngsters traumatized and fearful after seeing years of abuse that culminated with their parents' deaths... Frank's letter says that even before the April 26 shootings, "a continuing and repeated theme in their (the children's) therapy sessions was their fear of their paternal grandmother and their strong desire to not have to see her at all." Both children said they had seen their father threaten their mother's life, Frank says. "On at least one occasion, both children had witnessed their father pointing a loaded gun at their mother while threatening to murder her," Frank says. "On other occasions, Haley heard her father screaming death threats in the next room. Both children also heard their father tell their mother, 'I'll see you dead before I'll give you any of my money.'" Franks says neither child expressed fear that their father would hurt them, but both said they were afraid he would make them visit "Grandma Brame"... Haley and David also were upset that their father pressured them to recant their stories of being hit, slapped and bruised by his mother, Frank says. "Both children also stated that their paternal grandfather was 'nice' but he did not protect them from 'Grandma Bev,'" Frank says... Frank recommends working with the Brames to establish guidelines for contact with the children and that the first contacts be with Gene Brame and his family. But Frank worries about some of the family's comments in The News Tribune. David Brame's parents have said they believe he "snapped" after years of abuse by his wife. His sister, Jane Brazell, has called him an "angel on earth." "I know that progress can be made," Frank says. "However, cold- blooded murder can not be explained away, especially by blaming the victim...
DAVID BRAME'S FATHER CONTENDS INCIDENTS DISTORTED BY CRYSTAL
The News Tribune
August 19th, 2003
[Excerpts] Eugene Brame says he's tired of reading lies about his son, the late Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, in the newspaper. "Everyone that's involved, and I'm talking about both the families, we all know what the real cause of this problem was," Brame said Monday. "And it was not David... He said an incident Crystal Brame described in court papers as him pointing a gun at her and saying "accidents happen" was him trying to warn her of the dangers of firearms. "He said, 'Now you have to be very careful with these because accidents can happen,'" the elder Brame said... David Brame found himself in the same kind of domestic violence situation he had always tried to protect against in his police work, the elder Brame said. "Nothing in David's favor has ever come out in this entire matter," he said. "David was the most loving and gentle young man that the world would ever want to know. And he's not the man who's being portrayed. I know that I'm his father, but it's
the absolute truth.
And remember above, in 2003 where Bev Brame blames money as the obstacle?:
"...Beverly Brame said she has been kept from her two grandchildren because a psychologist and the children's court-appointed guardian [ad litum] said it would be too traumatic - and she doesn't have the money for a custody battle..."
Money was not the problem and that became evident as of 2006:
TACOMA: Mother of late police chief wins $250,000 in state lottery
The News Tribune
April 27th, 2006
[Excerpts] A Tacoma woman won $250,000 this month in the state lottery. Beverly Brame bought her Mega Millions ticket at Pacific Lanes... She could not be reached for comment. Brame is the mother of Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, who fatally shot his wife and then himself three years ago in a Gig Harbor parking lot.
And I can't even introduce these excerpts from David Brame's sister. They just are.
SISTER TELLS DAVID BRAME'S SIDE OF THE STORY
I HAVE PUT TOGETHER THE STORY OF MY BROTHER, DECEASED TACOMA POLICE CHIEF DAVID BRAME, BEFORE THE FATAL SHOOTINGS ON SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2003... DAVID HAD CONCERNS ABOUT MARRYING CRYSTAL FROM THE VERY BEGINNING... CRYSTAL FREQUENTLY WOULD LASH OUT, SCREAM AND YELL... SHE WOULD ENTER THE BEDROOM, TURN ON THE LIGHTS AND START RANTING AND RAVING... SHE WOULD TAKE INAPPROPRIATE STEPS... SHE PRACTICALLY LIVED ON THE TELEPHONE... SHE WAS A VERY STRESSED, ANXIOUS-TYPE PERSON... FROM WHAT WE WERE TOLD BY DAVID... CRYSTAL WAS ON A TANGENT AND STARTED SLUGGING DAVID. SHE BRUISED HIM BADLY AND HE HAD PICTURES TAKEN OF THIS. HE SAID HE STOOD AND DID NOT TOUCH HER... DAVID WAS ALWAYS AN HONEST MAN AND IT HURT HIM TO THINK HE WAS MARRIED TO SOMEONE WHO WOULD LIE... SHE WAS IN NEED OF SERIOUS HELP FOR HER MENTAL INSTABILITY... DAVID HAD TO INTERVENE SO MANY TIMES... THE NORMALCY WAS NOT THERE WITH CRYSTAL. CRYSTAL ALSO MADE OVER 50 LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALLS IN A TWO MONTH PERIOD ... SHE WAS VERY JEALOUS AND INSECURE... CRYSTAL WAS SEEMINGLY DETERMINED TO RUIN HIM ONE WAY OR ANOTHER... SHE STARTED THE STORIES OF DAVID CHOKING HER THREE OR FOUR TIMES AND THE SUPPOSED DEATH THREATS. DAVID TOLD US THAT NEVER OCCURRED, WHICH WE BELIEVE... DAVID WAS NOT A GAME PLAYER LIKE HER. SHE WAS SO ANGRY WITH HIM SHE WAS ADDING MORE STORIES TO THE ALREADY STRAINED DIVORCE... DAVID SAID TO ME, "SHE'S DELUSIONAL"... CRYSTAL DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO LOSE MAKING ALL OF THE FALSE ACCUSATIONS... I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW SOMEONE CAN BE SO DEVIOUS AND CRUEL AND THINK THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT. EVENTUALLY, LIARS GET CAUGHT. AND WHY WOULD SHE GO THIS FAR WITH THE STORIES? BECAUSE DAVID NEVER DID ANYTHING TO HER IN THE PAST EXCEPT FOR THE SHOOTING ON APRIL 26TH! CRYSTAL PLAYED YET ANOTHER VICTIM ROLE OF NOT HAVING ANY MONEY AND BEING PHYSICALLY ABUSED BY DAVID. SHE HAD CALLED THE POLICE AND ATTORNEY OVER MINOR, MADE-UP STORIES... SHE WOULD TAKE PICTURES OF THE SNOWMAN TREE BEFORE SHE TOOK IT DOWN AFTER CHRISTMAS SO SHE COULD DECORATE IT IN THE EXACT SAME FASHION THE FOLLOWING YEAR. THIS WAS ANOTHER "ODD, OBSESSIVE WAY" SHE HAD... PER THE TNT (OUR NEWSPAPER) SHE TRIED TO CONVINCE STOREKEEPERS OF HER PENNILESS STATE... CRYSTAL WAS NOT ONLY DIVORCING DAVID, SHE WAS BRAINWASHING THEIR KIDS... DAVID WAS A VERY GOOD FATHER AND HIS KIDS WERE HIS LIFE... DAVID WAS THE ONE THAT WOULD TUCK THEM IN AT NIGHT... THEY WERE USED TO CRYSTAL JERKING THEIR LITTLE ARMS, PULLING THEM INTO THE SHOWER WITH HER EVERYDAY... HE WAS A VERY LOYAL FATHER WITH A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR AND ENJOYED HIS FAMILY IMMENSELY... UNFORTUNATELY TO THIS DAY, OUR FAMILY HAS NOT SEEN THE KIDS SINCE THE TRAGEDY OCCURRED. WE HAVE SEEN THE PSYCHOLOGIST REPORT (TNT LET THE WORLD SEE IT AS WELL) AND CRYSTAL LIED HER WAY THROUGH THAT ALSO AND WAS WORKING ON THE KIDS BIG TIME TO TURN THEM AGAINST THEIR GRANDMOTHER, WHOM THEY HAD ALWAYS BEEN CRAZY ABOUT... CRYSTAL HAD SUCH AN EXAGGERATED MIND... SHE WAS ALWAYS SICK WITH SOMETHING. SHE PLAYED THE HYPOCHONDRIAC... OUR FAMILY RECOGNIZED HER AS SEEMING TO HAVE BIPOLAR SYMPTOMS, OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE TENDENCIES, LYING, VERY SELF-CENTERED, AND DOWNRIGHT UNBALANCED... SHE WAS A VERY MISERABLE YOUNG PERSON WHO SIMPLY DID NOT LIKE HERSELF OR HER LIFE. THE DAY OF THE SHOOTINGS DAVID HAD HIS KIDS FOR THE WEEKEND AND WAS SHOPPING FOR BATH TOYS AND GROCERIES... I THINK SOMETHING WAS SAID TO HIM THAT PUT HIM OVER THE EDGE AND BOTH OF THEIR LIVES WERE TAKEN... WE HAVE AN EXPLANATION REGARDING THE FLOWERS DAVID SENT TO CRYSTAL AFTER THE ALLEGED CHOKING INCIDENTS. DAVID DID SEND HER FLOWERS ON HOLIDAYS, BUT SHE MANAGED TO SAY HE SENT THEM THE DAY AFTER THE SUPPOSED ABUSE... WE WERE NEVER SURPRISED WHEN DAVID WOULD TELL US SOME OF THE ODD GAMES SHE PLAYED. IT WAS TYPICAL CRYSTAL...WE ALL KNEW HER TOO WELL. I LISTENED TO THE TAPE OF THE PHONE CALL CRYSTAL MADE TO HER PSYCHOLOGIST AT 4:35 PM ON APRIL 25 TH . SHE CLAIMED SHE WAS AFRAID FOR HER LIFE... I WILL NEVER BE CONVINCED THAT THIS WOMAN WAS AFRAID OF DAVID... DAVID WAS SOMEONE THAT WAS DEPENDABLE IN EVERY ASPECT OF HIS LIFE... WE WISH CRYSTAL WOULD HAVE SOUGHT TREATMENT FOR HER SEEMINGLY OUT OF CONTROL SERIOUS EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS... DAVID WAS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION, YET HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS VERY OWN ABUSIVE MARRIAGE... JANE BRAZELL NEE BRAME
[rant police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder pierce county washington state politics children]