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Friends and family members of a Boulder woman who worked as a volunteer with convicts and drug addicts honored her memory in court Friday before a judge sentenced her ex-husband to 25 years in prison for murdering her.

"I've lost my finest friend; I've lost my best friend,â said Megan Swan, sister of 36-year-old Laura Swan, who was stabbed to death by Alfred Michael Strauss in the kitchen of their north Boulder home last August.

The victim's mother, Collette Swan, told District Judge D.D. Mallard and a packed courtroom that the death of her daughter - "a champion of the underdogâ - tortures her.

"I cannot get the image out of my head of her lying on the kitchen floor and screaming for help and knowing none would be coming,â she said.

Collette Swan said it has also been difficult reverting to a parenting role - raising the couple's two young sons - as she and her husband move into their 70s.

"I am not their mother, and I can never be,â she said of Tommy, 3, and Mikey, 5, who have been living with their grandparents in Seattle since shortly after their mother was killed.

Laura Swan's relatives and friends asked the judge to give Strauss the maximum sentence allowed under his plea agreement with prosecutors, especially so his sons could get the chance to grow up into young adults before their father would be set free.

Strauss, 46, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month and faced a stay in prison of anywhere from 18 to 32 years.


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Several of Strauss' supporters - his aunt, uncle, brother and sister - asked for a lesser sentence from the judge.

Chris Strauss said his brother had led a mostly responsible and honorable life and that his sons should get the chance to see their father sooner rather than later.

"One act, no matter how terrible the consequences, does not define Mike's entire life,â he said.

Strauss took the stand shortly before he was sentenced, apologizing through tears and long pauses to the Swan family, his own family and his two sons.

"Whatever problems we had were insignificant and meaningless compared to what happened,â Strauss said of his long and rocky relationship with his ex-wife, with whom he was trying to reconcile at the time of her murder.

He said he woke up the morning of Aug. 27, 2007, with no inkling that he would stab his ex-wife to death in their north Boulder home later that day. He said they got into several heated arguments and that he reacted to a "very stressful situation.â

Mallard said that because there were enough mitigating factors in Strauss' life - a lack of a criminal record and expressed remorse for his deed - she wouldn't put him away for the maximum term.

The lasting impact of Strauss' rage that day became evident as a stream of people came to the podium to speak before the judge.

Noelle Gilbert, another of Swan's sisters, said the murder constantly haunts her and has caused her such emotional distress that she has had to seek psychological counseling and go on medication to deal with it.

"The ghosts of this horrible tragedy haunt my days and nights,â she said. "I long for the days before I knew what grief really was. I will never be the same carefree, happy mother I once was.â

Whitney Wheeless, Swan's friend, mourned the difficulty the children will have coming to terms with the fact that their father killed their mother.

"My greatest anxiety and sadness is for her sons,â she said.

Swan's father, David, was too sick to attend the sentencing hearing Friday and appeared on videotape. He bemoaned the fact that his grandchildren would never know their mother and that she never got to say good-bye to them.

"How could she know that those dreams would be stamped out by an act of stunning cruelty?â he said. "The boys hardly understand what happened, but someday they will.â

Archived comments

18 to 32 for murder? and the guy in Denver is facing 8-24 for having an affair with a 17 year old??? What's goin' on?

BroncoDano

6/27/2008 8:53:20 AM

What do u have to do to get life?

flabuff227

6/27/2008 10:48:37 AM

can we have him pick up all the dog poop bags along the trails before he goes to prison.

bufffan8

6/27/2008 11:33:18 AM

"What do u have to do to get life?"

In Boulder?

Probably blow smoke in the face of a Gay person.

'Assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder AND a hate crime.'

And if it had been HER who killed HIM?

'Time served and community service'.

What did that Professor from China get for killing her estranged husband while he was moving out, with a cop 'supervising' because the husband already had a restraining order against her?

A slap on the wrist so slight it didn't even leave a mark-even though at the time PMS Pam White decried she had to face even THAT much-after all he was 'emotionally abusive'-A Justifiable Homocide defense in Boulder but NOT on an equal opportunity basis at all.

SoyIam

6/27/2008 12:06:11 PM

I spent 2 years recovering components from circuit boards for this creep, not a nice person and it was no surprise to hear about his case. My supervisor talked about his outbursts in meetings, he was always trying to intimidate and lead by fear of job loss, power crazed maniac. CE Microsystems failed, but it was a nice place to work, Mike was not an example of their usual leadership.

betterboulder

6/27/2008 2:22:29 PM

Here's some advice to all of you who want to get away with a major crime: First, get some money or get a wealthy family. Second, with all that money, hire Pamela Mackey. (Sure it'll cost you, but you'll get half the time of everyone else. Hey, it worked for Cobe Bryan.) Just follow her advice. It's as easy a pie! She'll probably ask you to do the plea deal thing, and will then coach you to put on a great show of remorse. Your friends and family will also be coached to put on a show of how you're not an SOB, you're actually a prince!........This routine will convince the judge every time!........Hi, I'm Pamela Mackey, and I approve this message.

sn66

6/27/2008 8:25:01 PM

Not even 32 years. Good god.

fgd135

6/27/2008 8:38:13 PM

Hi, my name is Pamela Mackey. If you just killed some one, I have an easy-street plan for you! If you can afford me, I'll get you off the hook! ......................... ....................................Oops, did you just get caught killing your wife, ex-wife, girlfriend, or heck, maybe even your dry-cleaner? Well, don't worry. My name is Pamela Mackey, and I have the plan for you. I can cut your time in the slammer in half! Just call my office, and we'll work it out. Monopoly money not accepted.

sn66

6/27/2008 9:16:37 PM

Two boys have no parents. Isn't that worth mentioning?

inmyriver

6/28/2008 12:10:15 AM

inmyriver, wasn't that worth Mike thinking about BEFORE he killed Laura? Are you suggesting that he not go to prison because that leaves his boys parentless? What kind of message would that send to them? It's not true that ANY parent is better than no parent.

monkeys

6/28/2008 6:39:01 AM

"One act, no matter how terrible the consequences, does not define Mike's entire life,â so says the brother of Alfred Michael Strauss. It sure defined Laura's life. Nor was it an isolated act.

I had hoped for the maximum but I think Judge Mallard had to shave off the few years in order to encourage pleas.

BoulderBorn

6/28/2008 6:50:23 AM

If you are mad about the "lite" sentence this man got for killing his wife then you should be outraged at the sentence this woman got for killing her husband.

A whopping 11 months!....and so much sympathy.

---

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/20/AR2007082001375.html

Reclaiming a Life

She Killed Her Husband, and Though Out of Jail, She's Still Not Free

bobcat77

6/28/2008 6:58:14 AM

You people way over rate his lawyer. The guy will be 71 when his 25 years runs out. I'd hardly call getting out at 71 instead of 76 a great deal assuming he even lives for 25 years more.

rungreger

6/28/2008 9:26:25 AM

I am Laura Swan's brother, Tony. My family wants to thank all of Laura's friends here in Boulder for all the support and love you have showered on my family during Mike's prosocution and sentencing. Like many of you, we were stunned by the audacity of the defense's claims during the sentencing, and the court's imposing of less than the maximum allowable term. It might be true that one act does not define Mr. Strauss's life, but that one act has certainly defined many of ours, and most certainly the life of my sister's sons. Thank you again to all of you.

TONY@SOMETHINGSILVER.COM

6/28/2008 9:45:49 AM

I don't care how old he'll be when he gets out. He shouldn't be getting out at all.

Best wishes to to Laura's family and friends.

Flatirony

6/28/2008 10:54:58 AM

sn66 - I'll bet my last dollar you will call her if you are in trouble!

Sounds to me like she is worth every penny.

skyofrog@hotmail.com

6/28/2008 12:33:47 PM

"don't care how old he'll be when he gets out. He shouldn't be getting out at all."

The point is, the guys lawyer had little to do with the plead or the sentence. Any half baked lawyer could of plead to 2nd degree murder as there was no evidence of premeditation. Had the case went to trial, there never would of been a conviction on 1st degree murder charges and the DA knew that. The judge knew it as well and applied the law and came up with a 25 year sentence. 32 years or the death penalty wouldn't change the tragic outcome.

rungreger

6/28/2008 12:39:54 PM

bobcat77

"If you are mad about the "lite" sentence this man got for killing his wife then you should be outraged at the sentence this woman got for killing her husband.

A whopping 11 months!....and so much sympathy.

---

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

Reclaiming a Life

She Killed Her Husband, and Though Out of Jail, She's Still Not Free"

You don't know anything from this article. Who killed who, who's right who's wrong, who's lying? I'd hardly say the woman had it good. Her life was horrific from the start.

When are you going to look at the root cause of psycho-social situations of so many people in the US?

And what does this article have to do with this family in Boulder with an entirely different paradigm?

lynn_segal_aka_lds

6/28/2008 1:48:12 PM

Buff

Thanks for making me laugh and I hope you can arrange that.

jay1831

6/28/2008 1:54:00 PM

A conviction is a conviction.....nice work BPD and to the Boulder County DA as well.

JoeSmith

6/28/2008 3:43:05 PM

BoulderBorn: It was more than a few years: Judge Ballard went exactly halfsies on the range.

Does it matter that Mike's family got up LIED about him during the sentencing hearing? "He's a good man, he was a good provider, we're a good family, wah wah wah wah" (cue Miss Othmar). I wish I could be the kind of "good provider" Mike was, barely working a few hours a day and letting my parents pay the big bills (well, actually, no--*I* have self respect and a work ethic). On the "good" scale, how does Mike compare to Laura? Did *he* do anything for the community? How many friends did *he* have compared to her? Have people come out of the woodwork talking about *her* issues with anger and violence the way they have for him? Let this be a lesson to all of us... violent tendencies only count if the criminal justice system knows about them. And if you want to lie about losers like Mike, go ahead! The nice people on the other side won't be clued in that they need to challenge the inaccuracies of your statements. Ding ding ding! Bad guy wins, *again*! (Note to the Strauss family: good families generally don't have murderers in them.)

Rungregor, he could serve only half of his sentence (parole, remember?). And it doesn't really matter how old *Mike* is when he gets out--what's far more important is that the boys may not be adults when he is released from prison.

Tony, bless you, your sisters, and your parents. I hope you have a chance to rightfully grieve your tremendous loss now. What an amazing and beautiful person we have all lost.

boulder_mama

6/28/2008 4:13:55 PM

Lynn,

Your link isn't the one I posted.

"You don't know anything from this article. Who killed who, who's right who's wrong, who's lying? I'd hardly say the woman had it good. Her life was horrific from the start."

---

My post was directed at those wanting revenge. I can't find the statistics, but women who kill their husbands average 7 years in jail, while husbands who kill their wives average 22 years in jail. Not much sympathy for men, but a boat load for women as your plea to me about this woman demonstrates.

---

"When are you going to look at the root cause of psycho-social situations of so many people in the US?"

Go for it Lynn, lets hear your feminist psycho-babble about men.

bobcat77

6/28/2008 6:33:59 PM

The victim seems to have a wealth of locquacious siblings. Why is it the aging grandparents who have taken on the task of raising the two boys? Don't any one of the brothers or sisters of Lauara Swan have a stable home and the willingness to raise these kids to maturity?

jazzwoman53

6/28/2008 9:31:32 PM

bobcat77

Look again, my post was a copy of yours, including the link.

I don't have any feminist rantings. I didn't say I sided with her from the article, which doesn't analyze his background. All it does is state that she claims he tried to kill her and she retaliated in self defense. I wasn't in court and don't know how reliable her testimony was.

The statistics you cite are suggestive of an injustice. I don't disagree with that, so I don't get your beef.

I think each case's particulars are determinative of the administration of justice, irrespective of gender.

I do however have psycho-babble, as you call it, as to the misappropriation of wealth in this country.

lynn_segal_aka_lds

6/28/2008 9:42:17 PM

Well Lynn,

It seems we are arguing over minor points about the differences in the two stories, not what I want to do.

My only point was to point out the differences in how society and the legal system treats the different genders with regard to the same crime.

When a woman does it, it's a "crime of passion", and everything from her time of birth is examined to try and explain it, excuse it and justify it.

When a man does it, it's because he is some kind of loser everything from his time of birth is used to try and show what a creep and loser he is.

The irony being that, no one really cares about "justice", only about the relative "goodness" of the two people involved, and getting revenge.

Good to hear that you don't have any feminist rantings, this gives me hope for our future.

bobcat77

6/29/2008 6:43:49 AM

Bobcat77, your attempt to hijack the misery of the Swan family with your spam-like messages is pretty pathetic.

With regard to Laura, Mike, and the Swan family: really, there is little or no negative to say about Laura. There is and always has been plenty of bad to say about Mike. Laura got tangled up with the wrong kind of man, and because she had children with him, she gave him too many second chances to change. She paid for her willingness to forgive with her life. He *was* an abuser. He *was* a creep. He *should* have gotten more years.

Laura is fortunate enough to have amazing parents *and* three surviving siblings *and* extended family beyond that, *all* of whom will contribute to the raising of her sons. Your comments, jazzwoman53, are in pretty poor taste.

boulder_mama

6/29/2008 7:38:50 AM

boulder_mama,

You make my point.

Yep, the general idea is that women are angels and victims and not responsible for anything that happens to them. In any relationship it takes two, to tango.

The divorce courts are often partly to blame for such extreme reactions because of the winner take all policies.

I don't see this forum as a place to try and soothe the misery of the Swan family, and I doubt they would either. Given that you do, I fail to see how your angry vendetta towards the children's father helps the Swan family move forward.

bobcat77

6/29/2008 8:27:27 AM

I am Laura's sister Noelle. First, let me agree with my brother Tony that we have been overwhelmed by the kindness and support from the boulder community and Laura's amazing friends. It's no wonder Laura loved living in Boulder. Now that that has been said, we will never recover from the heinous crime that was committed against Laura. For the past 10 months we followed all the rules, didn't talk to the press, quietly allowed the prosecution take the lead, agreed with them that a plea deal was for the better, and when it was time to make our statements, again, followed the rules by not slandering Mike or bringing up anything negative about him. We were stunned to hear his family lie about him in a court of law, to say he was a good provider, a good successful business man, a positive member of the community, and a father who deserves to be a part of his children's lives, and to basically minimize the depth of our grief. One act may not have defined Mike's life, but it certainly defined my sister's life, her children's life, and our entire family's life. We were further stunned to hear the judge take into account Mike's remorse, something we until that very moment had not seen. I left the court house regretful that we had not pursued the case in court, but now I realize that the Strauss family and their lawyer would have not qualms about painting a saintly view of Mike, the man who brutally murdered a defenseless woman who at the moment of her death was simply trying to figure out why Mike hadn't paid one of the many unpaid hospital bills. As for why one of Laura's siblings aren't raising the boys, for the past ten months we have been mired in social services hell, something I hope none of you reading this will ever experience. It's not as easy as you hope, to take over the care of your sister's children. It involves social workers in two states, fingerprinting, background checks, lawyers, court dates, and more than you can imagine. Rest assured, Mikey and Tommy are loved and well cared for by our entire family and will always know that their mother loved them until she took her last breath.

nsg

6/29/2008 12:11:40 PM

Bobcat- that is a very good point about divorce courts. Courts more than often favor women, unless they are on drugs or homeless.

flabuff227

6/29/2008 12:13:32 PM

OK Bobcat77, lets look at some statistics. Some cold hard facts. Nearly a third of all women murdered in the USA are victims of domestic violence. Compare that to 3% of men killed by domestic violence. The numbers of women killed or injured by an intimate (boyfriend, husband, significant other) compared to that of the number of men killed or seriously injured by their significant other are significantly higher. Now these statistics are only from the FBI and only cover from 1976 to 2004. It is clear from this that the overwhelming number of domestic violence in this country (and abroad for that matter) are perpetrated by men and that women are the victims. It seems to me that you are saying that Laura somehow deserved it or that she was somehow culpable in her own murder, (and that *is* what you are implying by your arguments). That somehow Mike doesn't derserve what he got. And by calling people names (raging feminists-like thats a bad thing) is showing a weak character and poor debating skills on your part.

THE MAJORITY OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PERPETRATORS ARE *MEN*. That is why there seems to be a bias towards women in that situation. Not every case is cut and dry and rest assured that there are good people out there who do try to sort it out and be fair.

http://www.silentwitness.net/sub/violences.htm

The bottom line here is that Mike was a habitual abuser. There was no trail so this wasn't brought out into the public forum as it should have been. None of Mike's former girlfriends ever pressed charges and neither did Laura so it seemed to the judge that this was a moment of madness and completely out of character. I can assure you it was not. As stated before, his family flat out lied about his character. And as for him showing remorse, well he seems to be REALLY good at saying sorry. Even crying crocodile tears. Never once did I hear him say he was sorry that his wife was gone. He did a snow job before on Laura in convincing her that he had changed and there is NO reason so believe that this "one moment" has engendered the change he claimed to have made a year and a half ago.

Justice was not served and the Swan family has been victimized by the system. For those of you who are calling into question the intentions of Laura's siblings-back off. Until you know who they are and just exactly what they are doing to ensure that those two boys are rasied in a healthy nurturing environment, then back off. Pray you are never in that situation!

And Bobcat77, yep I want revenge. I want to feel safe that this brutal MURDERER won't be out and walking the streets in 12.5 years (which is possible with "good behavior"). I want to know that my dear friend's children will be grown before they have to face the possibilty of coming face to face with their murderer father. The burden that Mike has laid on their little shoulders is astounding.

My prayers are with the Swans and Mikey and Tommy.

mountainmama2

6/29/2008 12:17:39 PM

Posted by mountainmama2:

"It seems to me that you are saying that Laura somehow deserved it or that she was somehow culpable in her own murder, (and that *is* what you are implying by your arguments)."

---

It seems to me you have reading comprehension issues.

My comments were directed at the posters wanting a stiffer sentence.

My issue is with the difference in sentencing between the genders.

bobcat77

6/29/2008 4:54:23 PM

But, now that you have brought it up the organization that you linked to gets government funding from the billion dollar a year VAWA trough ONLY as long as they can show women are the victims of men on an ever increasing scale.

Some factoids generated by the feminists that have been proven to be wrong, but are still used.

http://www.mediaradar.org/research.php#waj

According to the FBI, A Woman is Beaten Every (fill in the blank) SECONDS

First, the FBI does not calculate, tabulate, or track data on domestic violence. The FBI once did estimate that a women is beaten every 15 seconds, but they derived this estimate from Murray Straus, Richard J. Gelles, and Suzanne K. Steinmetz's book, Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family.

Various other fact sheets list various other number of seconds. The number of seconds depends on the study (if there actually was one) and how violence was defined. For example, some versions of this factoid state that a women is beaten every 9 seconds and cite a study done by the Commonwealth Fund in July, 1993. The Commonwealth Fund study used the same measure as was used by Straus and his colleagues. Unlike Straus and his colleagues who defined "abuse" as acts of violence that were likely to cause and injury, the Commonwealth Fund defined "abuse" as every thing from pushing, shoving, and slapping to using a gun or knife.

bobcat77

6/29/2008 5:02:49 PM

Article on VAWA

http://www.womensfreedom.org/artic542.htm

bobcat77

6/29/2008 5:18:52 PM

THE MAJORITY OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PERPETRATORS ARE *MEN*.

----

This is a flat out lie.

http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/5/941

Objectives. We sought to examine the prevalence of reciprocal (i.e., perpetrated by both partners) and nonreciprocal intimate partner violence and to determine whether reciprocity is related to violence frequency and injury.

Methods. We analyzed data on young US adults aged 18 to 28 years from the 2001 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which contained information about partner violence and injury reported by 11 370 respondents on 18761 heterosexual relationships.

Results. Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases. Reciprocity was associated with more frequent violence among women (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.9, 2.8), but not men (AOR=1.26; 95% CI=0.9, 1.7). Regarding injury, men were more likely to inflict injury than were women (AOR=1.3; 95% CI=1.1, 1.5), and reciprocal intimate partner violence was associated with greater injury than was nonreciprocal intimate partner violence regardless of the gender of the perpetrator (AOR=4.4; 95% CI=3.6, 5.5).

Conclusions. The context of the violence (reciprocal vs nonreciprocal) is a strong predictor of reported injury. Prevention approaches that address the escalation of partner violence may be needed to address reciprocal violence.

---

http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 219 scholarly investigations: 170 empirical studies and 49 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 221,300.

bobcat77

6/29/2008 5:07:20 PM

What do you have against women? Sounds like you have a BIG chip on your shoulder about women/feminists, etc. Fine you got your own data, I could just as easily discredit yours as you did mine. Bottom line is, women are most likely to be abused than to do the abusing.

I don't think you will find that the majority of the population agrees with you. Across the globe you hear of women being subjugated, discrimated against, not being given the same opportunities, education or pay as men, treated as cattle-nothing more than a possesion. I'm not saying that women can't be violent but your argument that women are equally as violent as men doesn't hold water. Women don't use rape as a method of warfare. Women don't deny men the opportunities that they themselves have. Women now have work that is just as hard outside of the home as men, still do the lions share of the housework and have most of the responsibility to bear and raise the children and we still can't get equal pay or equal treatment. We have a long way to go before there is true equality between men and women. So you whining about the inequality in the justice system in regards to domestic violence doesn't hold a lot of water.

Oh and and why are most serial killers men?

And Mike's sentence was stunningly light in view of the act itself.

mountainmama2

6/29/2008 7:16:03 PM

I could dispute with actual facts most if not all of what you say, but this isn't the time or place.

I don't have anything against women, though I do have a lot against the feminist nonsense you just posted. The truth will empower women, not lies.

It's interesting to watch the feminist woman get their back up against the wall whenever I point out that they aren't victims. You are right, most of society will see you as a victim too, you go girl!

bobcat77

6/29/2008 7:37:09 PM

THE MAJORITY OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PERPETRATORS ARE *MEN*

---

The real truth about domestic violence!!

---

http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/5/941

Objectives. We sought to examine the prevalence of reciprocal (i.e., perpetrated by both partners) and nonreciprocal intimate partner violence and to determine whether reciprocity is related to violence frequency and injury.

Methods. We analyzed data on young US adults aged 18 to 28 years from the 2001 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which contained information about partner violence and injury reported by 11 370 respondents on 18761 heterosexual relationships.

Results. Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases. Reciprocity was associated with more frequent violence among women (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.9, 2.8), but not men (AOR=1.26; 95% CI=0.9, 1.7). Regarding injury, men were more likely to inflict injury than were women (AOR=1.3; 95% CI=1.1, 1.5), and reciprocal intimate partner violence was associated with greater injury than was nonreciprocal intimate partner violence regardless of the gender of the perpetrator (AOR=4.4; 95% CI=3.6, 5.5).

Conclusions. The context of the violence (reciprocal vs nonreciprocal) is a strong predictor of reported injury. Prevention approaches that address the escalation of partner violence may be needed to address reciprocal violence.

http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 219 scholarly investigations: 170 empirical studies and 49 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 221,300.

bobcat77

6/29/2008 6:58:14 PM

How funny! Hot off the press.

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/KathleenParker/2008/06/25/politically_incorrect_domestic_violence

Politically Incorrect Domestic Violence

By Kathleen Parker

"One of the primary myths -- and the one that meets with the most resistance -- is that only men are violent. As I point out in my own book, "Save the Males," women and children indeed suffer the worst injuries and more often die as a result of those injuries. But women initiate violence as often as men."

bobcat77

6/29/2008 8:30:51 PM

Bobcat, at least my comments aren't being removed from the site. You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. I feel sorry for you. To see the world from such a place must be a heavy burden.

Go in peace Bobcat.

mountainmama2

6/30/2008 8:03:10 AM

Interesting?

Why are my links to articles that show women are as violent as men being removed?

bobcat77

6/30/2008 8:05:52 AM

Perhaps Bobcat77 it is inappropriate in this forum. Our friend Laura was a victim of domestic violence. She didn't murder herself-her husband did. Domestic violence is a real issue with horrible consequences. She didn't do anything to deserve it and Mike deserves to pay the maximum sentence. Unfortunately that is not what has happened. It was brutal and unfair and a beautiful, peace loving, mother is gone and her family is left to pick up the pieces. This was a brutal, brutal murder committed by a man. Sorry about whatever has happened to you but it has no bearing on what has happened here.

mountainmama2

6/30/2008 8:51:11 AM

My deepest sympathy to all of Laura's family. I wish everyone knew about all the past abuse. I suppose the decision to accept a plea may have been based on the fact that the prior abuse wasn't reported to the police and would therefore be hard to get into the murder trial. How sad that it wasn't reported. Did Laura feel then that the system would let her down, as it ultimately did after her death? We must all learn from this sad case and urge all women to file charges against their abuser, each and every time, to lay the groundwork for their punishment, if nothing else. Should this murderer get out of prison, he will continue to abuse women and perhaps even kill again. Poor Laura's life was surely worth more than 12.5 years with "good" behavior by this creep.

eshepard

6/30/2008 11:13:17 AM

*Censored*..... well thats one way of getting your point across without any dissenting argument.

The truth about domestic violence is that it's not a gender issue, it's a human one.

You wouldn't be calling for a harsher punishment if the genders were reversed in this case, and I think that your posts, and you and your friends removing mine show that.

It's rather sad that you try so hard condemn this man and at the same time try and shelter women who do the same thing.

I am not defending this man, he got what he deserved. I only wish that women who kill, got the same treatment. Mary Winkler shot her husband in the back while he was sleeping and didn't spend a day in jail and has visitation with her children.

I suppose you think that this is justice...or perhaps some kind of patriarchal revenge, huh mountainmama?

The relative justice or injustice of our system works for everyone and you are not immune, so I wouldn't feel too smug.

bobcat77

6/30/2008 7:33:23 PM

1. I did not, nor did any of my friends censor you. That was the BDC staff. I don't know anyone on the BDC staff. 2. Mike did not get what he deserved. 3. Mary Winkler was abused, her husband was the abuser. 4. Laura was the one being abused. Had she killed Mike instead-I WOULD be asking for a lighter sentence than I am for Mike-not because he is a man and she a woman but because HE abused HER. Believe me, I wish Laura were here and we were having this argument because it was the other way around. 4. every case is not the same. they are all different and it is the job of the DA, lawyers, prosecutors, etc to get the facts. Motovation is a big factor in criminal cases. It's not always as simple as this person killed that person-end of story. There are often mitigating factors-some that work for the defendant and some against. In this case the mitigating factors SHOULD have worked against the defendent but did not. In Mary Winkler's case they worked for her.

Besides it sounds as if you are the one with the victim complex.

Are you familiar with this case or are you just trolling around looking for a fight, someone try and convince that you are right? Just curious as to what your motovation is in presenting this argument in this forum? Why are you so interested in having everyone here come over to your side?

mountainmama2

6/30/2008 9:01:16 PM

I don't know this case, but it sounds as if it was the same as the Wilkler case, in the sense that abuse is claimed without any proof.

I was just minding my business making my gender bias point, when boulder_mama and then you, mountainmama, huh imagine that, ambushed me with your feminist nonsense.

I post on these boards almost everyday, funny how I don't see you here.

I'm the one arguing for truth and justice, you are the one arguing for victim hood and revenge.

bobcat77

6/30/2008 9:34:26 PM

You are right there is no proof. Laura never filed charges. Neither did the previous girlfriend whom he beat. I wish they had. Many many victims of domestic abuse do not report it. Many fear for their lives or the lives of their children. Some are just plain ashamed, as most victims of domestic abuse have very low self esteem. Lack of reporting does not mean the abuse did not happen. This is indeed a problem. Thank you for bringing it to light.

BTW, boulder_mama is one of my closest friends. We were both very good friends of Laura. All mothers. Clever of you to pick up on that.

mountainmama2

6/30/2008 9:45:11 PM

Since you ask, bobcat, Mike was arrested twice, and jailed once for assaulting Laura. At the time of one of the attacks, she was holding her new born son. He was sentenced to anger management classes. He admitted in writing in a letter to Laura's parents to abusing Laura, and promised not to hurt her again, a letter which was read in court on the day of his sentencing. You have every right to your opinions, if your goal is to argue for truth and justice, as you say. Perhaps you might want to be a touch more informed about the cases you are fighting about. Every case is unique. Laura was not Mary Winkler. She was an innocent woman who was ambushed in her own home by a man with anger management and control issues. He brutally attacked her and murdered her with no provocation. It was a brutal murder. This is what he admitted to, and plead guilty to. There is absolutely no reason to question gender bias or anything about Laura. She was the victim, 100%. Even Mike the murderer said this in his statement in court on Friday. Get your facts straight. You need to start trolling another story's message board.

nsg

7/1/2008 10:31:14 AM

Bobcat, If Mike had gotten what he deserved, he would have been stabbed twice in the back and once in the front, then left to die on the courtroom floor. That would have been justice. Barring that, life without parole would have been close. 12.5 years, with "good" behavior, stinks.

eshepard

7/1/2008 1:39:43 PM

Eshepard, don't forget that Mike would also have defensive wounds as he was trying (unsuccessfully) to get out of the courtroom. And the person carrying out this "sentence" would have nary a mark, except where Mike had managed to land a defensive bite as he struggled to get free.

My preferred sentence would be that Mike and Laura switch places.

boulder_mama

7/2/2008 7:37:44 AM

As I read some of these comments, as tears stream down my face as I type this, as I think of Laura's boys, sisters and parents, I am filled with the same grief, pain and rage that has been a constant part of me since last August when I learned that my beautiful friend was dead.

Laura, I miss you and grieve for you more than any words posted on an internet board could every possibly convey.

You are a part of me.

You touched everyone you came in contact with and I was so lucky and so blessed to have shared so much with you. So much laughter, so much of our youth, so much fun and silly drama and hilarity and love.

Mike should never see the outside of a prison cell until the day he dies and they wheel him out. I don't think he will ever truly understand that his actions left the world a little bit darker, a little bit colder...forever changed for so many people.

All the love I have goes to the Swan family.

Jessica

JessicaD

7/7/2008 5:03:22 PM