I recently read Steven Lake’s obituary on line.  In it, I learned that Steven was a loving father, devoted husband and all around great guy to be with.  Heck, it even says “his life was lived by doing things with his wife and children.”   Notice what’s missing however; the fact that he died by his own hand after executing his wife and children, just as he had threatened he’d do.

I had wondered in an earlier post about the friends and families of those who murder their loved ones.  Why they fail to see any signs until it’s too late, only to tell the world after the event how loving and wonderful the perpetrator was, how surprised they were.  Never saw it coming, etc.  Is it fear on their part, that they might have to face awful questions like why didn’t you help stop this?  Or maybe they fear that they’ll be held accountable for rearing the monsters capable of killing their own children.  I’m not sure, but I do know this; Steven’s father George has some serious soul searching to do.  The obituary was in the paper before those of Steven’s wife and children and it seems to be nothing more than a pathetic attempt at P.R. or image rehabilitation.

As tasteless as that was, George really pissed me off with this statement to the Bangor Daily News;  “I can’t imagine a man loving his children as much as Steven loved his.”  Hey George? Up yours.  I’m sure you’re heartbroken over the death of your son and grandchildren, but what your son displayed wasn’t love.  It was control and obsession, and the root of the reasons why his marriage fell apart.  Trust me George, real men never harbor images or thoughts of killing their children.  There are millions of men out there struggling through painful divorces, trying their best to still be the kind of father their children need and deserve.  Your son was nowhere near that type of man.

George is sure that the legal system is to blame for his son’s killing rage, by denying him the chance to see the children he so desperately loved. He threatens his wife and children at gunpoint and then tells his wife that he’ll “do things to her with a knife you wouldn’t do to a farm animal” and all George can say is that Steven “had regrets.”  That George can’t imagine a man loving his children more than Steven, who shot his 12-year-old daughter in the face, tells me a great deal about George and the man he raised.

Maybe it's just me, but Steven and his son don't look too happy....

As I follow this case through the blogosphere, I see a lot of different arguments out there that I think miss the point entirely.  Some want to make this about gun control.  But Steven Lake went to the home with weapons other than a gun, as well as fuel to burn the place down.  As we’ve seen with other hideous crimes, when someone has decided to kill, any weapon will do.  Even their bare hands.

Some blogs are bickering about how it’s in the male psyche to murder their wives and children.  There, the back and forth is about who murders their children more, men or women.   While still others are looking for blame in the family court system, the same argument that George Lake is using.

I would like a different discourse.  I want to know why we have only a piece of paper to protect the innocent.  A protective order?  Why was this man allowed on the streets until his trial?  Did he not show the will to threaten his wife and children with death before?  Why should we not take him at his word?  Once again, we allow the rights of criminals to trump those of innocent members of society.  Yes, I understand that he wasn’t convicted.  I understand he was out on bail.  But I also understand that his wife and two children all testified that he had held them at gunpoint before and he had told them what he intended to do.  He even told his young son Coty that a divorce from his mother would only cost 29 cents, the price of a bullet.  He was not going to let his case go to trial next month.

The courts made sure we protected Steven’s rights by letting him have bail.  Then we covered Amy, Coty and Monica with a piece of paper and hoped for the best.

 

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