An Unmarked Grave

Voices of the Present and Future has recently been reading about the 751 unmarked graves found at the site of a former residential school in Saskatchewan. If you haven’t been following the news, please continue reading this post as this discovery just comes weeks after the remains of 215 children were found at a similar residential school in British Columbia.

A statement was given by Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. He said he was “terribly saddened” by the discovery in Saskatchewan. He also said it was “a shameful reminder of the systematic racism, descrimination, and injustice that indigenous peoples have faced.”

Between the years of 1863 and 1998, there were more than 150,000 indigenous children that were taken from their families and placed in these schools throughout Canada. Often, these children were not allowed to speak their language or to practice their culture. Many being abused and mistreated.

A former residential school student, Florence Sparvier, spoke at a press conference stating, ” They made us believe we didn’t have souls. They were putting us down as people, so we learned to not like who we were.”

A commission that was launched in 2008 to document the impacts of this system, found that large numbers of indigenous children never returned to their home communities. The practice amounted to cultural genocide. In 2008, the Canadian government formally apologized for the system, although this does not bring back the lives that were lost or to quote the words used, “the souls” that were lost.

Chief Delorme said there may have once been markers for the graves but the Roman Catholic Church, which oversaw the cemetary, may have removed them. It is not yet determined if all of these unmarked graves are those of children.

There was an estimated 6,000 children who died while attending these schools. The students were often housed in poorly built, poorly heated, and unsanitary facilities. There was also physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the school authorities which led other children to run away.

I urge you to take a moment of silence for the lives of those lost and prayers that identities will be provided for the unmarked graves that have been found.

Thank you for following Voices of the Present and Future today.

THE ART FORM OF SHORT STORIES

Voices of the Present dares to bring you a little something different to the table today. I am working on a short story course and I thought (by chance) some of you may just benefit from the course as well.

“A novel is a daily labor of love over a period of years. A novel is job. But a story can be like a mad, lovely visitor, with whom you spend a rather exciting weekend.”

-Lorrie Moore

In writing a short story, you can be bolder, wilder, than you might dare be with a novel where you’re buckled in for the long hual. The brevity of the form of short stories allows for experimentation. You can write lots of short stories, and try lots of different things.

Some authors are famous mainly for their short stories. They include: Alice Munro, Flannery O’Conner, Charles Baxter, Eudora Welty, Raymond Carver, Mary Robison, John Cheever, and Kelly Link. This is only to name a few.

If you are like me, and are interested in publishing your fiction, short stories may be a good way to start. There are many literary magazines that publish short stories. There is a searchable directory here: https://www.pw.org/literarty_magazines

Publishing our short stories in magazines may allow us to build a trach record as a professional author that can also attract the attention of literary agents.

I CAN ONLY ADVISE YOU AS I AM BEING ADVISED IN MY COURSE.

WRITING PROCESS:

As we sit down to write the first draft of our story, it states that it is probably not helpful to think too much about story-writing technique.

The teaches advised not to worry about coming up with a great beginning or writing nice sentences. We will deal with all of that later, during the revision stage.

Our first draft is for generating raw material. To turn off the analytical, judging part of our brains and tap into our imaginations. To try to lose ourselves in the daydream of the story.

I ASK YOU TO JOIN ME AS I WORK THROUGH THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT, AS I HAVE GIVEN IT TO YOU FOR FREE.

ASSIGNMENT:

We are to throw a problem at a character and see what happens.

STEP 1: Choose a name for your character. Then, imagine some more details about this person, such as:

  • age
  • profession
  • physical description
  • positive personality traits
  • negative personality traits

STEP 2: Come up with three ideas for problems the character might face.

EXAMPLES:

  • lost cat
  • inappropriate feelings for his mother-in-law
  • ghost haunting her attic

STEP 3: Choose one of the problem ideas, and make it as specific as possible. (If your idea is aready specific, you can skip this step)

EXAMPLES:

  • If the problem is low self-esteem a more specific version might be: “wants to ask out the barrista at his local coffee house, but can’t believe any woman would ever be interested in him.”
  • If the problem is money trouble, a more specific version might be: “lost her job, needs rent money in one week to avoid eviction.”

STEP 4: How might your character react to the problem? Come up with three ideas.

STEP 5: Now, pick one of the ideas from step 4. The character is doing it. Take a few minutes to imagine the scene. Play it like a movie in your head.

STEP 6: Now, you’re going to write one sentence about something in the scene you just imagined. This sentence should either describe a physical action, or else it should be a line of dialogue.

STEP 7: The sentence you wrote for step 6 is going to be the first line of a story. It’s okay if it comes from the middle or the end of a scene! Use it as your starting point, and see what happens.

I ASK YOU TO JOIN ME IN THIS PROCESS AND COME UP WITH IDEAS TOGETHER. WE CAN LEARN THIS PROCESS TOGETHER.

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST AND WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE WORKING THROUGH THESE LESSONS WITH ME LEAVE A COMMENT.

Statistically Speaking

Voices of the present and the future wants to offer you a little insight into the statistics of serial killers. According to research (via Discover; and Radford University’s Mike Aamodt), there are fewer serial killers on the prowl since the dawn of the new century. If we look at the 1980’s we were at a high point with almost 770, that we know of, that we operating across the U.S. during the decade. That number dropped during the 1990’s and yet again in the 2000’s, and by 2016, there had been only about 100 that had popped up in the prior decade. So, this has to be some good news for some of you who may suffer from regular nightmares that may involve being stalked or attacked by a serial killer. You can rest at ease, at least a little.

I want to offer you a few theories that police have put out there that may explain just what may be going on. It involves things like the advances in investigative methods and forensic science, a higher chance of getting caught, and being linked definintively to more crimes, there is stricter sentencing. There are also factors like cell phones and an increased connectivity between parents and children that make picking out victims a little more difficult these days. It is possible that our young kids and teens who have the potential to grow up to become serial killers are instead seeking help they need first.

We can’t say there aren’t any serial killers out there, because ther are, as well as new ones popping up. In addition to the ones who have managed to elude police and capture for a long time.

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT WHO A FEW OF THEM ARE:

WE HAVE THE I-70 KILLER, who between April 8 and May 7, 1992, shot and killed six people along the stretch of I-70. There were striking similarities between these victims. Five of them were women and the police believe the sixth was mistaken for woman when the killer saw his long pony tail. All were brunettes, and all were employees at stores just off the highway. They were also all killed with a .22 caliber bullet. There had been no sexual assault, no major thefts, and witnesses were able to give a description of a man seen entering the stores before the murders. The spring of 2022 marks the 30-year anniversary of the still-unsolved murders.

WE ALSO HAVE THE EASTBOUND STRANGLER. On November 20, 2006, the bodies of four women had been beaten and neatly discarded behind the Golden Key Motel in a Subur outside of Atlantic City. The women had been fully clothed, except for their shoes and socks, and they had been positioned face down in a line behind the motel. They all had been strangled. This killer is still out there and a $25,000 reward has been issued for information leading to the killers arrest.

WE MOVE ON TO THE WEST MESA MURDERS. These murders stated back in 2001, when women started going missing more often than usual. Almost a decade late, on February 2, 2009, a woman came across a human bone, leading to a crime scene no one could imagine. Eleven victims of the “West Mesa Bone Collector” wouldn’t be identified for another 11 years. Eleven women and one child were found and identified. The West Mesa Bone Collector’s idenity still remains a mystery and the investigation is still ongoing. There is a $100,000 reward being offered for information about the killer.

There are many more as you will soon learn if you continue reading my blog. I urg you to follow the conversation and subscribe or leave a comment. Thank you to all my followers!

TIME TRAVEL

In this post I wanted to change it up a bit and pose a bit of a different question. This post is dedicated to Voices of the Future.

Is Time Travel Possible?

Science says that time travel is possible, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. What do I mean? Let me explain!

The short answer is yes, time travel is possible. You are doing it right now. Hurting into the future at the impressive rate of one second per second. You are pretty much always moving through time at the same speed, whether you are watching TV, watching paint dry, or wishing you had more hours to visit with a friend from out of town.

BUT this isn’t the kind of time travel that has captivated countless science fiction writers, or spurred a genre so extensive that Wikipedia lists over 400 titles of “Movies about TIme Travel”.

Althoug many people are fascinated by the idea of changing the past or seeing the future before it’s due, no person has ever demonstrated the kind of back-and-forth time travel seen in science fiction, or proposed a method of sending a person through significant periods of time that wouldn’t destroy them on the way.

“The best evidence we that time travel is not possible, and never will be, is that we have not been invaded by hordes of tourists from the future.”

Stephen Hawking- Books ‘Black Holes and Baby Universes’

Time is an illusion that moves relative to an observer. An observer traveling near the spead of light will experience time, with all its aftereffects (boredom, aging, etc.) much more slowly than an observer at rest.

Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

This theory is why astronaut Scott Kelly aged ever so slightly less over the course of a year in orbit than his twin brother who stayed on Earth.

There are other theories out there but for the most part time travel remains the domain of an ever-growing array of science fiction books, movies, television shows, comics, video games and more.

SO, I ASK YOU…DO YOU THINK TIME TRAVEL WILL EVER BE POSSIBLE?

STRUGGLES

Ok guys, I had a week long full of family struggles. I’m sure you all have been through the same. We are a community and we should support one another and not forget to reach out and be there. I found a short story I wanted to share with you.

THE BUTTERFLY

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Until it suddenly stoppeeed making progress and looked like it was stuck.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, although it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man didn’t think anything of it and say there waiting for the wings to enlarge to support the butterfly. But that didn’t happen. The butterfly spent the rest of its life unable to fly, crawling around with tiny wings and a swollen body.

Despite the kind heart of the man, he didn’t understand that the restricting cocoon and the struggle needed by the butterfly to get itself through the small opening; were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings to prepare itself for flying once it was out of the cocoon.

MORAL:

Our struggles in life develop our strengths. Without struggles, we never grow and never get stronger.

HANNIBAL THE CANNIBAL

Hello my inquiring minds! Today I have for you a pretty interesting case. It involves a man named Robert Maudsley, an English serial killer. He killed four people, with three of those killings taking place in prison after he received a life sentence for murder.

If this sounds right up your alley and if you want to learn how he earned the nickname Hannibal the Cannibal continue reading….

Robert Maudsley was one of 12 children, born in Speke, Liverpool. He spent his early years in a Catholic orphanage in Crosby. His parents came and got him at the age of eight when he was then subject to routine physical abuse until social services eventually removed him from his parents care. He had later stated that as a child he was raped. Such early abuse had left deep psychological scars.

In the late 1960’s, when Maulsley was a teenager, he was a sex worker in London using his his income to support his drug addiction. After several suicide attempts, he was forced to seek psychiatric help. During one of these conversations with the doctors, he claimed to hear voices telling him to kill his parents. he is quoted as saying, “If I had killed my parents in 1970, none of these people would have died.”

MURDERS:

A man named John Farrell had picked up Maudsley in 1974, in Wood Green, London. Farrell picked up Maudsley for sex and showed him pictures of children he had sexually abused. Maudsley garrotted Farrell (form or strangulation by wire or metal). He then surrendered himself to the police, saying that he needed psychiatric care. Maudsley was found unfit to stand trial and was sent to Broadmoor Hospital.

In 1977 Maudsley and another resident, David Cheeseman, locked themselves in a cell with a third patient named David Francis who was a convicted child molester. Mauldsley and David Cheeseman tortured David Francis to death over a period of nine hours. After this incident, Mauldsley was convicted of manslaughter and sent to Wakefield Prison. He had disliked the transfer and made it clear he had wanted to return to Broadmoor. Maudsley was later sentenced to life imprisonment with recommendation that he never be released.

NOW in my opinion, this man told them he needed psychiatric care. WHY on earth didn’t they keep him in a locked psychiatric facility under careful watch? Get this man the help he needed?

In 1978 Maudsley would kill two more fellow prisoners at Wakefield Prison in just one day. His first victim would be Salney Darwood, who was convicted of the manslaughter of his wife. Maudsley had invited Darwood into his cell, he then garrotted and stabbed him before hiding his body under his bed. He then tried to lure other prisoners into his cell, but they refused. He then prowled the wing hunting for a second victim, eventually cornering and stabbing a prisoner, William Roberts, to death, by hacking at Robert’s skull with a makeshift dagger and struck his head against the wall multiple times. Maudsley would then calmly walk into the wing office, place the dagger on the table and tell the officer that the next roll call would be two short.

In 1983, Maudsley was deemed too dangerous for a normal cell. The prison authorities built a two-cell unit in the basement of Wakefield Prison. Due to his history of violence, when he was outside of his cell he was escorted by at least four prison officers.

NOW ON TO WHY “HANNIBAL the CANNIBAL” : Initials reports had falsely stated that he ate part of the brain of one of the men he killed in prison, which earned him the nickname among the British press and “The Brain Eater” amongst other prisoners. However, the Press Complaints Commission records that national newspapers were subsequently advised that the allegations were utrue, according to the autopsy report.

PLEASE JOIN ME NEXT TIME AND FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS AND SUBSCRIBE.

Why Was He Released?

As it so often goes for me, life happens and I had to put my blog and my book on hold. We had a family emergency; one of our little grandbabies had to go into the hospital and stay for a few days and that left me being momma, which I haven’t been to little kids in a long time. They are attention seekers, and when I tried to get some work done, it was Mimi, look at me.

I am back now, and the grandbabies are all fine and well; so, Voices, past, present, and future is going to bring to you the story of the most prolific serial killer, Samuel Little.

I ask you to PLEASE JOIN ME as we dive into his early life:

Born June 7, 1940, to a mother, he claimed, was a prostitute, in Reynolds, Georgia. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Lorain, Ohio, where he was mainly raised by his grandmother. Little had problems with discipline and achievement, and by his own account, he began having sexual fantasies about strangling women when he was just a child. He remembers this starting in kindergarten when he saw his teacher touch her neck; as a teenager, he collected true crime magazines depicting women being choked.

Little was convicted of breaking and entering into property in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1956, and was then held in an institution for juveninile offenders. He then moved to Florida to live with his mother in the late 1960’s, and by his own accounts, stated he worked at various times as a cemetary worker and an ambulance attendant. He then said he “began traveling more widely and had more run-ins with the law”, being arrested in eight states for crimes that included: driving under the influence, fraud, shoplifting, solicitation, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and rape. Little claimed that he took up boxing during his time in prison, referring to himself as a former prizefighter.

As you continue to read, see if you agree with me, that there is something wrong with the amount of times this man was arrested and only sentenced to a couple years and then released to only do something more dangerous and haneous to someone else and then then as you read the judicial system will fail again. He should have been sentenced to some kind of psychiatric treatment early on during his earlier incarcerations, but I know they didn’t do that then.

In 1961, Little was incarcerated for three years for breaking into a furniture store in Lorain and released in 1964. By 1975, Little had been arrested 26 times in 11 states for crimes includng theft, assault, attempted rape, fraud, and attacks on government officials.

In 1982, He was arrested in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and charged with MURDER of a 22-year old woman who had gone missing in September of that year. A grand jury had declined to indict him for her murder, however, while he was under investigaton, he was extradicted to Florida and tried for the murder of a 26-year old woman whose body was found in September 1982. A prosecution witness identified Little as a person who had spent time with the woman on the night before her disappearance, but due to mistrust of the witness’s testimony, Little was acquitted in January 1984.

Little then moved to California where he stayed in the vacinity of San Diego. In October 1984, he was arrested yet again, for kidnapping, beating, and strangling a 22-year-old woman who survived. One month later, Little was found, by police, in the back seat of his car, with an unconscious woman, also beaten and strangled, in the same location as the attempted murder. Little only served two and a half years in prison for both crimes.

I hope it’s not just me but something is wrong with that sentencing because:

In February 1987, Little immediately moved to Los Angeles and committed at least to additional murders when he was released.

Little was again arrested on September 5 2012 at a homeless shelter in Louisville Kentucky, and then extradicted to California to face a narcotics charge. Authorities used DNA testing and established that he was involved in the murders of three women. All three women were killed and later found on the streets of Los Angeles. Little was extradicted to Los Angeles where he was charged on January 7, 2013. A few months later, the police said Little was being investigated for the involvement in three dozen murders that were committed in the 1980’s, which until then had been undisclosed. The murder case in Mississippi, due to the connection, was reopened.. In total, Little was tested for the involvement in 93 murders of women committed in many of our United Stated.

I wish that after three strikes, the judicial system would have seen that this man was a problem and was going to get worse. Many lives could have been saved.

Little was found guilty on September 25, 2014 and before his death was serving a life sentence at the California State Prison, Los Angeles County. He later confessed to many more murders in hopes of a transfer.

I hope that you enjoyed my return article and will join me next time. Please support my blog and others by joining the conversation.

Bayou Strangler

Good Morning my fellow followers and subscribers. If you are a first time visitor, I Thank You for taking time out of your day for visiting.

Voices, Past, Present, and Future is taking a look at the Bayou Strangler. Despite the number of victims of this serial killer, her received little publicity outside of the state of Louisiana because it took place shortly after Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive hurricane in U.S. history.

Born January 9, 1964 to two poor laborers; the youngest of two children. Ronald Joseph Dominique lived in Thibodaux, Louisiana, in a trailor park, located on the outskirts of the city. Because of the family financial circumstances, he lived out his childhood and adolescence in poverty but still managed to graduate high school in 1983. He studied Computer Science at Nicholls State University, but quickly lost interest and dropped out in the mid 1980’s.

As we dive into Ronald Dominique’s psyche when he was younger we will find that he was known for his melancholic temperament, a lack of communication skills and a weight of problems. These couples with his low self-esteem and poor heath made him a target for bullying. He sand in the school choir but despite this he was still considered an unpopular social outcast since he didn’t play sports, didn’t do drugs or drink alcohol. Shortly before he left school, he discovered he was gay, and visited a local gay bar several times. Several of his classmateshad seen him there and this resulted in harrassmen, and he vehemently denied these accusations of being homosexual.

FIST OFFENSES:

JUNE 12,1985, Dominique was arrested on charges of sexual harrassment via telephone. He had to pay a $75 fine.

Because of his lack of education, he was forced to engage in low-skilled labor for many years, and struggled to hold down jobs due to his disciplinary issues. He was unwilling to keep a job for a long period of time, so he survived by living off relatives and other people’s income, mainly his mother and older sister, living with each of them for a period of time.

MAY 1994, he was arrested for drunk driving, but again was only charged a fine for these offenses.

AUGUST 25, 1996, Dominque was arrested when a young, partially naked, youth male, jumped out of the window of Dominique’s sister’s home window, where Dominique was living at the time. This young male told a neighbor that Dominique had raped and attempted to kill him. Bail was set at $100,000, but when the case was transferred to the court, the prosecutors were unable to locate the young male or establish his identity which eventually resulted in the case’s dismissal in November of that year.

FEBRUARY 10, 2002, Dominique was arrested again for assaulting a woman in Terrebonne Parish during a Mardi Gras Festival. He claimed that the woman had hit a baby stroller in one of the parking lots due to her dangerous driving, after which he had began an argument with her, demanding an apology. After she apologized, he punched her in the face. He was charged, but the case was again dropped, after an agreement of reconcilliation was reached between him and the woman.

Due to various circumstances, Dominique was often looked down upon even by the local gay community. He used to frequent the gay bars, spending most of his time there, often dressing as singer Patti LaBelle, whom he was a great fan of.

MURDERS:

Most victims tended to be teenagers and men between 16 and 46, not all of them being homosexual. Most of them were African American. He would often meet them during his walks oves in his pick up truck, as well as in gay bars, luring them with offers of alcohol, drugs, housing, or group sex with his supposed girlfriend. After convincing them, he would lure them to his trailer where he would overpower them, bind them, and rape them. When he was finished with them, he strangled them to death, loaded them in the back of his truck and dumped them in a remote rural area in one of six nearby parishes.

I could continue with the details of each murder, while I find it gruesome in nature, I don’t feel the need to do that. What I do want to tell you is that this man killed AT LEAST 23 men and boys in the state of Louisiana between the years of 1997 and 2006. On September 23, 2008, THANKFULLY, Dominique was found guilty an sentenced to several terms of life imprisonment without parole for his crimes. Following his conviction, the FBI stated that Dominique was the most significant serial homicide case in the country over the past decades in terms of both death toll and duration.

Thank You for joining me! Join me next time on our journey through the past, present, and future!

What Would Justice Have Been for You?

As we identify the term: SERIAL KILLER, we know that a serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, in two or more seperate events over a period of time, for primarily psychological reasons. There can be gaps of time between the killings, which may range from a few days to months, or many years. With this in mind let’s travel to Mexico where bone fragments of at least 17 victims were found at a suspectedd serial killers home.

Investigators who were digging under the house of a suspected serial killers house found 3,787 bone fragments, that apparently beonged to 17 different victims. The prosecutors in Mexico, which borders Mexico City, suggest that their grisly finds may not end there. ID’s cards and other possessions from people who disappeared years ago were found at this junk-filled home, suggesting that the trail of killings may go back years.

The suspect that the authorities identified as “Andres” was a former butcher, which makes sense considering that the bone fragments found underneath the home may have been hacked into small pieces and his last victim, he sectioned and filleted.

This serial killer’s last victim was a 34-year-old woman, also the wife of a police commander whom the suspect knew personally. The suspect had accompanied the woman on a shopping trip the day she disappeared, which led her husband to suspect him when she failed to return home. This is how they learned who the serial killer was. The police-officer had gained access to the police surveillance cameras showing that his wife had entered, but not left, the street where the suspect lived. The policeman went to the home, confronted the suspect, and found his wife’s hacked up body inside. This would not be all that they would find.

Investigators would also find women’s clothing, voter ID’s, and audio and video tapes suggesting that he may have recorded his victims. The format of the video tapes found at the suspects house suggest how far the killings may go back: 28 8mm video tapes, which were discontinued around 2007 and 25 VHS cassettes, which fell out of favor by 2016. It is known though, that outdated tech formats ofted remain in use in Mexico after they have been abandoned in other countries. In total the prosecutors have found 91 photographs, many of the type that would have been used to obtain ID cards; eight cell phones, and women’s jewelry and makeup.

As I learned of this story I couldn’t even imagine what was going through this officer’s mind when he walked into this man’s home and found his wife. I don’t know if this man would have even made it to stand trial for these killings. I can only assume he sought justice not only for himself but for the families of the other victims and the victims themselves. Although, I can’t say without offending readers what I believe proper justice would have been.

Thank You for joining me and I apologize for the delay in my post. I appreciate my subscribers and followers for sticking with me and staying true. Join me next time for a doosy!

Was Divorce the Real Issue?

Voices, past, present, and future is going to take you into the life of Robert William Fisher. As I dive into the Most Wanted List, I am finding that more and more of these fugitives used to be or were part of the military or some version of the government. It brings up the question, in mind alone or maybe yours as well, that something happens in the mind of these people during their time in service that makes it hard, unusually hard, to cope with a normal life’s pressures. That their only recourse to troubles is what they were trained to do, elliminate the problem.

Robert William Fisher served in the United States Navy and then later worked as a firefighter and then in the medical field. For someone with this caliber of background it is hard to imagine the crimes he has committed against those he professed to love so much.

Fisher married Mary Fisher in 1987, and then they had two children, Bobby and Brittney. It is said they had a difficult family life. Fisher was described as being cruel and controlling towards his family, and on many occasions, he was reported as exhibiting disturbing and violent behavior. It is known that he was unfaithful to his wife at least once during their marriage. What is believed is that his own parents had divorced when he was 15, and that this was what had played the role in the difficulties that Fisher would later experience in his life.

On April 10, 2001 the Fisher family home exploded. Inside were Fisher’s wife and two children. Their throats had been slit and Mary had been shot in the back of her head. Robert Fisher and his wife’s car were missing. Fisher was named the one and only suspect in his family’s murders. Mary’s car would be discovered on April 20, in a forest near Payson, Arizona. On June 29, 2002 Robert Fisher would be named the 475th by the FBI on the Ten Most Wanted list and on November 3, 2021 he would be removed from this list, although he still remains a wanted fugitive.

As we take a look into Robert Fisher’s early life and what is believed to have played a part in the change in his psche to cause such haneous acts against his family, we find that his parents divorce may have been the trigger. For most, in the beginning a divorce is traumatic for children, but for Fisher, it had a lasting effect.

Robert Fisher was born April 13, 1961, in Brooklyn, New York to William Fisher, a banker, and mother Jan Howell. He has two sisters. His parents divorced in 1976, when he was 15, and after this , he and his sisters went to live with their father in Arizona. According to friends and relatives, the divorce had been turbulent and had a long-lasting effect on Fisher. He and his sisters attended Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Arizona, and Fisher’s friends from high school stated that he was “very bitter” about the divorce.

While Fisher worked at the Mayo Clinic Hospital, close to the time of the murders, he had reportedly spoke with co-workers about this parents’ separation, and confided in an associate that his life would have been different had his mother, Jan, not left the family.

Before the murders, Fisher had enlisted in the United States Navy and attempted to become part of the SEALS, but he was nont successful. He is said to be an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and fisherman. (again with the dating profile) Fisher later would become a firefighter in California, but later be forced to retire due to a back injury. Fisher would then move his family to Arizona and embark on a career in the medical field, where he worked as a surgical catheter technician, and respiratory therapist. He had been a surgical technician at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale at the time of these murders.

Fisher would marry, Mary Cooper in 1987, and be described as a cruel and distant control freak toward his family. He and his wife would often fight about sex and money, (typical of marriage problems). Mary would take a job, and told friends this was a “security fund”. It was said that Fisher at one point had taken a garden hose, turned it on Mary because he perceived her to have spoken out of turn. Fisher had been embarrassed by his son’s lack of enthusiasm for hunting and fishing, and had once tried to teach Bobby and Brittany how to swim by throwing them off of a boat. Fisher’s hunting partner, Sandy Gillespie said, “They were crying, and Brittany was screaming, anad he pulled them back in the boat and he said, ‘Now there, how’s that?”

Robert Fisher would not allow his the walls of the house to be painted anything other than white, and only a small number of pictures would be allowed on the walls. Mary’s friend, Kimberly Sue Davidson, had told the police, “Several times Mary had special things, like quilts, she was not allowed to hang them up. She had to store them in the closet. And then he would continually tell her, isn’t it time you got rid of this stuff?”

Fisher tried to hold on to an image as a devoted family man, although Mary’s mother, Ginny Cooper, told the investigators theat, “Fisher didn’t socialize often with family because of a fear of getting too close to people and losing them.” Fisher’s own mother, Jan, stated that she was a “yes-sir” wife who did not stand up to Fisher’s father. She had also stated that she had seen similar dynamics early on in Fisher’s marriage to Mary and that she did speak about her concerns. A close friend of Fisher’s stated that his family, Mary and the kids, bore a striking resemblance to that of his childhood.

I think back to some things that happened in my childhood. We all have something that resembles a traumatic event. I am thankful that I didn’t take the things my mother imposed on me as a young child and do those things to my own children. I took what I had been through and chose not to let my own children ever live a life like I had to live. While my memories are still very vivid and cause depression at time, I broke that cycle. I only wish Fisher had done the same and spared the lives of his family and just walked away.

What bothers me is that friends and family had noticed Fisher exhibiting disturbing behavior when he was a young adult. He had been an outdoorsman and hunter and friends noticed his behavior on hunting trips and other outdoor activities. In one case, after he had killed and Elk, Fisher began smearing its blood on his face. On at least one occasion, Fisher had sneaked up behind a family that was picnicking and emptied his gun in the air.

The acts of this one man do not stop here. Fisher, in contrast to Mary, had been an active participant in the Scottsdale Baptist Church men’s ministry, but began to withdraw from the activities just a few months before the murders. In 1998, he had gone to the senior pastor for marital counseling. He had told co-workers of a one-night affair with a prostitute he met while at a massage parlor, fretting that Mary would find out that this was the cause of a urinary tract infection that had left him ill for several days in December of 2000. Some of his friends stated that in 1998, he spoke of committing suicide because he despaired over the condition of his marriage. Wade Rencsok, a former neighbor, stated, “They screamed constantly. Everyone heard it. You could hear it in the house next door, and you never really heard him scream, which is kind of weird. I mean, he had a way about him, but you never heard him scream. You always hheard his wife screaming, things like, ‘ You’re worthless. I could have done better than you. We should get a divorce.”

According to psychologists, an intense fear of loss is not unusual among individuals who were traumatized by divorce in adolescence. Mary had told several friends that she was going to divorce Fisher in the weeks before the murders. Fisher had told a hunting companion that he was renewing his commitment to his faith and his marriage because he “could not live without his family”, possibly hinting that he would consider suicide over divorce.

Investigators theorized that Fisher murdered his family because he felt threatened by Mary’s intention to divorce him, and did not want Brittney and Bobby to go through what he did as a child.

While I could continue with the theories about his possible suicide or the possibility that he used his hunting and survival skills to live in the woods for a time after the murders, I would rather turn attention to the fact that we all know someone with a disturbing mental condition or someone who struggles with depression. While I feel that if I had gotten treatment for depression as a child and dealt with my traumatic events, I could have been a more social person earlier on in life and succeeded just a bit more than I have now.

I urge you, help your friends, your family, to seek help if they are in need. Help the children of your community to overcome and be who they should be and who they can be.

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