Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dennis Dechaine in Court Today

Dennis Dechaine did what we call, "Confession by Pronoun" while testifying on his own behalf, in the 1988 murder trial where he was found guilty of the killing of a young girl, Sarah Cherry.

He was alleging to be alone in the woods when he spoke from the Free Editing Process and said, "We were losing daylight..."

today is his last chance using the same attempt to throw doubt on his case that Mary Lacy tried in the Jonbenet Ramsey case.

PORTLAND, Maine — Convicted murderer Dennis Dechaine is scheduled for hearings in Portland Superior Court on Thursday and Friday for what could be his final bid for a new trial in the 1988 torture and murder of then 12-year-old Sarah Cherry.
Rockland-based lawyer Steven C. Peterson, who represents Dechaine, said Wednesday that months of DNA analysis will be the subject of the hearings, during which he’ll argue that the evidence implicates a man other than Dechaine — someone who was identified by Dechaine’s defense team years ago as an alternative suspect.
In response to emailed questions from the BDN, Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said Wednesday that he isn’t convinced the DNA evidence will lead to a new trial for Dechaine nor implicate an alternative suspect. Stokes has long maintained that more recent DNA analysis can’t erase the evidence against Dechaine and that the right man is in prison for the crime.
Peterson conceded that the prospect of winning a new trial for Dechaine is wrought with challenges.
“I have to be frank, the burden is on us to present clear and convincing evidence to show that a jury would have come to a different conclusion [had they seen the DNA evidence],” said Peterson. “We certainly feel that a jury may well have.”
In 2006, the Legislature enacted a law involving appeals of criminal cases that depend on new DNA evidence. It requires defendants to prove in court that the new DNA evidence only could have come from the perpetrator of the crime and that the DNA evidence must be strong enough to outweigh other evidence in the case.
DNA evidence was not presented in the original 1989 trial because the judge who has presided over the case through the years, Justice Carl O. Bradford, did not allow the defense to present alternative suspect arguments.
Dechaine and his supporters have tried to exonerate the former Bowdoinham farmer through numerous methods from arguments that time-of-death analysis in 1988 suggested Dechaine was in police custody when Cherry died to the contention that Dechaine was framed. But Peterson said advances in DNA analysis since 1989 have produced a more convincing argument for Dechaine’s innocence than he has ever had. Peterson said defense witnesses will testify beginning 9 a.m. Thursday, followed by the state’s witnesses on Friday.
Peterson said he has acquired a pure sample of an alternative suspect’s DNA — whom he can’t identify because of a court order — and that it is a partial match to some of the DNA collected from evidence found on Cherry’s body, which was discovered partially buried in a wooded area in Bowdoin.
“We have an alternative suspect’s DNA and that alternative suspect isn’t excluded [by the new DNA analysis],” said Peterson. “I suspect that the state will argue that because the DNA is partial mixtures and because we only have a sample, that it’s not very strong.”
The latest DNA testing focused on a shirt and bra worn by Cherry, as well as a scarf that was used to strangle her. DNA found in skin cells on the scarf was determined to not belong to Dechaine or Cherry and is consistent with basic characteristics of DNA from an alternative suspect. Peterson has said that the results are not 100 percent conclusive but could be enough to create reasonable doubt for a jury in a new trial.
DNA found on the shirt and bra was consistent with Dechaine’s DNA, though Peterson said that evidence is also not conclusive because the sample was too miniscule to provide a complete DNA profile. The testing was conducted by Orchid Cellmark of Texas and was funded by an organization called the Innocence Project, which works to exonerate people it believes are wrongly convicted.
Even if the new evidence is admitted into court and a new trial ensues, there is evidence that police officers and prosecutors have said for years strongly incriminates Dechaine. That evidence includes the fact that Dechaine and his truck were both found near the murder scene on the day Cherry was killed, that paperwork bearing Dechaine’s name was found in the driveway of the home where Cherry was baby-sitting, and pieces of rope used to bind Cherry were forensically matched to rope found in Dechaine’s truck and barn. Dechaine also is alleged to have confessed to the crime during police interrogation shortly after the murder, though his supporters dispute that.
Peterson said he expects that Bradford will order him and the state to file written briefs in the case, and a decision about a new trial could be weeks or months in the future. Dechaine, who is serving a life term in Maine State Prison in Warren, will be present for Thursday’s and Friday’s hearings in Portland.


33 comments:

john said...

"Confession by Pronoun"

What a great phrase.

Jen said...

I agree John...this past week I caught my Mom in a lie, by 'pronoun confession'.

When she was supposedly traveling alone, she slipped up and said "OUR flight is at 2 tomorrow". Then a few days after she returned, she also slipped and said "WE are going back down next year". When I asked, "Who is WE", she stuttered out, "my brothers", (but that's impossible, since she was visiting her brothers, so 'they' can't go down with her..they are the destination).

Sadly, I know exactly who her secret travel companion was, and he is bad news. Since my dad passed away, she's been in a very negative relationship with an emotionally unstable man. For nearly 4yrs she has been in a toxic cycle of breaking up, and getting back together with him. He is a possesive abuser, and when she breaks things off, he goes total mental stalker. She's had retraining orders against him, which he violated repeatedly, and literally the day after their last no contact order expired, (a few months ago) he showed up at her work begging her to let him 'explain himself'. A few weeks later she sent me an email that said she was seeing him again, and tried to justify her decision to reunite with him. When I tried to talk to her, she told me that I just needed to accept him, which led to a vicious argument and OUR relationship being badly strained.

She has promised repeatedly that she will not reconcile with him again. She currently claims they are 'just friends', but in the same breathe she will talk about MARRYING him! In my opinion, any contact with him at all is a mistake, based on his past behavior. He is a classic abuser...isolation, degradation, manipulation, outbursts of extreme anger, followed by remorse...and press repeat.

I am so discouraged, and I feel I can't win no matter what. By withdrawing myself she is further isolated, but I refuse to allow him into my life. I am worried for her safety, and I have been forced to distance my family, (especially my son) from spending time with her. I am fearful of what her 'friend' is capable of, and I won't risk my son being caught in the crossfire. I didn't mean to get so in depth, but I'm hoping someone can provide me with some insight or advice on how to deal with this. My Mom's behavior and personality have changed so much since her involvement with him, that I actually wonder about her OWN mental stability. (She acknowledges that he is mentally unstable, but says she "won't abandon him like everyone else"). Her thinking is so sick that I am at a loss for what to say, or do to get through to her before something terrible happens.

Hobnob said...

I feel for you Jen, damned if you do and damned if you don't.

By stepping back you give him control over her and even if she wants out, she feels because of the distance, that any request for help will be ignored or thrown back in her face. All this compounds her feeling of isolation so she will go with the known regardless of the consequences.

By getting involved and painting him as the bad guy, in her eyes you are being judgemental and not giving him a chance so she will dig her heels in and continue seeing him because she wants to prove you wrong and her right ( think teenager with a bad boyfriend or hanging with wrong crowd) the more you are anti him in any shape or form, the more she will stay with him just to be stubborn and she knows best.

You cannot force her to make the right decision for her own well being, frustrating as it is.
You are right to keep a space between your own family espeically your children and someone so toxic, even your mom is toxic at this stage. She exemplifies what an abusive realtionship is, and, though you don't want to expose your child to this is is a useful lesson, it will teach him the difference between a good and loving realatioship (your own) and a toxic relationship (your mom)depending on his age will determin how you approach the subject. it is better discussed in the open regardless of how painful, that to try and ignore it.

As for your mom, all i can suggest is positive reinforcement, when she is apart from him make being single a good thing, she will reap the benfits, when she is with him, make it so she wants to be with you rather than him. I know it is hard and the temptation is to point out all his failing and generally paint him in a bad light even if it is justified. get togeather with your mom somewhere public so there is less likelihood of a screaming row and ask her why she wants to be with him, what she sees in him, what he offers her in return. When she makes a valid point and not just because... explain why it isn't a good thing, show her there are options and you won't judge her because you are right and she is wrong. It could boil down to loneliness, better someone than no one, if he offers her company you can one up with your company and that of the family, if she says he gets angry, show her patience and love, if she says he loves her, say you love her unconditionally, for every negative there is a positive. If she says he has issues ask her what he is doing to resolve them, if he is on medication is he still taking it, if others have abandoned him it is often for a good reason, personal safety is often the main reason. if he has family has she talked to them? if so what did they say, what didn't they say which can be just as important. Is it a case of he is with her, good he is off our hands. Right now she probably lacks self esteem, it is how he controls her, you need to make her feel worthwhile, that she can do better. If she is within easy travelling distance go shopping ( even if it is window shopping) give her back her self esteem. This isn't going to be a hallelujah i have seen the light overnight miracle, it will take time. I hope this is of some
help Jen, Hugs you tightly xx

Jen said...

Hi Hobs-

Thank you for taking the time to reply and for the advice. Your insight is amazing, you nailed the main underlying issue. Self Esteem.

My dad died about 5 years ago due to complications after surgery, he was only 53 and my Mom was 50, they were married for over 30yrs...so she had basically only ever been with my dad. She immediately started saying that she would be alone 'forever', and no man wants to be with a woman her age, etc. I tried to tell her that wasn't true, when the time was right someone would come along, etc.

Then along comes this guy, he's one of her co-workers friends since childhood, and he's about 15 yrs older than my mom. The sob story he works off of is as follows...he was adopted, his adopted mother died, his aunt who then raised him died, and his ex-wife died a few years after they divorced, and he has been 'alone' (single) for 29yrs. (Which I told my Mom this is a good indication that something is seriously wrong with him, lol).

He doesn't work, so he spends his entire day driving past her office every 20min, following her around and 'bumping into her' everywhere she goes, and when he is mad...calling her repeatedly and leaving 20+ minute long rants on her voicemail until the system cuts him off, and her box is full. I had words with him once, and he said that my husband needed to 'get me under control', so that's his mentality...women are to be controlled.

Mere weeks after they started seeing each other, he had already suggested that he move in with her, (into the house that my dad purchased, and was paid off in full) and that they should get married asap so she can add him to her insurance because he needs a knee replaced, but can't afford insurance.

She's had to involve the courts several times due to his stalking and erratic behavior, but she looked me right in the eyes and said that she forgave him because it was HER FAULT that he acted that way...because she was pushing him away, and all he wanted was to be with her. She also agreed that his behavior is something she would have a big problem with, if it were happening to me or my sister...but she then said even if he IS a bad guy, she knows what to expect with him...and she could spend years with someone else before finding out all of the bad things about them...and the only way for her to 'get rid of him for good', is to give in and marry him...then when he decides he doesn't want to be with her, he will finally move on and leave her alone. (Are you pulling your hair out yet, lol).

I could go on days, but you get the idea. I can't really have a rational conversation with her, and he is constantly in her ear, painting me and my sister as the problem, telling her we have no right to 'disrespect' her choices, and that we are withholding her grandchildren to 'bully' her into leaving him. (She is not cut off from seeing them, she just has to come to our home because he is always lurking around). I never imagined I would be going through this with my Mom, and her excuses for him are infuriating...but maybe I can try to remind her that she has a family that will be there to catch her when she finally decides she is done.

Jen said...

Just for clarification, the guys hasn't been single, as in not dating...but rather he has dated but never found anyone who wanted to settle down with him for 29yrs. He told my mom that women only want to get married to leach off of men, and he always let his gf's know he wanted a pre-nup to 'protect himself'...which literally caused me to laugh out loud. Especially when he was the one trying to marry my mom to leach off of her.

As SA has taught me, his language betrayed his true intentions.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen--You are in a very frustrating situation. Here's my advice: Do the opposite of what he does. Since he is very controlling and pressuring, you don't be. Express to her you are concerned, but tell her you respect her right to make her own decisions (something her boyfriend does not do). She's in a tough and complicated situation. Only thing that will help get her out is to just be supportive and accept her right to make decisions that may not be good ones. There is no guarantee this will get her out, but it is the only thing that might.

Anonymous said...

thank you all for the above... my young daughter is in an abusive relationship. has a 7 month old and is 6 months pregnant. my heart shatters a bit more each day... praying she'll leave his sorry butt. or he gets sent to jail. or he trips and falls... into a sinkhole!!

Jen said...

Hi Anon-

Thanks for your response. I've backed off from trying to reason with her, and I'm embarrased to admit that I told her to do whatever she wants, but leave me out of it, and know that the choices she makes will influence the type of relationship we can have.
I didn't mean that, and I don't want her to feel like she has nobody to turn to. I was just so fed up, and over trying to coerce her back to reality. I will always be there when she needs my help, I just have to find a way to let her know this, without starting another war of wills.

I've been struggling with my own loss the past few months, and as frustrating as it's been to watch her bad decisions and the change in her personality, I have to admit that I am also mad at her for adding to my stress, when I am already dealing with so much emotionally. Regardless, your right...he is controlling her, so my best course is to do the opposite and hope she comes to her senses.

Jen said...

I'm so sorry for what your daughter (and you) are going through. If this experience with Mom has taught me anything, it is that this can happen to anyone.

My dad treated my Mom like gold, and I never imagined that she would stand for this kind of treatment. He offers nothing, he is pompous and cruel. I have heard some of his recorded tyrades and I am dumbstruck that she would EVER spend another second in his presence.

I pray for your daughter, my mother, and all the abused...for strength and resolve.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen--I am sorry that you are dealing with a loss right now too. With your Mom, abusive relationships take away so much self-esteem and then the victim feels bound to the abuser through Stockholm Syndrome. I grew up with abuse, so I've never had normal self-esteem. The only thing that helps restore some of it is to just send your Mom the message she is deserving of love. It is hard bc you want and need your Mom to be a Mom to you and right now it sounds like the roles are kind of reversed. I feel for you--my Mom is mentally ill and rather than help me w anything she is the major source of my stress. I have finally reached the point where I have surrendered it to God bc I know I can't change her or make her well. It hurts to see someone you love being hurt, it can make you feel helpless, but your acceptance and support of her is more powerful than her boyfriend's malignant behavior--it is just hard to see that, but it is true. Hang in there, and focus on the positives, and realize it is totally normal that you feel frustrated. Don't ever let this clown take away your bond with your Mom. I wish the best for you and your Mom.

Dawny said...

Dear Jen, I'm curious why you would refer to your mom's house as "dad purchased" it. DAD didn't buy it, Mom + Dad bought it, regardless of whether mom worked outside the home or not. The words you choose suggest you have not processed the loss of your father yet. You said its been 5 years. This suggests the need for professional help for you, mom's needs not withstanding. Plus, you are blaming your mom for "adding to" your stress. You are abdicating responsibility for your own mental health. You need to take care of yourself before you will be of any help to mom. While your love for mom is very apparent, you are acting as if she's not a grown woman capable of making her own decisions. That means she gets to make her own mistakes too. Stop infantilizing her.
I can relate to your pain, however. My father died suddenly when he was only 49 and I was 23. It was weird to see my mom with another man/men. She dated a few losers, but in retrospect they weren't as bad as I thought at the time. Your pain may be clouding your judgement a little, too.
Sorry if this reads harsh. If you could hear my tone and read by face, you would know that I care and am trying to give honest advice.

Jen said...

I appreciate your concern, but my reference to my dad's purchase of their home wasn't meant to exclude my Mom from ownership, or contribution, it was about his leeching. I guess what I meant is the home was in no way his, (the bf) and it was improper for him to suggest that he was going to move out of his rental, and into HER paid off home after literally weeks of dating, marry her to get on her insurance, and remain 'retired'...(not contributing and leeching off of my mom, and in turn my dad since there was a substancial estate, LI, property, and other inheritance left by him, and his dad (my GF), who also died the same month). BTW-the friend who set my Mom up with him is the laywer who handled my dad's estate. (what a coincidence).

There is SO much more to the story, that I could write a book! Just to hit the highlights, he pusted her out of a car, extorted money from her, (as in, he demanded she pay him back every dime he had spent while dating her when she first broke things off, so she paid him back for her Christmas gifts, meals, gas money,etc), he has left 100's of screaming, profanity laden voicemails, laced with threats of violence, arson and suicide, followed her around daily for MONTHS, showed her a hand gun he keeps in his truck and told her he never thought about using it before she came along, sat outside of her office in his truck for up to 10hrs straight, and it goes on.

And, that doesn't even scratch the surface of the hell this guy has been, he is an emotional terrorist. She slept with a baseball bat beside her headboard for months, and told my sister and I to have her commited if she ever went back with him...yet, here we are again.

Also, I'm not saying its right, but I'm only human, and I am angry with my Mom for adding to my stress. She re-initiated contact with the psycho moron just days after I suffered a late term miscarriage a few months ago, (and while I was in the middle of a multi-state move, and a new home purchase). So not only can I not lean on my Mom for support, but I now have to worry about this nonsense too.

Other family members are calling me and exposing her lies, and asking me what she is thinking, and all I can tell them is, I DON'T KNOW! It defies logic and I am lost for reason, and hurt by her disregard for all of our well being by bringing this guy back around. Something (more) terrible WILL eventually happen between them, and she is playing with fire.

The best part is, my Mom gets up everyday and flits around like nothing is wrong, and like they don't have nearly 4yrs of toxic history underlying their tenuous reunion. She says she knows he is 'sick', but she believes that he will change if she shows him 'unconditional love'. I say she sounds like every other abused woman, thinking her love is gonna change a monster. Anyway, I appreciate your response, along with everyone else's.

Dawny said...

Jen-ok,those details change everything! Sorry to have pushed you into revealing so much/defending yourself. I am sorry! This is really f'd up.
Try, even if you have to manipulate, to get mom with a good lawyer and protect her assests in an iron clad way that even she cannot undo, say, without your consent. There ARE ways with trusts and such, even if she doesn't realize the ramifications (ie. Her hands get tied). I would consider that moral even if you misled her because your motives would be pure.
I also have worked at my local domestic violence shelter as a counselor. I can appreciate your position. And unfortunately I have seen these senarios all too often.
Someone in your family needs to have a heart to BAT talk with this "man" and scare him the F off. A little good, old fashioned, southern style"talk".
Best wishes for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,
Your Mom sounds like she is in a bad situation. I feel for you, as I don't know what I would do if an awful man wormed his way into my mother's life. Her grandkids mean so much to her, I think I would use them as leverage. Ugh-that sounds so awful, but you do what you have to do. No more visits with the grandkids until he is out of her life for good!
She needs someone with a backbone to stand up and protect her. You may need to go spend some time with her alone. Call police and document everything. When trying to get away from an abuser like he is, it is very dangerous.
What do her brothers think of him?
Wishing you the best!

Hobnob said...

Hi Jen, if you have access to the tapes i would suggest taking them to LE, if not talk to them anyway.

They are all to familiar with domestic violence for this is what it is. They can advise you on your options and also how best to handle your mom. There may be little they can do legally since it may boil down to your mom making the complaint, however you will, at least, have it on record as to the situation, the threats the gun ( does he have a permit for it etc, if he doesn't they may be able to act on that)If her lawyer introduced them it might be worth talking to a lawyer to see if they have broken any rules especially since he is an abuser. it might be a case of getting him on something trivial before it escalates, and it will escalate, and breaking the toxic bond between them. If he calls you etc start a diary and make notes of dates and times and what he says and also think about recording them. If you can get a tape from your mom of his tirades go for it, every bit of evidence helps. it may be classed as stalking which LE do not take lightly. xx

Anonymous said...

Jen--Get Lundy Bancroft's book called "Why Does He Do That? ". He is an expert on domestic violence. He puts abusers into 9 categories. One is called "The Terrorist"--from the details you gave this is the category your Mom's BF falls under. It is the hardest type to get away from.
I am so sorry about your loss also--what a lot of terribly painful things to be dealing with at once.

Sus said...

Jen,
I feel for you, but the sad truth is that you can't change another person until they want to change. Each person is responsible for theirself.

Starting with YOU...let go of the situation before it harms you emotionally and physically. Let your mom know you love her and are always there for her NO MATTER HER DECISIONS. Give her some literature on abuse if you wish. There are great sites all over the internet. I recommend Melanie Tonia Evans blog and tapes. Then let go. You don't have to be with her or an abuser, but in your mind KNOW it is her choice. If you choose to keep contact, concentrate on your mom as a person, not a victim.

Your mom...she is locked in a battle to change an abuser. She believes his promises. It is like an addiction. Only she can get herself out. Because only she can change herself when she wants to. I pray by that point, she hasn't become isolated with only the abuser. That is why it is important for you and others to stay in her life. But the more you center on the abuse, the more she will hide it, hunker in, and feel it is the main part of her.

The abuser... it sounds like right now he has an awful lot of power over your family. Take it away from him by not giving him another thought. That is difficult, but what he does is none of your business. He has chosen to be an asshole, a domestic terrorist, and not one thing you do is going to change that. So right now begin by not dwelling on him...take away his power over you, at least. Hopefully one day, your mom will do the same.

Think of it this way...the abuser plays his games to hold control and power. If you step out of the game, you've won. If you stay in the game, it is never-ending.

Jen said...

Thank you everyone for your advice! I will definitely look into the book suggestion. I'd love to know what it says about abusers with no regard for consequences. He has repeatedly violated court orders, and I have told my Mom that his disregard for serious threats to his freedom, shows he has no impulse control, and does she want to be around someone with no impulse control who carries a gun!?

As far as documentation, most of the major issues have been recorded in the courts. She has played voicemails, and provided video surveillance of him driving by her home and office, to get no contact orders, telephone harassment, etc..and she has relayed other incidents to the judge (but I assume that is just her word against his). I also have a few printed out emails and letters he sent her. During no contact orders he resorts to written harassment, which he stupidly thinks he can get away with. Crazy thing is, my mom is actually part of the local legal community for decades, so the Pros. and judges have gone out of their way to help her...but she keeps going back, so I fear that help from the courts will be harder to obtain.

I was embarassed, and I felt terrible that I told her to be with him if she wants, but know it will effect our relationship. I thought about it all night, and I think that is all I can do. As many of you have pointed out, I can't force her to do anything, and I am giving him a lot of power over my happiness, (which burns me up, lol). All I can do is set boundaries to keep my family safe, (which is my biggest concern because he is not playing with a full deck) and hope that she will come to realize all that she has lost because of him.

As for her brothers, I fully expect one of them to call me this weekend and say, 'why are you giving your mom a hard time over Gerry, he's a nice guy'..because that was her whole reason for taking him down there. (manipulation, strength in numbers, pressure from them to respect her choices, and give her a break). They are across the country, and I'm sure he was on his best behavior around them, but my aunt has already called asking what is she thinking. The ladies know what's up!

Jen said...

No apology necessary Dawn! I asked for advice, so it's only fair that I share the info, but it's hard to condense the whole situation into a comment, since there is so much history.

Anonymous said...

Jen--The book "Why Does He Do That?" will definitely help. Your Mom is with what is called "The Terrorist", and your Mom may be basing some part of her decision to be with him on fears for her own survival. You asked about the dynamics of a man who does not respect repercusions from the legal system--this is a dangerous man we're talking about.
It sounds very counterintuitive, but Sus gave awesome advice. I've been in an abusive relationship before (physical and verbal) and the one friend who really helped me out ironically, although she knew my boyfriend at the time was abusive, because I had told her everything, she would talk about him like he was just a normal person. Like "How is (name of jerk)?" "Oh, you guys had a nice weekend?" Just referring to him like he was a normal person, not praising him lol, just not "shaming" me for being with him. (This is after I had gone back to being with him after leaving him too btw). It made me feel, in turn, like I was a normal person rather than someone who should feel ashamed all the time. It made me feel like my life wasn't all about "him" and what a loser he was or what a "loser" I was for being with him. This is what the abuser does is try to make you feel ashamed like you are a horrible, inferior, crappy failure at everything--the abuser is constantly shaming the victim and making them feel like everyone in the world is "better" than them. One of my friends judged me and told me she wouldn't be my friend till I broke up with him. It made me feel terrible. At a certain point, your self-esteem falls so low and you just feel ashamed like you are somehow separate from the rest of the world because you are with a "loser" who treats you like crap.
Basically, the victim knows how bad their situation is, and how bad the abuser is, and as strange as it sounds being treated like you are "normal" is the greatest gift you can give someone in that situation.
Anyway, sorry to ramble, just figured I'd share a little of my own experience if it helps.

Jen said...

Once again I thank you all for your advice, and for sharing your personal experiences. You have all helped more than you know! I can only talk so much with my husband, or sister because they are just as confused as I am. I appreciate the time all of you took to share, and your candor.

Jen said...

It does, and it makes a lot of sense. Nobody wants to focus on their negative experiences, and I imagine that the last thing she wants to discuss when she finally gets some time away, is him.

I guess I need to learn to clench my teeth, zip my lips, and surpress the overwhelming urge to slam him everytime his name comes up, lol!

Nic said...

Jen, if you're able to find out the names of some of his ex's, maybe go to LE where your mom had to apply for her restraining orders, and speak to them to see if he had any other r/o's against him and by whom, contact them and talk to them yourself and maybe invite them to lunch with your mom and have them tell her their story. Some of what they report might ring alarm bells and present her with how her story will end, be it physically (god forbid not), bankrupted, etc.

That the bf threw his need for a knee replacement on the table should be a red flag to your mom that she is just a "ticket" to him on many levels. Being mid-60's and having no solid future, no savings, no health care, no assets, no one, makes for a desperate person. Combine that with mental illness and I would be concerned for my mom, too.

Even sitting her down with a mental illness specialist and educating her about how she cannot "fix" him/protect him (without sacrificing her own stability be it health or finances, etc.) might be an eye opener too. The mental health expert will be able to lay it all out for her, re how a manipulator does what they do, be it by actions/words/emotional blackmail, etc. Knowledge is power and sometimes it boils down to self-love. If she loves her kids and grandkids enough to keep them from such a person, why doesn't she love herself as much? Self-confidence is just the surface, maybe she needs to speak to a grievance counsellor. All will say, do not make any major decisions on any level, even cleaning out the closets the first year after the death of a loved one.

I like the "do the opposite" advice. Do not appear to be what bf is projecting you and your sister to be to her. He obviously sees that your mom has no life experience in the romance dep't (married very young so never had to deal with the "bad boy" issues) but that she has a strong emotional safety net that needs to be broken. You can use the same knowledge by knowing that the harder you try and grip/control your mom, she will be like a wet bar of soap and pop out of your hand. Be supportive of her but try to find a third-party way to show her how she is being controlled and manipulated by the Master (him).

Re kids/bullying, etc. Just justify your position with the truth. Say admitting to you that her bf has mental issues means that all bets are off about accommodating your mom's wishes that the kids be with her at her place. Say you don't have a say about the company your mom keeps, but you most certainly have a say about the company YOUR kids' keep and YOU will not expose them to anyone that you know of who needs medical help/LE intervention so they will "behave" and obviously won't. They are your kids and she must respect your judgement must like she insists that you respect her (lack of) judgement.

What a mess. Blessings to you, my dear.

Nic said...

*much like she insists that you respect her (lack of) judgement.

Nic said...

I used to work with a divorced 65+ woman. She was pretty much emotionally "broken" about being dumped for a younger woman. But after the dust cleared and she was set up in her new life, she went out of her way to avoid being set-up on dates, going to "singles dances", etc., because she said all any man her age wanted was a caretaker. Her experience was that the men she met were overly complimenting and "clingy". She had her health and money (enough for her) to be able to come and go and do what she wanted. But tie herself to a man who statistically was on the verge of needing the health system/a nurse maid, was not about "romance" and "happily ever after". It was a sentence to be sucked of her savings and doing what he knew his kids/family would not do. .
I thought that was pretty negative/bitter. But in hind-sight I can see a lot of truth in her thoughts about someone's motive to want to set themselves up (read: "settle down") and ingratiate themselves/entrench themselves into a better life.

Jen said...

Hi Nic-

Funny you say your friend believed men of that age only want a care-giver, my Mom has said the same thing! When they are broken up- she IS that bitter woman. She wants nothing to do with men, she doesn't want to be someone's 'paycheck', or someone's nurse...it's two huge extremes, with no middle ground. My sister and I joke that it's like dealing with a 13 year old, 'in love' for the first time...either she can't live without him, or she despises him, and all men.

You also nailed the guy, his name is Gerry (so much easier than writing 'the guy' everytime, lol). Gerry is a failure at LIFE. He has no home, no job, no friends, (people who he actually hangs out with), no kids, no education, and no class or integrity.
(Before anyone gets their feelings hurt and says, 'I don't have kids', or something else, please know I don't see any individual one of these things as a bad thing, but the combination of ALL that in one man, along with his behavior is worrisome, and suggests serious dysfunction).

The only people that 'know him' are people from the past. He has no current relationships, and I believe that's why he is so fixated on my Mom. The few people that my husband and I have questioned about him, have shared stories of similar past behavior, (as you predicted). One woman said she met him at her son's teeball game, and gave him her phone number. She said within days he was leaving angry messages and cursing her out, saying 'why are you playing games, why did you give me your number and then not answer', and showing up at her job. She said, she told him she wanted nothing to do with him, and even that she was seeing someone else to get rid of him, but he harassed her for months, and they never even went on a single date! He seems to have no attachment to reality, since he apparently imagined they were having a relationship by her simply agreeing to give him her number.

I relayed the woman's story to my Mom, and she ended up asking him about it. Guess what he said...SHE was the one 'chasing after' him. (So apparently he see's his extreme stalking behavior as a normal part of the chase, lol). I didn't ask her if she had to get a RO, but my aunt's bf works with her, so I'll follow up. I honestly think my mom is somewhat flattered by the idea that he just can't walk away from HER, so it may help for her to see its not HER that is spurring his terrible behavior, and it's his normal MO.

Jen said...

I'm adding one of my personal experiences with his paranoid delusions, to give a better understanding of his mental state....

When my son was just a few months old, I was at my Mom's house for a visit, and she laid down with him for his morning nap. Within minutes of them laying down, her house phone rang, and I answered it. Apparently, he thought I was my Mom, and laid into me full force..."why didn't you answer your f-ing phone, you know that pisses me off, how hard is it to answer the f-ing phone when it rings, etc". I interrupted him, said "this is Jennifer, and Mom is laying down with the baby", and hung up. Then I heard the faint sound of my Mom's cell ringing in the back of the house. I found it in the bathroom, and it had 17 missed calls from him already, and he was still calling back-to-back. I answered it and asked him what his problem was, and he yelled at me, "I don't appreciate being the butt of your joke", and then rambled on about how he knew we were all standing around laughing at him! I said, "I don't know what you are talking about, I told you she's laying down", and he screamed at me, "No she's not, put her on the f-ing phone right now". I hung up again, and he repeatedly called the house phone and her cell phone over and over until I unplugged the house phone, and took her cell out to my car, and left it.

When my Mom got up about an hour later, I went out to my car and got her cell, (he had called 28 more times) and as I walked back inside, he pulled into the driveway, and my Mom ran out and tried to calm him down. I was scared to death, but my Mom came back in and acted like it was no big deal. I told her it was SCARY paranoid that he thought her napping, and missing his phone call was some sort of 'joke' that we were all making out of him. But she said he "just feels abandoned" when she won't answer her phone.

Nic said...

Jen, that is scary coo-coo. I'm surprised that your mom doesn't feel threatened by his behavior? It's like the more negative you point out about him, the more she will defend/protect him.

Do you think that since you and your sister are grown-up with lives/a family of your own and that since your dad died your mom feels like she has no "purpose"? That meeting Gerry's needs/dispersing his feelings of abandonment (self-inflicted because of his toxic behavior he inflicts on people) makes her feel useful?

That's huge.

Nic said...

I forgot to add her need to soothe/"calm" him.

IMO, that's a parent/child relationship. The "child" always grows up, much to the chagrin of the "parent".

Jen said...

Exactly Nic-

She said she wants to help him 'heal' from all the pain he has gone through in his life, by showing him she is loyal and won't abandon him. (He claims his wife cheated, but she died years ago so there is no verifying whether thats true). She also said that she believes he behaves the way he does because he never had a stable family. Normally this is something I would feel pity for, but because of his behavior I just want him to go away. It's not her job to heal his mommy issues. She has expressed fear of him many times, but she also thinks that she can 'handle him'.

In her email to me she said that, 'everything in her life screams out, I am alone'...which broke my heart to know she feels that way! But in reality her current lack of consistant contact with us is due to him. Even so, we still get together with her regularly, go to lunch, have Sunday dinners at my house, etc. Also, although it's not the same as having someone to come home to every night, she has (or at least had) a lot of friends from church/work, before him.

This Nov 30 is the 5th anniversary of my dad's passing, so even though she resumed contact with him a few months ago, I think her feelings of loneliness are probably exaggerated right now, which sadly may be driving her to 'lower the bar' on her expectations in a companion.

Dawny said...

Jen- I bet you Gerry DOES have kids who have cut him off due to his behavior. If you are good at google you could find out easy (unless he is a Smith or Jones, too many of those).
Lol My friend tells me I missed my calling as an investigator and asks me to troll the internet when she or her mom meets a new man. You'd be amazed how easy it is. Of course this led me to cancel all My social networks, Linkedin, classmates.com, etc. etc. Most people have no clue how much information is out there. Ever sign a Change.org petition? Anyone can see what you've signed and deduce a lot from that. Research your family genealogy and post on boards? Heck, now I'd know who your entire family is. I could go on and on, but the point is you can learn more if you want, and #2 protect yourself from prying eyes.

Jen said...

Thanks Dawny- Good advice!

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