Los Angeles, CA–[Note: Reader Robert Franklin, a retired business attorney, is joining the blogging team at www.glennsacks.com. All of Robert’s posts will be available here.–GS]
…or maybe you do. “Ga. Woman with 5 dead spouses leaves jail,’ reads the headline at MSNBC. She”s charged with solicitation of first-degree murder of her fourth husband in 1986. Her fifth husband was also killed, but she hasn”t been charged with that.
Police are taking a renewed interest in the death of her son in 1985 which was ruled a suicide at the time, and the deaths of husbands 1-3. Betty Neumar is free on $300,000 bond.
Did she kill these men? Her son? We don”t know yet, but the brother of no. 4 and the son of no. 5 are mighty upset that she was granted bail.
One of them, the brother of husband no. 4, has been told by police to be on his guard. He carries a pistol at all times and says, “My back has a big target on it.’ So whatever the courts think, these men seem to believe she”s a serial killer.
But whatever the evidence eventually shows, did the presumption that women aren”t violent lead police and prosecutors to ignore suspicious facts in the deaths of husbands 1-3 and Neumar”s son? Did they fail to investigate fully? Should she have been in prison long before she got a chance to kill her son and husbands 2-5?
Maybe we”ll never know, but the rules of investigation should apply whether the suspect is male or female. Maybe if popular culture didn”t consistently depict women as innocent and men as corrupt, we”d have a more sensible approach to these things.
In the meantime, nothing will give these six people their lives back. The MSNBC story is here.