Justice is Served: Darren Mack Gets Life Sentence
Background: In June 2006, Darren Mack, a wealthy Nevada father who was involved in a divorce, stabbed his estranged wife to death and then executed a well-planned murder attempt on a Nevada judge. Mack shot and wounded the judge but failed to kill him. According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, when police searched Mack's residence they found he "had bombmaking materials in his bedroom" as well as "several boxes of firearm ammunition." At the time of Mack’s murder spree, I wrote:
“I condemn without qualification condemn the crimes allegedly committed by Darren Mack in Nevada last week. Mack was angered by his divorce and custody case. Some on the not insubstantial lunatic fringe of the fathers' rights movement see Mack as some sort of freedom fighter. Most of the commentary by other fathers' rights advocates seem to be of the ‘he couldn't take it anymore and snapped’ variety.
I don't buy it. Though everyone is focusing on Mack's attempted murder of a judge, everyone seems to forget that he first stabbed and killed his estranged wife. After murdering her, he shot the judge through the judge's third-floor office window with a sniper rifle from over 100 yards away. That's not ‘snapping’--that's premeditated murder. Mack is not a good man trapped in a bad system. He is a bad guy. Because of men like him the system had to create protections for womenand unscrupulous women have misused those protections to victimize countless innocent men. Men like Mack aren't the byproducts of the system's problems--they are the problem.”
It wasn't the rope and a tree that Darren Mack deserved, but it was close enough. Friday Darren Mack--who stabbed and killed his estranged wife as his little daughter played with her toys upstairs--was sentenced to life in prison.
Mack first tried what I called the Mary Winkler defense, making the unlikely claim that he slashed his wife's throat in self-defense. How Mack defending himself against Charla necessitated then driving to the courthouse and trying to kill a judge in a well-planned, methodical way was never explained.
Douglas Herndon, the Nevada judge in the criminal case, explained that he let Mack speak for quite a while before his sentencing, and that Mack expressed "no remorse" for his crimes.
There is MUCH background information left out of this story, but it doesn't surprise me as many of the people involved were more intent upon protecting the way their activities enabled the Darren Macks of our world, then in painting an honest picture of the situation here. The truth was that Darren Mack was enabled, empowered and encouraged in his bad behavior for a looooong time before he finally went off in a public enough fashion to bring down the wrath of the law enforcement community upon his head, a long time.
Mack was enabled by the courts during his first divorce, when he (with the help of a famous feminist attorney and the second wife he would eventually murder) managed to wrestle custody of the children from his first marriage. God only knows what he put his poor first wife and those kids through over the years BEFORE he murdered his second wife in his SECOND custody case.
See because this wasn't Mack's first custody battle, it was his second. That's the critical part left out of the story.
Apparently Mack was vetted through a professional court-ordered evaluation in order to help the court make its decision on his first custody case and he ironically enough passed with flying colors, since he was given custody in that situation.
Again, I return to what I've said dozens of times before "What in the heck do those custody evaluations measure if a nut like Mack can pass one of them?" As say what you will about Susan Smith or Andrea Yates, neither of those mothers had any court ordered custody of their children and I have to believe if their husbands had taken them to court, neither one would have managed to get any sort of legal custody. They would have been filtered out by the roadblocks set up to catch the truly dangerous/unfit parent, but yet the system appears to have set the bar much lower for men to become custodial.
That's one big issue.
Many fathers rights advocates aid and abet men like Darren Mack every day of the week, not even knowing anything about them or their situations. They actively assist them in wrestling custody of children from their mothers w/o even the most superficial knowledge of who they are or if they are decent, fit loving parents, never mind law-abiding citizens.
Regarding the comment about the Mary Winkler defense, this story has it sadly backwards. Actually the Darren Mack case points to the logic behind Mary Winkler's defense. That Mary Winkler felt she wouldn't get a fair shake in court, that the courts would allow her husband to use custody of her children as a club against her.
So she took matters into her own hands.
That's the legacy which gender neutral custody has left us with...