Just 2 weeks ago I published a blog about the dispicable behavior of celebrity athletes when another case of domestic violence was reported. According to the Boston Globe, “on Aug. 16, Jared Remy was charged with the murder of Jennifer Martel, his girlfriend of seven years and the mother of their 4-year-old daughter. Prosecutors allege that Remy, the son of Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, attacked Martel in the kitchen of their home, in the living room, and on a stairway before stabbing her repeatedly”. There was a significant history of domestic violence in the relationship. In fact, Mr. Remy was arrested only hours before the murderous attack on Martel and released on his own recognizance. Somehow, in spite of the specific nature of the allegations, e.g. choking Ms Martel, Remy was not held for a dangerousness hearing. The early reports suggest a high degree of likelihood that Remy would become violent – the red flags were present and ultimately the behavior bared that out. Had Remy been held for a dangerousness hearing a woman would be safe and alive today.
There needs to be a greater awareness of domestic violence and the proclivity to commit domestic violence homicide among abusive, intimate partners. The killing of Jennifer Martel highlights the risk victims experience – especially those who are wanting to pull away from their abuser. There appeared to be no safety plan for Ms. Martel and in fact, there is an allagation that family members went out of their way to block Martel’s attempts to keep her child and herself safe from Remy’s vitriol. What could have triggered such a violent response against the mother of Remy’s only child? A careful analysis of the pre-incident red flags can and will be of value to the greater body of literature on DV and domestic violence homicide as it was in careful work by Allanach, et al. in the Dexter, Maine homicide published in 2011. Again a small child is without her mother because of the actions of one parent against another.
Allanach, R. L., Gagan B., & Sefton M. (2011). Psychological Autopsy Report of the Dexter, Maine Homicide and Suicide. Presented to Domestic Violence Homicide Review Board, November, 2011.