entitlement misogyny patriarchy

Alleged murderer of eight in Houston explains “I’m not God, but you know, I’m the man of the house.”

Four of the murdered children
Four of the victims

Last Saturday, police say, a 48-year-old Houston man named David Conley climbed in a window of the house where his ex-girlfriend lived with her husband and six kids. Using rope, and handcuffs he’d bought a few days earlier, he restrained the entire family. He then shot them all, one by one, starting with his ex-girlfriend’s husband, and ending with her.

Police took Conley into custody after an hour-long standoff.

Why hasn’t this horrific case of mass murder gotten the media attention that other mass shootings have gotten? Possibly because seven of the eight victims were black.

And possibly because, well, cases of men murdering their families are so common that they barely make the national news any more — even when the men in question kill more people than many much-better known mass murderers.

Someone shooting random people in a theater or a mall — that’s news. Men killing their exes and their children? That’s just part of the background noise.

Conley has reportedly confessed to everything, telling police in detail how he planned and carried out the eight murders. He has a long history of violence, having served five years in jail for a previous attack on his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Valerie Jackson.

In a series of jailhouse interviews, he’s been a bit more cagey on the question of guilt. But he’s been a lot less shy in discussing the motives for the murders he won’t publicly admit to.

He seems to have murdered eight people because Valerie wasn’t raising her children the way he wanted them raised. (Never mind that he was an on-again, off-again father as well as an on-again, off-again boyfriend, and that only one of the six children was his.)

And he was angry at her for “cheating” on him — with her husband.

The children “were growing up to be monsters, they were disrespectful,” Conley complained to one local TV reporter. “I’m not saying they’re dead because of that. I’m not even saying I killed them.”

“The Bible says, ‘Thou shall respect your mother and father or your days shall be short,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “I’m not God, but you know, then, I’m the man of the house.”

Let that sink in for a second:

“I’m not God, but you know, then, I’m the man of the house.”

At the time of the murders, of course, Valerie’s husband, Dwayne Jackson, was the “man of the house.” But Conley felt that Dwayne, the father of five of the six children, was somehow usurping his own rightful authority.

“He tried to pimp out over me and take everything, rule over my house.” he complained to one local TV reporter. “How would you feel?”

But it seems pretty clear that his most virulent anger was aimed at Valerie. He blamed the alleged bad behavior of the children — particularly his son Nate — on her.

“Nate didn’t give me any respect because of what his mother was doing to me,” he told the TV reporter. “She was cheating on me.”

Conley apparently made her pay for this “disrespect,” killing her last, after forcing her to witness the murder of her husband and her six children.

Yet he seems to think he’s the victim here — disrespected by his children, his authority as “man of the house” usurped by another man, and “cheated” on by a woman he had previously beaten and repeatedly left. When he asked a reporter “how would you feel,” he apparently assumed the reporter would feel some sympathy for him.

This is toxic masculinity at its worst.


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@Andiexist: I don’t know how man similar stories I’ve heard — that if a woman would just make nice to an obnoxious male, everything would work well.
I think it was when my daughter was in 8th grade, one of her friends and her brother were the subject of a bitter custody battle. After an argument at the local July 4th fireworks display, their father simply took the children and set out on a trip across the country. The kids didn’t want to be with their father and apparently made that clear to him, and somewhere out in Ohio he shot both of them and buried their bodies near the interstate. News reports, as anyone here would anticipate, blamed the murders on his long history of depression. Aggrieved male entitlement was never mentioned.


Oh, that was probably a too abrupt transition. My first paragraph was intended to second andiexist’s point about how the authorities will almost always try to smooth things over at the expense of the woman. The second was to recount another family killing that happened fairly close to me.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
7 years ago

I’m not sure if this is really the right thread, or if I should put it in one of the Roosh ones for extra “Things going right in Canada” points, but this story may act as a small touch of reassurance that sometimes, things do actually go right.

Incidentally, welcome to Canada, where the black teenager involved wasn’t shot by the cops.

7 years ago

And yeah, telling him to eff off probably would make him angry, but I mainly said that because I was angry at the dean acting like it was an inevitability that I’d have to talk to him as an adult. Any no would make him angry.

Ugh, that sucks so much ass, and what an idiot that person was who told you to be nice to him. All the hugs you want, too. Being nice to him would not have made him less angry, mean or scary; I think he’d have found something to rage at even if you’d been the nicest person in the world to him. Or if he couldn’t find something, he’d have invented it. When a creep fixates and gets addicted to his own anger and sense of power over another person, there is simply no reasoning with him, and therefore no sense being nice. The longer one stays in his sights, the more he’ll take aim at them. Getting away is the only hope anyone has of breaking that chain.

7 years ago
Reply to  Bina


Yeah. The dean was generally good about it before, so I basically chalked it up to “patriarchy gets to all of us,” but I’m not gonna dispute the other one being an idiot. 😛

Sadly, I can’t get fully away quite yet — he’s still at my school. At least they removed him eventually… after he tried to get the supervisor to punish me for ignoring him when he was “asking” me to open the door.

I think that was why I was talking to the dean, actually. It got resolved, though, and he hasn’t texted me since freshman year, so that’s something.

*returns hugs*

7 years ago


Yeah unfortunately it would be really detrimental to women to not participate in society (i.e. live in constant fear and paranoia of all men around them), but I don’t see how just telling people this is helpful. Like, we know. We know that we don’t have a choice, we have to interact with men that might want to harm us and we do it every day. Sure, the chances might not be as high as getting into a car accident, but so what? I think the fact that it happens with any regularity at all is a completely unacceptable risk because it’s something that DOES NOT NEED TO HAPPEN. Car accidents are not intentional acts, so sure they happen. But someone murdering their ex doesn’t just happen and it is preventable. imo you are comparing apples and oranges.

Julie Salvatore
7 years ago

Hello. I’m new here. I posted a big long thing but it didn’t let me post. I guess my WordPress account doesn’t work. So, I’m using my Facebook.

This is such a stomach-churningly disgusting thing that happened….and what makes it extra barfy is that it happens all the time.

I believe in an afterlife, so I do try to take solace in the notion that this woman, her kids and her husband are all together, safe in a newer, higher existence. However, I know not everyone sees it that way and that’s fine. I respect other’s right to not have that worldview.

What makes this so sad is that so many in abusive relationships may feel that they are in a “damned if you do & damned if you don’t situation” and that will play into the hands of guys like this murderer.

We need to tell women that they can & should leave their abuser and succeed! We need to give them the tips and tools in how to pull it off safely. Surely there is a way.

What frustrates me is that LGBTA Rights are growing in leaps in bounds (and that is wonderful) but Women’s Rights is so darn sluggish. It makes no sense. Misogyny & Homophobia are intertwined, so one would think that Feminism would succeed more. We need to examine what the LGBTA Movement has been doing and apply similar strategies.

Also, David Futrelle, your site is awesome! Keep up the good work!

Also, I love kitties!

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