domestic violence mass killing misogyny violence against women

The least surprising thing about the man who allegedly killed five people in the Waukesha Christmas parade van attack

Darrell Brooks Jr, who doesn’t deserve to have his face in the papers

There are a lot of things we don’t know about Darrell Brooks Jr., the man accused of killing five and injuring more than 40 in a van attack on a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

One thing we do know: He has a history of domestic violence, according to police.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

Brooks … has been charged three times in less than two years with recklessly endangering the safety of others, most recently on Nov. 5 as part of a domestic abuse incident …

In the most recent case, a woman told police Brooks purposefully ran her “over with his vehicle” while she was walking through a gas station parking lot after he had followed her there after a fight, according to the criminal complaint.

Not only that, but when he allegedly drove his SUV through the crowd at the parade he was leaving the scene of yet another domestic disturbance. (Early reports suggested the police were chasing him but that’s apparently not true.)

Not every domestic abuser becomes a mass murderer, but a substantial number of those who have committed mass murders have a history of domestic abuse.

As Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes,

A 2020 investigation by Bloomberg News looked at five years of mass shootings with four or more casualties and made a stunning find — that roughly 60% of them involved an attacker who either had a prior history of domestic violence, or specifically targeted women in his assault, or both. What’s more, the report found that the cases involving shooters with a link to domestic violence were more deadly than those that were not.

Most of those killed in the van rampage were women in a performing group called The Dancing Grannies. We don’t know yet if the alleged driver specifically targeted women or if this was mere coincidence.

What is clear is that misogyny kills.

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22 replies on “The least surprising thing about the man who allegedly killed five people in the Waukesha Christmas parade van attack”

When I was a child in the late 1950s a popular song was “Tom Dooley” by the Kingston Trio. Some of the lyrics:

Met her on the mountain
There I took her life
Met her on the mountain
Stabbed her with my knife

Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Hang down your head and cry
Hang down your head Tom Dooley
Poor boy you’re bound to die

Why was he a poor boy, I wondered. What about the unnamed girl. I felt sick.

On the night of July 13-14, 1966, Richard Speck murdered eight student nurses in their apartment. My mother was a nurse who spoke often, and fondly, of her days as a student nurse. My blood ran cold.

On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman, a former Marine, murdered his wife and his mother. Then he went to the University of Texas at Austin, climbed the Main Building tower, and began shooting randomly. He killed 18 people and wounded 31 others. I was shocked.

A pattern of violence against those weaker than yourself is always a bad sign. Watch out for those. This is a miserable and avoidable tragedy.

“physically weaker”. Most abusers target those who they think cannot win in a fight with them.

The Kingston Trio butchered that song, the original chorus goes
“Hang your head Tom Dooley
Hang your head and cry
You killed poor Laurie Foster
And you know you’re bound to die.”

If you’re curious, Tom Dula ( pronounced Dooley) was sleeping with Anne Melton (née Foster) and her young cousin Laura Foster. All three went up the mountain one day, and only Melton and Dula returned; Foster was found later in a shallow grave. Dula and Melton were both charged with her murder, but Melton escaped conviction due to Dula’s (later retracted) testimony.

with apologies for going OT – and David, please accept my apoloies and delete if this is not cool of me to post!

if anyone happens to be into oud music (contemporary compositions drawing on several different classical traditions) this gig is going to be available online tomorrow (Thurs) (and should stay up for some time after), and to the best of my understanding it’s a pay-what-you-can-afford … no-worries-even-if-that-happens-to-be-zero setup. The venue is a co-op, where they do films and lectures and recordings and concerts (it looks amazing in the photos)

Innovative Palestinian composer/Oud player Saied Silbak + bassist Fred Thomas, clarinettist Gustavo Clayton Marucci. Rotherhithe co-op venue 8pm Thurs 25th – in person/online; free or pay what you can afford. BALA BIZER by SAIED SILBAK | Sands Music Room

(I freely cop to knowing someone involved here 🙂 (not Saied, though I’ve seen him play – I’m no connoisseur but I think they’re amazing)

“The concert consists of musical pieces inspired by the past situation, the current situation and expectations from something unknown. 
In this beautiful and diverse project, Silbak performs his own compositions while focusing, through the names and atmosphere of the musical pieces, on Palestinian cultural issues as well as global issues yet to be solved.”

Anyway, just in case anyone fancies a listen!

Before they got into being abusive partners, are there generally antecedents? Serial killers torture small animals, for example.

Off-topic, I know, but CNN has just reported that all three defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial have been found guilty.

… are there generally antecedents ?

Apart from the animal cruelty link, the other major link is to domestic violence perpetrated by the father. There’s a lot of rot talked about by the MGTOWs et al of men hating, and acting out, against women because of their own mother’s violence directed at them.

There is no research supporting that assertion but a lot of material linking to the father’s violence and/or other abuse towards the mother, daughters, other female relatives and quite often to the male children. Abusive men have a strong chance of training, by example only or by explicit advice, the next generation of abusive men. (And a bonus of supplying part of the next generation of vulnerable women.)

Abusive mothers tend to inflict a wider variety of consequences on all or any one of their children regardless of gender.

 in the late 1950s a popular song was “Tom Dooley” 

And in 1968, Tom Jones presented Delilah

The pitiful, self-pitying chorus runs …

My, my, my, Delilah
Why, why, why, Delilah
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me Delilah, I just couldn’t take anymore


Oh yes. “I was lost like a slave that no man could free.” He couldn’t help himself.

My high school Spanish teacher had a story about that song, which was played incessantly and which he was sick of. He spent every summer in Spain and when he left the USA in the summer of 1968, he thought, Now I won’t have to listen to that song.

He went to Madrid and what did he hear? “My, my, my De-li-lah . . .”

He went to Barcelona: “My, my, my De-li-lah . . .”

Seville: “My, my, my De-li-lah . . .”

I’d…had…no…idea…until today that “Delilah”—a song I must’ve been exposed to over Muzak and the like, but never cared enough for to pay attention—was a murder ballad.

@Kat: The song’s ubiquity in 1968 Spain suggests that if nothing else, Les Reed knew how to write good fauxmenco.

@ Kat and Dalillama
Thanks for the Tom Dooley info. It seems I never looked up the original even though I seem to remember reading a Finnish translation in a songbook used at schools (not the one we used) and kind of maybe liking it, perhaps because of some wild west imagery thing.

For what it’s worth, IIRC the refrain went something like “Do you cry now, Tom Dooley? / Do you regret what you’ve done? / Do you see the tree, Tom Dooley? / Do you see the rope too?”

Right era, wrong place. The whole matter took place in North Carolina in 1866, shortly after Dula returned from fighting for the Confederacy. He was reputed to have murdered a man in New Orleans during the war, and generally accounted to be a ne’er-do-well and a badman. Regardless of his precise role in the death of Laura Foster, most of the county was just as glad to see him hanged.

Moon Custafer
Yeah, but his “Pretty Little One’ got charged & convicted for 1st Degree murder & is spending her life in prison because no NO WOMAN GETS AWAY WITH CHANGING THE NARRATIVE!

Oh, funny that it was even the right era. After writing my last comment it occurred to me that I probably only associated the song with the wild west because I might have thought of hanging as a wild west kind of execution method, which makes no sense because I must have seen The Men in Tights before then. Oh well. Free association gonna free.

Apparently there actually is a Western movie called The Legend of Tom Dooley, (very) loosely inspired by the Kingston Trio version of the song. Appears to be the usual revisionist Confederate-sympathising crap from that era, and bears no resemblance at all to what actually happened.

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