ANTIDEPRESSANT: Amnesia & Murder: Man Stabs Wife to Death: Nebraska

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy:

Serious memory loss is a common complaint as far as side
effects to antidepressants go. Even Amnesia is listed as a Frequent side effect
for Prozac in the Physicians Desk Reference.  It is no uncommon to be
unaware of what one has done on these drugs.
Also paranoia is listed as an “Infrequent” side-effect
[but not listed as Rare] in the Physicians Desk Reference for medications for
depression.  A person with paranoia should almost never be given an
antidepressant.
_____________________________
Paragraphs 12 through 16 read:  “The report says
Hollister began experiencing  ‘depressive symptoms,’ including
severe insomnia, in the summer of 2008. Financial stress, health problems and a
relative’s purported involvement with a cult contributed to his depression, the
report says.”

“Hollister reportedly became paranoid about others, whom
he believed were ‘plotting’ against him
,” the report says.  ‘He also
experienced suicidal ideation during that time period’.”

“Hollister
sought help from several medical professionals and was
prescribed medicine for depression and
insomnia.”

“On Nov. 3, Hollister called 911, saying his wife was
dead and a knife was beside her.”


http://www.omaha.com/article/20091031/NEWS01/710319900/-1/FRONTPAGE

Published Saturday October 31,
2009

Man competent for trial in wife’s death

By Todd Cooper
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

His mental
state now stabilized through medication, Robert T. Hollister has been ruled
competent to stand trial in the stabbing death of his wife, Jeanie “Ellie”
Hollister.

What doctors haven’t determined is whether the Omaha man was
sane at the time of his wife’s death on Nov. 3, 2008.

In a recent court
document, Lincoln Regional Center doctors said they needed more time to make
that determination. Hollister has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to

first-degree murder.

“Mr. Hollister is competent to stand trial,” the
regional center report says. “Further evaluation is necessary before an opinion
can be offered regarding Mr. Hollister’s mental status at the time of the
offense.”

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine acknowledged the rarity of
regional center doctors requesting more time for evaluation because they haven’t
reached a consensus regarding a defendant’s mental state at the time of a
crime.

He said a defendant isn’t necessarily insane just because he has
been battling mental illness. However, he said, attorneys will have to wait for
the further evaluation before deciding how to proceed.

With insanity
defenses, the burden shifts to defense attorneys to prove that their client was
insane at the time of the killing. It will be up to Douglas County District
Judge Marlon Polk to weigh any testimony about Hollister’s mental
state.

If the judge concludes that Hollister was insane, he most likely
would be committed indefinitely to the regional center. If the judge determines
that Hollister was sane, he would proceed to trial and, if convicted, face life
in prison.

The initial regional center report by psychiatrist Klaus
Hartmann and psychologist Mario Scalora shows that Hollister, 59, had been
battling depression for several months before the death of his

wife.

Hollister, who has no criminal record, has a master’s degree in
human resources and was employed at Omaha Bedding Co. from 1994 to
2007.

He then worked at his wife’s vintage clothing store, “Weird Wild
Stuff,” from 2007 until the time of her death.

The report says Hollister
began experiencing “depressive symptoms,” including severe insomnia, in the
summer of 2008. Financial stress, health problems and a relative’s purported
involvement with a cult contributed to his depression, the report
says.

“Hollister reportedly became paranoid about others, whom he
believed were ‘plotting’ against him,” the report says. “He also experienced
suicidal ideation during that time period.”

Hollister sought help from
several medical professionals and was prescribed medicine for depression and
insomnia.

On Nov. 3, Hollister called 911, saying his wife was dead and a
knife was beside her.

Police found Ellie Hollister dead in the couple’s
home at 4705 N. 111th Circle.

Detectives found evidence that Ellie
Hollister, 52, tried to fight off her husband, including scratch marks on Robert
Hollister’s face. Hollister told regional center doctors he had “memory lapses
related to the alleged offense.”

“Hollister demonstrated a desire for
justice,” the report says, “rather than undeserved punishment.”

Contact
the writer:

444-1275,

todd.cooper@owh.com

715 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Murder: Man Stabs Wife Muliple Times Killing Her: England

Paragraph 21 reads:  “Supt Slattery said Davidson’s
medical problems started in 2007 and he had been prescribed some
medication but  ‘clearly the
treatment and intervention hadn’t been successful’.”

Paragraph 13
reads:  “During Davidson’s court appearance on Thursday, it emerged that he
had been battling depression for some time and would sit in
bed, not wash and not help around the house. He refused to accept that he had a
problem.”

Paragraph 18 reads:  “Supt Slattery admitted that people
would find it difficult to understand how a placid, withdrawn man

who showed no hint of violence could suddenly commit
such an horrific act.”

http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/cumbrian_woman_who_saw_her_dad_kill_her_mum_still_has_nightmares_a_year_on_1_630860?referrerPath=home

Cumbrian woman who saw her dad kill her mum still has nightmares a year
on

By Victoria Brenan

Last updated at 12:03,
Saturday, 31 October 2009

A daughter who saw her father murder her mother
in a frenzied attack in their Penrith home lives with the brutal images every
day.

Twenty-three-year-old Collette Davidson suffers from nightmares and
sleep problems after witnessing the assault in which her mother was stabbed 50

times on August 21 last year.

She has essentially lost both parents after
her father Robert, 48, was this week ordered to be detained indefinitely in a
mental hospital after admitting manslaughter.

“I become very upset when I
think of what she went through and the horrific end to her life,” Collette said
in a statement.

“After the incident I hardly slept at all and I don’t
like being around knives. I look at them and think about what they can
do.”

Detective Superintendent Andy Slattery, who led the investigation
into the death of 43-year-old Judith Davidson, paid tribute to Collette’s
strength saying she had witnessed “the most unimaginable, horrific
scenes”.

The family had eaten a meal together before Davidson took two
knives upstairs and subjected his wife of 24 years to a sustained, brutal
stabbing in the bedroom of their home in White Ox Way. Collette overheard them
arguing – her mother had earlier asked her father to leave – then heard a scream
and a cry.

She saw her mother – whom she described as her best friend –
cornered and being stabbed by her father. She grabbed one of the knives and went
to a neighbour for help. When they returned, the attack was still
continuing.

“Collette was extremely traumatised,” said Supt Slattery,
head of the public protection unit. “She will never forget what happened but she
has been very strong throughout this, remarkably so. Right from the start she
was able to explain to officers what had happened and give a very detailed
account of what had gone on at the house.”

Supt Slattery was called to
the scene after Davidson had already been arrested.

“It was obvious from
the start that we weren’t looking for anyone else in connection with this,” he
said.

“Something significant happened in the mind of Robert Davidson and
he turned from a quiet and depressed man to being extremely
violent.”

During Davidson’s court appearance on Thursday, it emerged that
he had been battling depression for some time and would sit in bed, not wash and
not help around the house. He refused to accept that he had a
problem.

Supt Slattery described him as “very quiet and unemotional”,
even at the scene. “He didn’t speak. Not at all. In his first interview he
didn’t comment. He said very little but what he did say was that Judith was a
good woman and he loved her.”

Davidson was examined by a doctor and
psychiatrist at the police station and was deemed fit to be interviewed. He was
later assessed by three psychiatrists – one for the defence, the prosecution and
the court. All agreed that he was suffering from an “abnormality of the mind”,
stemming from depression.

“He was suffering from hopelessness and
depression. It was long-term build up of a history of mental depression,” Supt
Slattery said.

When his wife asked him to leave, Davidson was “so
depressed, so anxious” that he viewed it as “a catastrophic event”, the
psychiatrists concluded – although the court heard she had asked him to leave on
previous occasions.

Supt Slattery admitted that people would find it
difficult to understand how a placid, withdrawn man who showed no hint of
violence could suddenly commit such an horrific act.

“There was no
build-up in terms of threats or violence of any sort, no reason to believe that
Judith was afraid in any way,” he added.

“It’s something I don’t think
the family or anyone else will understand. There was clearly a degree of
planning involved and forethought in what he did. He took two kitchen knives
upstairs.”

Supt Slattery said Davidson’s medical problems started in 2007
and he had been prescribed some medication but “clearly the treatment and
intervention hadn’t been successful”.

The psychiatrists’ assessment made
it difficult to pursue a murder charge and the CPS agreed to accept a plea to
manslaughter, meaning Davidson would not have to go to trial, something Mrs
Davidson’s side of the family criticised. “We have no faith in this country’s
justice system,” they said in a statement. “It should be a life for a
life.”

Supt Slattery said Davidson’s children – Collette and Craig, who
was at university at the time of the attack – would never forget what happened.
Neither of them attended court.

They were a close-knit family and the
impact of “having a parent die at the hands of another parent adds another
dimension of difficulty for anybody”.

“They have lost their mother and
got to come to terms with the fact their father killed her in a brutal and
ferocious way,” he said. “They both found it difficult to come to terms with
what happened and to carry on with normal life.

“Collette will never
forget what happened but she has got to find a way to move on.”

Davidson,
who must remain at a secure hospital indefinitely, will be monitored by doctors
and a report produced every year on his condition and progress. His family will
be kept updated and he will be released only when no longer considered a risk to
the public.

The judge said he expected him to spend a “very long” time in
hospital.

First published at 09:11, Saturday, 31 October
2009
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk

683 total views, no views today

CYMBALTA & DESYREL: Murder: Man Kills Gas Station Attendant: MA

Paragraph one reads: “Steven Foster, the man accused of the brutal slaying of gas station attendant Hegazy Sayed, had prescriptions for at least two anti-depressant drugs leading up to Sunday night’s shooting.”

Paragraph four reads: “Aviles, who helps out in the rental/ management office of Bristol Lodging Sober House ­ a 15-unit rooming house at 68 Broadway where Foster had been living alone ­ was able to identify two of the meds as Cymbalta and Trazodone.”

“Both drugs are anti-depressants.”

http://www.tauntongazette.com/homepage/x1914256178/Murder-suspect-had-Rx-meds

Murder suspect had Rx meds
By Charles Winokoor, Staff Writer
GateHouse News Service
Posted Oct 31, 2009 @ 12:06 AM
Taunton ­

Steven Foster, the man accused of the brutal slaying of gas station attendant Hegazy Sayed, had prescriptions for at least two anti-depressant drugs leading up to Sunday night’s shooting.

Marlene Aviles said that when she cleaned out the single-room, efficiency apartment that Foster had rented the three weeks prior to the execution-style killing, she retrieved “six or seven” containers left on top of the refrigerator ­ all of them bearing Foster’s name and all nearly full of prescription pills.

Aviles, who helps out in the rental/ management office of Bristol Lodging Sober House ­ a 15-unit rooming house at 68 Broadway where Foster had been living alone ­ was able to identify two of the meds as Cymbalta and Trazodone.

Both drugs are anti-depressants.

Trazodone, in particular, is also used for sleeplessness and chronic pain.

Aviles also said that Foster had mentioned to her that he suffered from Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that affects the feet and legs and sometimes the arms and upper body.

A woman answering the front door Thursday at the Dighton house where Foster’s ex-girlfriend and young son reportedly both live refused to identify herself ­ but she did confirm that Foster had been prescribed anti-depressants and that he suffers from Guillain-Barré syndrome.

According to Taunton District Court records, an abuse protection order request on behalf of Christine Lima of Dighton was formally filed against Foster on Oct. 26, the day after the shooting ­ and also the day that he was charged with murder, armed robbery, intimidating a witness and possession of an illegal firearm, the latter of which police say was a stolen .22-caliber rifle.

The 10 p.m. shooting of Sayed, a 45-year-old Egyptian immigrant who is survived by a wife in Taunton and four children in Egypt, was especially abhorrent to many people for its sudden brutality.

Authorities allege that Foster, instead of walking into the gas station office and demanding money, pre-emptively opened fire through a glass door hitting Sayed once in the head.

He next walked in, pumped a second bullet into Sayed’s head while he lay on the floor and made off with $15, according to the Bristol County DA’s office.

Less than five minutes later Foster allegedly was captured on surveillance footage walking barefoot into a nearby CVS store and then exiting with a pair of slippers.

Authorities say he lost his shoes after the shooting when he ran into some woods to change his clothes.

Foster’s Guillain-Barré syndrome, which besides producing weakness and tingling in the feet and legs can in some cases leads to paralysis, could have contributed to a state of depression, said Dr. Harvey Reback, a Fall River-based internal medicine physician.

Reback, who likened the advanced effects of the disorder to those of polio, said that someone with an existing psychotic diagnosis, who feels better after taking an anti-depressant and then stops, can be courting disaster.

Upon hearing some of the details of the Sayed shooting case, Reback immediately drew an analogy to the brutal stabbing attack earlier this week on a female psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“It’s my gut feeling that he may not have been taking his medicine,” he said of the MGH assault.

In the Boston incident the attacker was shot to death by an off-duty guard, but not before grievously injuring his vicitm.

“If someone is crazy to begin with and they’re not taking their medicine, they can go off the deep end,” Reback said.

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Gregg Miliote, when asked to comment on the possibility that Foster was off his meds the night of the shooting, said that he had no information pertaining to the defendant’s use of prescription pills.

“I’m not aware of any mental health issues,” Miliote said.

Foster, who is being held without bail, is scheduled to appear for a probable cause hearing on Nov. 20.

Miliote said that although the DA’s office has a strong case, it could take as long as two years before the trial gets underway, not unusual when it comes to trials that can lead to very lengthy sentences.

“Look at the Elizabeth Smart case, they just started the trial,” he said, referring to the 14-year Utah girl who in 2002 was kidnapped by a husband and wife, and then allegedly raped repeatedly by her male captor until being rescued nine months later.

519 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Murder: Man Stabs & Kills Wife: England

Paragraphs 18 & 19 read:  “In the witness box, Mr
Sinclair also described how he had been depressed at
various times in his life, particularly after the death of his father.”

“He told the court he had been taking medication
and was smoking up to 100 cigarettes a day.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/hampshire/8319055.stm

Page last updated at 17:40 GMT, Wednesday, 21
October 2009 18:40 UK

Phone boss ‘traded knife swipes’

Sally Sinclair was
head of business analysis at Vodafone

A man accused of murdering his
Vodafone executive wife has told a court the pair traded swipes with knives
after she admitted having an affair.

Sally Sinclair, 40, was found
with more than 30 stab wounds at their home in Amport, Hampshire, in August
2008.

At the time, she was head of business analysis at the mobile phone
firm’s world headquarters near Newbury.

Alisdair Sinclair, 48, formerly
of Georgia Lane, Amport, began giving his evidence at Winchester Crown Court.

Mr Sinclair cried several times in court, the BBC’s Steve Humphrey said.

The defendant told the court he had run at his wife of 21 years while
she finally admitted to having an affair, while they argued in the kitchen of
their rented luxury property.

[]
[]

I would give up my life for Sally but I thought I was dying
[]

Alisdair Sinclair

Mr Sinclair, a house husband, told the jury she had
got a knife from a block and stabbed him in the hands while he shielded himself.

He then got a knife himself, he said, and they traded swipes before he
was stabbed in the stomach.

Eventually, he lunged at her neck in a
panic, as he thought he was dying, and she had fallen to the floor “like a
stone”, the court heard.

“All I remember thinking is I’m dying, I’m
dying – Sally’s strong,” he said.

“If I had known what had happened I
would have more than willingly died instead – that’s for sure. I would give up
my life for Sally but I thought I was dying.”

‘100 cigarettes a
day’

He said he remembered nothing after kneeling beside her and
thinking she was dead, including inflicting a massive sawn wound to her neck.

Mr Sinclair admitted in court that he had killed his wife and had
inflicted the “horrible” injuries, but said he had never meant to do it and that
it was self defence up until the point she had fallen.

His defence
counsel Robert Fortune QC asked: “Were all the injuries self-defence or beyond
self-defence?”
The couple rented the secluded detached house in
Amport

Mr Sinclair replied: “I believe it went beyond self-defence.”

In the witness box, Mr Sinclair also described how he had been depressed
at various times in his life, particularly after the death of his father.

He told the court he had been taking medication and was smoking up to
100 cigarettes a day.

Mr Sinclair also gave the jury an insight into his
obsessive behaviour.

He said he often bought dozens of pairs of socks
and trousers and the couple also had a collection of very expensive cars.

He hardly ever drove them, he told the court.

The trial
continues.

615 total views, 1 views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Murder : Man Kills Wife with Hammer: England

Paragraph 22 reads:  “Ignatius Hughes, defending, said
that in June 2008 his client was “on the brink” psychologically and had a long
history of depression for which he had been
prescribed medication.”

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/homepage/Bristol-mum-bludgeoned-death-lump-hammer/article-1449304-detail/article.html

Bristol mum bludgeoned to death with a lump hammer

Saturday, October 24, 2009, 07:00

A man who bludgeoned his partner
to death with a lump hammer while in the grip of psychosis has been told he may
never be released from jail.

Paul Ford, aged 51, told police he thought
he had hit mother-of-five Debra Ford “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of
times in the face at the home they shared in Oldland Common.

He was
jailed indefinitely at Bristol Crown Court yesterday for what a judge described
as a “truly terrible” killing, which left his victim unrecognisable.

The
court heard the couple shared the same surname because Mrs Ford, 45, had
previously been married to the defendant’s brother Geoffrey, with whom she had
two children, and had also been married to his brother Steve.

Her three
other children were by another man.

Ford initially faced a murder charge
but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished
responsibility.

Doctors later confirmed a combination of drug use,
post-accident stress disorder and depression all contributed to his psychosis at
the time.

Imposing an indefinite sentence for public protection, Mr
Justice Royce said Ford would serve a minimum of three years before he could be
considered for release. But he stressed that he considered Ford to be dangerous
and, if it was deemed appropriate by the Parole Board, he could face the rest of
his life behind bars.

Ray Tully, prosecuting, told the court the couple’s
relationship, which had started in 2007, was “volatile on both sides”.

In
the 48 hours leading up to the killing they were seen in two pubs; in one Ford
scuffled with a man and in the other Debra was seen “goading” the
defendant.

Mr Tully said Ford attacked his partner in the living room of
their home at The Clamp, Oldland Common, on the evening of September 3 last
year.

“She was battered round the head with such force her facial
features became indiscernible,” said Mr Tully.

“He walked next door,
still carrying the hammer, he spoke to a neighbour and asked her to call the
police.

“He said: ‘I hit her, I killed her, I done it so my boys will be
safe’.”

Mr Tully said Debra Ford had for a long time associated with a
large number of people who led a criminal lifestyle.

He said that, at the
time of her death, she was waiting to be sentenced for dishonesty and drug
supply, and had been a regular user of amphetamine and cannabis.

Mr Tully
said: “There is clear evidence Debra Ford could be argumentative and
manipulative.

“Her daughter said that she also suffered from bad health,
having had surgery in 2003 for an abscess to her back which made her wheelchair
bound. Thereafter she walked with calipers and used walking sticks to get about
and she was considered frail and vulnerable.”

On the day of the killing
Ford ate with his parents and brothers and told Geoffrey: “You know I’m an angry

man. I’m an angry man at the best of times.”

He was then seen to turn up
at The Clamp, and was alone with Debra when he unleashed the fatal
attack.

The court heard Ford told police: “We had a scuffle and I just
did her. I don’t know where I got it (the hammer) from. I just grabbed it from
something. I thought that there were people upstairs; I thought I was being
trapped and cornered. I’m turning into a paranoid wreck. I’ve had so much
hassle; I thought I was being trapped.”

Ignatius Hughes, defending, said
that in June 2008 his client was “on the brink” psychologically and had a long
history of depression for which he had been prescribed medication.

He
said it would be impossible to establish what degree of real threats Ford
experienced as opposed to his perceived threats because of psychosis.

Mr
Hughes said the relationship was the catalyst, which made a re-occurrence most
unlikely.

The majority of psychiatrists who examined Ford did not
conclude it would be appropriate for him to be treated in a psychiatric
institution.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Royce told Ford: “This was a
truly terrible killing. The lives of those closest to her have been terribly
scarred in consequence.”

799 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Murder: Man Kills Wife: Has No Memory of it: Trial: Cal…

THE MEMORY LAPSES IN THESE CASES ARE FAR TOO COMMON. HOW DO YOU RECALL KILLING SOMEONE IN AN ANTIDEPRESSANT-INDUCED SLEEP STATE-THE REM SLEEP BEHAVIOR DISORDER??????? (www.drugawareness.org)

Paragraphs 13 & 14 read: “Throughout the case and repeatedly during the trial, Doud has said he has no memory of killing his wife. He has said the memory lapse is similar to one he experienced in December 2002 when he was missing in the Sierra Nevada wilderness near Yosemite for several days. When he was located that time, Doud said he had no idea how or why he ended up snow camping in the mountains.”

“During the trial Tuesday, small details about the case surfaced, including that Doud has been taking anti-depressant medication for anxiety since before his disappearance in 2002 and that, after his wife’s death, he wrote a letter to his children asking them if they believed he killed their mother.”

http://www.mercurynews.com/centralcoast/ci_13039336

One witness left in Marshall Doud murder trial

By Jennifer Squires

Posted: 08/11/2009 07:42:28 PM PDT
Updated: 08/11/2009 07:44:11 PM PDT

SANTA CRUZ – After four days on the witness stand, accused murderer Marshall Doud stepped down Tuesday afternoon and his attorney rested his case.

Doud was the only defense witness to testify during the jury trial, which began Aug. 4 and could send the 43-year-old to state prison for the rest of his life. He is accused of allegedly smothering his wife, Morgana, 42, early on Sept. 4, 2007.

Doud, whose testimony was interrupted by hours of video-taped footage of his interviews with police, testified that he does not remember killing his wife. He claims he suffered a blind spot in his memory around the time his wife died.

Prosecutor Andrew Isaac plans to call Dr. James Missett, a psychiatrist, as a rebuttal witness Wednesday. Missett, a San Francisco Bay Area-doctor, likely will be the last person to testify and closing arguments are expected Thursday.

Outside of court, Isaac said Missett will address the psychiatric validity of the claims Doud has made. The doctor has reviewed the case file and Doud’s testimony in preparation for Wednesday’s court appearance.

Isaac added that the District Attorney’s Office has consulted with medical experts from the onset of the case because investigators suspected Doud would use a mental health defense.

The defense did not utilize any expert witnesses, but Doud testified at length about his mental health history and his experiences on the day his wife died.

Doud told jurors that he woke up around 1:30 a.m. that day to use the bathroom, then walked downstairs in his Mentel Avenue home to check on his children, who were all asleep, and watched the creatures in the family’s saltwater fishtank.

But then he suffered some sort of blackout, Doud testified. He “woke up” on the top of the staircase terrified and unsure of what time or day it was. Doud testified that he lost about two hours of his memory.

“It’s scary. It’s difficult to describe,” Doud told the jury Tuesday. “It’s like turning around and not seeing anything.”

Overwhelmed with fear, Doud got dressed and fled his house in the middle of the night, he testified. He drove to his Scotts Valley office, then into the Santa Cruz Mountains, where he passed the day sitting on a rock in the woods trying to make sense of the thoughts in his head. At dusk, he walked back to his pickup and decided to contact his therapist, he testified.

The effort to reach his doctor brought Doud to Santa Cruz police headquarters, where he was able to meet with the therapist but was arrested on suspicion of killing his wife.

Throughout the case and repeatedly during the trial, Doud has said he has no memory of killing his wife. He has said the memory lapse is similar to one he experienced in December 2002 when he was missing in the Sierra Nevada wilderness near Yosemite for several days. When he was located that time, Doud said he had no idea how or why he ended up snow camping in the mountains.

During the trial Tuesday, small details about the case surfaced, including that Doud has been taking anti-depressant medication for anxiety since before his disappearance in 2002 and that, after his wife’s death, he wrote a letter to his children asking them if they believed he killed their mother.

Monday, the prosecution introduced a letter written the night of Morgana’s death by one of Doud’s sons in which the teenager stated his father was going to kill the whole family.

Two of the couple’s three teenage children, who found their mother dead on her bed, have been called to testify against their father.

728 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Murder: Man Kills Mother & His Own Daughter – Michigan

Third paragraph from the end reads:  “Donna Vanniekerk told Defense Attorney Lesley Kranenberg that her husband  ‘used to be kind and loving but he turned mean and vindictive’  after his father died in 2004. She said he had been seeing a therapist and taking medication for depression.

Paragraph five reads:  “Vanniekerk was found in a bed in the motel and arrested and now is charged with two counts of open murder. He listened Thursday as the first witnesses testified in his preliminary examination before Calhoun County District Court Judge John Holmes. Testimony will continue in September when a pathologist is expected to testify that Brenda Vanniekerk and her granddaughter Laura Vanniekerk died from an overdose of medication.”

http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/article/20090807/NEWS01/908070314/1002/NEWS01/Wife-testifies-against-man-in-slayings

Wife testifies against man in slayings

Trace Christenson • The Enquirer • August 7, 2009

As Johan Vanniekerk straddled his wife, hitting and choking her, she told him she couldn’t breathe.Advertisement

“I know,” Donna Vanniekerk remembers him saying, “because I am going to kill you tonight.”

“I started screaming and he started strangling me harder. He said, ‘Don’t worry about the girls. When I am done killing you, I am going to kill them, too.”

Johan Vanniekerk didn’t kill anyone that night, April 30, but the 41-year-old Fort Wayne, Ind., man is charged with the May 1 death of his mother, 72, and his daughter, 3, in a Marshall motel. Investigators have alleged that Vanniekerk assaulted his wife in their Fort Wayne apartment and then the next day drove his mother and daughter to Marshall, where they were killed in a motel room.

Vanniekerk was found in a bed in the motel and arrested and now is charged with two counts of open murder. He listened Thursday as the first witnesses testified in his preliminary examination before Calhoun County District Court Judge John Holmes. Testimony will continue in September when a pathologist is expected to testify that Brenda Vanniekerk and her granddaughter Laura Vanniekerk died from an overdose of medication.

Donna Vanniekerk said she and her husband had been married 12 years but the relationship had soured and the couple separated because of his depression.

On the night of April 30, she said her husband entered their apartment a few minutes after a male co-worker, who was repairing some computers, had left.

“He took me down the hall and he put me on the bed,” Donna Vanniekerk told Prosecutor Susan Mladenoff. “He climbed on top of me and started hitting me and strangling me.”

A few minutes later the assault stopped and she said her husband made her promise he could move back with her and their three daughters and they would be together. She said she decided to act normally “because I thought I was dead and he was going to kill me and the girls.”

The next morning she prepared to go to work, took Laura to the apartment of her mother-in-law Brenda Vanniekerk, who provided child care, and then took the two older girls to school. There, an administrator called police and later Johan Vanniekerk realized the authorities were involved.
(2 of 2)

The couple exchanged some phone calls and text messages but when Donna Vanniekerk and the police went to Brenda Vanniekerk’s apartment, they found she and her granddaughter were gone.

At 4:15 p.m. that Friday, Donna Vanniekerk received a text message from her husband which said “we have reached the point of no return,” and then another which said “this is all your fault, you have no one to blame but yourself.”

She continued to call her husband and, when he finally answered, she asked about her mother-in-law.

“She is already dead,” she said her husband replied.

And when Donna Vanniekerk asked about Laura, her daughter, he said, “she is dead, too.”

“I started screaming and said she is my baby. He said, ‘not anymore,’ and hung up.”

Donna Vanniekerk told Defense Attorney Lesley Kranenberg that her husband “used to be kind and loving but he turned mean and vindictive” after his father died in 2004. She said he had been seeing a therapist and taking medication for depression.

Marshall Patrol Officer Andrew Groeneveld testified he was one of several officers to enter two rooms rented by Vanniekerk at the Comfort Inn in Marshall.

Groeneveld said in the room he entered shortly after 5:30 p.m., they found Vanniekerk on one bed, with labored breathing, and the child already dead on another bed.

Trace Christenson can be reached at 966-0685 or tchrist@battlecr.gannett .

1,124 total views, no views today