Saturday, December 15, 2007

Talk about Denial....

I found this article interesting about a man whose wife tried to kill him in a murder-suicide attempt but he is standing by her:

Noel Hanson loves his wife.

Even though she tried to kill him this week.

The Blaine man, whose wife of more than 20 years, Sandra Rod Hanson, 55, appeared Friday morning in Anoka County District Court on attempted murder charges, said he's worried about her.

"She needs counseling," Noel Hanson, 56, told the Pioneer Press, "because she tried to kill me. I don't hate her for that. Irregardless of what happened, I'm alive. She's alive. There's gotta be some way we can go forward."

On Tuesday morning, facing eviction from their mobile home and mounting debt stemming from her husband's medical needs, Sandra Hanson turned on the gas stove, but not the burner, in an attempt to kill her husband and herself, Anoka County prosecutors allege.

My favorite line from the article was the following:

"There's a disconnect, because she obviously tried to murder me," he recalled. "But then she started asking me about food and what I had to eat. She was worried about me. It seemed unreal."

Call me crazy, but I wouldn't be letting this woman cook for me anytime soon if I were this guy.


Blogger Bonnie said...

His use of the word "irregardless" caused me to be unable to focus on anything else. How irritating.

Now that I've gone through it again, I have to say, this just sounds like a classic case of an anxiety that the woman allowed to overwhelm her into wanting to commit suicide...if I may be so bold as to make an assumption, she might have not wanted him to deal with the leftovers of her dying, and since they shared the debt, maybe this was, in her mind a "sweet" thing to do? Doesn't change the fact that the woman needs some serious help, but I can see where the husband is coming from. Even if he does use imaginary words.

1:44 PM, December 15, 2007  
Blogger TMink said...

Perhaps, but I need a wife who handles her anxiety in a less lethal manner.


3:20 PM, December 15, 2007  
Blogger Will Conway said...

leave permalinks. no one can link to you!

3:44 PM, December 15, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Hi Will,

Are you talking to me? If so, you can click on the time at the bottom of each post to get the permalink.

3:57 PM, December 15, 2007  
Blogger Trudy W Schuett said...

There just isn't any help for women who are on the verge or actually causing lethal harm to their families.

The ONLY public help available for abusers assumes they are all men. Even then, if you look at the history of these programs, you find they had no one with any kind of experience in behavioral health involved.

Self-proclaimed feminist lawyers and female victims seeking revenge are all you will find.

As you've seen from your comments, male victims just aren't considered a worthwhile cause. People think it's some kind of a joke, which, of course, is dangerous for the men and children at risk.

I was in the social services field for ten years before I realized publicly-funded domestic violence programs do not address the issue at all.

6:27 PM, December 15, 2007  
Blogger Mortimer Brezny said...

Oh, but it is all his fault. If he hadn't been born with a penis, then she wouldn't have felt he deserved to die. He should do the world a favor and castrate himself.

6:49 PM, December 15, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Mortimer Brezny,

Actually, in the article, it states that the judge set a pretty steep bail--$200,000, so at least it seems that the legal system is taking it seriously. I am just pointing out here the husband's reaction--probably one of the reasons that no one takes women doing harm to others seriously is that the men themselves don't.

7:01 PM, December 15, 2007  
Blogger Trudy W Schuett said...

Most abuse victims try to downplay or soft-pedal their problem, gender irregardless. In a way, that's part of the larger problem.

This leaves society with a sticky wicket -- to get involved, or not?

8:03 PM, December 15, 2007  
Blogger Misanthrope said...

Squeaky Wheel: I'm with you regarding "irregardless." Since the "ir-" prefix and the "-less" suffix have the same meaning, "irregardless" would mean "regarding" or "with regards".

Remember, it's either "irregard" or "regardless." And Grammer Nazi's everywhere can sleep at night.

12:25 AM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Major General - An apostrophe's purpose isn't to announce an impending "s", either. ;-)

However, your justification for hating the word "irregardless" is the same as mine, and not a lot of people seem to understand that argument, so thank you for understanding the basic rule of prefixes and suffixes.

12:51 AM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Much of our society treats murder seriously without regard for who: Mind you, females who murder males are FAR more likely to be treated with extreme leniency. Men, as well, seem to be fairly forgiving of a wife who tries to kill them. This is hardly the first time I've seen a man whose wife tried to kill him worry so much about her.

Somewhere in our society there is a disconnect, a social-something which sees the two sexes in totally different lights.

Part of that is the far too low value of a male life in comparison to a female life. Yet, that can only be a part of the thing. There's more here than meets the eye. What? I have no idea.

4:25 AM, December 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a fairly big movie in the 1980s called "I Love You to Death" w/ Kevin Kline and Tracey Ullman. The movie had the same theme, except the wife tried 3 or 4 different ways to kill her husband, and she screwed all of them up (even the hit man). The movie was based on a real incident.

In the end, true love won out though, and the man apologized to her for being a cad and took her back. I saw an interview with the real man that the movie was based on, and he seemed as clueless as the actor in the movie portraying him.

That part of the male psyche is just bizarre. And it gives people like Mary Winkler a real break in life.

5:25 AM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Yes, I just saw that Winkler was granted supervised visits with her children by the courts. This, after she kills their father. It's sick. True equality means just that, people should be exactly the same by the courts regardless of gender.

6:18 AM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I don't see the difference between this story and the thousands of women (and men) who are choosing to stay with their physical abusers. The man wants so desperately to stay with his wife he is willing to ignore the fact she tried to kill him. I'm not so sure you can help any of these types. Luckily, I doubt these 2 will have access to $200,000 from any bondsman. If you let this woman fill the trailer with gas and there is a spark, she will blow up the entire park, and that is not a nice thing to do to other people and their property, irregardless of whether the husband dies or not.

8:35 AM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


I agree that there is probably not much difference between this guy staying with his wife and a wife staying with an abusive husband in terms of psychology etc. However, it is the law that generally treats them differently. A man who is abused has few services, a woman who is abused has shelters, lawyers and the law behind her in a way that abused men do not. That said, this woman did try to kill the guy and the judge seems reasonable in this case, luckily.

8:49 AM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

The day a man can bear, carry and nurse a baby is the day and the days men and women have equal physical capacities is the day the genders will be equally treated by family courts.

Now who's sounding like an ideological feminist? You ought to read your Larry Summers, eh?

11:11 AM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

In response to your:
True equality means just that, people should be exactly the same by the courts regardless of gender.

11:12 AM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm not sure if I'm just playing with word order - but she stayed in the increasingly-gaseous air with him.

I've heard of murder-suicide, but this one sounds more like suicide-murder. She was planning on going with him, rather than afterwards in a paroxysm of remorse-or-whatever.

That makes the psychological dynamic rather different.

12:54 PM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Dr. Ellen - that's what I was trying to say. She obviously wanted to end her own life, and that probably came before any decision to end his. The problem of their debt was probably a contributing factor of whatever anxiety and depression she was feeling, and this is a really warped way of looking at it, but her husband obviously needs care, as his medical bills are high enough to have put them in dire straits...she doesn't want him to have to deal with that after she's gone, so she thought she'd do them both a "favor" by having them die at the same time. I'm glad someone else sees this.

3:39 PM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Squeaky Wheel,

So if someone does you a "favor" by attempting to kill you, that's okay? Seems like attempted murder to me. You people are nuts.

4:40 PM, December 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'd rather do without the "favor".

6:28 PM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Bonnie said...


I'm NOT saying that what she did was right. Neither am I saying that the hubby shouldn't be mad at her, or that neither of them need therapy, because obviously both of them do, big time. I'm just trying to offer a different perspective than the "people are too easy on female criminals" thing - this is her HUSBAND, not some cold, indifferent jury. Of COURSE he's going to have a different viewpoint, and her motivation might have been more than just simply feeling murderous. In her addled and stressed-out mind, she really could have felt like she was doing him a favor by killing them both at the same time. Yeah, it's a horribly narcissistic viewpoint ("you can't live without me, so you'll die when I do"), but one that should be considered, nonetheless. I'm honestly surprised at the number of people who've looked at this and assumed she just wanted to off him without considering all of the circumstances. Then again, I just got out of a year of intensive study on this sort of thing, so maybe that's why I'm taking it into consideration, regardless of my ultimate condemnation of her, which is that yes, she was wrong and a little nutty for wanting to do any of that in the first place, and he seems to be severely dependent.

The word "favor" was in quotations for a reason: that's HER viewpoint as imagined by me, not MY viewpoint. I'll thank you not to question my sanity simply because I choose to look at more than one side of a situation. :-)

7:15 PM, December 16, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Squeaky Wheel,

"Then again, I just got out of a year of intensive study on this sort of thing"

What kind of year long training are you taking that emphasizes understanding why people attempt to kill each other?

5:33 AM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Bonnie said... That doesn't make me an expert, but it's definitely caused me to look at too many different angles of things, even when I really shouldn't. I'm trained to look for disorders right now.

11:21 AM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Squeaky Wheel,

I understand looking at things from all angles, but it's important to distinguish excusing behavior with understanding the cause in order to prevent it. By the way, sorry about the "you people are nuts" crack. That was uncalled for.

11:26 AM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I'm not excusing anyone's behavior. Providing examples of why someone did something isn't necessarily making excuses. If you excuse something, you try to bring those examples to the forefront in order to bring blame away from them.

Without providing any of those examples, here's honestly my first reaction when I see that story, "Damn, that guy is WHIPPED." My second reaction, "What the hell did she try to kill him for?" Then I re-read the article. Then I started looking at possible scenarios. Yes, I thought way too much about a blog entry than I should have, but I actually enjoy this sort of thing. I'll just refrain from doing so in the future.

11:37 AM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Squeaky Wheel,

"I'll just refrain from doing so in the future."

Why? Just because I said something about it? Think for yourself and put out there what you think is accurate --just because I don't agree doesn't mean you have to stop doing it, not here anyway. I appreciate your comments, even if I don't agree!

12:07 PM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I just don't want to cause internet drama...heh. :-) I do think for myself, I just have trouble gauging what's helpful to a discussion and what causes unrest. And in an internet forum, unrest usually isn't helpful - I'm less prone to care IRL, because the people you deal with every day are the ones who REALLY need to know how you think and feel about certain issues. If you're seriously okay with it, though, I'll just apply that mentality here. :-) I do enjoy your blog, btw. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

12:31 PM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

I'm with cham on this: it sounds exactly like the bizarre "he didn't mean to" nonsense one hears from abused women. It's not quite the sort of thing one wants when looking for equality...

1:05 PM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger submandave said...

Helen, oddly enough I may side more with SW on this. My perspective is that an intended murder-suicide is more-likely depression driven than a pure murder, and therefore potentially more related to physiological/chemical issues than, for example, a Mary Winkler sort of killing. Yes, attempted murder is a HUGE thing, but I tend to sympathize more with this husband's position and feelings of concern for his wife than the guy who survives a gun shot or poisoning.

1:30 PM, December 17, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

I think the suicide-murder scenario is a good explanation for the woman's motive, but it doesn't explain why the husband still supports her. I think they should charge her with attempted murder.

4:05 PM, December 19, 2007  
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