From: Dr. Charles E. Corry [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 10:47 AM
Subject: RTD bus driver kills her husband with boyfriend's pistol, claims she
suffered from "battered woman syndrome"
After putting out the story Murder Will Out I received a
spate of e-mails from women with exaggerated claims of how rarely women kill their
The best data I have found for intimate homicides by gender of
victim is summarized in a graph by the Bureau of Justice that can be found at http://www.dvmen.org/dv-101.htm#pgfId-1072935
shows homicides by both men and women at near parity in 1976 at a rate of about 1500 each
when they began collecting the data. Since then women have been killing their male
partners at a steadily decreasing rate, and the rate stood at about 450 men killed per
year in 1997, for which one might thank, in part, the current DV laws.
That is an unanticipated consequence of laws intended to protect
However, men killing their female partners remained at about the
same rate of 1500 per year until 1993 when that rate began to decrease as well, standing
at about 1250 per year in 1997. That decrease continues so that the present best estimate
is that roughly two intimate female partners are killed by men for every man killed by a
female intimate partner.
But, as Dr. Warren Farrell has pointed out in his Twelve Female Only Defenses,
since historical times women have used poison as their favored weapon. As was the point
with the Murder Will Out story, poison often goes undetected, and death is ascribed to
other causes. Also, women commonly use a boyfriend or a third-party to do their killing
for them. Such killings are not tabulated by the Justice Department as intimate partner
homicides. Thus, for these and other reasons Dr. Farrell refers to as The Six Blinders: "It
is impossible to know the degree to which the sexes kill each other. The only thing we
know for certain is that both sexes kill more men than they kill women."
I now list 35 cases of female homicides in Colorado at http://www.dvmen.org/dv-103.htm and estimate
that for the years 1998-2000 the tabulation presently includes, at best, one in ten of the
actual killings by females of domestic partners that occurred in Colorado.
However, as with Murder Will Out, I often find out about these murders
only many years later. As with the following story, they are then added to the
compilation. One reason for doing so is in an attempt to show how cold-blooded and
deliberate women can be when killing their male partners, a far cry from claims that women
only kill or are violent in self defense.
Incidentally, the following story is the second I've found
in Colorado of a wife shooting her husband and then going out dancing. The first such
story I found is at http://www.dvmen.org/dv-103.htm#pgfId-1020100
A number of points are evident in these stories and the
The rate at which women kill their intimate partners is indeterminate.
The official rate could quite easily be low by a factor of two or more.
The numbers of men killed by their intimate partners has been steadily
decreasing since 1976 and the rate is presently about one-third of what it was in 1976.
Since 1993, the rate at which men kill their female partners has been
Present DV laws have lowered the rate at which women kill their intimate
When women do kill, they are as cold blooded and deliberate about it as
men, if not more so.
When women do kill they are much less likely to be detected or
prosecuted for their crime.
If women are prosecuted they are given shorter sentences for the same
crime and are much more likely to have their cases dismissed on appeal or commuted, e.g.,
see the article by Glenn Sacks.
Shooting at the messenger isn't going to fix the problem. If you have
better data and references I would really like to see it.
It really isn't important how you might feel about these killings or
about me. The problem is how to further reduce them.
Our objective remains to fix the problem, not the blame. That
won't happen until it is universally recognized that domestic violence is a human problem,
not a gender issue. [My note]
Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.
P.S. For the record, I love most women. Thus, misogyny isn't at the root of this work.
Please don't bother to send me more e-mails telling me this all stems from my hatred of
the gentle sex. Such epistles only illustrate your own lack of insight into the problems
and expose your own prejudices. I have heard from, and known far too many women who hate
all men, and only a very few men who hate women.
RTD bus driver kills her husband with boyfriend's pistol, claims she
suffered from "battered woman syndrome"
According to trial testimony, on November 9, 1990, Peggy Sue Saiz used a pistol
obtained from her boyfriend to shoot her husband, George, four times, killing him. Then,
in order to simulate a burglary, Peggy Sue collected items from their home and took them
to her mother's house and boyfriend's residence.
Witnesses said that after Peggy Sue shot her husband she went to a bar with her sister.
There she met and danced with another man and later the trio went for a late-night snack.
After which her sister called 911 from the Saiz home while Peggy Sue faked hysteria in the
When police arrived Peggy Sue first told police a burglar had killed her husband. When
that story didn't stand up, she admitted shooting her husband but then claimed she was a
battered wife and had killed him in self defense.
But, in addition to her infidelity, Peggy Sue had taken out large insurance policies on
her husband before killing him.
Dr. Kathy Morall, a forensic psychiatrist, testified during Peggy Sue's trial that the
defendant was not suffering from battered woman's syndrome or post traumatic stress
disorder at the tiime she shot her husband.
During the trial Peggy Sue's attorney, Walter Gerash, attempted to call as witnesses two
public defenders to challenge Dr. Morall's credibility, but the trial court denied that
request. As an aside, it is usually only possible to call attorneys as witnesses under
special circumstances, and apparently the defense attorney's request did not meet those
conditions under Colorado law.
Peggy Sue Saiz was then sentenced to life in prison for the cold-blooded, premeditated
murder of her husband.
Mrs. Saiz's case was appealed all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court and was denied.
Then her case was appealed to Federal court. According to the July 23, 2001, edition of
the Denver Post (p. 2B) U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel granted Mrs. Saiz a new trial
based on the trial court's refusal to allow the public defenders to be called as witnesses
as to the "character and reputation for truthfulness of government witness Dr. Kathy
Mrs. Saiz's second trial is scheduled for January 7, 2002, in Adams County District Court.
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Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.
President, Equal Justice Foundation
455 Bear Creek Road
Colorado Springs, CO
Telephone: (719) 520-1089
Facsimile: (509) 472-5275
Instant Messenger: drcecorry
Domestic Violence Against Men: http://www.dvmen.org
Curriculum Vitae: http://www.pcisys.net/~ccorry/CorryBook-82.htm
Personal home page: http://www.pcisys.net/~ccorry
Note by F4L: Only a little over 60% of murder cases get
solved. The vast majority of unsolved murder cases (about 80%) involve men as
victims. If we assume that about 10% of diagnosed but unsolved murder cases are DV
murders as is the case with solved murders then it would follow that we may
have good reasons to add at least about another 3% to the total of men murdered in
incidents of DV to reflect those unsolved murders that may have been committed by
men's wives and about 0.76% to the number of solved DV murders involving women as
That would bring the respective totals for the sexes into closer proximity of
one another for the year 1997: 463 men-victims and 1,260 women-victims respectively.
If all of the unsolved murder cases were DV murders, which is not entirely
impossible, the figures would then be in the order of 967 and 1,379 for men and women
But what would the figures be if all DV murders were to be diagnosed as
murders and if we knew without any doubt which sex committed any given DV murder?
Women in intimate relationships are frequently
portrayed by modern society as the victim when violence or a homicide
occurs in intimate partnerships. These women continue to be seen by
American culture as weak individuals who suffer at the hands of
domineering, powerful, over-controlling men. The myth that spousal
murder is committed almost entirely by husbands who kill their wives
must be dispelled. In addition, there are discrepancies within the legal
system, where a female is treated more leniently for murdering her
husband, than when a man murders his wife. The criminal-justice system
has failed to see equality in the crimes in the sexes, allowing for
biased views that women are less malevolent than men and more prone to
victimization. The stigma is intractable that women are more likely than
men to feel remorse for what theyve done. While this may be true for
some women; for others, the truth is much farther away than many