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Fatherlessness, the lack of natural fathers in children's lives
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since June 19, 2001


Men Who Broke 

The number of suicides in North America and in all developed nations is rising and has been doing so especially since the nineteen-sixties.  At least in Canada, in 1971 the suicide rate matched and has since exceeded the previous peak reached in 1930 during The Great Depression.

Most of the victims of suicide, by far, are men.  Depending on country between 75% to more than 90% of the suicide victims are male, men and boys.

The numbers of suicides are far in excess of the total of all violent deaths due to other causes (barring wars — in which even greater numbers of men leave their lives for family and country).

This page is in memory of all fathers persecuted by the "justice" system and its cohorts to the point of committing suicide and even murder.  The number of these men is legion.  Here are just a few of their stories.

Memorial Service

Suicide Note

If you are contemplating suicide, don't do it. 

There is a life after divorce.  It's not easy, but it can be good. 

Never forget that once you are a father, you are a father for life.  The fact that the system denies you the right of being a father to your offspring is not your fault. 

If you commit suicide, you don't punish anyone but your children. 

Your children have a right to have you as a father, and they have that right for the duration of their life. 
   Don't deny them that right.  They are suffering enough at the hands of the system already. 
   One day they'll come back to you.  That is human nature.  Don't leave them a graveyard plot for an address.  If you do that, you won't be any better than the system.

If you need someone to talk to, there are some help lines, but there are very few, because as of now there is absolutely no funding made available for fathers in need of help.  However, we'll change that, right?

If you can't find anyone to speak to, talk to me or to my wife (Ruth).  We've been there and know what you are going through.  There is no need to be alone.  This is a big world with enough room for all.  Reach out and ask for help.  You'll no longer be alone.  It's true, believe me.  

Walter Schneider

Box 62, Bruderheim, Alberta, Canada
tel: (780) 796-2306

ANDREW T. RENOUF MEMORIAL SERVICE - October 30, 1998, Albany, NY

Thanks: Paul L. McCauley, NY Men's Action Network

In the 6:20 PM early evening darkness last night the NY MEN'S ACTION NETWORK with additionally attending  men, women and children, held it's service for ANDREW last night on the western steps of the New York State Capitol Building to honor the last wishes of Mr. RENOUF, following his suicide about two weeks ago.
    After not being allowed to see his daughter for over four years, earn a living or live in an apartment, Mr. Renouf ended his life by stating that "I would have preferred to have died with more dignity."
    Abolishment of Child Financial Support, pending REBUTTABLE/Presumptive Shared Parenting enactment and forfeiture by a parent, Special  False Allegations Penalties for family matters, Out of Court practices for Resolution in family matters, correct Terminology, and other improvements must be made to effect remedies in preventing cases such as Mr. RENOUF's.
    Unfortunately, ANDREW RENOUF represents many others who simply have not been remembered, and even more of the untold thousands of parents, and/or children, who have died, or disappeared feeling isolated, alone and without any form of understanding, consideration or support, from any quarters, including any of the inept and ethically criminal Social Services and directing governments.  And what about the children of these desperate parents?
    Andrew's letter was read, along with the case of MARTIN J. ROMANCHICK, the late NYC Medal of Honor-recipient police officer, fatally harassed by his ex. 29 times in court, to the point of hanging himself, ....
    The attendants solemnly reflected upon this horrendous situation and related THEIR OWN CASES, once again agreeing to the difficulties involved in surviving, let alone in effecting reform.
    Additional memorials will be held as more information is hereafter gathered concerning similar cases and presented before the public.  Parents must be faced with the real horrors of the situations that exist and are being cultured by current methods of ignoring the difficulties resulting from promoting dysfunctional and destroyed families, especially biological families, through divorce, separation and unwed births.
    Current US Senate candidate Charles Schumer was briefly discussed, concerning his role in co-authoring one of the most heinous attacks on biological parenting: H. CON. RES. 182, the anti-shared parenting matter that anti-shared parenting forces will pass through as a Federal Act at the earliest opportunity.

    Please submit any information you have of other tragically unavoided fatalities to the phone, or email below to aid us in better exposing  the parenticidal promotion by society today and in the hopes of sensitizing ourselves and the public to the needs of currently similar cases.

Executive Director,
NY Men's Action Network

Join The Shared Parenting Forum
Kids Need Parents Not Visitors
ICQ # 9772018

Thanks: Paul Ford

For those of you that asked for a copy of Andrew T. Renouf's  letter.

Please email a message of support: [apparently to "Paul_Ford" <sharedparent@yahoo.com>]

His suicide letter reads:  


Last Friday my bank account was garnisheed, I was left with only a total of $ 0.43 in the bank.

At this time I have rent and bills to pay which would come to somewhere approaching $1500 to $1800.

Since my last pay was also direct deposited on Friday I now have no way of supporting myself.  I have no money for food or for gas for my car to enable me to work.  My employer also tells me that they will only pay me by direct deposit, I therefore no longer have a job, since the money would not reach me.

I have tried talking to the Family Support people at 1916 Dundas St. E. [Toronto] their answer was "we have a court order", repeated several times.

I have tried talking to the welfare people in Markham, since I earned over $520 in the last month I am not eligible for assistance.

I have had no contact with my daughter in approximately 4 years.  I do not even know if she is alive and well.  I have tried to keep her informed of my current telephone number but she never bothered to call.

I have no family and no friends, very little food, no viable job and very poor future prospects.  I have therefore decided that there is no further point in continuing my life.  It is my intention to drive to a secluded area, near my home, feed the car exhaust in the car, take some sleeping pills and use the remaining gas in the car to end my life.

I would have preferred to die with more dignity.

It is my last will and testament that this letter be published for all to see and read.

Signed A.T. RENOUF

Mr. Renouf hoped that his letter would be published for the sake of other fathers and their children.  He hoped that awareness on how the "System" destroyed him may help bring about much needed change to our troubled family court system before others are destroyed.



--Paul Ford

Subject:  Re: DEAD DADS, MURDERED by the "sick system"
    Date:  Sat, 31 Oct 1998 14:53:47 -0600
    From:  mnproadvocate@yahoo.com
    To:  [Not shown]

Thank you so much for the below information [George is referring to Andrew Renouf's memorial].................

SADLY, I would also like to add one more DAD, not a name, a DAD, who through being "screwed" by the MN. Family Court "sick system," also finally succeeded in driving another good man-DAD, to his watery grave!

In memoriam, a Domestic Rights Coalition member, MR. DAVID DOSDALL, age 33, New Prague, MN.  April 22, 1998.

It is my sad notification to all concerned about such "atrocities," or, what I would term, "atrocities against men-dads" in this country, to inform you all of the death of Mr. David Dosdall, age 33, New Prague, MN.  David's body was recovered from Lake Alimagnet in Burnsville, MN., a suburb of the Twin Cities, about 1 P.M. Sunday, May 3, 1998.

This happens so often, that, in my opinion, it is nothing more than "intentional murder by our elected officials and so called public servants who get paid by our tax dollars!"  This happens TOO OFTEN, and is or should be the type of thing that should get "incompetent, dishonest, very biased" judges, referees, police officers, deputies, county attorneys, and other officials who are employed by the city, county, state or federal governments charged with nothing less than "intention murder," or, "crimes against humanity!"

Mr. Dosdall had been having numerous difficulties per "Parenting time" with his children, and also lately, difficulties with the breakup of his current girlfriend.  It was reported that David had purchased a large amount of "sleeping pills" recently, about this same time.  An autopsy was being performed by the Dakota County Coroner's Office.

MAY YOU REST IN PEACE DAVE.....................

George T. Gilliland Sr., Domestic Rights Coalition Executive Director

proadvocate       "Men's & Father's Rights!!"
Domestic Rights Coalition, 1849 E. Iowa
St. Paul, MN.  55119
Phone 651-774-7010
Fax 651-776-6416
Web pages on the WorldWideWeb, go to................

Suicide by wife

 Date:  Sat, 03 Oct 1998 05:39:32 -0700
From:  gilbert claes <alpe@oricom.ca>

Gilbert Claes wrote:

Yesterday, a father shot his adopted boy and kill himself after in the forest.  The natural father of the boy shot himself a few year ago.  Both men had the same women, and in both cases, it was the end of a relation.  End of case, nothing more [in the news], silent, silent, silent.
    Shame on men!  Kill a child!  Who will dig in that affair, women aren't violent.  Also on the news today, a women lawyer brought some drugs to a member of the Hell's Angels in prison.  Poor woman, it is a single mother of two kids, she just finished her training.  I guess it is the boy friend's fault!


Calif. Man Hangs Himself at Concert

Thanks Igor Mittelman, Aug. 3, 1998

CONCORD, Calif. (AP) — As hundreds of people leaving a Stevie Nicks concert watched in horror, a man shinnied up a pole and hanged himself with car battery jumper cables.  The man encountered his estranged wife Sunday night at the outdoor Concord Pavilion and the two argued.  The woman, who had a restraining order against her husband, reported him to police.  By the time officers arrived, the man had taken a set of battery jumper cables and scaled a light pole in a parking lot, said police Sgt. Mike Gamble.  "He wrapped one end around his neck and another end around the top of the pole,'' Gamble said.  "He was threatening to jump, and security officers were trying to dissuade him from jumping.  And at one point he either jumped or slipped and hanged himself.''  The man's name was not released.  Concord is 25 miles east of San Francisco.

Former Oak Ridge Boys singer dead in apparent suicide

Thanks to Kell Kroschell  and ACFC

Web posted on: Thursday, June 11, 1998 4:11:00 PM

CAPE CORAL, Florida (Reuters) -- Steve Sanders, a former lead singer for the popular country group the Oak Ridge Boys, died Wednesday, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, police said. He was 45.

"It appears to be a suicide," Cape Coral police spokesman Angelo Bitsis said.

He said officers were called to Sanders' home in a middle-class neighborhood of Cape Coral, a small town on Florida's west coast just outside Fort Myers, at about 1 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

"We got a call from his wife that he had shot himself," Bitsis said. "They (officers) found him in the bathroom with a gunshot wound to the head. There is no evidence of foul play."  Bitsis said Sanders' wife, Janet, was able to offer no reason her husband would take his own life.

Sanders joined the Oak Ridge Boys as rhythm guitarist in 1981 and replaced William Lee Golden as baritone singer in 1987. He sang lead on three of the band's top singles, "Gonna Take A Lot Of River," "No Matter How High," and "Lucky Moon." The group is best known for its 1981 hit "Elvira."

Sanders, who was born in Richland, Georgia, sang gospel tunes as a child.  At age 12 he began an acting career in which he played the role of Jody Baxter in the Broadway musical "The Yearling," and also performed on the "Ed Sullivan Show."

After the musical closed, he played a role in an Otto Preminger movie "Hurry Sundown" and appeared on the television series "Gunsmoke" and the ABC drama "Noon Wine" with Jason Robards and Olivia de Havilland.

Left band for personal reasons

When Sanders left Oak Ridge Boys in November 1995, a spokeswoman for the  group said Sanders felt personal problems were affecting the band.  The problems involved a four-year battle with his first wife, Mary Milbourne Sanders, over child support. In 1994 Steven and Janet Sanders went to court to charge Mary Sanders with malicious prosecution, libel and slander. Four years earlier, Sanders' ex-wife had charged Janet Sanders with criminal trespass and assault for allegedly taunting her at her workplace. The Oak Ridge Boys evolved from a World War II-era band called the Oak Ridge Quartet based in Nashville, Tennessee.

During the past three decades they have been one of the most popular U.S. country music groups, winning numerous music industry honors and giving command performances for European royals and three U.S. presidents.

Thanks to ACFC and Igor Mittelman

September 22, 1998  

Right-Wing Leader Gritz Found Shot

By The Associated Press

          BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- James "Bo" Gritz, the former Green  Beret colonel and leader of the right-wing Patriot Movement, was  recovering after shooting himself in despair over his pending divorce.

          Gritz, 59, shot himself in the upper left chest with a 45-caliber handgun, Clearwater County Sheriff Nick Albers said Monday.  Albers would not say whether the shooting was an attempted suicide, but he did say it was not accidental. The wound was not life-threatening, Albers said.

          Gritz was taken to Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino.  Officials there declined to release any details regarding his condition early today.

          In an interview on Thursday, Gritz (rhymes with "rights") said he had contemplated suicide because of his marital problems, said Mark Potok, editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report. The center tracks the activities of right-wing groups.

          "I've thought about looking at the other end of my pistol a few times ... because what kind of life do I have without my bride?''  Potok quoted Gritz as saying.  "I have lived such adventures, ... but what else is there to live for except for her, really? She's been my dream girl. Now my reality is my nightmare."

          Claudia Gritz separated from her husband of 24 years on Aug. 22 and filed for divorce on Sept. 11. Potok said she cited irreconcilable differences.

          Albers said Gritz was found Sunday night by a passer-by on a gravel road just off busy U.S. 12 south of Orofino. The sheriff said Gritz was on the road's shoulder next to his pickup and had shot himself outside the truck.

          Gritz told Potok that Mrs. Gritz was upset by his decision to go to North Carolina to try to find alleged abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph. Mrs. Gritz moved out the day after Gritz returned from North Carolina.

          The barrel-chested ex-military officer served as a negotiator in the FBI siege of separatist Randy Weaver and his family at Ruby Ridge in 1992. He also briefly was a mediator in the Montana Freemen standoff in 1996.

          Gritz first came to prominence in the 1980s for staging several unsuccessful commando-style forays into Laos to retrieve American prisoners of war. His activities were curbed after U.S. authorities charged him with using a passport under a false name.

          He ran for president in 1992 and is a leader of the so-called Patriot Movement, which rails against a U.N.-led "New World Order" and accuses the government of corruption and violence.

Petruk — The death of an Edmonton fireman

1997 11 29

The following is a response in a discussion on the escalating consequences of the increasing fatherlessness in our society.  —WHS

And the meaning of it all, the consequences?  More criminality, more STDs, more crime, more rapes, more murders, more dope-addicts, fewer restraints in all that kept humanity on-the-leash in the past.  Above all, it means an accelerating trend in fatherlessness.  Remember, the divorce rates cannot be considered to be a good indicator of social decay anymore.  Too few people get married nowadays. Why bother? A child is a guaranteed source of income, if only the father's presence can be eliminated.  "If I only have your money, I won't need your love."  Who is afraid to have a child?  All the others get them, and if we don't like it, we can always give it out for adoption, or perhaps perform a "post-natal abortion."

The semi-orphans of the last decades comprise today about 70% of the inmates in our correctional facilities.   That trend is on the rise. Not only that. The rate of incarceration is rising too.  The number of Canadian semi-orphans who still have a full set of parents rose from around 12% of children two decades ago to 26% today (the term parents includes step-parents and other adults who are involved in being "caregivers"). What will it rise to in the next two decades?  In the US it is already 38% now and estimated to rise to 51% by around two-thousand.  Just imagine what power it being let loose.  Where will all the people come from to jail them?  Who will even fund the work of coping with all of it?  The production of bunk beds may become a growth industry, because we surely won't have the resources to build enough jails to house all of the inmates without double-bunking them.

Yesterday, the Edmonton Sun had coverage on about two full pages of the murder-suicide of a former Edmonton fireman — because it was the day of his ex-wife's funeral.  He had lost everything but life and liberty, after which he went to live with his mother in Hairy Hill, a small town just East of us.  Nothing was said about that he had lost his job, because his wife had alleged to her coworkers--all nurses--that he kept her awake one night by pointing a firearm at her.  Quite a while ago, he had a restraining order placed on him that prevented him from coming into the limits of the city of Edmonton, unless to attend court or for visits to medical doctors.  That's not good when you have to make your living in the city as a fireman.  On the day he was sentenced to four years in jail he shot his wife and himself.

On one of the back-pages was a tiny article reporting the sentencing of a mother in B.C. who had killed her two children by deliberately setting them on fire.

The murder of the teenaged girl in Victoria is not news anymore.  It had happened at about the same time that Mr. Petruk shot his wife and himself that the teenager's body was found.  Seven of her school friends--six of them girls--beat her within an inch of her life, then broke her arms and threw her into the water.  Someone who is capable of breaking her friend's arms and weighing her body down with rocks stuffed into her pockets, to make sure she can't escape by swimming, most certainly is not likely to have any feeling of being obligated to look after the elderly, neither directly nor through pension plan contributions or taxation of any other kind.

The population sector containing the elderly grows at an unprecedented rate in absolute terms and especially in relative terms with respect to the size of the younger productive population sector that has to bear the increasingly unbearably large responsibility to care and provide for those who can't produce anything any longer for themselves.  One of the consequences of that is an enormous increase (150% in the US from 1986 to 1996) in elderly abuse, predominantly cases of neglect of the elderly. (Trends in Elder Abuse in Domestic Settings, NATIONAL CENTER ON ELDER ABUSE, Elder Abuse Information Series No. 2 (PDF 42kB).  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch produced an excellent series of articles on the topic of fatal elder abuse and neglect in US nursing homes (it is estimated that tens of tousands of cases happen each year), Neglected to Death (Oct. 12 - 19, 2002).  See abstract and commentary relating to the articles and to the problem of elder abuse and neglect in nursing home and hospitals.)

Well, why should that be a problem?  We are already working on solving that too.  For that we'll have euthanasia, except we'll have a different name for it.  Something that is not quite so precise or controversial.  We'll use something along the lines of "putting them to sleep."  Isn't it odd how easy it is now to say "Terminating a pregnancy"?  Will it become just as easy to say: "I had my Mother put to sleep."? Perhaps we'll learn to have no compunctions about saying "I terminated my parents' lives." All else it permissible now for women, why not that too? And in whose interest was it again why we brought all of this about?  Our children's and wives'?  You can't be serious!

Can we still change all this to the better, or have we now reached the point were a new and better society must evolve out of the ruins of this one?  How long will that take?


Update 2006 05 14

Chilling perspectives on "Ethics"

In case of a deadly flu pandemic, whom should we save?

Once-upon-a-time a question like that never came up, except in totalitarian nations such as the USSR, Red China and Nazi Germany.  The presence of universal moral standards in the cultural heritage of the West ensured that the answer to such a question was, women and children first, then the elderly, the weak and the sick.  We fought wars to preserve that as a right of humanity, to ensure the abolition of slavery and the right of everyone to life and liberty.  That had made our society reach the heights it attained before its fall.  However, those standards no longer exist.  Now the legalization of euthanasia, assisted suicide and rigorous culling to establish the survival of the fittest is the norm in our brave-new world. 
    In the name of science it is now rationalized that rigorous selective culling is needed on the basis of economics, not survival of the weak on moral grounds.  The outcomes of such practices are similar to those that the Nazis hoped to achieve, for similar reasons; only the methods differ.  The Nazis actively killed those that were and in our brave-new world we actively withhold the means to keep alive those that are deemed not worthy to let live, although in the rationalizing for the eradication of the right to life of the weakest of all, those not yet born, we have already shown ourselves to be far more ruthless than the Nazis ever were.
    Still, vestiges of our largely vanished great cultural aims still exist, or else it would not be that the proposal by Ezekiel Emanuel and Alan Wertheimer (in the journal Science, May 12, 2006) sparked as much public discussion as it did.  (The discussion is still growing.  A May 13, 2006 search per the preceding link provided 539 entries in the search return list. Sixteen hours later, May 14, the entries in the return list for the search had grown to 572.)


Update 2004 06 24

If you have concerns about these and other issues related to the condition of seniors, visit, contact and perhaps even join:

SUN Seniors United Now

The up- and coming, rapidly-growing advocacy organization for seniors (55 years and over) in Alberta

There are in the order of about half a million or more people of age 55 and over in Alberta. If all of them were to join SUN, they would become the most powerful advocacy organization in Alberta; and seniors would no longer be robbed of their comforts and otherwise ignored.
   At the price of one package of cigarettes seniors will be able to gain a voice that will be heard by a government that otherwise can and will take from seniors what they worked for all their life to enjoy in their old age.

If you are concerned about how seniors are affected by the planned, systematic destruction of our families and society, a search at google.com (for elderly OR seniors OR grandparent OR grandfather OR grandmother site:https://fathersforlife.org) will provide you with the links to about 84 web pages at Fathers for Life that will be of interest to you.

Martin Romanchick — Police Officer & Recipient of the Medal of Honour

Thanks: Efrain Rodriguez and Paul Ford

Were it possible to add another name to your list, that of Martin J. Romanchick, a New York City Police Officer and Medal of Honor Winner for saving the live of another police officer by killing a perp who was about to shoot the officer after he had fallen down a flight of stairs during a pursuit?

Martin, or Marty to all of us, was arrested 15 times by his ex-wife on allegations of domestic abuse, all this after Marty discovered she had been cheating on him with the soccer coach.  When Marty went to the bar where they were having a drink together, he stood there and took a picture of them.  He was arrested for Aggravated Harassment.  She obtained an order of protection against him, and had him arrested 14 more times, all on allegations ranging from driving past her on the highway and waving, to standing next to their children and approaching her to pick them up for his visitation.  ALL of the cases but two were dismissed as frivolous.

Marty couldn't stand the pressure any more, and on July 21, 1997, he hanged himself.

His children weren't allowed to the funeral by the mother.  We are holding onto the pictures and the video of the funeral, in the sincere hope that someday we will be able to give his children some closure.

I am Efrain Rodriguez, Jr. President of the Father's Rights Association of NYS, Lower Hudson Valley Chapter, and I send the prayers of my members out to you and to the family of Andrew, another lost soul, a victim of an overzealous system.

Ottawa Citizen — July 17, 1998

Fired police officer kills family, self

BALLWIN, MO (AP) — A twice-fired Texas police officer fighting his ex-girlfriend for custody of their son herded them and two others into a closed garage and started a car, killing everyone, including himself.  Police on Tuesday found the body of Reginald Sublet, 34, leaning inside the open door of a car on his knees, a gun in his hand.

His ex-girlfriend, Rosalind Tramble, 33, was bound on the floor and had severe head wounds.  Her husband, Michael Tramble Jr., 32, was found bound and gagged inside the trunk of a car.  Police found two boys, 12-year-old Reginald Sublet Jr. and Michael Tramble III, who would have turned two on Tuesday, inside another vehicle.  Michael was strapped in; Reginald was slumped in the back.  Sublet, the husband and the two boys apparently all died of carbon-monoxide poisoning, while Rosalind Tramble probably died of a combination of poisoning and head wounds, a medical examiner said.

Investigators believe that Sublet went to the house and encountered the husband and the toddler on Friday night.  Mrs. Tramble returned home later with the 12-year-old, who had performed that evening in a youth chorus production.  After a struggle that left blood splattered on the floor and furniture overturned, Sublet tied up the two adults and got everyone into the garage, police Lieut. Jon Belmar said.  At least one of the two vehicles in the garage had been started.  Though Sublet’s gun had been fired once, no one was shot, investigators said.

The killings came just a month after Sublet was released from a Texas jail, where he spent five months for failing to pay child support.  Sublet joined the Dallas police force in 1989 and was fired in 1995 for being absent without leave and making false statements to internal investigators, Dallas Sgt. Jim Chandler said.  The firing was overturned on appeal.  Sublet was fired again in March after failing to submit medical documentation to back up claims that job-related stress was making him sick.

The Canadian Press, 1998
Copyright 1998 The Ottawa Citizen

"Deadbeat Dad Shoots Self "

Reuters, 11-19-98

Thanks: Robert Sides

(PHOENIX) — A man who owed eight-thousand dollars in back child support has shot and killed himself.  Maricopa County sheriff's deputies say it happened when they served a warrant for the arrest of Larry Cofield.  The father of three said he had a gun and did NOT want to be arrested.  A SWAT team standoff ended when deputies entered his house and found him dead.

The Edmonton Sun,  Monday, January 4, 1999

Body found in blaze

    (Edmonton) — Police and arson investigators are probing a deliberately set blaze at a west-end home last night where a man was found hanging in the basement.  He died later in hospital.
    Firefighters were called to 9825 182 St. at about 7:40 p.m. after neighbours spotted smoke pouring out of the house.  Firefighters emerged shortly after with an unconscious man believed to be in his mid-30s.
    The victim was found hanging at the bottom of the stairs in the basement in what police believe was a suicide.
    [No-one else] was in the home — the victim is married with two daughters aged about four and 10.
    Staff Sgt. Greg Alcorn said the victim was taken to the Misericordia hospital where he died.
   "We do know for sure that it is a deliberately set fire and it is believed that the person who was taken out is responsible."
   Alcorn said ambulance personnel told him they believed police had been called to the residence more than a week ago. He had no other details.
   "It appears it was a suicide attempt," said Alcorn, adding police had been in touch with the dead man's family last night.
Full Story

Friday, January 22, 1999  

Shot father-in-law, man jailed


A Scarborough man who shot his former father-in-law and threatened his ex-wife during a 90-minute hostage ordeal was sentenced yesterday to four years in jail.

Antonio Merola, 49, said his actions were triggered by the frustration of four years of being denied access to his sons.

However, Madam Justice Mary Lou Benotto rejected his arguments. "You were driven by purely selfish motives ...," she said.

Merola was convicted of forcibly confining Karen Merola and her father, Steve Golansky, in his Scarborough home last March 5.

Merola also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for wounding Golansky, 69, in the right thigh, discharging a firearm, pointing a firearm and uttering death threats.

The judge accepted a plea bargain for four years on top of 11 months of pre-trial custody.

She admonished Merola for bringing violence into his wife's home while his nine-year-old son watched before fleeing next door. "You have caused irreversible damage ... "

Defence lawyer Marie Henein said Merola "genuinely loves his children and has been traumatized by very, very acrimonious divorce proceedings" which ended their nine-year marriage. He came armed with a sawed-off rifle and a tape recorder, hoping to extract a confession that his ex-wife and her father "framed" him of allegations he abused their eldest son, Henein said.

"In his mind, there was no other recourse," she said. "He was denied access to his children for several years -- even after child abuse (criminal) charges had been withdrawn -- and his name was on the child abuse registry."

Karen Merola said she feared for her life after her father was shot. "I thought I was going to die next. My worst fear was that my young son -- who was ill from school -- was home."

See also Glenn Sack's commentary: Distraught Father's Courthouse Suicide Highlights America's Male Suicide Epidemic (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2002 01 11)

1999 07 07
2000 12 10 (Minor formatting changes)
2001 02 05 (format changes)
2001 02 09 (entry for Marvin Davids)
2001 10 05 (added a number of links to death notices)
2001 12 29 (inserted comment about Elder Abuse)
2002 01 08 (added reference to Derrick K. Miller)
2002 01 12 (added linkd to article by Glenn Sacks and to information relating to Darrin White)
2002 02 29 (added reference to the case of Stefan F. – Intenational child abduction that ended in the dad's suicide)
2002 02 22 (added reference to suicide of Gregory D. Seath)
2002 02 25 (addedd reference to shooting in Throckmorton, Texas)
2002 05 05 (added entry for David Clancy)
2002 06 15 (added entry for Grimsby, Ontario)
2002 08 30 (added entry for Aaron Dookie, Ontario)
2002 10 20 (inserted reference to St. Louis Post-Dispatch series of articles about massive killing of elderly in US nursing homes)
2002 12 06 (inserted reference to Grant Harder's murder-suicide)
2003 02 03 (added entry for Mark Dexel)
2003 02 04 (added entry for David Bengert)
2003 02 10 (added entry for Thomas Alaimo)
2004 06 24 (added entry for SUN Seniors United Now)
2011 06 17 (added entry for Tom Ball, a father and Vietnam veteran who killed himself through self-immolation)