Every F*cking Day of My Life

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Married at 16 years – with 18 years of violence following – left Wendy terrified. She summoned the courage to deal with her husband the only way she knew possible.
Originally as One Minute to Nine, this documentary finally arrives at HBO with a somewhat more in-your-face title – and, in a stark, spare way that has come to characterize the pay channel, delivers a pretty bracing wallop.
A harrowing portrait of domestic abuse, the project draws heavily on video shot by the dead abuser, as his wife, Wendy Maldonado, spends her final days of freedom before going to jail for his murder.
The net result is every bit as chilling and depressing as one might expect. Includes captions for the hearing impaired.

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  • fuckgreece

    thats some fucked up shit

    • tdogg

      are you serious! this is outragous@b09d4bb73b0d645d63f12af29c28fece:disqus  in my country murderers get 3.5 years max….domestic violence is so horrible and i can totally understand this happening….untill you live in this situation you will never know

  • pocky

    What makes it all the more scary and surreal is the matter of fact way she speaks about the abuse, like it was just a normal part of every day life. That we have a justice system that would send her to jail for defending herself and her children disgusts me.

  • Zenqi

    The saddest part of this story is that these people don’t seem to be seeking the answers to why this happened in the first place and taking action to get therapy and to ensure that the cycle does not continue. Those kids are doomed unless they get some serious help.

    • Nightwishes

      I don’t think it’s fair at all to say that the boys are doomed. As a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a close family member, I can honestly say that I’ll never continue the circle. My children will never know what it’s like to be hurt that way by a sibling, or anyone else, for that matter. Do you know how many times I was told that I was helpless, that because of what happened to me, I simply WAS going to molest my children, that there was no going around it? Do you know how disgusting that is? Why should it be any different with physical abuse? Those boys saw first hand the horror that was their father, I can guarantee that, now that the situation has been addressed as abusive and wrong, they are perfectly at will to chose to live the lives they please. No one is ever “helpless” or “doomed” to recreate the lives their parents lived. We live our lives the way we chose. No more, no less.

      • CrackedPepper86

        Kudos.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHT43K43ADX6H2W6HHHWXXSH6A Mel

      Do you mean doomed as in seriously hurt emotionally for life; problems with depression, anxiety, ptsd? Or do you mean in carrying on in the same abusive manner as their father? To me it seems as if you are implying the former and in that I would agree with you. They definitely need help in dealing with the hurt from the abuse they suffered. If you meant the latter, than I disagree because they seem to know very well that what their father did to them was wrong and hurtful so they are unlikely to do the same to others. As Nightwishes already stated being a victim doesn’t sentence you to a life of being a perpetrator. In my personal experience the perpetrators of abuse have been those with no abusive background but instead one of maybe a little too much excess. Those with a high sense of entitlement and feelings of superiority are the most likely to abuse others because they view them as less-than. Just my personal experience, but I know I read somewhere that new studies show that the vast majority of bullies tend to be people with excessively high self-esteem and not low as most people used to believe.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHT43K43ADX6H2W6HHHWXXSH6A Mel

      Do you mean doomed as in seriously hurt emotionally for life; problems with depression, anxiety, ptsd? Or do you mean in carrying on in the same abusive manner as their father? To me it seems as if you are implying the former and in that I would agree with you. They definitely need help in dealing with the hurt from the abuse they suffered. If you meant the latter, than I disagree because they seem to know very well that what their father did to them was wrong and hurtful so they are unlikely to do the same to others. As Nightwishes already stated being a victim doesn’t sentence you to a life of being a perpetrator. In my personal experience the perpetrators of abuse have been those with no abusive background but instead one of maybe a little too much excess. Those with a high sense of entitlement and feelings of superiority are the most likely to abuse others because they view them as less-than. Just my personal experience, but I know I read somewhere that new studies show that the vast majority of bullies tend to be people with excessively high self-esteem and not low as most people used to believe.

  • Johnathon

    I think that the woman choose to be with this type of guy and should deal with that fact.

    • BaltimoreJen

      asshole

    • janice

      complete asshole!

    • L.B

      usually people with this mentality have grown up witnessing abuse… Educate yourself is all I can say. As this is as backwards point of view.

      • feel for the abused

        LB, I would be interested to hear from your wife, if you have one, on what her thoughts are concerning this story. I would bet they are the same as yours. That is what this story is about, the mind-numbing fear that makes you mimic the thoughts and beliefs of your abuser.

    • Che3333

      If that’s not the sign of an abusers thoughts, I don’t know what is.

    • Jessmc45

      You are such an idiot

  • Peter D

    This story breaks my heart. I had a friend when I was growing up named Marv whose stepfather slept in bed with a shotgun and beat him up every day after school. I wouldn’t say his father was an evil psychopath, but definitely should never have been allowed near children.

    Fortunately for Marv, my parents and my friends parents let Marv live in our homes during the “bad” times. The problem for this woman and her family was that her husband was threatening to kill anyone willing to help her or her kids. They didn’t seek help because they didn’t want to endanger more people. They were living with a class A dangerous psychopath and didn’t know how to escape.

    I think this is a tragic story of abuse and I am sure after watching the clips of the husband, any sane person would agree that the neighbors should have intervened in force with the assistance of the law to get that piece of %$#@ away from that mother and her kids. Sad times when a mother has to go to jail to protect the lives of her children.

  • Renee` H.

    So disheartening to watch. There should be more education as to why young girls select men such as this and how to avoid them, as well as if they find themselves in an abusive situation, how to get the necessary help to protect themselves and their children. I appreciated the judge’s comments in the end. It was clear he was moved by their testimony and all they had endured by the hands of the monster but he was still bound by the law as she had taken justice in her own hands and had not utilized the system. Had she had help in knowing she would had been supported, this may never have happened and she could be with her children now.

    • Kate

      That sounds a lot like victim-blaming to me. Men who abuse women don’t have ‘watch out I’m an abuser’ written on their foreheads. Women aren’t picking abusers. They’re meeting nice men that suddenly turn and are not ‘nice’ anymore. We should be teaching men about respect for women and violence in the home – not putting the onus on victims. When a woman leaves her abusers that’s when she’s at the most risk of losing her life. It’s easier to say what women should and shouldn’t do – why not talk about abusers?

      • CrackedPepper86

        Kate, I agree that a person cannot be blamed for choosing an abusive partner. But murder is never necessary. If a relationship gets to the point where someone is afraid for their life, they should take the appropriate actions and not take the law into their own hands.

        • Bad News

          The issue is when the law does not act properly. There is a significant chance of the abusive man being taken into court but getting off lightly, oftentimes allowing him back out into the community with the potential to terrorize his partner all over again.

        • Bad News

          The issue is when the law does not act properly. There is a significant chance of the abusive man being taken into court but getting off lightly, oftentimes allowing him back out into the community with the potential to terrorize his partner all over again.

        • Che3333

          I was once part of a victim’s group where a woman told a story about how her husband raped her. When she called the cops they came over, she sat on the stairs crying well the husband explained she “got off” on the force. The cop chuckled and left her there, where he beat her until she was unconscious. Three days later she ran from him, although she managed to get free, she was forced to allow him to see her children for six months until the court awarded her custody. Justice was served in the end, eh? Only took humiliation, degradation, and getting beat half to death.

        • Anonymous

          I disagree.  It was obvious she had to take matters into her own hands.  He threatened multiple times that if she left he would kill her relatives. The “system” does not work for cases like this.  The system does not have the laws or the resources to have kept him out of society for the rest of her life.  

          At least he knows now how that deer felt.

    • sheila

      I can’t believe the amount of victim blaming going on. This man was a sadistic psychopath who tortured his own family. She did what she had to do, and he clearly would have murdered her and/or her family had she tried to escape or tell someone. The police were there THAT NIGHT and despite the neighbours warnings they just left a obviously beaten woman and her son. She said in the video that his scary abusive side didn’t come out until her first son was 1 1/2. How is that her fault? Do you have any idea how many women are killed by their abusive husbands? Lots. Many of which occur when the woman leaves. 
      Maybe if judgmental ignorant idiots stopped blaming victims of abuse there wouldn’t be so much stigma around domestic violence and sexual assault and the victims could actually come forward for help. 

  • Chris

    Heartbreaking, that poor family, and the sad thing is, in Australia, she’d have been able to plead provocation which would have ended up with her sentence being manslaughter not murder, and shed have only received between 3-6 years. Honestly, I think they got off OK given what the two did was blatant murder, even given the history of violence. There was no way they were ever going to get off unpunished.

    Shame.

  • ray

    hi
    my wife has been beating me pschologically for over 20 years of our mariage.Now that i want a separation she is even more intense with making my life a living hell.
    Its strange that when men are the victims of psychological abuse they are almost ridiculed and shamed by soceity and their work friends.Some have even left work due to mental depression with the resultant poverty and of his family.
    Lawyers and some police officials too are an unhelpful breed in this matter,giving me the advice not to take any notice of her continuous attacks.Oh well maybe some day our (men) time will come when we will be taken seriously.

    tks
    ray

    • Ellie

      Hi Ray…I have no doubt that there are women who abuse…to think it is only men who abuse is absurd. It saddens me that for some people, mindless abuse controls their anger, rather than identifying issues and trying to resolve them in a violent free way.

      The only advice I have is to continue to take care of your mental/spiritual health. Only you can control your thoughts and your self esteem. Any person that devalues who you are, are wrong, period. You must believe that you are a valuable human being and nuture your inner self.

      Peace to you Ray.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHT43K43ADX6H2W6HHHWXXSH6A Mel

      Sorry to hear of your situation. You are right. Abuse goes both ways and can happen in the home, at work, and school, etc. The truth is that abuse by anyone against another is extremely damaging to them and completely wrong! I myself was mentally and physically abused by my step fathers and I understand how you (and the woman in this docu must feel). Abuse changes you. It destroys your soul and creates a fear that is hard to explain to people who have never been through these controlling abusive circumstances. I’m so glad to hear that you are finally separating from her. I wish you all the best in your new life! I’m so happy 4u :)

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHT43K43ADX6H2W6HHHWXXSH6A Mel

      Sorry to hear of your situation. You are right. Abuse goes both ways and can happen in the home, at work, and school, etc. The truth is that abuse by anyone against another is extremely damaging to them and completely wrong! I myself was mentally and physically abused by my step fathers and I understand how you (and the woman in this docu must feel). Abuse changes you. It destroys your soul and creates a fear that is hard to explain to people who have never been through these controlling abusive circumstances. I’m so glad to hear that you are finally separating from her. I wish you all the best in your new life! I’m so happy 4u :)

    • Guest

      I feel you Ray but the sad fact of our sick society is that all abuse victims are not taken seriously. The people who would ridicule men would ridicule women and kids who are bullied. It’s a problem in general that people cannot empathize with other people in unfamiliar plights.

  • art

    I knew a nice man, in the beginning. We married and the abuse (although at the time I didn’t realize that it was abuse) started subtly. First it began as me being his property and signs of anger toward me if other men paid attention to me. In the beginning, I was flattered but also upset that he would even think I would cheat on him. Also, financial. The money he made was his and he was ‘being generous’ by letting me use some of the money. I was never allowed to forget that the money was HIS. (I also worked and our money was pooled into a joint account) At parties, I was the brunt of his jokes. Eventually the abuse became physical. I will never forget the utter feeling of helplessness I experienced and the complete humiliation. After a long illness, he died and I am now trying to put my life back together and to figure out who I am. Because when someone suffers from prolonged abuse, I have learned through therapists, it can leave a person confused. Who am I? Did I do something to cause the abuse? What was it about me that made me vulnerable? Will I ever be able to trust again? Believe me, it is a long haul and no one walks away from abuse without injury both physical and mental. It has been two years now….I am still trying to heal.

  • art

    This is for Jonathan….By the way, just one more thing. I did not choose an abusive man. There were no signs telling me that eventually my 102 lb. body would be dragged down a hallway by one 200lb. man leaving it bruised and battered, with one shoulder nearly yanked from the socket. I believe that it is too easy to judge others. Continuous abuse leaves a person with NO or very little self esteem. What is even more confusing is when you actually loved this person and are so very betrayed. I am not a stupid person….as a university graduate, you would think that I would know better….well it just isn’t that easy!!!!!!

  • Knat

    Chris,

    She did not get sentenced for murder, she took a plea deal so she either got voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. I’m guessing with a ten year sentence it was considered voluntary and the fact that she actually hit him in the head and didn’t accidentally hit him with a car or something.

    The sad thing is she likely would have been acquitted if she had had a murder trial. I mean c’mon if OJ can do it she definitely could have. I see the saddest part in all of this that she was too scared and had lost her faith so she just took the deal as a guaranteed lesser sentence. That is somebody who has lost their spirit.

    I pray for her and her family and am glad that even though she is in prison she is more free than she has been in a long time.

    • Effik

      if the glove dont fit, acquit.
      oh and it helps if you are rich. i dont think they were so she would have had trouble getting away with it…

  • Knat

    Chris,

    She did not get sentenced for murder, she took a plea deal so she either got voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. I’m guessing with a ten year sentence it was considered voluntary and the fact that she actually hit him in the head and didn’t accidentally hit him with a car or something.

    The sad thing is she likely would have been acquitted if she had had a murder trial. I mean c’mon if OJ can do it she definitely could have. I see the saddest part in all of this that she was too scared and had lost her faith so she just took the deal as a guaranteed lesser sentence. That is somebody who has lost their spirit.

    I pray for her and her family and am glad that even though she is in prison she is more free than she has been in a long time.

  • http://www.buybacklinkservices.com Backlinks

    This was a really interesting story.

  • kris

    does anyone know where i can get the “kaos” album?

  • Hen

    It’s just so sad that the family talks about these events as being completely normal.  At first I thought they were acting normal in order to cover up the fact that they were really scarred and upset by what happened…but I don’t know, I think for them these events were as normal as getting up in the morning.  Really upsetting. 

  • Hen

    It’s just so sad that the family talks about these events as being completely normal.  At first I thought they were acting normal in order to cover up the fact that they were really scarred and upset by what happened…but I don’t know, I think for them these events were as normal as getting up in the morning.  Really upsetting. 

  • S.Poet

    Her neighbors knew what was going on.  I’d have silently taken him out and put him in the ground if I was the neighbor.  It is disgusting that people in these comments are blaming the victim.  I hope you are just being trolls for reaction.  If not, you are sick and need therapy.

  • Gred40

    I will never understand why women do not just leave.

    • Che3333

      Most of the time, you’re absolutely terrified of them. A fear that is unexplainable. And contrary to some people’s beliefs, the courts don’t just hide you the minute you say you’re abused.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHT43K43ADX6H2W6HHHWXXSH6A Mel

        It’s explainable. It’s what every child who’s been abused feels every day but unlike the adults in the family they cannot do anything to escape the situation if the parents both accept the arrangement and the way things are done in the family. A woman can get in the car and drive away while a kid could also get in a car and drive away but they will be brought right back to the doorstep of the abuser by the people who are supposed to protect them from crimes: the police. My point is that at least women have some options whereas children have none. They might not be ideal options but as with most things in life you should at least pick “the lesser of the two evils” if you get what I mean.

    • Che3333

      Most of the time, you’re absolutely terrified of them. A fear that is unexplainable. And contrary to some people’s beliefs, the courts don’t just hide you the minute you say you’re abused.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHT43K43ADX6H2W6HHHWXXSH6A Mel

      I agree to a certain extent Gred. I think if a woman decides to stay because she is scared of leaving or love’s the guy, etc. that is understandable to a certain extent.. if it is just her, but the moment she has kids everything changes. You no longer have the right to do what feels best for you but instead have to do what’s best for the kids no matter what you may feel. Honestly what is the worst that would have happened if she left he kill her? Is that any worse than 20 years of getting beat up and threatened to be killed? It makes no sense why someone with kids would stay unless they also don’t care about their kids very much because I would willingly die to protect my kids. This woman failed her children and out of selfishness. She did what was right for her and not her kids and now they are scarred for life.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHT43K43ADX6H2W6HHHWXXSH6A Mel

      I agree to a certain extent Gred. I think if a woman decides to stay because she is scared of leaving or love’s the guy, etc. that is understandable to a certain extent.. if it is just her, but the moment she has kids everything changes. You no longer have the right to do what feels best for you but instead have to do what’s best for the kids no matter what you may feel. Honestly what is the worst that would have happened if she left he kill her? Is that any worse than 20 years of getting beat up and threatened to be killed? It makes no sense why someone with kids would stay unless they also don’t care about their kids very much because I would willingly die to protect my kids. This woman failed her children and out of selfishness. She did what was right for her and not her kids and now they are scarred for life.

      • tatra77

        With all due respect, Mel, it seems from your words that you have either no or very little experience with extreme domestic violence of the nature depicted in this film.  For this, I am grateful, as NO ONE anywhere should EVER endure that kind of physical, emotional, and psychological torture.

        Aaron was not just violent, he was sadistic.  He was dangerous in ways well beyond the physical harm he inflicted on his wife and children.  Wendy knew that if she were to leave, Aaron would likely make good on the threats he had made to murder her mother, sister, friend and their children.  This case  was not about Wendy alone, nor could she alone put an end to Aaron’s abuse.  He had followed through on his threats of violence to her in the past, so how could she trust that if she left, he wouldn’t hunt down and kill her, her children, and/or her extended family.
        In every sense, Wendy was alone.  Her sister said in the film that they all knew if they called the contacted police on her behalf, Wendy would be the one harmed. Aaron was paranoid, possibly delusional, and obsessed with control to the length of putting surveillance cameras and microphones on the exterior of their home.  The fear that instilled in Wendy and Randy prevented them from being able to tell the police that Aaron was the reason Randy had dialed 911 the night of the killing.  The fear in Randy’s voice on the 911 tape in obvious and heart-wrenching.  This child was as desperate as his mother to keep their family alive, even if that meant refusing to give his address to the 911 operator.  Had police arrived specifically to question Aaron, he would have known one of them had called, and whether he was arrested then or not, Randy knew his father would punish the whole family for his phone call.
        The reality in which Wendy and her family lived would be unrecognisable to any outsider.  People say things like “she could go to the police” or “why wouldn’t she just leave?” without understanding the context of living every day in fear for your life and the lives of your children.  Aaron had complete control over the minds and wills of his family members.  In Wendy’s abused mind, her kids were better off alive, even if that meant living in constant fear of more violence.
        Make no mistake, I do not believe the choice to kill Aaron was the right one.  I do however understand why Wendy and Randy believed it was their only choice. Earlier that night, Randy asked for help – begged for police to come.  The cops came, and at the sight of a clearly battered woman and child (as per her mug shot and the description Randy gave of his appearance that night), chose to leave the scene with little or no real investigation of the complaint.  When the system of justice we’re supposed to rely on virtually ignored the Maldonado’s plight, how could they possibly believe that same system could save them from the horror of their lives?
        This story is a tragedy.  Sadly, it is an all-too-familiar one for so many families.  Aaron should never have abused his family.  Wendy and Randy should not have killed Aaron.  The system of justice should have been more prepared to help all of them.  There are only losers in this story.  My only hope is that the public recounting of stories like these will help people understand what it means to live with abuse, and that our communities and governments can better work together to support individuals and families trying to escape that abuse.

        • Jessica

          Perfectly said tatra

        • http://twitter.com/bebebaybeh Bebe

          I also want to add that when the cops were there, Randy tried to make gestures and facial expressions to let them know that was really happening despite them saying that everything’s fine. Plus the neighbors tried to stop the cops from leaving but they still left. There were two obvious red flags there and they still chose to ignore it.

          I believe that after the cops left, the idea of killing Aaron came after a moment of realization from mother and son that nobody can help them. Maybe they thought that if things got so bad, even worse than what was happening that the authorities (or anyone for that matter) will come in and just help them. After the cops left that hope just died and they knew they were the only ones now who could stop the violence.

          I also fkn hate Aaron’s brother. Is he for real??? Everybody – the kids, neighbors – they knew that there was unbelievable abuse going on in that house and he’s saying that their statements are all lies? Fk him.

        • heather

          Thank you for trying to educate the ignorant.

      • Jessica

        Im sorry Mel but you really have no idea. It is survival. She can’t just go to the police and in 2 hours he is locked up for good, it doesnt work like that. Her fear was so strong that she was afraid he would kill her children, family or herself.

      • Anna

        I so agree with you Mel…You do for your kids..whatever it takes, wherever you got to go. But she just let her kids be treated like this…Unless someone has you tied up 24/7 and you cant leave…You got options…I hope her family reads these messages….she was a dumbass…Im sorry. & yes, before anyone goes to crying that Iv never been in this situation so I dont understand….Yes, I have, a terrible situation for my child & me, but regardless, I chose my child..

    • Jackie

      They are paralyzed by fear. If you were told by someone that they were going to kill your mother, father, children, anyone you loved….and you BELIEVED them, you would do whatever it takes to protect your loved ones. That might mean being beat every day of your life.

      • Gladen5

        I would just like to add it was stated that her husband was unemployed and always at home.  

    • Bombsarefalling

      The man often alienates the girl from family and friends a long time before things get a lot worse :/ So she’s dependent on him.

    • Anna

      Im with you Gred40…20 years ?…Really..?…Come on…I understand that she thought she had to stay to protect her family, sister, mom, whoever…But she sacrificed her children for that tradeoff…they were abused, mentally & physically..Theres no way..no way in hell I would have done that….& she seems almost giddy about going to jail, did you see the big smile on her face as they led her away in handcuffs ??….I found myself and my son in an abusive relationship, he made my life a living hell..& made the same threats this man did….Did I put my child in that hell for years coz I was afraid of a threat ??….Yeah, right…I got the hell out of there, it was hard, hiding all the time, looking over my shoulder, waiting for him to show up. I told my family to be careful, they did. It wasnt all easy for any of us, but we got thru it…So while I pray and cry for these beautiful children whose innocence have been taken, I have no sympathy for Wendy..

      • K-29

        Did you ever stop to consider that maybe she’s happy enough to go to jail because for her it is a tradeoff: She spends 10 years there, but she knows her children are safe. She knows she is safe. She never has to deal with the threat of being beaten or killed ever again. You’d probably be happy enough to take that deal in that case too.

        What do you really think would have happened if she left? He was crazy. She would have moved out and he would have shown up at her door, angrier and more violent. It takes time for police to respond.

        This guy would tell her how he wanted to kill people. Sooner or later he would have done it. Who is to say he never? He had all the marks of a potential serial killer. She got him before he got anyone else. She did the world a favor.

    • tanukichan

      Every time a woman in this situation, especially as extremely dangerous as Wendy’s tries to leave the chances that she will (and her children) will suffer harsher, more frequent abuse escalates, exponentially. Without a strong network of professionals assisting in formulating an escape strategy and assisting with many, many community and domestic violence advocacy groups and long term planning, not just the initial “get out of there.”

      Abusers (both men and women) escalate their threats and escalate their violence. Also, yes there are shelters, I acknowledge that, but they are ill equipped (not due to the workers, but simply because they are serving so many needs of the community at once that Wendy (and other abuse victims like her) have to constantly be vigilant against predators and on guard. Without sounding flippant, in a lot of these circumstances, it is better the devil you know than the one you do not.

      Aaron, would not have let her just leave, even with the support of community advocates and domestic violence specialist there are only so many things and strategies and scenarios that they can effectively implement to jeep her and her family safe. And what was she supposed to do, just leave, live on the streets? She was a CHILD when she married him and this IS normal to her because her own mother states that she was in an abusive relationship for years.

      Eventually he would have killed her or her children rather than allow her to leave. This is one of those cases where it would have taken an underground railroad of networked people to keep Wendy and her family safe. I live in a major city and we do not have the resources to formulate that kind of extensive escape plan for some, which is what this situation needed before Wendy or her children ended up dead.

      I am outraged that in 2005 in Oregon, that she had to do any jail time beyond the original three days. If this had been a stranger trying to forcibly enter her home, and she had employed the same methods to keep her family safe, I very highly doubt the D.A. would have prosecuted her. As far as protective orders; an abuser who has to have COMPLETE control like Aaron would not have let a piece of paper, especially on that was relatively nonenforceable stand in his way as he viewed her and the children as property that, in his SICK mind, he had the RIGHT to act how he pleased.

      I am so ANGRY that she finally gets relief for herself and her children and instead of being allowed to heal, and have every resource made available to her, she is immediately threatened with capital murder charges and then given a “plea deal to manslaughter” as though officials are doing her a favor.

      I apologize for my lack of eloquence regarding this subject, but after working as a home visiting worker for families and children at risk; I can not help but be outraged at your lack of education on this subject. If you can not understand “why women do not JUST leave” then the point of this documentary fell on both deaf and blind eyes to you. Plus, if you truly do not “understand” something, that, giving you the benefit of the doubt, does sound completely foreign to you, perhaps you should take time to EDUCATE yourself. Talk to women and children that have been victimized for years. I hope and pray that you will and at the very least you will learn something called empathy. I would hope you would learn more than that. Do a simple internet search on domestic violence and read the testimonies of survivors, families who have lost loved ones, and see what resources are available in your community. Educate yourself. Only then will you be able to begin to comprehend why “women do not just leave.” And, it is not women you are victims and survivors of this systemic abuse. Men are also victims, but that is such a social taboo that it is woefully unreported.

      I also think Wendy, facing all she has been through and what she faces as far as healing her family should be applauded for surviving and ensuring her children’s safety; as well as cultivating her artistic talents (when she could). I hope that through her experience she is able to help other women in prison and after she is released help others understand the complex dynamics of family violence. She is a survior as are her children and the limited support system she had prior to the advocates that she gained once she did reach her breaking point. I intend on researching where she and her family are today because I believe part of her healing is to reclaim her power by sharing her painful story as she is more of an “expert” on the complexity of family violence than many who, like me, are educated and passionate about her struggle.

  • Gred40

    I will never understand why women do not just leave.

  • Gred40

    I will never understand why women do not just leave.

  • jenn

    “is your songs okay?” wth is wrong with people’s grammar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/airbor Robby Baker

    I have lived through this kind of life with an abusive and violent father. I think he got what he deserved. I do not blame her but nevertheless she did murder him and she should have gone another route to breaking free. There are resources for women in abusive relationships that take them and protect them. She could have done like my mother and left him and gone to another state.

  • MOA

    This is without a doubt the saddest domestic violence story I have ever encountered.  I agree a million times that he sort of brought it to himself, there was no other way out. Like the judge said, no one wins in these situations and no one gets away with anything.  It is remarkable that she made it all the way to where she is and did not become cynical or anything, you can just see in the video that she is at PEACE, who wouldn’t be after all she went through? Even though she’ll be in jail, she will be a million times better and her kids will be too.  Let’s just hope that the craziness is not genetic in this case and that her kids grow to be good citizens in this society and not repeat the same pattern.  God Bless This Family.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHT43K43ADX6H2W6HHHWXXSH6A Mel

    My question is if all these people knew what was going on why didn’t any of them try to help her get away? If that was my relative or friend I would wait until the guy was gone and drive up with a truck and take them with me and call the cops and have them watch the family or at least let them know that he may come over and try to hurt them. I would take her to the authorities and file a report so that he would no longer have rights to the kids, etc. One other comment, not to minimize this woman’s pain or fear in staying with her husband, but it’s one thing if you gamble with your life but when you have kids you don’t have the right to gamble with their’s. Honestly if it was me I could see staying if it was just myself because it would only be my life but if or as soon as I had a kid I would leave immediately. There’s no way I would let my kids get hurt or witness me getting hurt. If nothing else she should have stopped him from hurting her kids. This makes it hard for me to feel sorry for her at least in that respect.

    • sarai

      I know that an acquaintance of mine was in an abuse relationship. I knew that the guy beat her and the children, but I had no idea how bad it was until the guy disappeared after he was about to get arrested for tax fraud. It turned out that it had been absolutely horrific. Her children stayed with me and my family, and we slowly came to learn the entire story. About the guy chasing my acquaintance down the street, about the children trying to do their outmost to protect their mother, and so on.

      As I said before, I had known it was bad. I talked to my acquaintance about it. She did not tell me the truth, she made excuses for the abuser, she begged me not to interfere. I told her I would be there for her no matter what. I said I would help her if she decided to leave him. I promised that we would do everything we could for her and her children.

      However, she said no. She said she didn’t want it.

      Now I understand that she was terrified. I knew she was afraid he would harm the children, her, us,… But the point is: You can’t do anything to help, as an outsider, if the person refuses all help. It’s like when someone is addicted to drugs. You can offer help, you can do everything in your power, but if the central person refuses to cooperate, there really isn’t anything you can do. You can call the police, for example, but most women in abusive situations will then refuse to say anything or make up excuses. The police too can’t interfere in those cases. Nobody else can but the abused.

      That is the tragic part.

  • Princess_Peach

    I really think there should be a warning about the fawn scene!

  • Anonymous

    What a load of shit

    • Jessicamc45

      I dont believe al women are like that. Please be careful with your words tart, brain devoted to shopping etc. That is very generalised and offensive. 

  • EagerBeaver

    I truly believe psychological traps are far more dangerous than any physical harm and this is exactly the case we see here. 

    The horror in her eyes in visible in EVERY video and her kids’ absolute fear. I was gulping down my tears towards the end.

    What I don’t understand is the apathy from people who CLEARLY knew what was going on – they could have helped her. Aaron seemed to ONLY inflict abuse on his family, he never (thankfully) substantiated  his evil on outsiders as far as we know and therefore they should have gathered the monster was hell bent on just control. The tears they are streaming are simply guilt. Let them flow.

    I won’t pretend I know what this woman felt or her kids went through and I hope to never do so either but if I were her so far down the abuse line – I would have done the same but been ballsier about the acquittal. 

    On a final note, Aaron’s brother – burn.in.hell.with.him. 

    Peace out.

  • Linda

    Comment?!!! I could write a book on how I feel about this! Wendy has been given a sentence of jail when she should have been given a medal! It’s just a shame that Aaron didn’t suffer the same amount of pain for the years that his wife and children did before he drew his last breath! I wonder what kind of sentence he would have been given if he had actually killed his wife. Probably much less. He didn’t want to kill her. Where’s his fun in that! He wanted to torture and torment, dominate and be feared! To feel powerful and in control. I know of these pathetic small men who lord their strength and ignorance over defenseless women, children and animals. And what about all the people who knew what was happening and looked the other way! By their silence and avoidance they condone his behaviour. It takes courage to confront these low lifes. People are afraid they might have to give up something of their own to get involved, which they are mostly not willing to do! It is much easier to look the other way. And when the law does, why shouldn’t they!?  If she needs help to get out who is going to help her? Not me, let someone else, I’ve got my own family to think about. Let the government, social services etc…and the nightmare goes on and on and this is the end result. This family will never recover. Those children are damaged for life! Their pain will never end. That SOB deserved everything he got and more if it were possible! When are we ever going to stop tolerating violence under any circumstances and accept and teach it as totally unacceptable behaviour that has consequences? May this family and all the others going through the same ordeal finally find the peace they never had and are so entitled to and deserve!….. And we call ourselves evolved!

  • http://sorebuttcheeks.blogspot.com/ steroids

    angry title for this doc.

  • Geust

    Ok, I’m not gonna watch.  Just thinking about abuse makes me feel sick and helpless.  As a man, I’d just want to kill him myself…torture him to death.  See the horrible things it does to my brain?  Nope, not gonna watch.

  • Yvoelirey

    He was a cruel sadistic poor excuse for a human being. My heart goes out to her and her children. May they find the peace they deserve.

  • Guess

    wendy is such a stong person all my respect for her

  • Joe

    I didn’t see or hear (other) than a hanging sign on the kitchen wall with the words “Christ” but not mention about God what’s overever, except in a curse way. When families a brought up without a concept of God they loose life value. I saw how he kicked the deer and thats how he valued humans too, including his family. If they (yes, all) seeked God in any way or form, this could be avoid it. Yes, I know somebody going to critize me for mention God, but is a way to change people without seeking useless, profesional or govermental help. The husband’s problem was spiritual. Yes, there still hope for this family, even while their mom is in jail.

  • No-Name

    I agree Joe – and Randy did mention that they prayed before they actually went in and killed Aaron.

    He didn’t really elaborate on this but you get a sense that they were trying to figure out what to do….one of the most famous men in the Bible was guilty of murder – Moses.

    Aaron had NO RESPECT for ANY LIFE – and sometimes drastic actions are required.

    I think that Wendy did the right thing here….and while I know that murder is wrong, and I get that people simply cannot understand if they have not lived through anything like this (I have) – this level of abuse is the worst I have ever seen – and Aaron was clearly demented and sick!
    I honestly think that this is the ONLY way this was going to stop….with the laws we have about this in our country – they are ineffective.

    The police were there ON THIS NIGHT – told by the neighbors to go back and they DID NOT!

    I imagine Wendy was probably just sorry that the idea had never came to her before this night.

    I am concerned about the boys – I doubt they will become abusers BUT – what if Aaron truly had something wrong with him that could be genetic?

    What if they have any of these tendencies?

    ===================
    It is a REALLY sad thing that our country cannot find a way to deal with things like this, and that this mother has to pay such a high price for finally being able to protect her children from a monster that claimed to love all of them.

    Even in the face of knowing that they now must pay for their crime – you could finally see a glimmer of hope in their eyes – to finally be rid of the torture.

  • Tanya

    That’s ridiculous, there are so many white woman in america who get away with killing their abusive husband…such as Amber Cummings and Barbara Sheehan…in the same country!! Apparently they both claimed the “battered-woman” defence. Why couldn’t Wendy and Rand use the same defence in the same country?? Wendy and Randy were subjected to abuse far longer than Amber Cummings who killed her husband after a few years..Wendy had 19! Also the other two women planned and plotted to kill their husbands murder, and shot him. Wendy and Randy made the split second decision and were extremely open about it format he start. There IS a defence in the US for this situation…battered-woman defence….and it’s been used for years before Wendy. Why wasn’t Wendy allowed this defence.

    Why didn’t the judge himself speak to a higher body about this case. Amber and Barbara clearly got this defence which is how it should be. The law has no common sense, I thought that was the whole point of a judge…i.e. to judge! What the hell do they get paid so much money for to sit on their ass and give a verdict that a computer could have generated?

    They should have gone higher. Glad aaron is dead, and I wish he could have died in a way that expressed the pain that all his victims felt. They need to have a proper program in place for victims of abuse. Women don’t even know what evidence they need to convict a man. That’s the problem, you go to the police and the worst he’ll get is a few years in jail and when he gets out he’ll kill you and the kids. It’s happened to so many wman who have tried to go to the police, so I don’t blame her for just killing him. In reality, he wouldn’t have got put in prison without substantial evidence and he would have come back and killed them for sure. Wendy you a string and brave person who put up with this for longer than you should have.

    • bringmeredwine

      As Charles Dickens once wrote, “The law is an ass.”
      That’s why judges don’t usually dispense any real justice.
      And as we all know, life just ain’t fair.

  • Tanya

    I am going to write a letter to Obama…if anyone else can find time please do the same.

  • Jay

    Has anyone from the Jury even looked at the home videos including this documentary? WTF?

  • Kissing Jesus With Tounge

    Axe to the head…..Axe to the head…… lookin like a fool with an axe to the head

  • Andrea

    That deer scene was really disturbing. Talk about red flags.

  • Hiroko380

    Before watching this documentary, I thought (having been a victim of abuse myself) similar to some other people on here that she should’ve fought back or fled for her children’s sake. It is instinctive to fight for your survival or to run away from pain. And I was completely on-board with another viewer when they wrote that Wendy had a choice, while the boys did not.
    However, after watching, I came to a very sick conclusion and analogy for what happened to this family, especially Wendy…
    Like the frog that is thrown into a hot pot of water and jumps out immediately, if abuse comes as a surprise, one would normally act instinctively and “fight or flight”, but this sick man coaxed the frog into a cool pot of water and cruelly turned the heat up slowly, making it cook alive thinking that with each increase in degree, that that was the norm.
    I felt sick to my stomach upon this conclusion I had drawn…
    I am still left trying to wrap my head around what I just saw… A human being’s, essentially an animal’s very instinct was slowly wiped out… Her spirit was so crushed that she would not even trust that anyone in their right mind would find her and her son innocent…
    I must say that seeing the murder scene even gave me, an outsider in space and time, a sense of relief.
    I hope (not pray) that that sick, twisted soul has completely vanished from existence somehow, that there was even no hell to greet him…

  • Emjob

    I’m so shocked that none of the neighbours ever did anything? Very sad documentary.

  • guest

    what I don’t get is this: how is it possible that in the US it is allowed to kill a complete stranger if you feel your life is threatened but if you do it with a spouse who has been abusing you for nearly two decades and is definitely a threat to your own life AND to your children – then you go to prison???

  • http://www.facebook.com/eugene.zhukov Eugene Zhukov

    VetoList.com

  • David

    I have no sympathy for people who are abused partners. Get up and leave or shut the hell up. If someone hits you, and you stay, the next time you get beaten, its your fault.

    • Your Nightmare

      It is clear that you have not gotten your first pubic hair and still live with your mommy so do everyone a favor save your mentally deficient comments for your blow up doll. The thought that someone like you exists makes me vomit in my mouth. Even though you clearly read at a 3rd grade level, Hopefully you will comprehend this last Quote…just for you “David”.

      “Nothing in the world is more DANGEROUS than sincere IGNORANCE and conscientious stupidity.”

      Sincerely,

      Karma

  • mark

    randy asked ” am i allow to cry now”. Gutwrenching

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  • sarai

    Wendy and Randy should be free. They should have never been sentenced to prison. I don’t think they would have been in Germany where I live. How could anyone punish this woman for what she did? Not only did she and her children suffer terrible abuse which should be considered mitigating circumstances by any sane person, but it also seems like this guy was an absolute sociopath whose death is a good, good thing.
    I feel really bad saying that because I don’t like to think that anyone deserves death, but if there are people out there who do, this man definitely deserved to die. And the world is a better place because he is no longer in it.

    I hope Wendy and her children will be able to recover from all this ordeal, and find happiness in their lives. God bless them.

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  • heather

    I am sorry for this family. Good people trapped in a horrible situation.
    It left me to wonder what the consequences to the family would have been if the mother and son went in that night, hacked the dad’s feet off, then his hands. Would they have gotten more time, or less?
    I was born into a house rife with violence (albeit not to this scale of DV); i was the fourth and last child. My mom finally got out when i was 3.

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  • http://documentoryheaven gary crocker

    I cant believe this poor woman and her son are serving prison sentences when all they done was defend themselves from someone that inflicted so much torture and pain on them and who would have more than likely ended up killing them. They are not a threat to society at all and were only driven to what they done by many years of extreme fear. i just realised that randy may have been released by now as it said he was eligable for parole in 2011,im praying he was released, but to think that his poor mother has served 8 years and still has 2 years to serve is unthinkable.The whole of that family has gone through such a nightmare and i just pray that the powers to be in the usa see sense and release her asap.I live in the uk and our justice system is far from perfect but in this case im sure our judges would have seen sense and given a suspended sentence at the most.

  • Gil

    I cannot believe that those neighbors and the people who witnessed Aaron beating Wendy, dragging her across the gravel, pushing her up against the car window, etc. did not say ANYTHING. That is despicable. Her neighbors heard that man beating her hundreds of times and did NOTHING. There is no excuse for that. It is so easy to pick up the phone and call the police. They would have come and taken him away. There is no reason why this woman had to endure that torture for as many years as she did. It is so so so important to help those who cannot help themselves, it is so important to say something if you see something.

  • Jessica Claire

    Apparently you didn’t watch this documentary, or else you’d understand a little bit more why women stay.

  • Luis Meneses

    Another example of how the justice system,is a sham,in most cases the violence could have been prevented and dealt with.All over the world the story repeats it self.What amazes me the most is how we as a developed society,”democratic” and free,allows this to happen.The victims when they defend themselves are sentenced like criminals,and most cases the perpetrator walks away,in this case Aron is where he should be and God sent him to rot where he belongs.Maybe instead of going to other countries to supposedly fight for human rights and freedom, and criticizing the treatment of women in other nations…..take a GOOD look and see the the pathetic justice system,we live in,and those who are here to protect and serve,obviously their priorities are not in order !!!!!!