Should Women Get Away With Murder?
For some, the above title is a rhetorical question, or even a ridiculous one. Harriet Wistrich in particular has never met a murderess she didn’t like. In 1990, she and her lesbian lover the man-hating Julie Bindel set up the misnamed Justice For Women, which styles itself “a feminist campaigning organisation that supports, and advocates on behalf of, women who have fought back against or killed violent men.”
For those not in the know, feminism is an ideology that can be summed up in the phrase men are the root of all evil. The corollary of this is that women who do bad things, up to and including serial murder, have no agency. Anytime a woman does something bad, the real cause is a man, a type of man, the mythical patriarchy, anything and everything male rather than the perpetrator herself.
A couple of examples will suffice. If you haven’t heard of Karla Homolka, she is Canada’s most hated woman. As a teenager, she met the handsome, dashing Paul Bernardo, who was already a serial rapist. This was one of those relationships in which “sparks fly”, and from the off they were literally all over each other. Karla’s only defect, as far as Paul was concerned, was that she was not a virgin. Karla’s younger sister Tammy was, so Paul asked her for him. And Karla gave Tammy to him, helping him drug and rape her late one night, filming the act for good measure, and even joining in herself. Tammy died from a reaction to the drug, and for whatever reason, an autopsy was not performed.
What did Karla do next? She married this monster, and joined in his depravity, helping him rape other teenage girls. The climax of this horror was the kidnap and murder on two separate occasions of teenagers Leslie Mahaffy and then Kristen French. The girls were tortured before being killed and dismembered. Eventually, Karla left Bernardo, not because she couldn’t stomach this behaviour, indeed she revelled in it, but because he had taken to beating her as well. When finally the police caught up with him, although they had masses of evidence, Karla was given a sweetheart deal which resulted in her being sentenced to a mere twelve years, which she served in full.
Her trial was shrouded in secrecy, ostensibly so as not to prejudice Bernardo’s, which was contested. The person who allowed this to go ahead was Marion Boyd, the feminist Attorney General of Toronto. When the truth came out about Homolka’s ultra-lenient sentence, the public was rightly outraged. Although he was convicted of the Mahaffy and French murders, Paul Bernardo insists they were killed by Karla, and not everyone finds that claim self-serving.
If Marion Boyd could close her eyes to the evil committed wilfully by Karla Homolka, kook academic Phyllis Chesler can see no evil in the female serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Although she was arrested in January 1991, Wuornos was not executed until 2002, a time lag that is nothing exceptional in Florida. In October 1993, Chesler published RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE: The Case Of Aileen Carol Wuornos in a supposedly academic journal, the Criminal Practice Law Report. This article reads exactly as it sounds. It has also been published elsewhere with a slightly variant title; the thrust of Chesler’s argument is that Wuornos was raped by her first victim, a rape that was so traumatic it sent her over the edge. So Richard Mallory, not Wuornos was responsible or largely responsible for her murder spree. While it is true Mallory was no angel, to put it mildly, there is no credible evidence that he raped Wuornos. Chesler’s article is a wonder to read, and it is difficult to credit that any reputable journal would permit such outrageous special pleading to grace its pages.
Two people who undoubtedly would are the aforementioned Wistrich and Bindel. Their organisation, a registered charity no less, has had mixed results so far. One of their failures was Jane Andrews, who murdered her lover Thomas Cressman in September 2000.
This case caused quite a stir because Andrews had once worked for the Duchess of York. Her husband divorced her for infidelity, following which she began a relationship with Dmitri Horne, who found her to be if not a Jekyll and Hyde character then someone who could oscillate between extreme moods of pleasantness and violence. After he split with her, she began her relationship with Cressman. She appears to have killed him because he had refused to marry her; he was battered with a cricket bat and stabbed with a kitchen knife while he slept.
After initially denying any involvement in his death and leaving clues that he had been murdered by someone else, albeit half-heartedly, she claimed he had assaulted her. In December 2000, prior to the trial, she was granted bail. Since the abolition of capital punishment, it has been unusual but far from unique for someone accused of murder to be granted bail in Britain.
At trial, her legal team put forward a remarkable five-fold defence:
In the first place, the victim’s death was accidental, failing which she had acted in self-defence, failing which she lacked the intent to kill, failing which she had been provoked, failing which she relied on the well-known legal fiction of diminished responsibility. Unsurprisingly, Andrews was convicted, and received the unusually lenient tariff of twelve years for such a terrible crime.
When Justice For Women came on the scene they peddled the lie that Cressman had sexually abused Andrews, and that this had “triggered” memories of childhood sexual abuse. Fresh psychiatric evidence, so-called, was adduced to that effect. In fact, the claims made by Andrews that she had been sexually abused as a child were not new, she had made a similar claim to Cressman, and he had paid for her to see a mental health professional. The Court Of Appeal rightly declined to accept this contrived new evidence.
This claim is also used by men, including murderers and sex offenders. Richard Caputo who murdered four women claimed to have been sexually abused as a child, so did the odious boxer and double rapist Tony Ayala Junior. In Andrews’ case, the lies mushroomed, even so, she was parolled in 2015, but in July 2018, it was reported she had been recalled to prison for harassing a former lover.
Wistrich and Bindel’s crowning success, if she can be called that, was teenage prostitute turned murderess and serial false rape accuser Emma Humphreys. On their website and indeed all over the Internet, you can read about the “Inspiring Legacy” of this toxic temptress, but only The Canonisation Of Emma Humphreys gives the true, undiluted facts, although even Wistrich and Bindel admit that eventually they’d had enough of her. Her spurious appeal should never have been allowed, and Humphreys should not have been released from prison for at least another five years, instead she was parolled in July 1995 and was dead by her own hand almost exactly three years later. Wistrich and Bindel must share part of the responsibility for that.
Their latest lost cause is Sally Challen, who although neither a prostitute nor a drug abuser, is even less appealing as a miscarriage of justice than Humphreys because by the time she murdered her husband, they were no longer living as man and wife.
The facts of this case are set out in her 2011 appeal, which saw her tariff reduced from 22 to 18 years. Georgina Sarah Anne Louise Challen, to give her her full, correct name, had been convicted earlier the same year. After battering Richard Challen to death with a hammer, she resolved to throw herself off Beachy Head, a well-known spot for suicides. Instead, she allowed herself to be talked out of it, and stood trial at Guildford Crown Court.
Her first appeal was against sentence only, but Justice For Women claim to have uncovered new evidence, which is…a) that he raped her and b) that she was a victim of coercive control.
The allegation of rape and other alleged abuse should not be admitted because it is not fresh evidence and there is no legitimate reason such allegations could not have been raised at the time. Coercive control is a very recent addition to the statute books, but it certainly does exist. Perhaps the most outrageous such case was that of Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum. Nussbaum was a highly intelligent, educated woman, and it beggars belief that she could have allowed Steinberg to do what he did to her. Coercive control can also be exercised over people of low intelligence and those who are dependent on others. It is not always a man on woman or sexual thing. Challen’s problem is that she was not living with her estranged husband, was with him voluntarily on the day of the murder, and to suggest he could have controlled her coercively from a distance would mean validating telepathy.
In addition to that, it was she who left him, she who initiated divorce proceedings, and she who asked a neighbour to spy on him, as well as hacking his e-mails and voice messages. Indeed, when all this is considered, her case has less in common with Joel Steinberg and Hedda Nussbaum than with Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias. The Challens had two sons, and one of them is actively supporting her appeal. In a sense this is understandable, having lost one parent is bad enough, but Challen’s legal team have a mountain to climb, and hopefully they will not succeed. Second wave feminism in the form of Wistrich and Bindel and now the pathetic victim narrative that is third wave feminism, have gone much too far; it is time the courts began reigning in this madness.
A woman who kills a man in cold blood is a murderess, not a victim, especially if the crime is premeditated, and even if she claims to have been suffering from some mental aberration. Women are not helpless damsels, they can and should walk away from bad relationships, and like men they can and should be held responsible for their bad acts.