Most scams, such as sub-prime mortgages and email scams, victimize adults. But custody scams victimize children. When government fails to protect children it throws open the doors to private contractors—lawyers and clinicians—who enrich themselves at the expense of children. (More about this child and the mother who tried to protect her appears below.)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
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Divorce Lawyer Not Surprised Man Killed Wife And Daughters, But Not Son
Stephanie Hockridge, FOX 4 NewsMeagan Kelleher, FOX 4 Web Producer
December 1, 2009
Ex-Mo. City Official Charged With Murder In Death of Wife, Teenage Daughters
COLUMBIA, Mo. - A former Columbia, Missouri city official has been charged with capital murder in the shootings of his wife and two teenage daughters in eastern Kansas. The divorce attorney for 46-year-old James Kraig Kahler's wife said the man had serious problems with women, going so far as to call him misogynistic.
While attorney Dan Pingelton admits Kahler has never been psychologically evaluated, he says all the signs were there.
"My first thoughts were, 'I hope that's not Karen and her children,'" Pingelton said. "Based on the case my second thought, because I heard there had been one survivor, I said, 'That survivor is going to be Sean.'"
Pingelton was representing Karen Kahler in her divorce when he learned of Saturday's shootings in Burlingame, Kansas. Police said Kahler shot and killed Karen and their two teenage girls, Emily and Lauren. Karen's grandmother was critically injured in the attack. The sole survivor was the couple's 10-year-old son, Sean, who was there but wasn't hurt.
"Ambushing your entire family, killing the three women and trying to kill the fourth woman and your son lives...he's a monster, an absolute monster," Pingelton said.
Pingelton said Kahler was a rigid and controlling individual, who emotionally abused the girls.
"We had a schedule set up for him to see the children, he declined to see his daughters," Pingelton said. "These were wonderful girls. I mean, wonderful people. And they did not take sides in this divorce."
Kahler was expected in court on Wednesday on a domestic assault charge stemming from an incident with his wife in March.
That case, along with the divorce, were warning signs to the Columbia city manager, who said he asked Kahler to resign from his position in September as director of Columbia's Water & Light Department because of his difficult family issues.
Still, Pingelton said Kahler knew it wasn't the end of the road and neither the assault charges nor the divorce needed to get ugly.
"He could have been an involved parent and moved on with his life," Pingelton said. "So, when you say, was the timing of it precipitous, no, it wasn't. He had been well counseled that this thing was going to work out all right."
Pingelton said the 10-year-old is staying with family in Kansas. In the meantime, Kahler is scheduled to be in court December 10 and bail has been set at $10 million.
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About the mother and child pictured at the top
She is one of countless children in Rhode Island subjected to severe emotional and physical trauma by Family Court when it helps abusive parents to maintain control over their families after divorce. When she turned 18 in 2007, she gave the Parenting Project permission to publish her picture on behalf of all children who have been held hostage by Rhode Island custody scams.
About the Author and the Cause