Child Custody Victims Violence

Moms Who Kills Their Kids

Moms Who Kill Their Kids


February 28, 2024

SAVE has previously reported on mothers who attacked other women to steal their unborn babies. A more widespread problem is mothers who kill their children. Globally, 72% of infant murders are by their mothers.

Many of these cases occur in the middle of a custody dispute. These women apparently believed they “own” their children. These six cases, all in the United States, were reported in February, 2024:

1. Mom in custody battle kills four kids and herself in house fire, Missouri reports say

Pruessner was reportedly involved in court battles with the two fathers of her four children. Mom burned her kids to death rather than share custody with the father.  She was a college professor.

2. Kansas City mother is accused of killing her infant by putting her in the oven

The mother told the baby’s grandmother that she put the 1-month-old “in the oven instead of the crib,” according to court records.

3. Lilly mother accused of killing son

Bowser heard voices telling her to smother her 5-year-old child.

4. Family reacts to deaths of 3-year-old twins, mother jumping off I-95

Officials haven’t released the identities of the children and the woman but family members identified the woman as 42-year-old Shirlene N. Alcime and the children as Milinddjy and Milender.

5. Mother arrested for murder after 4-year-old daughter found dead in Southern California

The cause of death was reported as ‘combined effects of strangulation and sharp force,’ according to the autopsy report.

6. Mum who left toddler alone in playpen for 10 days pleads guilty to aggravated murder

This wasn’t intentional homicide, but rather the most egregious negligent homicide imaginable.

Child Custody

Mothers Who Kill Their Ex-Husbands to Gain Child Custody

Mothers Who Kill Their Ex-Husbands to Gain Child Custody


October 22, 2023

The ultimate form of parental alienation occurs when a parent kills the other parent so they don’t have to share custody of their children. These homicides typically involve a mother who kills, or arranges for someone else to kill, their ex-husband. The common theme that runs through these cases is a mother who views the children as her property and is unwilling to share custody with the father.

Children may also be at risk. According to an article by Phillip Resnick on Filicide in the United States, “Evaluators in child custody disputes should be alert to situations in which a mother is so convinced that her child will be sexually abused if custody is awarded to her ex-husband that she decides that the child is better off in heaven.”

These six cases all made the news in 2023:

  1. Solicitation of Crime and “Things of Value” (Plus a Mother-of-the-Year Candidate)

On September 28, 2023, a jury convicted Vanessa Valdiglesias LaValle of two counts of criminal solicitation after she told her minor son, S.G., that he could be with her “forever” if he poisoned his father.

2. Ex-wife of slain Microsoft exec Jared Bridegan charged with his murder

On August 17, 2023, the ex-wife of murdered Microsoft executive Jaren Bridegan was charged with first-degree murder in connection with his murder. Bridegan, who was in the midst of a custody dispute with his ex-wife, was ambushed on the street after dropping-off the couple’s children at his ex-wife’s house. The mother’s new husband has also been charged in the murder.

3. Accused in Missing Man’s Grisly Killing: His Ex-Wife and Her Husband

Three years ago, Steven Kraft disappeared. In June 2023, Jamie and Nicholas Orsini were arrested and accused of carrying out an elaborate plot to kill him and dispose of his body.

4. Charlie Adelson’s trial over Dan Markel’s killing will now start in October

Florida State law professor Dan Markel, who was murdered while sitting in a car in his garage. Markel was in the midst of a custody dispute with his ex-wife, who was also a law professor. The ex-wife’s brother, a prominent dentist, has been charged with first degree murder for arranging the contract killing. The trigger-men have already been convicted.  Many people believe other members of the wife’s family, including the wife herself, were involved.

5. Dad Wins Custody of Kids, Then Ex’s Boyfriend Kills Him Moments After, VA Family Says

Alex Brown, 29, was shot outside his mother and stepfather’s home in Louisa, Virginia around 3:20 p.m. on May 9 after returning from the hearing, where he was awarded custody of his two sons, according to police and a GoFundMe page created by family members.

6. ‘Polar Opposite’ Twin Sisters Team Up To Kill One’s Ex-Husband Over Custody Dispute

When Aaron Smith learned his wife was having an affair, he filed for a divorce. A week before his murder, Aaron won full custody of his children. But when he went to pick up the two children, he spotted his ex-wife speeding away with them in a car. His ex-wife had left the state with the children. On July 23, 1997, Aaron was found dead from a gunshot wound outside his home. Aaron was shot in the back as he ran for safety.

A Google search on the words father, kills, ex-wife, custody dispute, and 2023 turns up only a single case in Texas.

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D. Jesús Muñoz

Dª María Legaz

National Association for Assistance to Victims of Domestic Violence (Asociacion Nacional de Ayuda a Victimas de Ayuda de Violencia Doméstica)

24 January 2023

The passage of the LIVG, the comprehensive law against gender-based violence, in Spain in 2004 has led to the violation of the fundamental rights of all heterosexual citizens, especially loss of the “presumption of innocence.”

The socialist party, from which this ideology of copyright criminal law
originated, had on the table, according to public statements by one of its proponents, safeguarding the protection of victims or the presumption of innocence. They opted for the protection of victims, destroying the “presumption of innocence” for hundreds of thousands of men in the past 18 years.

The gender violence law is based on the study of the Minneapolis mandatory arrest law.

From 2004 to 2022, there have been more than 2,260,000 judicial
proceedings, with more than 1,705,000 defendants ending up being declared innocent. This means that innocent people have been prosecuted with public money, depriving them of their liberty. By applying Article 544 TER of the Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal, they have been separated from their children, with jail detentions of 24 and 72 hours. These detentions normally take place on weekends, beginning on Fridays, so the man spends the whole weekend in a jail with deplorable hygienic conditions. The man is in a state of shock, not knowing why he has been deprived of liberty, expelled from his house with only what he was wearing. and deprived of his children’s visitation regime.

An average of more than 455 men are arrested every day in Spain for allegations of gender violence, based solely on the word of a woman. An average of 160,000 men are prosecuted each year as terrorists. Year after year, it has been shown that more than 80% of them, who have been deprived of their liberty, are declared innocent, according to data from the General Council of the Judiciary.

Hundreds of billions of euros are spent in Spain, coming from the European Union, squandered by political parties. As an example, between 2014 and 2016 the Junta de Andalucía spent a whopping sum of more than of 66,000 millions of euros.

The European Union allocates €366 billion a year to addressing gender violence. None of these grants are audited.

An estimation of the costs of gender violence in the EU, according to a study carried out by the United Kingdom, estimated that Spain received from more than 24,000 million euros in 2012. With these funds, networks of feminist associations related to political parties have been created, which obtain economic revenue through their gender ideology.

The Spanish gender violence law is based on author’s criminal law, as
stated on page 92 and 93 of the CGPJ’s, LIVG draft report and
Constitutional Court Judgment 59/2008, dated July 4. The Particular
vote of five magistrates, including Judge Jorge Rodríguez Zapata, states
in writing, on folio 25 of the sentences, that this law would make the
dreams of Edmund Mezger, German jurist from Nazi Germany, come true.

He writes in the seventh paragraph:

“Finally, I express my wish that this Judgment not to be the
beginning in our order of the fulfillment of Mezger’s dream: two
Criminal Laws; a criminal law for the generality, in which, in essence, the principles that have governed up to now will remain in force. And, along with it, a completely different criminal law, for special groups of certain people. I leave a record of my position in this Vote.
In Madrid, on May fourteenth, two thousand and eight. Jorge
Rodriguez Zapata Perez. -Signed”.

In addition to this, a renowned member of the Socialist party and expresident of the Spanish Government, Alfonso Guerra, publicly declared that he spoke with an acquaintance of his, who had been the president of the Constitutional Court in 2004, who confirmed to him that the seven magistrates who approved the unconstitutional law, that they did so under pressure from feminist lobbies, and from the socialist party of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero:

Alfonso Guerra reveals the pressure on the TC on the LIVG.

In Spain we are suffering from what Poland and Hungary already warned about, which is why they withdrew from the Istanbul Agreement.

If we add to this, that the socialist government subsidized women’s allegations with public money, since the higher the number of allegations, the more women are declared mistreated and the more
money the feminist associations receive. So says the BOE of 2005, Number 215 on page 30453.

Currently, in addition to all of the overhead, a lot of women in a divorce or children custody proceeding, profit from Articles 92.7 and 94 of the Civil Code. These women use the gender violence law so that fathers cannot fight for joint child custody. And with article 94, during the investigation and judicial process, the man is deprived of child visitation rights, despite the fact that 80% of them are eventually declared to be innocent. You can imagine the ordeal they suffer, when one to five years can pass without being able to see their children.

ANAVID asks that all of these discriminatory laws, which violate constitutional, fundamental and human rights, be repealed. These laws are destroying the lives of men, children, and entire families, and are not protecting the truly mistreated women. We demand laws that protect and punish all people equally, regardless of sex, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Furthermore, we ask that any person declared innocent, that had been
deprived of their liberty to be compensated with €600 per day and for
those who have suffered a restraining order being found innocent, we ask for a compensation of €110 per day.

Note: The original Spanish version of this statement is available on the ANAVID website.

Child Custody Domestic Violence False Allegations Law & Justice Sexual Assault

Family Courts Increasingly Are Holding False Accusers Accountable for Their Actions

Family Courts Increasingly Are Holding False Accusers Accountable for Their Actions


April 1, 2022

Over the years, people have asked how to seek recompense for false allegations and other abusive litigation tactics.  Family law cases have a tendency to bring out bad behavior in people, and false allegations have an unfortunate tendency to arise with greater frequency in such cases.

Following are examples of three family law cases:

  1. In Leisinger v. Jacobson, 2002 SD 108 (S.D. 2002), a South Dakota man sued his ex-wife for making a series of false allegations during the pendency of their divorce. Among other things, she “orchestrated [a] protection order, and violations of it, to obtain leverage against him in the divorce.” The South Dakota Supreme Court affirmed a malicious prosecution verdict in which a jury ordered the ex-wife to pay $13,754 in damages to her ex-husband.  The jury also ordered her to pay $120,000 in punitive damages, which the Supreme Court reduced to $25,000.
  2. In a 2010 case titled Bloch v. Bloch, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a trial order that dismissed a malicious prosecution case that was based on false allegations made during a divorce. During the divorce case, the wife sought full custody of the couple’s minor child. Wife made false reports of physical abuse by him and reported or caused to be reported a number of false allegations of sexual abuse by the husband against the couple’s child. These allegations resulted in two separate child protective service (CPS) investigations, a psychological review of the parties and the child, and a number of police investigations. Husband was also forced to undergo a psychological evaluation, a polygraph examination, and was subject to at least one arrest. During the divorce proceedings, the trial court found the allegations were without merit, a finding supported by the psychologist who examined the parties and the child. Based on these facts, the Court of Appeals allowed the husband’s malicious prosecution case against his ex-wife to proceed.
  3. In Norberg v. Norberg, 2017 ND 14 (N.D. 2017), the North Dakota Supreme Court allowed a case to proceed against a woman who falsely accused her husband of sexual assault in an effort to win custody of their children. The false allegations resulted in her husband being tried and acquitted of rape.

The North Dakota Supreme Court earlier affirmed a trial decision that awarded sole custody of the couple’s children to the falsely accused ex-husband. The trial court found the wife’s report of sexual abuse was untrue and nothing more than her attempt to get custody of the parties’ children.  The court also found that she lied to the children about her allegations, which alienated the children from their father and may have damaged his relationship with them. The court found her lies were strong evidence of her moral unfitness because the children had to deal with news accounts of their father’s criminal trial and the intrusions of supervised parenting time, and the lies put their father at risk of going to prison:

Malicious Prosecution

The family law cases discussed above all involved false allegations of rape and/or child abuse, which resulted in criminal investigations. It’s hard to image a more malicious act than to falsely accuse someone of rape or child abuse.

That said, malicious prosecution claims should only be brought in egregious situations – those that involve malice.  Malicious prosecution claims are generally disfavored in the law because of their potential chilling effect on people’s willingness to bring legitimate claims. Trial lawyers David Parker and William Mills write:

Malicious prosecution claims have long been recognized as having a chilling effect on an ordinary citizen’s willingness to bring a dispute to court, and as a result the tort is often characterized as a “disfavored cause of action.”

It is not simply a matter of a chilling effect on the public – it affects lawyers as well. “[T]here is a basic and important policy that public access to the courts should be unfettered by threats of retaliatory litigation. Access to the courts would be illusory if plaintiffs were denied counsel of their choice, because attorneys feared being held liable as insurers of the quality of their clients’ cases. Few attorneys would be willing to prosecute close and difficult matters, and virtually none would dare challenge the propriety of established legal doctrines.”  (citations omitted)


What are the takeaways from these cases for both lawyers and parties?

For lawyers, the takeaway is “do your diligence.”  Don’t merely repeat what your client tells you.  This is true at the start of the case as well as at all times during the pendency of the case.  If you learn during the pendency of the case that your allegations are false or unfounded, don’t repeat them.

Above all, don’t make unfounded allegations in an attempt to gain leverage.  If you allege child abuse or domestic violence in an effort to bolster your case and lose, you’ll certainly lose credibility with the court.  You might also find yourself a defendant in a malicious prosecution case.

For parties, don’t make unfounded allegations in an attempt to gain leverage.  For many years, this was considered a low-risk strategy – the so-called “silver bullet.”  However, things have changed.  These unsavory tactics not only are increasingly unlikely to carry the day, they may backfire and cause you to lose the case.  Even worse, you might get sued by your former partner after the case is over.

Child Custody Domestic Violence False Allegations

Nebraska Judge Rules False Allegations are a Form of Domestic Violence

Can false allegations be considered to be a form of domestic violence? In a previous case in Delaware, the judge ruled false allegations in fact represent an attempt to exert power and control over one’s partner.

Earlier this week, a Nebraska judge issued a custody decision in a parental alienation case.  The father was awarded primary custody because of the mother’s move-away and alienating behaviors.  The court concluded:

[d]omestic intimate partner abuse includes using a child to establish or maintain power and control over any current or past intimate partner.  Neb. Rev. Stat. Section 43-2922(8).  The Court finds the testimony of Dr. McConnell to be credible as to his observations regarding parental alienation by the Mother.  The Court finds that some of the Mother’s actions are consistent with Dr. Harman’s expert testimony regarding the use of the legal system in order to gain control over the target parent.”  [emphasis added]

These conclusions were based on factual findings that:

“[t]he mother’s claims regarding threatening, abusive behavior by the Father are not credible. Despite seeking court orders limiting contact with the Father, the Mother continued to initiate contact [with] him. The Mother has displayed a similar pattern with a prior boyfriend as well.  The Mother made a false allegation that the Father had tried to hit her with his vehicle while exchanging the children [at] the Law Enforcement Center.” [emphasis added]

In awarding attorneys fees to the Father, the Court later noted the Mother “sought protection from the Court, but frequently disregarded the Court’s no contact orders.  There is at least one outright fabrication, the claim at the Law Enforcement Center.”  While the father had issues of his own, the Court found “the Father is more likely to encourage the children to maintain a positive relationship with the other parent.”

The order also provided that if the parents in the future resided within 20 miles of each other, the custody arrangements would automatically change to equal 50-50 parenting time.  The father was represented by Josh Johnson and expert mental health testimony was provided by Dr. Luke McConnell from North Platte, NE, and Dr. Jennifer Harman from Colorado State University.

The entire ruling is available online.

Child Custody Civil Rights Domestic Violence False Allegations Innocence Law Enforcement Press Release Prosecutorial Misconduct Restraining Order Victims Wrongful Convictions

PR: Penobscot Co. Woman Says Prosecutor Mary Kellett Employed Threats and ‘Bald-Faced Lie’ to Induce Testimony


Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

Penobscot Co. Woman Says Prosecutor Mary Kellett Employed Threats and ‘Bald-Faced Lie’ to Induce Testimony

WASHINGTON / February 6, 2013 – A Penobscot County woman has accused assistant district attorney Mary Kellett of lying in order to coerce her to testify in a domestic assault case. Michelle Sayasane has claimed that Kellett falsely represented that Sayasane’s husband, Keo, had murdered a previous wife as a legal tactic to coerce Sayasane to become a cooperative witness.

According to an August 18, 2011 article in the Bangor Daily News, Justice Kevin Cuddy learned that ADA Kellett told Mrs. Sayasane that her husband had been convicted in the 1987 stabbing death of his former wife. Kellett claimed the source of the information was deputy attorney general William Stokes, head of the Attorney General Office’s criminal division:

But Kellett’s statement appears to have been false. “Stokes said he never provided any information to Kellett that indicated that the victim in the manslaughter case was Sayasane’s previous wife, or even that the victim was a woman,” according the Bangor Daily News account.

In an article published earlier this week, Mrs. Sayasane revealed the reasons behind her reluctance: her husband “needed counseling, not jail, and I was not going to be a part of putting him there:” Kellett responded by threatening to have Child Protective Services remove their children, according to Sayasane.

Finally, Sayasane relented and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution, even though Kellett allegedly caused “massive emotional distress on me and my entire family.”

“In December, a special panel ruled that prosecutor Mary Kellett violated seven ethical rules and recommended her license be suspended,” explains SAVE spokesman Steve Blake. “Michelle Sayasane’s latest account of prosecutor bullying and dishonesty reinforces the need for prompt action.”

Sayasane says she plans to file a complaint against Kellett with the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar for witness tampering.

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault:

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PR: Domestic Violence Programs Have Not Delivered on Promises to Women: SAVE Report


Contact: Teri Stoddard
Telephone: 301-801-0608

Domestic Violence Programs Have Not Delivered on Promises to Women: SAVE Report

WASHINGTON / January 14, 2013 – Domestic violence programs have fallen short in meeting women’s needs, according to a report issued today by SAVE. Of greater concern are studies that document some violence-prevention strategies endorsed by the federal Violence Against Women Act place women at greater risk of victimization and even death.

The report, Have Domestic Violence Programs Delivered on Their Promises to Women?, reviews nearly 50 research studies and articles examining the effectiveness of restraining orders, mandatory arrest policies, and no-drop prosecution. The report concludes the impact of these criminal justice measures ranges from harmful to ineffective:

The report is issued by Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, a victim-advocacy organization.

The report summarizes nearly 50 research studies and other articles, and concludes the programs funded by the federal anti-violence program:

  • Are ineffective in reducing abuse
  • Promote arrest and prosecution policies that place women at greater risk
  • Often ignore the wishes of abused women
  • May lull women into a false sense of security
  • Ensnare women in a rigid criminal justice bureaucracy
  • Make it more difficult for real victims to get help
  • Shortchange the needs of female aggressors
  • May not provide needed services at abuse shelters, and
  • Can lead to the removal of children from their homes

“Lawmakers should carefully review the findings in this report,” explains SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “Women will be outraged if lawmakers stick to ‘business as usual’ and don’t reform policies known to maim and kill women.”

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to domestic violence and sexual assault:

Child Custody Domestic Violence False Allegations Law Enforcement Press Release Prosecutorial Misconduct Sexual Assault Violence

PR: One Perjurer, One Unethical Prosecutor, One Wrongful Conviction. SAVE Calls on Judge to Vacate Conviction of Vladek Filler


Contact: Teri Stoddard
Phone: 301-801-0608

One Perjurer, One Unethical Prosecutor, One Wrongful Conviction. SAVE Calls on Judge to Vacate Conviction of Vladek Filler

Washington, DC/August 13, 2012 — Victim advocacy group Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is calling on Judge Robert E. Murray to vacate the conviction of Vladek Filler for allegedly pushing his wife Ligia Filler in April 2007.  The custodial father of two children has been sentenced to 21 days in jail. The conviction follows five years, two criminal trials and appeals involving prosecutorial misconduct.

The charges stemming from Filler’s child custody dispute ranged from spousal rape to splashing water on his wife.  The 1st trial court and Maine Supreme Court found prosecutor Mary N. Kellett had engaged in misconduct.  The divorce court granted Filler sole custody of his children, found his wife made false allegations and was a violent child abuser. But prosecutor Kellett announced Filler will still be re-prosecuted for the same claims which failed in the 1st trail and dismissed in District Court findings.

In 2011 SAVE filed a Grievance Complaint[1] with the Board of Overseers of the Bar (BOB) demanding Kellet’s disbarment.  Bar Counsel J. Scott Davis in an 18-page Disciplinary Petition[2] charged that Kellett “has acted in a manner unworthy of an attorney,” violated nine rules[3] of conduct, failed to provide defense with discovery, violated a court order, and instructed police officers not to cooperate with defense subpoenas.  Davis stated that Kellett then made “misrepresentations to the jury of the actual facts”, and concluded “she should receive such appropriate disciplinary action as is provided for by the Maine Bar Rules.”

In a Washington Times editorial Michael Conzachi wrote “I do not believe that the sanctions are sufficient and Ms. Kellett should face federal criminal civil rights violations as well. Mr. Filler, who has been trapped in a nightmare of a family-law case filled with false allegations of child abuse and sexual abuse, has been subjected to violations of his civil rights.”[4]

Indeed, Filler’s retrial, evidence used to convict him, and the harsh punishment need further investigation since Filler is a substantiated victim of serious prosecutorial misconduct.[5]  “Men who have no criminal record get a fine or an afternoon DV class for allegations like this. Not only did the judge sentence Vladek to jail, he sentenced him to 21 days,” says SAVE spokesperson Philip W. Cook, “It was all very personal and had nothing to do with what they convicted him of.”

The BOB will convene a disciplinary hearing against Kellett for misconduct in the Filler case. SAVE calls for Kellett’s disbarment and vacation of Vladek Filler’s conviction and sentence.

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence: