An advertising executive — who vowed he wouldn't be divorced until his ex-wife was dead — kidnapped her from a parking lot and called for a priest to give her last rites before setting their house on fire during a 13-hour standoff, police said.This attitude and the direct threats which were made against this woman should have resulted in criminal charges. If his pattern of threats and past related crimes don't fit any specific statutes then the criminal statutes need to be changed.
Richard Shenkman gave up about midnight Tuesday as flames destroyed the South Windsor house he once shared with Nancy Tyler. The fire ignited about an hour after Tyler escaped, a handcuff dangling from one wrist.[...]
The couple's appellate court file includes a cassette tape of more than a dozen voice mail messages from Shenkman to Tyler, which contain numerous threats.
"We are not getting divorced," he said in one message. "It is not going to happen. Listen to my words. We're not divorced. We're not getting divorced. We were married 'til death do us part. We made vows in front of God. He was our witness, and you can only get your divorce one way, and that's death. You can only be unmarried by death."
Telling someone you are going to kill them unless they meet your demands should be a crime because as this case shows those who make these types of threats are dangerous. From statements made by a neighbor, Shenkman was quick to anger and that interacting with him was something to be avoided.
If Shenkman truly cared about protecting his marriage as a relationship and believed in having a marriage as relationship which lasted a lifetime then he wouldn't behave in ways which would cause his spouse distress. His view of marriage is a view of his wife as his property which he will destroy before letting go of it.
The reference to God to justify these acts of violence are nonsensical rationalizations.
This man's attitudes go so deep that he is a danger not only to his ex-wife, he is a danger to anyone who might do something which Shenkman's views as deserving punishment.