Headline lead in all the local news today, as reported by the Boston Globe:
Jared Remy, the son of one of New England’s most famous sports figures, pleaded guilty today to first-degree murder for savagely killing his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, in their Waltham home last August, while the couple’s distraught 4-year-old daughter looked on.
Remy, son of Boston Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, entered his guilty plea before Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole.
“I would like to say, ‘Blame me for this and not my family,’” Remy said just before his sentencing. He said Martel and his family “both loved each other and I’m the bad apple. And if you asked my family, they’d rather have me dead than her.”
At the same time, he sounded a chilling note, saying that he had warned Martel not to “threaten me with my daughter” and he had attacked her because she had.
“I don’t think it’s right when women use their kids against their fathers,” he said…
Remy killed Martel on Aug. 15, 2013, an attack that took place while their daughter, Arianna, screamed for help. The murder came a day after Remy, charged with threatening Martel, had been released without a request for bail by Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office.
The case raised questions about prosecutors’ handling of the case and about a system that had failed for years to stop Remy. The Globe reported that Remy, 35, had terrorized five different girlfriends starting when he was 17 and that courts had repeatedly let him off with little more than probation and his promises to stay out of trouble, promises that were rarely kept…
Remy said he accepted the account of the crime given by the prosecutor, but just wanted to make one addition: “She had a knife in her hands and she was threatening me about my daughter,” he said.
Outside the courthouse, Remy’s defense attorney, Edward Ryan, said, “It’s clear to me he snapped that night. He is not a cold-blooded killer.”
Asked about Remy’s calm demeanor in the courtroom, Ryan said, “He does get it. He is remorseful, but he’s not essentially expressive.”…
Full story, with multiple sidebars, at the link. According to the multiple adult witnesses, Martel did not have a knife — she was frantically attempting to escape with her life, after Remy apparently decided (like hundreds of other domestic murderers before him) that “threatening to take [his] daughter” — his property! — was a crime deserving an immediate death penalty.
Here’s video from a local station, WCVB. This is not a man who understands the word “remorse”. (He’s already been indicted for attacking another inmate, reportedly because he’s appointed himself “an avenger” against criminals who do really bad things, unlike Jared Remy, who is just one of life’s misunderstood strong honest men.)
If the news stories are correct, Remy’s parents have spent the last thirty years covering up for their violent substance-abusing kid, using their money and influence to buy his freedom over and over. Eventually they found a desperate teenage girl from a white-trash (Remy’s words) family they could bribe and threaten into serving as the obedient concubine fulfilling Jared’s needs for control and dominance that a Real Doll couldn’t quite handle. But today’s guilty plea means his old man can keep his job as The Beloved Voice of the Red Sox without a lot of unpleasant radio chatter… and, of course, the elder Remys’ visitation rights with their granddaughter.
Some days I don’t know why I read the news. I’ma go back to this Lovecraftian horror novel where the bad guy installs human-scale Tongue-Eating Isopods into kidnapped victims, it’s easier.
ETA: Oh, pro-tip, never google tongue-eating isopod
And the sins of the son shall be visited upon the father….
Sometimes I really can see the attraction of a life completely disconnected from the internet. What a godawful, corrupt mess our justice and mental health systems are.
Beloved voice of the Red Sox will continue to be beloved.
Also? It was the wicked drugs that forced his son to batter multiple women.
Also too? The women had it coming, no doubt.
But #yesallwomen needs to be more inclusive, because….this only happens to…women.
Sudden thought. This guy was going on about ‘his’ daughter, how dare that mother threaten him (ignoring the actual state of affairs) with ‘his, daughter. Not theirs, HIS. Didn’t the gentleman with the pious words last night about how the sluts and society can expect more deaths unless wimminz provide easier sexual satisfaction also go on a solid bit about that settled down slut kissing his children with lips that had been near other mens members. . . . These men have an assumption of ownership vis-a-vis family members, specifically wife and children. Ownership, absolutely, It is a not shared endeavor, a partnership. It is theirs. (Also, that any taint from sexual behaviors apparently only attaches to females. How very old school patriarchal caricatures these young moderns turn out to be).
What does it say about our society that this is the most heartening part of the story? I was expecting the judge to show clemency because he voluntarily pleaded guilty, affluenza, “he wouldn’t fare well in prison”, etc., and let him off with $50 and time served.
@BBA: The beneficiary of that plea is this murderer’s family, who avoids months of unpleasant publicity.
I was rather expecting the judge to sentence the dead woman’s corpse to 1-15 years for reactively elbowing an habitually violent thug of a police officer who had grabbed her breast.
I heard an interview with Laurie Penny from the New Statesman about this essay that was published today:
Let’s call the Isla Vista killings what they were: misogynist extremism
One of the things that led her to write it was that she was getting death and rape threats about another story she was working that were pretty much word-for-word what the Isla Vista killer put in his manifesto.
They’re making progress on preventing domestic homicide, though.
They have a lot of information collected over decades. There are patterns, and they can assess the risk.
The sole demographic risk factor is chronic unemployment. Not poverty, unemployment. if 18 to 20 of the factors are present, it’s “extreme danger”.
I always wonder if I had had a kid like that.
Not a good situation.
@scav: Except that children aren’t chattel, and parents don’t own their kids. Many people seem to think they do, but parents are only caretakers. Far too many people interpret “my/our child” to mean “miniature person I have a property interest in.”
I wish I could be hopeful – but I look at the ridiculous disparity in sentencing for different groups, I look at the public tolerance of appalling behavior by the police, the corruption of evidence, the way the mentally ill are dumped onto families (where they have them!) who are terribly unprepared to handle serious problems, plus the rabid gun-nuttery and insane Stand Your Ground perversions of the law – and I just can’t feel much optimism at all. Some days, it feels like a major victory not to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep for the week.
I grew up with the Red Sox and Jerry Remy is just such a treasured son of Red Sox nation. The apple actually fell far, far from the tree – but – the product of privilege and overindulgence and non-accountability, all the way up the white male power structure to the pinnacle of John Henry. This disgusting roid raged kid never was told no, by anybody, because white male privilege hall passes were handed out all along the way over and over and over. Jerry Remy admits it. Now.
Remy admits something, maybe, of what happened, but I am not so sure that he admits to or even understands half of what you have outlined. The worst thing about all of this is that I don’t get any sense that it will change anything about how privilege operates and has its own system of “justice”. There’ll be a few days of hoopla and head-shaking and people saying vaguely banal right things – and we’ll see something very similar happen in the near future to some other disposable young woman.
Way too much this.
The differences in criminal punishment between the haves/have nots, whites/not whites, males/females is worse for the country than any financial inequality. Unless you want to lump them in as just different facets of the same issue, that being that there is no real equality in this country.
@Comrade Scrutinizer: That’s what he’s not getting. How else to explain that other odd dodge where he pulls the “Blame me for this and not my family.” routine. There’s some weird traditionalist patriarchy thing going on there, where the bloodline is responsible for the deeds and perhaps a deference to older males dynamic too. He’s probably taking the plea to spare his family but that is not remorse or contrition he exhibits: he’s threatening unnamed others in court while he’s making the plea, plus the warning shot across the bow of all uppity mothers he feels authorized to lob in the same venue. Guy is practically nothing except an unselfreflexive assumption of male authority and weird patriarchal-familial assumptions and he’s never been called on them and can’t even figure out to shut up in court, let alone not slit a woman’s throat in front of witnesses.
eta. he picked up those assumptions somewhere and he has been enabled to have them. I don’t necessarily trust the smoother members of the clan without evidence. Which may exist, but they enabled this.
@Ruckus: Financial inequality is a consequence of class, racism, and sexism, not the other way round.
“The Globe reported that Remy, 35, had terrorized five different girlfriends starting when he was 17 and that courts had repeatedly let him off with little more than probation and his promises to stay out of trouble, promises that were rarely kept…”
Hoping that some of those girlfriends wander across #YesAllWomen at some point.
This behavior isn’t a bug. It’s a feature. For too many.
@scav: Oh, absolutely. The guy is proud of what he did; his whole statement comes down to “The bitch had it coming.” He’s got a real “heroic man of principle a martyr for his family” vibe going on. Life without parole can last a long time; wonder if his attitude will change in a couple or three decades. My guess is not.
Thanks for understanding.
Higgs Boson's Mate
It struck me that if that young man had more melanin and a lot less money he’d still be behind bars from his second offense. This is not at all separate from income inequality. It’s another manifestation of the increasingly accepted notion that some people are just more worthy than others. That the worthy just happen to be, with few exceptions, White and wealthy is just happenstance. Bullshit!
None of us here is so uninformed as to believe for one second that justice in America was ever blind. In my lifetime, though, the deck has never been so blatantly stacked in favor of wealth and privilege. It’s no longer some rich guy getting away with murder, it’s the rich guy’s kids getting away with vehicular manslaughter, date rape, and terrorizing their SOs, and anything else they can think of.
In short, I’m grateful that I’m so damned old because I think that it’s just going to get worse and worse until we eventually have a class of people who will make the 18th century French aristocracy look like a religious order in comparison.
If you read the whole story, Remy’s family has already played all the usual get-out-of-punishment-free cards:
“boys will be boys…”
“little slut led him on…”
“just defending himself…”
“failed to comprehend the seriousness…”
“must’ve been the drugs…”
“fell among bad companions…”
“but he’s learned his lesson, this time for sure… ”
Guy’s been Known to the Local Authorities since middle school, and he kept escalating. If he’d grown up in a working-class town like Waltham, instead of one of the richest burbs in the Commonwealth, he’d have been kept under lock and key any time in the last ten years. I don’t blame his parents for loving their kid, however worthless, but it’s pretty clear they made some pretty lousy choices too — like browbeating Martel into staying after the first / second / seventy-leventh violent incident, into dropping the restraining order, into not taking the kid and running to her parents in Tennessee.
It sounds like in this case parents did enable but to be fair sometimes bad kids happen in good families and in the end adults are responsible for themselves not their parents. parents did not commit murders. also while women are frequently the victims it is not impossible for men to be battered by women smaller than them. I was told by a former woman social worker that it does happen. sometimes right in the courtroom in front of the judge!
I can only be relieved this time he goes away for good. Hope the little girl gets therapy.
Don’t be a coward, you have nothing to fear from a non-custodial joint custody situation.
If I can survive that…anyone can.
When your kids are 15-16 and see that you’re not a monster (ok, maybe 20-21) the end result is worth the hassle.
Roy Edroso (of alicublog fame) covers the rightwing blogs’ reaction to the Isla Vista shootings so you don’t have to.
Shorter rightblog version: since sexism doesn’t exist, it’s a total mystery why this guy killed seven people. I guess we’ll never know why he did it.
if you ever uttered the words friendzone, you’re a sexist douchebag….such is the mindset of some on the left….
No..I knew of the friend zone since the 70’s and cried into my beer with my best friend about the girl I liked not liking me back but offering me the friend zone after I’d made a fool of myself asking her to a movie…
Being dorky and clumsy as a youngster in hormone central is painful. Quality parenting can ease that pain,
Before these assholes at PUA, the Friend Zone was something you complained to your buddy about being in over beer…
Reactive folks who want this to not be my experience are not entitled to define my experience.
I thought Marcotte’s point was not that merely saying “friend zone” made you a sexist douchebag, but rather that the concept of the “friend zone” had been so overlaid with hateful or paranoid conceptualizations of what women “really” want that for some men it had turned the idea that a woman could want to be friends into some form of supposed insult to and attack upon one’s masculinity. Basically, the “friend zone” concept has become a conspiracy theory about women that legitimizes abuse of them for the sad sacks who join up with the PUA and Men’s Rights communities.
He wrote 126 pages of explanation why he did it, when he did it, then filmed it, then did it. But there must be some other explanation? They’ve all been exposed as the raving nutjob scurrying losers they are, like turning over a big rock.
@Morzer: The thread deteriorated into male bashing.
The moderator did nothing to stop that and even joined in. I had an extended give and take with Amanda during which I came to the conclusion I reference above. I was told (By Amanda) to stop using a phrase I had already stopped using by 1985.
News flash – The friend zone existed long before the memes she links to which she (and any rational person) abhors.
Before PUA and this dickhead Rodgers, there was little connection to abuse or violence associated with this phrase.
But…Now. use it at your own risk.
I say..No…you can not give these immature assholes power by allowing them to redefine “Friend Zone”
Before these assholes at PUA, the Friend Zone was something you complained to your buddy about being in over beer…
Reactive folks who want this to not be my experience are not entitled to define my experience.
I guess I agree that in itself use of the phrase “friend zone” doesn’t indicate anything about a person’s character. I think it’s perfectly possible for two men to joke with each other about being put into the friend zone without meaning anything more than things didn’t go the way they hoped. That said, given the unpleasant way in which the PUA losers seem to be making it a meme, I don’t know that it would cost me anything worth worrying about to use a different phrase as a way of showing that I had no sympathy for them. Maybe I am saying that there are some free speech issues worth fighting about, but this one doesn’t seem worth getting too upset about. YMMV.
Free speech? Nah, it ain’t about freely speaking one’s mind. It’s about redefining a once generally benign phrase into something horrific, violent and sexist.
Unfortunately, sometimes useful concepts get hijacked by assholes, and you have to change your phrasing. Sucks, but it happens.
Here’s what kind of bothers me about the whole “friend zone” complaint by PUAs and Nice Guys™– I’m a woman and I, myself, was put into what guys call the “friend zone” many times. By guys. Guys complaining to me about hot women who won’t date them even though I’m standing right there hoping to be asked? Happened many a time. But women are assumed to never have “friend zone” complaints because women aren’t societally entitled to any hot guy who catches their eye. Women aren’t raised to think that the classmate who looks like Chris Hemsworth owes them a date, or at least some attention.
Obviously, this Isla Vista asshole was a whole extra level of narcissism and entitlement. But it all comes down to these guys feeling like society owes them a hot girlfriend, way hotter than the women in their social circle that these guys have themselves put into the “friend zone.”
What if your son is a monster? As a new father, I hope I never find out.
To me the most deranged part of the whole business is that Remy savagely murdered her mother right in front of his daughter because of his conviction that he was the more deserving parent. Those are some pretty impressive parenting skills ya got there buddy.
@Mnemosyne: No, no one gets to call me an enabler of violence because the phrase was recently hijacked by a small community of immature assholes.
You want the meaning of that phrase to change? Better expect it won’t happen overnight.
And realistically, if you allow a small community of immature assholes to propel a change in the long standing meaning of a phrase, are you not empowering that small community of assholes?
@Xboxershorts: But it seems a little self-important? differently entitled? at the very least odd, to be complaining on and on and on that you’re being misunderstood while admitting you’re using a non-standard and dated meaning of the word. Continue to speak slowly and louder and louder in E.N.G.L.I.S.H. and no doubt the locals will eventually give in and give you everything you need.
The phrase he kept using was “threatening me with my daughter”, which strikes me as a very, very, strange choice of wording. He has no question who the victim is here, and it’s not his dead girlfriend. If he were in Florida and used a gun instead of a knife, I almost believe he’d walk.
@Anne Laurie: I expected him to be let off the hook again.
This is what I don’t understand about your position: if I am reading you correctly, you say you had stopped using “friend zone” by 1985, so why get so annoyed over it 30 years later? Sure, the PUA mob are sad sacks at best, but their use of the phrase can’t retrospectively change the meaning of what you said 30 years ago, and nor can any number of online comments. You know what you meant and it’s not as if anyone’s going to track you down and physically force you to abjure the phrase. Why not just let it go?
You stand a pretty good chance of that not happening if you love your children as people, not new toys to get tired of, if you give them reasonable attention, care for them when they are sick, be truthful honest and open with them about sex/the opposite sex, attend to them without smothering, respect them, teach them, let them learn and form their own lives and work, support them without coddling, have reasonable rules and structure in the home, appropriately punish them if necessary, teach them responsible money management, don’t teach them to smoke, don’t teach them that drinking solves all problems…. IOW be a parent. They will make friends, mistakes, be stupid, wonderful, loving and good adults if you give them half a chance.
And I’m sure I left out important stuff, so use your head, treat them like you would yourself and ask people you respect if you think you need help.
I hope this doesn’t sound condescending or like preaching, I just rattled this off thinking about you with a new child and some of the posts in the last few days about bad kids.
I wouldn’t read too much into the specific phrasing. Lots of people speak imprecisely, or in shorthand, or simply get set phrases wrong – for example, talking about the “reigns of powers”. He probably just meant “threatening me with (harm to/loss of) my daughter”.
According to whom?
The current whims?
Who put them in charge darn it!
But seriously….you want me to change? Do you think I should change?
Give me a valid reason to change. I’ll be open to rational arguments.
@Morzer: My son, who grew up away from me for reasons best left in another thread, used the exact same phrase in the exact same context I had used it in 25 years previously.
The violence and misogyny some are working to apply to the phrase “Friend Zone” is very new.
Neither I, nor my son, fit this new definition…
and it baffles me that certain folks can’t see that, by allowing this new definition, they actually give the PUA/MRA type assholes more influence than they are due.
Jesus on a Ritz, you people make understanding humanity about seventeen more times complicated than it needs to be, in at least 4 different ways.
It just seems that way.
It is just so pleasant to have discovered the single all-powerful lexical center of the world about which all definitions and communication standards must necessarily bend. Rather like stumbling across the head-waters of the Nile. Granted, the language’s black-hole’s job of bending all meaning about itself is easier once we reflect that two-way communication is not intended by same, but rather broad-cast pronouncements are all that is required (in which case their being delivered in Delphic code is traditional and appropriate).
Perhaps if such accusations of sexism for what amounts to crying into one’s beer… did not directly come from someone I generally respect and agree with.
As a guy riding a city bus at 15 I had some older weirdo come up sit next to me and start looking at explicit gay porn magazines.
In an apartment complex I once lived in there was guy (small complex, college and we were trying to be nice) who would touch me (and my roommate) when we tried to avoid it, and essentially leer at us. That’s what makes me personally annoyed at the notion that I don’t understand because it never happens to men.
All it takes is some imagination to understand what it’s like as a much more frequent event with the added bonus that the person is bigger and stronger. I don’t know if I’m such a freaking outlier that no-one else has had this happen. (and I mean the guy in the apartments was damn relentless for a year, and it wasn’t like we weren’t clear that we weren’t interested, it got to the point of closing curtains and locking doors and such) But I expect that I’m not the only male with similar experiences.
I may be one of few to admit it. But it happens, and I’d just like to say that maybe people can understand more than you think.
@Xboxershorts: I’ve no involvement with that end of your existence, I’m merely observing your behavior here which may have little to do with sexism necessarily but has everything to do with self-importance and expecting everything in the world to bend around you and your definitions / standards. To your best judgement, bien sur. Correlation is blessedly not causation.
Quite the familiar behavior pattern in RedNek country – even without the wealthy parents. Cracking down on domestic violence is a relatively new thing in Ky – the macho redneck culture does not admit that the male in a relationship does not have absolute physical and emotional control over his “mate” and their offspring, while law enforcement wrings their hands. (Google Stephen Nunn – Ky for one of our high profile cases.) EPO violation is a hobby for some around my neighborhood.
Paul in KY
@Anne Laurie: Jerry Remy & his wife are entitled POSes. If your kid is a scumbag, you have to let him ‘lie in his bed’.
This woman’s blood is on their hands too.
Paul in KY
@Gvg: If they hadn’t bailed little Jared out repeatedly, his ass would have been in the pen & that poor lady would be alive.
Rob in CT
Excellent explanation. Someone somewhere else once explained it similarly and that’s when it finally clicked for me. I’ve whined about girls wanting to be “just friends.” Of course, my now-wife pined after me for years, during which I absolutely had “friend-zoned” her (to be fair to moi, I meant well and was all sorts of messed up from the implosion of a different relationship). Not being wanted sucks, but the idea that being “friend-zoned” is a thing that girls do to guys is bullshit. Maybe the best way to alter use of the term would be for women to start using it.
I absolutely blame his family. His attitudes and behaviors didn’t emerge from a vacuum. He didn’t pay for the lawyers that got him off a dozen times prior to his murder of the mother of his child. Yeah, he dragged the blade across her throat, but his wealthy, enabling parents may as well have had their hands on it too.