Does a wife who may have driven a husband to suicide with the assistance of our corrupt family court system, then have a legal right to claim copyright — of his suicide note?
According to attorney Rachelle E. Hill, of Bean, Kinney and Korman, and a judge, that is precisely the claim. Their lawyer has written the offices of A Voice for Men to demand that we remove a post from the forums containing the note.
It is not going to happen.
The text of the note was posted to our forums months ago. We considered doing a feature story on it at the time, but opted not to because we had no credible corroboration that the story was factual.
Attorney Hill, her law firm, and the suicide victim’s former wife have now resolved that matter to our satisfaction. The demand letter itself is sufficient for us to believe that the following note is genuine.*
The love that my daughter and I shared was truly special. She is a such a sweet, kind and gentle spirit. I am so sorry that I will not be there to see her grow into a beautiful woman. It absolutely crushed me to not be in her life over the last three years. I worked very hard as a father to build her confidence and self-esteem. She is smart, funny and considerate, but she didn’t know it yet. I pray that she realizes her strengths and her confidence in herself will continue to grow. I love you dearly, [name redacted].
My son [name redacted] was just entering Kindergarten, when I lost access to him. He is gregarious, outgoing and a great athlete. He is smart and fearless. He could have just as much fun by himself as he could with other kids. Even the older boys in our neighbourhood wanted to play with [name redacted]. It absolutely breaks my heart that I will not be able to help him grow into a man. I love you to, [name redacted]. I miss you both so much.
My identity was taken from me, as result of this process. When it began, I was a commercial real estate broker with CB Richard Ellis. I lived by the Golden rule and made a living by bringing parties together and finding the common ground. My reputation as a broker was built on my honesty and integrity. When it ended, I was broke, homeless, unemployed and had no visitation with my own children.
I had no confidence and was paralyzed with fear that I would be going to jail whenever my ex-wife wanted. Nothing I could say or do would stop it. This is what being to death or ‘targeted’ by a psychopath looks like. This is the outcome. I didn’t somehow change into a ‘high-conflict’ person or lose my ability to steer clear of the law. I’ve had never been arrested, depressed, homeless or suicidal before this process. The stress and pressure applied to me was deliberate and nothing I could do or say would get me any relief. Nothing I or my attorneys said to my ex-wife’s attorney or to the Court made any difference. Truth, facts, evidence or even the best interest of my children had no affect on the outcome.
The family court system is broken, but from my experience, it is not the laws, its the lawyers. They feed off of the conflict. They are not hired to reduce conflict or protect the best interest of children, which is why third parties need to be involved. It should be mandatory for children to have a guardian ad litem, with extensive training in abuse and aggression.
It is absolutely shameful that the Fairfax County Court did nothing to intervene or understand the ongoing conflict. Judge Randy Bellows also used the Children as punishment, by withholding access for failing to fax a receipt. The entire conflict centered around the denial of access to the children, it was inconceivable to me that he would use children like this. This is exactly what my ex-wife was doing and now Judge Bellows was doing it for her.
To all my family, friends and the people that supported me through this process, I am so sorry. I know my reactions and behavior throughout this process did not always make sense. None of this made sense to me either. I had no help and the only suggestion I got from my attorneys was to remain silent.
At first, I did what I was told, remained silent and listened to my attorneys. Then after I had given my ex-wife full custody to try and appease her, I learned about Psychopathy and emailed Dr. Samenow about my concerns and asked him for help. Of course, I was ignored. As the conflict continued, I was forced to defend myself. When that didn’t work, I thought I could get the help I needed by speaking out. There is no right or wrong way to defend yourself from abuse. Naively, I thought that abuse was abuse and it would be recognized and something would be done. I thought speaking out would end the abuse or at least get them to back off. It didn’t. When no one did anything they were emboldened.
I took my own life because I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing I could do or say to end the abuse. Every time I got up off my knees, I would get knocked back down. They were not going to let me be the father I wanted to be to my children. People may think I am a coward for giving up on my children, but I didn’t see how I was going to heal from this. I have no money for an attorney, therapy or medication. I have lost four jobs because of this process. I was going to be at their mercy for the rest of my life and they had shown me none.
Being alienated, legally abused, emotionally abused, isolated and financially ruined are all a recipe for suicide. I wish I were stronger to keep going, but the emotional pain and fear of going to court and jail [because of exorbitant child support] became overwhelming. I became paralyzed with fear. I couldn’t flee and I could not fight. I was never going to be allowed to heal or recover. I wish I were better at articulating the psychological and emotional trauma I experienced.
I could fill a book with all the lies and mysterious rulings of the Court. Never have I experienced this kind of pain. I asked for help, but good men did nothing and evil prevailed. All I wanted was a Guardian Ad Litem for my children. Any third party would have been easily been able to confirm or refute all of my allegations, which is why none was ever appointed to protect the children or reduce the conflict.
Abuse is about power and control. Stand up for the abused and speak out. If someone speaks out about abuse, believe them.
Please teach my children empathy and about emotional invalidation and ‘gas-lighting’ or they may end up like me.
God have mercy on my soul.
This link will give you a copy of demand letter, which like the suicide note, has the children’s names redacted.
Within that document we note that an Arlington County, Virginia judge has ruled that Dina Mackney, the widow of this suicide victim, is authorized to seek reasonable legal remedies to force a large number of websites, where this information has already been made available, to remove the information in question.
We reject the notion that our publication is in violation of copyright laws, and that the suicide note is not covered by fair use statutes.
We also believe, given the horrific state of our family courts, it is in the compelling public interest that his final words be published and disseminated as robustly as possible.
The chief responsibility of A Voice for Men is advocacy for men who have been trampled in precisely the ways outlined in this tragic note, and to do whatever is within our means to address the disproportionate suicide rate in men, especially as it relates to high conflict divorces.
If what Mr. Mackney said in his final note is true, and we have no reason to believe that what amounts to his dying words are less than that, then what this threatened legal action represents is an attempt by his former wife to chase him down – even into the grave – to issue the final and complete edict for his silence in the face of horrendous abuse.
It is an act which will also probably eliminate any chance those children ever have to know how their father felt and what he was thinking before taking his own life.
I will gladly take residence in my own grave before I comply with that kind of agenda.
- Addendum – the suicide note provided here is not complete. The complete version of the letter is available here:
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- Freedom Alternative: a conversation with Paul Elam - June 3, 2016