Two killer mothers, same bad court process.
This mother stabbed her two young children in the neck in November 2016. Her trial was set to begin last month. She has pleaded not guilty even after telling 9-1-1 she killed her children because she didn’t want her husband to get them in the divorce. Brandi Worley stabbed her 7- and 3-year-old children in the neck while the father slept in the basement of their home the day after the father filed for divorce.
You can hear the mother’s chilling call to 9-1-1 here:
The father does not indicate that he had any signs to believe that the mother would do such a thing. Neighbors thought that the couple was happy and that the mother was a good mother. Jason says that Brandi cheated on him about a year prior to his filing for divorce. There are reports online that Jason had gone on to Reddit and asked for advice about a month prior to filing for divorce. Supposedly there were some people on there who recommended that he file for divorce. (Jason has confirmed that it was him on Reddit using the name “jasoninhell.”)
Jason does not blame any of them for their advice and in fact has apparently thanked those who gave him advice and told them that there was no way to know that this would happen, but that he feels like he failed to protect his children.
Unfortunately, there is no way to know how someone is going to respond to the filing of a divorce and the very real fear of losing their children. Losing your child in family court is a very real possibility. You do not even have to do anything wrong and you could walk out with your rights stripped and never know why. The judge could just decide that you didn’t fit their idea of the better parent. Or you could just simply run out of money and not be able to fight to keep your children. We do not know the situation that this mother personally would have been in. What we do know is that this fear can drive a person to snap. While this does not justify killing children, it does justify a conversation about solutions so that fewer parents have this fear. In addition, we do acknowledge that there are mothers who do not believe that the father should have equal custody and are not able to bear the thought of having to share the children and have the children away from them for any period of time.
Let’s discuss that issue first.
Mother’s who Believe they are Entitled to the Primary Custody of the Child
There are organizations that promote the idea that a mother is the primary custodian and people out there who say that a father should not challenge the mother for the custody of the children. I just saw it a few days ago in one of the comments section of one of the stories on the most recent mother to kill her child, an Orono mother who shot her son Jude to prevent the father from getting his equal time with their child. One of the commenters said that fathers should learn not to challenge the custody of a mother. A mother can easily find support from groups and people who say that it is shameful for a father to fight for custody of a child. One such organization in fact is listed as a resource by the Colorado court system itself.
What does that tell you when the government website for the courts are promoting organizations with these ideas? The organization that they are promoting is a women’s organization that quotes the judge’s association and makes statements that men who fight for sole custody of a child are most likely an abusers. The mother can easily surround herself with only people who support these ideas, including professionals, and avoid any real countering of these ideas in any meaningful way in the mother’s life. Generally mothers who do this are ones who also have family members who believe the same and have raised this mother in a culture of believing that mother’s are the protectors and the ones who know best for children.
These environments allow a mother to easily fall into a protective panic or a protective martyr type of behavior that under certain conditions can lead to killing. You’ve heard parents say that they would stand in front of a bullet to protect their child from harm, right? Well what do you think happens when there are people, including court recommended resources, supporting the idea that the father fighting for custody or to have equal custody is harm to the child…well? I am not saying that father’s cannot ever legitimately be harmful to a child. I am saying that a culture that continues to perpetuate what some call the “golden uterus syndrome” and have an attitude that women are entitled to control and have the primary custody of children, is a harmful idea to perpetuate for the children and for society.
These organizations do not promote equality of the sexes, they promote women as the superior sex and devalue men in our society. They are not seeking equal protection for their rights but are seeking superior rights over men. They are not seeking to right a wrong. They are seeking the power to do wrong themselves. Should our state governments be promoting these sites and these ideas? Is that a proper role of government or is it a way for judges to maintain and increase their power?
The Family Court Process Creates Unnecessary and Destructive Fear and Conflict
The second issue is that the family court process feeds and encourages bad behaviors, and is long, confusing, stressful, and expensive. Nobody should ever lose their child based on poverty, and nobody should be required to endure a bankrupting process that uses your children as their pawns. The family courts, the American Bar Association, and many legislators have the general public believing that the courts should interfere with fit parental decisions during a divorce and that all divorcing or separating parents should go through a qualification process in order to hold on to their separate and individual rights and time with their child. And the family courts and legislators have the general public and parents who have not had exposure to information about the process yet believing that the court protects children.
There is a massive misunderstanding about who protects children and how to protect children of parents going through a split. Children are protected by their fit parents regardless of whether exercising parental authority causes some suffering for their mistakes, not by government officials with absolute immunity for every stupid harmful decision they make. Of course, if a parent has the wrong idea of protection, like mothers believing that they are entitled to be the primary just because they are female, or fathers believing that they are supposed to protect their child from every flaw in the mother, this leads to unhealthy mental processes, and can inflame or trigger a mental health crisis.
The family court process as it currently stands is harmful to children. In practically every case, the children lose fundamental constitutional rights at the hand of a government agent. This government agent knows next to nothing about your child but is arrogant enough to tell parents he or she knows best. These judges care nothing at all for these children and they gleefully strip them of constitutional rights.
The best way to protect children in divorce is to change the process and stop giving your parental power over to an unaccountably, absolutely immune from consequences, government official. We should stop trying to make the process more invasive and intrusive, but rather apply the principles that our founding father’s knew would promote freedom. The family court process is dictatorial and tyrannical. it allows judges to abuse their power and punish parents for anything that the judge does not favor, anything that offends the judge’s personal or religious beliefs. There is no way for a parent to know what judge they will get or what they might be punished for since the punishing in the family court is not based on criminal statutes, but based on personal opinion and beliefs.
The parents have no way of knowing whether their own legal acts or omissions will upset the judge enough to disrupt their authority and reduce their time with their child because they are not favored to influence their child. The disfavored parent thus can no longer be a meaningful part of the child’s life but just an observer. What that parent believes the child should do or not do no longer matters as it is not backed up with parental authority. The parent is left to beg the other parent, is at that other parent’s mercy, or is left to try and beg the judge for mercy. That takes money, most of the time something the court does not leave in the disfavored parent’s discretion. The disfavored parent is usually spending every penny they can on attorneys and paying the other parent through child support, alimony/spousal maintenance, medical support, and other miscellaneous expenses that the court deems they have the authority to extract from them.
We do believe that if our courts actually protected our parental rights and our children’s rights to each parent, the fear in divorce would be very different. Fear makes people do stupid and even evil things that they would not normally do. No one is immune from making stupid decisions when fearful and few are immune from doing evil when placed in fear. The mind numbing fear created by divorce court judges is directly responsible for parents making stupid decisions and even for many of the evil decisions parents make while placed in this situation. The judges do not care because they have absolute immunity for any decision they make even if they intentionally deny your constitutional rights with malice and evil intent towards you as an individual.
We need to take the terror out of divorce. We need to put the constitution back into family law. We need to put an end to unaccountable government officials destroying families based on their own personal beliefs. Until we do this, children’s lives will continue to be at greater risk. The National Family Law Policy Center is a new nonprofit that educates the public and the three branches of government on how to use the constitution to protect children.