"I am the daughter of aChicago Violent Crimes Detective," Susan told TRUE CRIMES. "My father murdered my mother before taking his own life."
Susan found her parents' bodies.
"I will not rest until those who abuse and kill are held accountable."
And so Susan has turned tragedy into her life's work. As a nationally recognized women's advocate, she was instrumental in the passage of theIllinois Stalking Law and the Lautenberg Act. A voice for victims, Susan has championed the rights of battered women and children, in court cases and in coordinating exit strategies with safe houses and bodyguards.
Thenonfiction author and violence expert has reached women far and wide, through publications such as Woman's Day, Family Circle, and U.S. News & World Report. Susan has also made appearances on Oprah, 20/20, American Justice, CNN, 48 Hours, and Nightline.
In spreading the word and her work through media appearances, Susan has received a flood of correspondence from wives of officers across the country—women with no place to turn for assistance, all because a husband or boyfriend was a respected law enforcement officer. There is no excuse for violence, Susan says, especially in a police officer's home.
Why aren't departments seeking a zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence committed by police officers? Is it too embarrassing? Family members rarely come forward to report these crimes and if they do, they are often victimized even more by their abusive officer spouse or boyfriend.
"He was going to kill me," said a Boston police officer's wife. "How can you let him keep his gun and stay on the street?"
"When a police department does not take action, we, the families of officers, feel powerless and worried about our own lives and the safety of their kids. All this does is further victimize us, when will it end?" (Wife of a New York State Trooper)
"You know the words on the side of police cars, 'We Serve And Protect,' let me tell you every time I see that I'm sick with grief. It doesn't apply to me. It should read, 'hey, we serve and protect our own'!" (Another woman married to an officer)
The women say that when they notified police, investigating officers were reluctant to pursue the cases. Evidence was mishandled. Some of the women were pressured by other officers or top brass to drop their complaints.
"I was treated like a criminal, I was trying to get some help here," said another.
The silence surrounding cops who abuse and murder their spouses has been deafening. UntilDrew Peterson was finally thrown into the spotlight, with one wife dead and the other presumed killed, such cases rarely made the news. But just this week there was another shocking case in the headlines.
Who do you call when your husband, the police officer, is beating the hell out of you? You contact Susan Murphy-Milano. Listen to the live broadcast tomorrow on TRUE CRIMES with renowned author Burl Barer (pictured right) and attorney Don Woldman.
Saturday, November 8 2:00 p.m. PST Also, you can tune in to Susan on Tuesday evenings for Justice Interrupted, the "Crime Investigation Radio Network," which she co-hosts with WCI's Stacy Dittrich and Robin Sax.