Monday, August 16, 2010
On July 15, 2010, the town of Coppell, Texas, flew the flags at half-staff in honor of their beloved, late Mayor Jayne Peters.
But how the hell can you honor anyone who shoots down their own child in cold blood and then commits suicide? The disturbing response of the mayor pro tem summed it up, saying the tony Dallas suburb needed to separate what Peters did in her personal life from how she performed as mayor.
So I ask: Why honor anyone who, in great detail, plans and carries out murder? As an elected official, Jayne Peters was a hard-core politician. Some people refer to politicians as empty suits. What lurked inside Jayne Peters's suit was rage, a rage most violent offenders hide from the outside world. Peters masked her controlling and manipulative ways behind a pretty smile, makeup, heels and stockings. She made sure she had all the answers when it came to city government.
But what no one has dared to say aloud since the murder-suicide is they are willing to forgive her crime because she was a woman and, at one time, a respected member of the community.
The side of an abuser that outsiders never see is saved for immediate family, behind closed doors. In news coverage, the murder-suicide was the tragic story of a recently widowed wife whose husband died of cancer in 2008, leaving her to raise a teenager on her own while struggling with personal finances. Peters, who'd hidden the family money problems from her daughter, faced an investigation into $4,000 of unexplained personal charges on her city credit card.
Police went to Peters's house when she failed to show up at the monthly city council meeting. Taped to the door was an envelope containing a key to the upscale house and a note that said: "God, please forgive me."
They found Corinne Peters, 19, in a laundry room, dead from a single gunshot wound to the back of her head, which her mother apparently had wrapped in towels. Upstairs, taped to a closed bathroom door, was a note that said: "Please do not resuscitate.” They found Jayne Peters's body on the tile floor with a single gunshot wound to her forehead.
According to Fox News, police found four notesin all. In one, Peters wrote: "We were lost,” which likely translates into an excuse: 'I could no longer control my environment at work or in my home.' The note also said Peters and her daughter remained inconsolable over the death of Donald Peters.
The last note? Peters left detailed instructions for the care of the family's dogs.
The relationship between mother and daughter was always filled with turmoil. They argued about everything from boys to after-school activities to Corrine being a daddy’s girl. Some of Corrine's friends remember her describing the abuse, anger and jealousy that blew out of control after the death of her father. Donald Peters had always shielded his baby girl from her mother’s temper.
Corinne was a bright, vibrant young woman who, according to friends, always greeted people with a bright smile.
Corinne graduated high school on June 4 and planned to attend the University of Texas in the fall. This teenager, by all accounts, was happy and looking forward to her future. But the abuser -- her mother -- was not going to allow her daughter to live her life. Jayne Peters never intended for her daughter to enroll in college. Instead, she carefully planned to take her life.
Corinne Peters was murdered. As an abuser and a murderer, Jayne Peters likely decided that killing her daughter and making excuses for her own financial disaster was the best way to solve her problems. What abusers do best, male or female, is make life-altering decisions for other members of their immediate family.
And in the wake of this tragedy, what the town of Coppell, Texas, did was show the world that family-member homicide is acceptable. They looked the other way, hid in their homes and acted as if they'd lost a beloved member of their community. It makes me wonder how many women and children in that town are living in fear for their lives.
This woman should not be remembered as anything other than the "mayor who murdered her daughter in cold blood." And that is why you will only see photos of Corinne Peters in this story. I refuse to honor a murderer.
Corinne Peters must be remembered as a shining bright light who, while on earth, stood up to a darkness few have ever survived.
Rest in peace, young warrior! You earned it!Tweet