Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Late last week, a Michigan jury found Doug Stewart guilty of the murder of his wife, Venus Stewart, who was abducted from just outside her parents' home in Michigan April 26, 2010. The relationship had a documented history of violence. Venus Stewart filed for divorce and moved out of the marital home. Doug Stewart, according to police reports, was furious with her sending text messages and emails, demanding she return with the kids or “you know what will happen if you don’t.” Once she was finally able to leave the toxic and dangerous environment, as in all intimate partner violence relationships, the abuser went into action plan mode.
The victim files numerous police reports and has court orders of protection; she tells friends and family she is in fear for her life. Why? Because he lost ownership, power and control over the person with whom they married. In the inner workings of an abuser’s mind, “till death do us part” is now their goal.
As an angry abuser, not wanting the person with whom I am in a relationship to leave, I am going to boil over like hot liquid on a stove. And, as an abuser, I have a lot of time to think out a plan of action. In the beginning, after the victim leaves, I am going to threaten the person where no one else can hear me. I will make a victim's life unbearable during the divorce process, especially in court mandated mediation meetings with mental health evaluators, while sitting dressed neatly and showing the world what a wonderful person I am. The moment the session is over I will shoot those looks of "now you did it" and "you are going to pay for this if you do not return to me." Next, as custody of the kids is being determined, as an abuser, I am outraged and think about how "she is not getting away with this alive."
I then, as the abuser, figure out where to get that special "handbook" available to members only in an eBook format that the recently formed "secret society of abusers" are all reading, titled How to Get Away With the Ultimate Murder, author unknown.
For some abusers, in my expert opinion, the handbook has worked in cases where the victim has vanished without a trace. There must be a chapter in the "handbook" on how to correctly lawyer up, as you will notice with each person of interest in cases where the wife is reported missing, the last person to see them no longer cooperates with authorities. In the blink of an eye, most persons of interest hire a fairly skilled defense attorney in the early stages. The legal hired armor acts as the shield or the mouth piece for the only person, once again in my expert opinion, behind the vanishing act of their loved one. Perfect example is the upcoming trial for the murder of missing mother Renee Pernice. Her husband, Shon Pernice, who is awaiting trial, secured an attorney immediately.
Isn't it rather strange that the victim is often the mother of their children, estranged wife or girlfriend? And, more often than not, they are going through a divorce or custody battle. And, yes, I need to mention that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
All of these cases have a common theme: The person has been erased from the planet, never to be seen or heard from again. A common theme does not make one guilty of the crime, but it is highly unusual that the person with whom the relationship has ended, in cases of intimate partner violence, does not have a motive. The facts, although circumstantial, do carry a lot of weight but is often not enough for a grand jury indictment, unless you have a body.
The prosecutor, John McDonough, went ahead and tried the Stewart case without a body. Not an easy task. But, he had enough circumstantial evidence and proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Douglas Stewart was found guilty by a jury of first-degree premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder. Stewart is scheduled for sentencing sometime next month. The remains of Venus Stewart have yet to be found.
Venus Stewart is still missing. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Michigan State Police White Pigeon Post at 269-483-7611 or Rockford Regional Dispatch Center at 616-866-6666.Tweet