Saturday, December 17, 2011

System fails mom; dad with history of DV gets visitation rights, murders mom during child pickup (Old Bridge, New Jersey)

This was no mysterious "tragedy" with a "perfect couple." That's just the same old bullcrap that's attached to all these cases, and it only works for stupid people in denial. The facts: dad ANTHONY TRAPP had a long history of domestic violence. And Mom's efforts to get obtain safety for herself and her children through the legal system were totally stymied . So now Mom is dead, and two young children are left motherless and traumatized by senseless Daddy Drama.

Who was judge who refused to let Mom relocate? 

Was it the same judge who refused her an order of protection 3 TIMES?

Was it the same judge who gave this violent batterer visitation rights?

Because, Daddy got them. So much for daddies being discriminated against, eh? And as it turned out, Trapp slaughtered Mom when she arrrived to pick up the kids. This is not the first time a mom has been slaughtered by a violent father who was granted visitation/custodial rights. This is the not the first time a mother has been put in harm's way during child pickups and drop offs. It's not even the first case of a mother being murdered during a child pickup and dropoff. And yet these father-friendly judges continue this practice without one iota of concern for the safety and well-being of women and children. It's only about what Daddy Demands--thanks to the victory of the fathers rights movement.

Tragedy was waiting to erupt, friends and family say of Old Bridge couple slain in murder-suicide
Published: Saturday, December 17, 2011, 7:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 17, 2011, 10:45 PM
By Star-Ledger Staff

OLD BRIDGE — They appeared to be the perfect suburban couple, smiling for the camera on their tree-lined street in Old Bridge three years ago as they hugged their 2-year-old daughter dressed up like Minnie Mouse for Halloween.

"Great family pic ..." a friend commented on Facebook.

But interviews with friends and neighbors, as well as court records, show that beneath the smiles and away from the cameras, things were far different for Anthony and Heather Trapp.

They had a volatile and violent relationship that prompted Heather Trapp to twice file for divorce, obtain three restraining orders against her husband and attempt to return to her mother’s home on Staten Island, only to be rebuffed by a judge.

Heather Trapp, 37, was found dead Thursday evening inside the Rose Lane home the couple had shared until about about four months ago. She had been stabbed multiple times, authorities said Friday, allegedly by her husband who then abducted their daughters and fled north.

Early Friday, Anthony Trapp, 39, and his daughters were located at a hotel in Fort Montgomery, N.Y., 80 miles from Old Bridge.

The girls were unharmed when they were coaxed out of the open door of their father’s room around 7:30 a.m. by some of the dozens of New York state troopers who had surrounded the five-room motel. Their father was later found dead inside the room.

Police believe he had already killed himself when Emma, now 5, the toddler wearing the mouse ears and polka dot dress in the Halloween photo, opened the door, New York State Police Maj. Ed Raso said.

"We were able to motion to her, and she came out," followed moments later by her 20-month-old sister, Sophia, he said.

Members of the state police special operations team scooped them up, wrapped them in blankets and carried them to safety before they were placed in the temporary custody of relatives.

Police then spent more than an hour trying to communicate with Trapp by phone and bullhorn. At 8:40, troopers entered the room and found Trapp, 39, dead on a bed, Capt. Joseph Tripodo said.

Authorities said he apparently killed himself; they didn’t release details but said he didn’t shoot himself. An autopsy is scheduled for today.


Over the past few months, Heather Trapp’s mother told friends she feared for her daughter’s safety.

"He is sick in the head ... I don’t know what to do," Fran Newman, Heather’s mother, said in August, according to Lorraine Gerbino, a lifelong friend. "I’m scared for my daughter. Pray for her.

"... She knew he was going to kill her — and so did Heather," Gerbino said Friday, breaking down in tears. "Heather said to friends he was going to kill her, and he did."

Few people in Middlesex County took the threats seriously, Newman told friends.

"I guess my daughter would have to be killed for someone to say, ‘Oh, I guess she was right,’" she said in one e-mail to Gerbino.

In another, she wrote, "The laws in Middlesex County are not great for domestic violence. I don’t want my daughter to be a statistic."

Unlimited Exposures

Heather and Anthony Trapp were married in October 2004.

The couple married on Oct. 8, 2004, in Livingston, and separated at least six months before Heather Trapp filed for divorce on Aug. 23, citing irreconcilable differences, court records show.

In her petition, she sought joint legal custody of the two girls, alimony and child support, court records show. She also noted that three restraining orders were filed against her husband this year — the first on March 28 and the others on Aug. 18 — but all were dismissed.

Public records show the Trapps purchased their home on Rose Lane in Old Bridge in August 2004, two months before they married. Heather lived there until August, when she moved to a townhouse on Pendleton Place in Old Bridge, about 3 1/2 miles away.

Heather Trapp was a licensed dental hygienist in Florida, New Jersey and New York. A slight woman with a vibrant personality, she dazzled patients with her ability to always remember a face, friends said. She beamed when talking about her daughters.

But according to co-workers, she lived in fear of her 6-foot, 4-inch husband.

"She was very, very afraid," said Elizabeth Klein, a hygienist in the Old Bridge dental office where Heather Trapp worked part time.

Klein said the Trapps’ marriage had been rocky for years. Several years ago, she said, the couple sought counseling and were urged to resolved their problems. The physical abuse became worse after Anthony Trapp became ill and lost his job, Klein said.

Police said Anthony Trapp had visitation of his daughters on Thursday and when his estranged wife when to pick them up, he attacked her.

After not hearing from her and concerned about Heather Trapp’s safety, a relative phoned police at 8:55 p.m. Thursday. Police arrived at the Rose Lane home and found her dead in the kitchen. She had been stabbed multiple times, authorities said.

Police issued an Amber Alert for the two girls and eventually traced them and their father to the motel in Orange County, N.Y.


Anthony Dalessio and his family live across the street from the Trapp home on Rose Lane, and said he and his wife were Heather’s "best friends in the neighborhood," but acknowledged the couple was "definitely having problems."

The Dalessios were at a Christmas party Thursday night when they got calls that police cars were everywhere in the neighborhood, he said.

"I can’t even imagine something like this," Dalessio said. "I’ve been up all night.

"She would do anything for her children," Dalessio said of Heather Trapp. "Thank God they’re safe. Now we have to grieve one of our best friends."

Anthony Trapp had been out of work since December 2009, when he was fired from his job at Societe Generale Americas Securities, where he had worked as a senior auditor for three years.

Trapp filed suit against the company, claiming he was unlawfully fired and discriminated against because of an ongoing disability, according to court papers. Trapp said he was diagnosed in 2008 with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting connective tissues that forced him to undergo open-heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.

Trapp claimed in his suit that when he returned to work after the surgery, his supervisors and colleagues began a continuous campaign of insulting, harassing and giving him unwarranted negative performance reviews. He said his complaints of harassment to supervisors went unheeded — describing in court papers how co-workers would taunt him with insults like ‘you cry more than your daughter’ and ‘stop being a baby’ or teasing him about working a half-day when he left early for medical reasons.

He was fired, he claimed, after a company attorney confronted him and claimed Marfan syndrome was "not a real disorder" and that none of Trapp’s allegations of harassment was substantiated, according to court papers.

The suit claimed Trapp was shocked and devastated by his treatment, had suffered loss of self-confidence and self-esteem and was forced to see a therapist for depression and severe emotional distress. He said his wife had filed for divorce due to the economic harm inflicted on the family by his job loss.

The company denied Trapp’s allegations.