Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dad with "longtime custody" apparently killed 6-year-old son in murder-suicide; had previously denied mom visitation (Dorchester, Massachusetts)

This account is more detailed than most of this type. Though it's not specifically indicated that the father killed the son, it's seems likely given that the boy's death appeared "criminal" and took place in the custodial father's home and during the father's care.

Still, in most articles like this, the father's custodial status wouldn't be reported at all. For that, Peter Schworm is to be commended.

There are still some troubling vague points, though.

1) Why did Mom lose custody to begin with? I suspect that it was one of those vague "neglect" charges often leveled against mothers without a lot of money. Mom reports she met the demands of the (unnamed) social service agency, but she was still unable to get custody back from the father, who had also DENIED HER VISITATION.

2) Funny, that. The fathers rights crowd (who are very powerful in Massachusetts) tell us how it's MOMS who prevent the fathers from seeing the kids. On the contrary, once again we see an example of Classic Reversal. In reality, mothers are under tremendous pressure to involve fathers because after all, every kid needs a father, ad nauseum. (They don't really, but this is the ideology being pushed). But on the flip side, fathers who acquire custody have no problem shutting out Mom, and nobody ever calls them on it. Moms are undermined and dismissed in a way that father's aren't.

3) Custodial fathers who shut out mothers are typically control freaks and abusers. Among the killer dads with custody that we monitor here, the vast majority had moved away from the mother and shut out all contact with the child, even by phone. The fact that Dad shut off all contact--just by itself--SHOULD HAVE raised red flags in and of itself. But once again, we see that fathers consistently get away with this.

4) Did the father have a previous history of domestic violence and/or mental instability? Somebody who apparently kills a child, then answers the door with a kitchen knife (after the police ask his name), then starts slashing his wrists, doesn't exactly seem to be a model of mental health. And this kind of behavior doesn't typically develop overnight.

5) So if Dad had a history of volatility and controlling behavior, who gave him custody and why? But those who set up these deaths are almost NEVER held accountable.

So much for dads being discriminated against. Once again, we see blatant father favoritism, and once again, a child has paid for that with his life.

Dad is identified as PATRICK MARCELIN.


Father who took own life after death of 6-year-old son had longtime custody

By Peter Schworm | Globe staff September 09, 2014

The Dorchester man who authorities say killed himself Saturday when approached by police to question him in the death of his 6-year-old son had been the primary caregiver for the boy since he was born, court records show.

Patrick Marcelin, who took his own life with a kitchen knife before police could question him, had custody of his son, Destin Williams- Marcelin, and had lived with him on Devon Street for several years, according to probate records. Williams-Marcelin’s mother, Nancy Williams of Easton, had visitation rights.

Court records show that Williams and Marcelin clashed over visitation rights and child support. In 2009, when Destin was 1, Williams said she wanted custody.

“I want custody of my son because his father hasn’t let me see my son in 9 weeks,” she wrote. “I also want my son because I have been doing everything that [social services] has wanted.’’

On Thursday morning, paramedics were called to the Devon Street apartment for a report of a child in cardiac arrest. The child, whom authorities did not name, died at his home. The state’s medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death, authorities said Monday. Test results could take several weeks.

Authorities would not say whether the cause of Destin’s death appeared criminal, but said Sunday that the child had some history of medical issues.

Investigators are looking into the “facts and circumstances of the boy’s death,” said Jake Wark, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office. Relatives of the child declined to comment Monday.

A funeral announcement said services were planned for Friday. In addition to his mother, Destin left four brothers, it said.

Marcelin was not present at the Devon Street home when police arrived, and on Friday detectives learned from a family member that he had spoken about wanting to hurt himself.

Around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, detectives found Marcelin, 49, at a friend’s apartment on Morton Street in Mattapan. Marcelin answered the door holding a kitchen knife. After a detective asked whether his name was Patrick, he ran down the hall while cutting his wrists, a friend said.

Officers took the knife away, and Marcelin was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Marcelin’s friend, Robert Lee, said Marcelin was not himself Saturday, and said he had had a rough night. Marcelin had paid close attention to the news on television, but said nothing about the death of his son, Lee said.

The family was not involved with the state’s child welfare agency. Previous involvement ended in 2010.

On Devon Street on Monday, residents said they did not know the family, but were saddened by the deaths.