Delaware courthouse killings, dead lawyers and media failures.

The wonderful, unicyle riding, journalist turned attorney, Mark Hummels is dead. Killed by a client’s adversary. Image

Former classmate Jenna Greene, wrote about Hummels for the National Law Journal.  Greene got the basics, correct.

She missed most everything else.


As a journalist, Mark Hummels wrote for the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal.  Greene explained why Harmon abandoned journalism for law, (scoring the highest on his 2005 Berkeley law school exams,) to journalism school dean emeritus Neil Henry, for Henry’s book,  American Carnival: Journalism Under Siege in an Age of New Media,

Hummels said,

 “I came to realize that government officials are so well-trained in obfuscation and spin that it’s next to impossible to get a real answer to most questions you ask them. This continues to drive me absolutely nuts with people in general.…I met a lot of lawyers while working on stories, and I came to think of them as the people who really understood what’s going on, and the ones who can make real change in the final analysis.”

Hummels was spot on.  However, although Greene’s piece was devoted to senseless killings of attorneys for a legal publication, Greene missed, oh, everything.

Including that Hummels was right to his core.  Attorneys understand government doesn’t work.  Not written was lawyers who continue not addressing the obvious, at least in family court, continue getting their clients killed, as happened today in a Delaware courthouse and the unidentified woman accompanying Christine Belford, who had been battling her ex-husband, David T. Matusiewicz for years.

Not to pick on Greene.  CNN quickly reported “it was not an attack of terrorism”  although the Beldford and the unidentified woman probably felt terrified.  After all in this case involved in a long custody fight ,  “ included her kids being kidnapped.”  If that’s not terrorism, what is?


Arriving at exactly the same conclusion as Hummels expressed so well, in 2001, I founded, so reporters would have a resource when reporting court-related murders.

Unfortunately, the surprise was on me.  Editors refused to assign reporters to cover the nation’s largest, most used most-often, court in the nation.

Lazy?  Apathetic?  Relying on bias?  Likely all three.  However, when editors, who have never set foot in a family court, are asked to assign reporters to cover its workings, the standard  response is a “talk to the hand.”

“Too a messy.  It’s a ‘he said she said’ and we don’t have the time and resources to wade through that,” when describing why there is no reporting for the busiest court in the nation, as well as the one court most used by Americans.

Note:  The above responses are the hallmark of biased editors.  Handy time for a reminder:  Journalism 101:  If your mother says she loves you – check it out.

Of course “he said, she said” exists in the in white-collar crime world, every bit as much as it does in Family Court; but also not reported is this:  the real juices is in the Business Model of family court.   That’s what’s behind getting people killed.  However, and ironically, it’s the very editors who refuse to assign reporters to cover the business model of family court, who are responsible for our nationally, uneducated public, and ultimately a murder rate that just zips along one pistol or shotgun blast at a time.  Including attorneys.

Problem is, reporters only interview the attorneys, so the public remains clueless the solution has been available for years.  Real-Time GPS monitoring.  Ever heard of it?

I thought so.

Greene also covered “attorneys as targets” perhaps not realizing, attorneys also murder over family matters.  Attorneys Samuel Friedlander and Perry March killed their wives.  It’s not a new thing.

Retired San Diego attorney Eric Fagan was tried just last year for killing his girlfriend’s daughter, from a 1989 cold case.  Fagan, a civil litigator, had also penned a guide book about Internet dating and finding one’s soul-mate online.



(John Gray called Fagan’s book, “witty, insightful, and trustworthy.”)

Fagan was convicted of murdering Paternoster on December 12th, 2012. He will be sentenced February 8th 2013.

The California State Bar site, list Fagan as “Not Eligible to Practice Law” although not for the murder conviction.  The reason provided was Fagan didn’t pay his bar dues.

In her tribute to the deserving Mark Harmon, Greene wrote “State Bar of Arizona president Amelia Cramer said that lawyer safety is an ongoing area of concern for the organization.”

Cramer also said, “senseless killing raises questions about what more we can do within our profession to protect one another and our clients.”

Well, you can use real-time GPS.  As lawyers are my clients, I’ve been suggesting the top for a long time.

Mark Harmon was right.  It’s the lawyers who have the ability to change it all.  They refuse.

Beginning with celebrities because this is American; and celebrities are our leaders, consider the case of the ESPN sports announcer and stalking victim, Erin Andrews, Halle Berry, and even the stalked by weirdos weirder than her, Lindsay Lohan.  In each case I wrote to the attorneys hired by clients to protect them, Marshall Grossman, Shawn Holley…and in Halle Berry’s case, also contacted her management company.

Figured Berry’s management company would want to protect the goods.

Each was advised of the real-time technology that enables the stalked and hounded, to be notified in real-time, when their stalker was about to violate a restraining order, in enough time to vacate the area.

In each case, the sound of crickets chirping was the response.

Not a single attorney or manager returned a call, a follow up call, or email.  Not one.

It’s not that Reporters are not doing in-depth investigations why this continues, (although they aren’t), but worse, reporters are refusing to cover the solution.

Although real-time, life-saving technology can be found in two videos on the Restraining Order page of, and one would think attorneys would be all over technology that enables people to save their own lives while saving city, county and state double-digit millions in police, county and state resources, such is not the case.

But there’s a twist.

Turns out it’s not just attorneys who are not zealously advocating for their clients.  Turns out the DV industry, largely non-profits to end “domestic violence” isn’t either.  Turns out the DV industry is hugely profitable for torpedoing the solution.  They offer DV “awareness” conferences.  But in that they also provide a host of post-crime services, Crime-prevention technology just isn’t in the cards for them.  So more people will die.  This became self-evident after the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence torpedoed Kathy’s Law in California, which would have included GPS in Family Court.

So here we are.  Another day, More dead people.  Attorneys not demanding judges protect their clients, and reporters completely missing the story.

The public remains unaware and at risk.

You heard it here first.


About bonnie russell

It's not about’s always about people.
This entry was posted in Law, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Delaware courthouse killings, dead lawyers and media failures.

  1. Jenna Greene says:

    Just came upon this. There is a certain irony in you criticizing me for missing “0h everything” & invoking journalism 101. Because his name was Mark Hummels. Not Mark Harmon.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.