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How Kristin Died

How Kristin Died

You may have to write a case study for a criminal justice course. Paper Masters recommends the fascinating case of Kristen Lardner. The case study "How Kristin Died" by George Lardner, Jr. recalls the events leading up to the May 30th murder of Kristen Lardner by her boyfriend, Michael Cartier. It is essential to accept that this father's recollections of events are both factual and judgmental and therefore one can only make the best attempt to separate the two. Many complex factors culminated in the murder of Kristen and the suicide of her killer. Michael was a very disturbed man with a varied history of animal abuse, physical assaults, threats, substance abuse, clinical depression, violent behavior and more. Kristen was at risk in general by living and working in the underbelly of society:

  • Hanging out with a known abuser
  • Working at a liquor store close to where he lived
  • Failing to press charges
  • Staying in circumstances that had created the dangerous situation

The system was at fault to the degree that when it did uphold the law, it often relented. When it didn't uphold the law, no one suffered consequences except the murder victim.

How Kristin Died and Bureaucratic Systems

Bureaucratic systems are fraught with problems stemming from the internal hierarchies, 'turf wars' between agencies, poor employee morale, lack of communication within agencies as well as between agencies, and the often occurring but under-reported personal liaisons that evolve between civil servants and their and their charges. Domestic abusers are very manipulative people to begin with, and probation officers are not always immune to the application of manipulative behaviors.

How Kristin Died and Cartier's Behavior

There are least thirty instances noted in Lardner's essay that raise a red flag about Cartier's behavior and the subsequent consequences or lack thereof. Rather than outline each instance, it is worthy of note that Cartier was not someone below the radar on the police screen. A known abuser, a probation violator, a stalker-all this and more was clear to anyone who took the time to review Cartier's file or to request information about him. Kristen was also not below the radar. There was a court order in place to keep Cartier away from her. A month and a half before he killed her, Cartier beat Kristen up. If a man walks up to another man and beats and kicks him severely, the police pick him up and charge him with assault. If that same perpetrator were a parole violator, he would be re-arrested and put back in prison. Everything that prevented that from happening are the events that show how the system failed Kristin.

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