It’s almost a cliche now that when a woman is murdered by her boyfriend, some idiot will remark “well why didn’t she just leave?” I know. I’ve made the remark myself. I am that idiot. But here in New Jersey — where we may not be experiencing an epidemic of mass shootings but we are experiencing an epidemic of domestic violence — two women did in fact try to leave their abusive boyfriends. Both ended up dead.
Karen Bermudez-Rodriguez wanted out of her relationship.
Early Saturday morning, she texted her boyfriend, Joseph D. Porter, to break up with him.
But Porter grew upset. And neighbors had noticed him before, often sitting in his car for hours on Walton Road, where Bermudez-Rodriguez, an au pair, lived. And he still had a set of keys for the house that she had given him.
Hours later, police officers found Bermudez-Rodriguez lying on the pavement of Woodland Avenue, riddled with stab wounds, feet away from the house where she took care of David Kimowitz’s children. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
So why are men like this?
Four years ago, Christine Madiraca told her longtime boyfriend, John Divetro, that they were “completely done.”
But when no one else would take him in — he was an alcoholic who rarely worked, her daughters said — she agreed to let him stay on the couch of her new home in Crescent Mobile Home Park in Gloucester City.
“I think he knew she was leaving. He was always selfish,” said her daughter, Sandra Colón. “It was his last, most selfish act.”
I keeping thinking back to this utterly trivial incident that happened to me when I was 21 and a senior in college. I was friendly with a girl who could have been described as “traditionally beautiful.” We weren’t dating. She wasn’t attracted to me and to be honest I wasn’t particularly attracted to her. We simply moved in the same social circles and occasionally ate lunch together. She was interested in cycling. Her parents had just bought her a bicycle for her high school graduation. And I was part of a weekly New Brunswick to Princeton ride she wanted to be involved in. That was about it. Let’s call her “Miss X.”
On afternoon, Miss X and I had lunch one day and split up to go to class. I was walking along the sidewalk when this guy I knew from my junior year dorm came up to me and started walking alongside. We couldn’t have been more different. He was one of the popular kids. I was a misfit. He knew exactly what was “cool.” I could barely function in public. He also used to have this habit of walking into the student lounge when I was in a conversation with a few other dorm nerds. He would sit next to me when I was talking and say “oh why don’t you just shut up?” In short, he was a bully who liked making me feel socially uncomfortable. But now he was being friendly. “I’ve got new respect for you,” he said. “If I knew you were capable of pulling that kind of quality pussy last year I might have even listened to what you had to say.”
I suppose he was trying to provoke me and should have punched him in the mouth. I didn’t. I just nodded as we walked along together. When we both got to the quad, we separated and went to class. That should have been the end of it. But it wasn’t. Even though I had never really been attracted to Miss X, partly because at the ripe old age of 21, I considered myself far too old to be dating a freshman, I suddenly decided that I probably should be. Why wasn’t I? Was I gay? Was I asexual? Was I simply weird? The truth is one of the three. In any event, even though I wasn’t attracted to her, I started to resent her for not being attracted to me. We didn’t have incels or “the friend zone” in those days but if we had had the Internet I probably would have spent a lot of time on one of these MRA boards on Reddit. The next day Miss X saw me on the way to the school cafeteria. She asked me if I was on my way to lunch but I lied and said I had already eaten lunch and was on my way to class. I don’t think she thought much of it or to be honest much more of me. But from that point on I avoided her. She made me feel like a sucker because we weren’t sleeping together.
In other words, my main goal in life had been to impress an asshole I didn’t even like.
(And that in a nutshell is what motivates most men, even the normal ones who don’t murder their girlfriends. The ones who do see being dumped by their girlfriends as such a “loss of face” it often drives them to kill. Most of us are just chumps.)