Apparent abuse ends in 4 South Salt Lake deaths

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.


  • Marie
    May 14, 2008 8:34 p.m.

    Are there actually womens shelters that offer permanent refuge ? I was always under the impression that they are short on resources and offer only temporary assistance. I find it ironic that the new laws that require ID to travel are good for keeping women from escaping. All the boyfriend has to do is confiscate her ID and she cant go anywhere.
    I think abusive relationships are a symptom of poor self esteem and/or poor examples of relationships when growing up. It has been said that abusers and victims are attracted to each other. What a sad story...

  • Motherbear
    May 14, 2008 7:51 p.m.

    If you haven't been in an abusive relationship, you don't understand how indisidious it it. The abusers pick victims who have low self esteem, and after sweeping them off their feet, they start to break down their mores, giving their victims just enough hope to stay. Even when you try to leave, the abusers have ways to convince you to come back. So many victims have never known real love so they settle for what they can get. Once you are in a relationship like this, it is almost impossible to get out. All of you who condemn this woman who died at the hands of her abuser should be ashamed for your harsh judgement! May God be with her and her daughter since they no longer need to fear the animal that killed them. I feel nothing but compassion for these victims; I was lucky, my abuser went to prison but so many don't. 20/20 hindsight is easier for those of you who have never lived with the fear. There but for the grace of God go I. Rest in peace, Tracie and Linzie.

  • Lynne
    May 14, 2008 6:47 p.m.

    Has anyone given thought to the possibility that he showed her what he would do to her and the kids by killing a beloved pet? Abusers like this love control and one act of control is killing helpless animals and letting the abused see that they could be next if they don't obey him completely. This is not the act of someone going temporarily insane, it is a picture of an abuser that has that has been building for years. Abusers do not happen overnight, they practice their torture on the helpless, namely animals and then they graduate from there. I am truly sorry to read about this tragedy and that the mom felt like she had no way out.

  • I know...
    May 14, 2008 6:42 p.m.

    it's probably easy said than done, but if any of my kids mentioned anything fearing for their safety and lives in a relationship they are in, I would be breaking down their doors and get them out of the situation...

  • Damaged Goods
    May 14, 2008 6:03 p.m.

    I have such deep remorse for this family. How they must feel that they could not protect her from her torturer. The low self-esteemed mother had settled for a man that was a aggressive abuser. It is a slow mythotical process of convincing the victim you have no self worth, undesirable by others, that he,the perpetrator is the only one that could put up with you and your sad self. You also are convinced to keep your family together, in hopes he loves you enough to change.
    We saw how that turned out. No matter the threats that are made, run to protection, a shelter. There ARE answers for the hopeless and the helpless.
    Been there done that!

  • Are you serious Melissa??
    May 14, 2008 2:24 p.m.

    Keep you comments to yourself, instead of pretty much green-lighting staying in abusive relationships you should not make a comment. You just told all the abusive relationships to stick with it.
    Own up and get out. I did it as well as many others I know.
    The "most dangerous time" is NOT TRUE, that's the point, it rarely is. And its worth the try.
    Unbelievable!!!!!

  • Go Rich! and NoExpert
    May 14, 2008 1:44 p.m.

    I agree, Rich!
    And for NoExpert--yes, you are. And a strong person who has learned well. Those of us who have been abused frequently feel as you do--we don't easily find help or solace in prayer, do we?
    It has taken me a lifetime to learn to believe in and trust a Heavenly Father (Jesus is another matter). Not a strange reaction, at all, but sad. If you don't mind--may I pray for you?

  • saltlakegal
    May 14, 2008 1:24 p.m.

    Instead of criticizing and second guessing a dead woman, we should turn our thoughts to how to help anyone who could get into such a situation. The woman's father had gotten guardianship of one fo the children. Imagine the pain this family feels. I know that in Utah, we did not have a battered woman's shelter until 1976. I also believe in battered woman's syndrome, where a victim is too crippled emotionally by the abuse to leave. I have two dogs who were abused before we got them. Even now, when something startles one of them, he cringes. Besides, instead of judging, imagine how terrible the last few moments of those three lives were-- and have a heart.

  • Another Example and Learn a Less
    May 14, 2008 1:16 p.m.

    Try living in the shoes of someone who is being abused before you cast stones. It is difficult to get away. Women (and men) don't typically walk into relationships that are abusive. Abusers suck you in slowly, it happens before you know it. Abusers make you dependent on them and it makes it difficult to get away. Many will alienate you from your families making it even more difficult to get away.

    To the family, my heart goes out to you. You will be in my prayers.

  • Melissa
    May 14, 2008 1:03 p.m.

    What makes people think she has a choice in the matter, I met someone who seemed nice, who turned out to be very aggressive and domineering. I came home one day to find he had moved his stuff into my home. I had no choice in the relationship, and allowed myself to be controlled because I was afraid. The most dangerous time for someone who is in a violent relationship is when you try to leave.

  • NoExpert
    May 14, 2008 12:40 p.m.

    Also, many of you may not remember how it was, and in a very clear sense, how it still is, example: spousal abuse a misdemeanor?

    Education is the key to changing the %'s of victims, and early, not college level, but more likely lower high school levels should be well informed of the signs, self esteem, resources [which are far and few in between now for the typical financially strapped victim ((legislature can change this, now ask why they won't))] and how the law can help.

    Not much has changed over the decades, there wasn't even protection until the mid-1980's for victims and their children.

    I spent many a cold and bloody nights sitting before a law enforcement officer in bewiderment while he stated "Well, you shouldn't have opened your big mouth." My big mouth? To what, scream for help? And I still had to return to the abuser, my small children were in the home.

    You have a lot of gull blaming the victim, what about the 'Terrorist'? If I prayed anymore, I would send mine out to the family, but its a practice I now find of little use or solice.

  • Barry
    May 14, 2008 12:10 p.m.

    My aunt lived with an abusive spouse for many years, before she left him. He didn't threaten her like Mr. Perez had done, but he beat her. He even beat his oldest son when he (the son) tried to stop him (the abusive spouse) from beating my aunt. These men are not worthy to live in a normal society. They are cowards--pure and simple. I've gotten angry with my wife, but had enough control to not resort to physical abuse, and vice versa.

  • NoExpert
    May 14, 2008 12:07 p.m.

    As my title implies, I'm no 'Ex-Pert' on the subject before us other than living in such an invironment many times over before finally choosing to not be involved with anyone due to my poor decision-making processes which led to a current status of single.

    One thing I do know is that the 'Terrorist' process of being an abuser is a very long and well worked out programing used to subdue/mold another individual to the abusers level of need which feeds their horribly sick mind.

    The victim is caught between their present view of themselves, which is degraded, and their past, which seems as though it may be someone else. The whole thing can be quite a nightmare that you can't seem to wake from until its too late.

    The key to breaking the cycle is a stronger legislative body that would implement laws allowing for threats of bodily injury to others, or family members a punishable offense. Don't wait for the bruises to be visible, women are vain, and seldom go public with the devestation incurred.

    One thing confuses me, however, where was CPS during all this? No one in the neighborhood viewed children out playing?

  • SoJoMom
    May 14, 2008 10:55 a.m.

    Another Example and Learn A Lesson

    OH MY GOSH! I can't believe that you would say such a thing. So are you saying that ALL of this is her fault. WOW! How insensitive of you. Not to mention those comments are an insult to me. I met my current husband 3 yrs ago and only knew him for a few months before we moved intogether. I already had one child at the time. Are you saying that I am selfish for wanting to see if it could work? What's really irritating is that you just assume that this happens all the time. You couldn't be more wrong! Ever consider that he was nice and then after moving in found out otherwise but was too scared to leave. Try talking to some abused women to find out how hard it is to leave.

    By the way, my husband happens to be the most wonderful man I have ever met and is an excellent father figure to my son and we know have our own.

    So, get off your high horse, show some remorse and don't be so quick to judge.

  • Re: Wow and Anonymous
    May 14, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    No one disagrees this is a horrible, tragic situation. There are no winners here, only losers. And she certainly didn't "deserve" what she got.

    But the bottom line is that NO law or police officer or restraining order or weapon will protect you if you're too weak or immature or drug-addled to protect yourself. That's just reality.

    Far too often, abused women choose to stay with their abusers. And when they do that, there's nothing anyone can do to help them.

  • Rich
    May 14, 2008 10:42 a.m.

    Legislators: Please make it illegal to threaten a family member with death or serious injury. Such a threat should be treated just as seriously as if I threatened to blow up an airplane or shoot the President. If a husband cannot control his temper enough to refrain from threatening his wife, he must be forced to deal with his issues. A judge could order counseling and anger management while accepting a plea in abeyance. However, if a husband tells his wife that he will kill her or his children if she goes to her family or to the police, this should be considered a felony. The husband should lose his right ever to own a gun legally, whether he follows through with his threats or not. All of us should control our tongues. Now, I understand that proving these threats can be difficult, but there are many times these threats can be proven. And if there is evidence of such threats, even without the proof necessary to acquire a conviction of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, our system still should be altered to protect threatened spouses. How many more murders do we need to read about?

  • Re: Hogwash
    May 14, 2008 10:39 a.m.

    Never said my way was going to "turn out fine" for everyone - All I am saying is that throwing the blame at the victim is throwing it in the wrong direction. The fault is at the hands of her accuser. Read the words. Or are you one that can cast the stones?

    Didn't think so.........

  • Survivor
    May 14, 2008 10:35 a.m.

    To Helpless

    The best thing your friend can do is go to a Woman's Shelter. It was the best thing I ever did. That in itself made me strong. I left once and moved in with family but ended up going back. The shelter teaches you how to survive and provides the resources to do what must be done. It is not the answer for everyone, but sure worked for me and countless others.

    Just realize that until your friend accepts for herself that she cannot change the situation, she will probably continue to endure the abuse. Eventually, the victim needs to realize that the threats of killing if you leave are no different than staying there until the abuser does kill you.

    As a friend just continue to listen, support and be there for her. But do not put yourself in harms way if you can avoid it. My ex threatened me that he would also kill firends and family.

    She has to leave when she is ready and she will find the strength when the time is right. It is a tough road, but one well worth it when she makes the choice.

  • Thank You
    May 14, 2008 10:24 a.m.

    Thank you to all you profesional psychiatrists and relationship perfectionists. You guys are something else with your comments!

    I can't even begin to comprehend what this guy was thinking taking the lives of not only his girlfriend and her daughter, but his own infant daughter. What a tragedy. My family will keep the families involved in our prayers.

    As for the ignorant bloggers - just remember that everybody's got that something... meaning you all have problems of your own, so you might not want to worry about judging others too harshly for their relationship decisions!

  • So sad!
    May 14, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    As I write this, my best friend is helping another woman excape from a violent, abusive relationship--a marriage at that. When they went to the police, they were told that she had to have current buises and physical evidence of abuse (the last abuse had happened 2 weeks before. The evidence was witnessed by my friend). Even though he had pulled a knife and threatened to kill her, they couldn't arrest him until he abused her again. Then they would put him in jail OVERNIGHT--beating the crap out of your wife is a MISDEMEANOR in Montana! No wonder women don't report--they don't dare!
    Unfortunately, the wives or girlfriends of abusers are frequently still in love with their partners, who are usually very careful not to show their abusive side until they have total control over the woman. Add to that genuine terror for their own lives and those of children if any, and you have a recipe for disaster.
    A friend quit working for CPS--said he could predict serious abuse with a 90% success rate--a subsequent boyfriend, usually of a woman with an illegitimate child and substance abuse would be involved. CPS refused to listen!
    CHANGE THE LAWS!

  • Hogwash!
    May 14, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    Let's all follow Wow's example and everything will turn out just fine.

  • Amber
    May 14, 2008 9:49 a.m.

    To the family I knew Tracie we were best friends threw out elementry and Jr. High she would come stay with me at my dads in the summers and we would ride horse's and fish we had the time of our lives!
    I never could imagin what has happened to my beautifull friend and her beautifull daughter wich was also my sons little girlfriend in school to all of the women in Tracie's spot please find a way to get away don't let this happen to your presious family may god be with the family.

  • Anonymous
    May 14, 2008 9:48 a.m.

    To Another Example and Learn a Lesson
    - Get off your high horse and have some christ-like compassion. After such a tragic price is paid, now is not the time to teach a lesson.

  • Re Helpless
    May 14, 2008 9:43 a.m.

    The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming at times for everyone involved. The best you can do is educate yourself about the cycle of abuse AND then try to convince your friend (at the "right" time) to go to a womens shelter for free help. They have group and individual help avaliable for women & children. Then realize the risks of leaving or attempting to leave are great but worth it! I left my abusive husband 17 years ago he said he would kill me and my children. He stalked me aggressivly for 10 years. He still knows where I am but I am careful and I have help. I took self-defense classes. I always lock my doors. I am alive and healthy. My children are "OK".

    Women without personal support systems are at risk for severe abuse.

  • Jon W.
    May 14, 2008 9:32 a.m.

    The commentators here who expect the legal system or society to provide protection to the women and children in these situations are missing a vital point: the women have to take responsibility to protect themselves and their children. This might range from breaking bad dating habits to learning martial arts or other forms of self-protection including firearm proficiency. As this story illustrates, police are legally constrained to act only if a crime is in progress or already committed - in other words, too late to help the victim.

    Above all, grow some self-esteem, grow a spine, and stop dating these losers. Learn that sex and the presence of a male (I can't call it love and companionship) are not more important than life itself.

  • Wow
    May 14, 2008 9:12 a.m.

    To Another Example and Learn a Lesson

    Maybe you have never been close to someone who has been through this before. An abusive relationship is not easy to leave. As much as you would like to, the threats you receive are very real and you have already been subjected to the violent behavior, so you have no reason to think they aren't. Have some compassion on this family. Quit trying to criticize. When I was a pregnant teen, I had a friend who said something that has stuck with me. You aren't doing anything different than the a lot of the rest of us. You just got caught.

    Yes I was a teen pregnant mom. Went on to marry the guy and had three of the best things in my life with him, despite the abuse. Lived with another man. Got married and I couldn't ask for a better husband or father. Until you have made no mistakes, do not judge someone whose shoes you have not walked in. And don't judge the victims for the actions of the abuser. That is completely unfair.

    To the family, My thoughts and prayers are with you at this tragic time.

  • Goose
    May 14, 2008 8:55 a.m.

    I don't think it's appropriate to slander an innocent woman who has already met her fate. My heart goes out to the family, but even though they miss her, they know she's free now. My guess would be that she's no longer in the same place as that boyfriend character, and she and her daughter and his are happier now. But this is a lesson to be learned. Women, leave if it even starts getting bad. You are worth MORE than that! There is not only protection, but there are better men out there. Don't believe that no one else will take you, don't let anyone tell you it's okay to settle for abuse just to have some sort of family.

  • Carl
    May 14, 2008 8:22 a.m.

    A few red flags....the live-in boyfriend, the dysfunction of having kids in the mix that are his/hers and no productive plan of marriage. We are so sorry that this girl picked such a loser to shack up with. What, in the time she spent with him, went through her mind and thought process? Was she attracted to his love and concern for her? His gentle ways? His devotion to family values? What? I don't even know the guy and would not come within ten miles of him if I were a woman. She picked a winner on this one and it ended in her death and that of two innocent young ones. He will arrive in hell and be welcomed by a host of other losers that abuse their relationships. God will see to the innocent and the guilty. The rest of you girls...if you are in such a relationship--get help and get these men in jail where they belong. Don't keep going back to them thinking you can change them. Make better decisions. Pick men of valor, clear thinking, devotion, honor, and gentle ways. Somehow, the bad boys always seem to attract women.

  • Grandmother
    May 14, 2008 7:41 a.m.

    Sadly when a person is so threatened that they cannot leave, the legal and law enforcement systems cannot protect them. Even with protection orders, the abuser still has all the odds in their favor. Holding up a protection order will NOT save you from bullets or other weapons. I left an abusive relationship almost 30 years ago and have no regrets except that I did not go sooner. Two of my now adult children still suffer the effects of that relationship. To the Patridge family, my condolences on your loss. To the legal system: do more to protect those who need it most.

  • Alex Dyer
    May 14, 2008 7:30 a.m.

    I'm sorry to read such a sad story. My heart goes out to those involved.

  • Helpless situation
    May 14, 2008 7:23 a.m.

    This is a real problem - the abuser threatens the victim and she is terrified he will kill her or hurt her family. There is just cause for her fear. Even a protective order is only effective if the man cares enough about being charged for ignoring it and if it doesn't just make him mad enough to carry through the threats he has made against her. There must be some way provided to help women and children that really will protect them.

    If the abuser is capable of murder (and many are), a protective order is not likely to help and it can anger him more. What else can we do? How can a victim get the help she needs? I am trying to help a woman in a similar situation. The last time she tried to get help by notifying someone of the problem, he denied it and was believed because he didn't show outward signs of being abusive. Then he punished her severely, threatened to harm her children and eft her numb - unable to get out. She believes staying is the only way to protect her children; even if she has to endure abuse herself. Sad!

  • Learn a lesson
    May 14, 2008 7:06 a.m.

    OK women, pay attention to this pattern.
    Girl gets pregnant while a teen.
    Ten years later she is carrying child of another "boyfriend".
    Pattern has not been broken.
    Made poor choices as a teen and still doing it as adult. Therefore you are no different than a teenager.
    So any women out there who has a child from her youth and is dating a live-in boyfriend, its time to stop pattern and live like a mature adult and leave behind childish/selfish behavior.

  • Another example
    May 14, 2008 7:01 a.m.

    Once again loser live-in boyfriend acts out on girl friend and kids.
    Women, WAKE UP!!
    Again, the guy does not sleep over when kids are home. Heard of dating for a long while to get a good feel for the guy?
    Its selfish behavior to allow any person in your home as a live in when you have kids especially one that you haven't courted for a long while and then he properly asked you to marry him, showing to some degree his commitment to you and your kids.

  • Anonymous
    May 14, 2008 6:17 a.m.

    My prayers and thoughts go out to this family. I can't imagine how it is to have lost so much so quickly, know my family and I'll be praying for you and yours.