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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

July, 2006

 

Darren Mack: Murderer Or A Disgruntled Family Law Litigant?
By Valerie D Nixon

Going through a contentious divorce? You "must" be a disgruntled family law litigant and it seems that is a very dangerous thing to be, at least according to news reports about accused wife killer Darren Mack.
The dictionary defines disgruntled as being unhappy, discontented, dissatisfied. Wouldn't it then be considered a great leap in assumptions to say that Darren Mack's unhappiness lead him to commit murder?

Or, perhaps it is just a convenient excuse for ignoring the elements for him to commit murder which where there all along. He has a personality problem, which didn't surface "after" his wife decided to divorce him, it was the "reason" she decided to divorce him.


Restraining order on file
Darren Mack arranged to have his friend available at his home, to meet Charla and their daughter for the prearranged custody switch. Most often restraining orders contain arrangements for the exchange of custody to prevent the divorcing couple from direct confrontation and an escalation of any previously unresolved contentious issues. Rather than allow his friend to handle the exchange alone, Darren Mack chose to ignore conventional wisdom and approached Charla in the driveway/garage area.

There are no witnesses to what occurred in the minutes they were alone, but one person stands accused of murder and the other is the victim. In court records, Darren Mack accused Charla of being emotionally unstable, a danger to their daughter, as well as physically abusive and had threatened to kill him. Considering who is now accused of murder, it seems more likely that Darren Mack was simply projecting his own violent and homicidal behaviors onto Charla.

At some earlier point, it might have been advantageous for the court to investigate the accusations to determine if there was any validity to them and if not, order a psychiatric evaluation for the accuser, Darren Mack.


How does it go so wrong in some divorces?

Money makes the court go 'round. Divorce and child custody is a money maker for all parties involved, except of course, the divorcing couple and children who are caught up in the whirlwind.

Lawyers file motions, judges schedule mediation, evaluations, trials, lawyers file responses and more motions, going on year after year, after year. Perjury is rarely prosecuted in family court, so lies fly like sand in a dust storm. Children are shuttled back and forth, the emotional and physical toll wears them down and robs them of their childhoods. No one notices as they are too busy fighting a battle that will not end until the children are grown or the money runs out.

Unscrupulous family law attorneys perpetuate this problem during an emotional time in a couples life and they should be held accountable for enticing warring parties such as Mack, with their aggressive litigation tactics. The Family Court itself and judges who allow these long term battles to get out of hand should also be held accountable for failing to demand an end to them. The court has the power to protect and to demand divorce mediation, without lawyers if necessary, or to at least level the playing field and if there are any signs of abuse, remove the abuser for the good of all.


PAS Parental Alienation Syndrome and fathers' rights

PAS is the unscientific theory of Parental Alienation Syndrome, which has become the ace-in-the-hole of Fathers Rights groups and is used during contested custody when allegations of abuse or domestic violence arise.

Isn't it just as possible that Darren Mack justified his premeditated acts of revenge and was encouraged to feel like the victim by Fathers' Rights supporters who have claimed that Mack must have "snapped" under the pressure of PAS induced stress and the whole adversarial family law system. There is no credible evidence that Charla Mack tried to use PAS tactics. Darren Mack is described as very personable, likable and often charming. Not the picture of a murderer, but he didn't want just to kill anyone. He had his chosen victims, those individuals who refused to see him in the same manner as he was accustomed. He wanted what he wanted, when he wanted it and he should receive it without a fight as he felt he deserved it, and to do otherwise would mean death or destruction at the least.


Sniper shooting of Nevada Family Court Judge.

Darren Mack is the prime suspect in the sniper shooting of Washoe District Family Court Judge Chuck Weller, who was handling the Mack's divorce. Trying to kill the judge was wrong, but it is bound to happen when dealing with an abusive, controlling, narcissistic personality. Darren Mack couldn't lose, lose anything to "her" and even if he had received sole custody of his daughter, (the Macks' already shared a 50/50 custody arrangement) it wouldn't have been enough. He would have felt the need to continue to punish Charla Mack for the crimes that she committed in his head.


Women and children are dying everyday
Abused women and children are murdered everyday in our country and the media barely takes notice. If this case had not involved the attempted murder of a family court judge, it may never have received any more attention that the local newspaper. New protective measures for courts are being implemented to prevent any other judge from sitting in the line of fire as victims of domestic violence only wish we had as much value and protection from our known abusers. Maybe in the next world.


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