Butterfly Cauldron

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Oh, of course it was her husband. . .

Remember the nurse who killed an intruder with her bare hands? The story deepens. Apparently, he was hired by her husband, whom she is divorcing, to kill her. So, this goes from a cautionary tale about strangers lurking with hammers to a cautionary tale about abusive, psychotic, asswipe husbands hiring strangers to lurk with hammers. Bastards.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — When Susan Kuhnhausen returned home from work one day earlier this month, she encountered an intruder wielding a claw hammer. After a struggle, the 51-year-old nurse fended off her attacker by strangling him with her bare hands.
Neighbors praised the woman for her bravery, and investigators said they believed the dead man — Edward Dalton Haffey — was burglarizing Kuhnhausen’s home.
But after an investigation, police now say the intruder Kuhnhausen strangled was apparently a hit man hired by her estranged husband — Michael James Kuhnhausen Sr. — to kill her.
The 58-year-old husband was taken into custody Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder. He was ordered held on $500,000 bail.
Haffey had worked as a custodian under Kuhnhausen at an adult video store, according an affidavit filed by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office.
Kuhnhausen and his wife were in the process of getting a divorce, and she told officers “her husband was distraught about the divorce and wanting to reconcile but that she was insisting on the divorce,” the affidavit states.
A background check showed Haffey had served lengthy prison terms for conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and convictions for robbery and burglary.
Inside a backpack Haffey left at the scene was a day planner with “Call Mike, Get letter,” scribbled on the week of Sept. 4, the affidavit said. Michael Kuhnhausen’s cell phone number was jotted on the inside of a folder, it said.
An emergency room nurse who lives in a southeast Portland neighborhood, Susan Kuhnhausen arrived home on the evening of Sept. 6 to find Haffey coming at her with a claw hammer.
She was struck in the head and wrested the weapon away, but the struggle continued and Haffey bit the nurse, according to police. A large woman, she was eventually able to get the slight Haffey into a chokehold and police later found him dead in a hallway. An autopsy revealed the cause of death as strangulation.
Police say she acted in self-defense.
There was no sign of forced entry into the home, but according to the affidavit, Susan Kuhnhausen offered an explanation for the lack of evidence of a break-in: Her estranged husband had the security codes for the home’s alarm system, and would have been able to disarm it.
Michael Kuhnhausen denies any involvement, the affidavit states.
Susan Kuhnhausen was out of town attending a nursing conference and did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
She left this message on her voicemail: “I’m not able to answer all the calls that I’ve received in the past few days. I’m being comforted by your concern and your support. I want you to know that our lives are all at risk for random acts, but more likely random acts of love will come your way than random acts of violence.”

Although, I must say, she seems to be an awesome person. Even after what she went through, reminding people kindness is still more powerful? I wanna give her an award.

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posted by Zan at 4:29 PM


Wow, she makes me want to let my heart be kinder.

Some abusive Texan hired a guy and and his cousin to kill his ex-wife. The poor woman had taken their two children and left this asshole, married a better man, and had newborn quadruplets. Some office that had her new address gave it to the ex over the phone.

8:16 PM  

This goes on my list of reasons never to get married. *sigh*

8:18 PM  

Yeah, you just can't know how someone will react when things go wrong or the relationship ends.

I'm a solitary childless spinster. I don't think my husband should be able to commit me to a mental institutiton, or empty my bank accounts and go out for cigarettes and never return. And the worst part would be that he said he didn't smoke!

9:03 AM  

I'm happily childless and spinsterish myself. I'd like to fix that spinster part, though....and frankly, I'm having these strange ideas that maybe I might wanna have a kid. I blame this all on my niece, who is the most adorable child ever. I'm sure this will pass.

9:11 AM  

Will you give up the awesomeness that is living alone?!

5:04 PM  

Ah, well, that is the question, isn't it? It would take someone very, very special for me to do that. Because it is really awesome having to answer to no one. And being able to eat ceral for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And to walk around naked or dance around the living room like an idiot. And to never have to worry if the cap is off the toothpaste.

I remember living with the ex and all the good things. I'm also remembering the bad things, but you know. It can be nice having someone to curl up against when you're having a bad day. Or someone to have fun with in the morning. But living with someone is so...I don't know. Hard?

7:43 PM  

I'm an only child at heart, but I have five siblings. I need my solitude, and I know I'd be petty and petulant if I had to share. I'd probably feel trapped at some point, and just imagining it can edge me toward an anxiety attack.

As far as answering to someone, I assume you mean saying where you are, where you're going, when/if you'll be home. I only find the last one useful.

The stuff you mentioned doing while alone: your man or woman should love that about you, and love you for it, and perhaps even share in it. (Search for May 5th here.)

9:56 PM  

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