Hero-turned-murderer story to air on Dateline Friday

In 2001, Tracey Richter, of Early, Iowa, was lauded as a hero for defending her three children against two home invaders by killing one of them. Ten years later, a jury determined that the shooting was murder, part of an elaborate plot to frame Richter’s ex-husband while they were in a custody battle over their son.

Richter’s husband at the time of the incident was Michael Roberts, a Lovefraud reader. He was away when the shooting occurred and was not implicated. But the two divorced, which led to another custody battle over their two children.

Here’s background on the case:

Hero claim rejected, Iowa mom guilty of murder, on

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Here’s a preview of the Dateline episode:

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27 Comments on "Hero-turned-murderer story to air on Dateline Friday"

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Strongawoman, I had never heard tell of “shame core” until I began this recent round of counseling therapy. Honest to goodness, I had been to a couple of counselors prior to this most recent one, and not ONE of them discussed this, or ever brought it up. My counselor was so intuitive with me – she asked questions about my childhood, from the gate. And, it wasn’t accusatory questions, either – it was with regard to the family dynamics and she was very skillful in her ability to draw out facts (not feelings).

All of this information was laying a foundation for understanding – how I came to believe that I was less-than-worthy of a healthy emotional and physical life, and why I continued to maintain those beliefs. Well, it was an eye-opener, I can tell you. The book that she suggested was (and I ALWAYS misquote the title!), “Healing the Shame that Binds Us,” by some guy that I can’t remember. I may be wrong about this, but this book and the author probably started the “inner child” movement in psychotherapy. If I’m wrong about this, so be it, but it is quite an old publication that coincides with all of the talk about “inner child,” a good while back.

What this book and counseling therapy taught me was that the “inner child” was not – WAS NOT – that youthful, innocent, joyous, and wonderous part of me. The “inner child” was where my emotional perceptions were arrested and confined with regard to self-perception, self-confidence, and a whole lot of other “self-shit.” My “inner child” was that damaged, frightened, needy, abused, abandoned, hungry, and discarded part of my psyche that accepted blame, shame, and responsibility for all of the World’s ills.

An example of how this “inner child” was damaged is an actual event at around 7-8: father comes home from work and finds mother passed-out from drinking, again. He says to me, “How could you let her drink like that, again?” Okay….keeping this in perspective, he was venting his frustration and disappointment in the only way that he knew how to. HOWEVER, as a child who has no voice, no control, no power, no authority, no bargaining abilities, etc., that “responsibility” for keeping my mother sober was unintentionally placed squarely upon my shoulders, and any negative consequences that resulted in her getting drunk were, by default, my responsibility. Shortly after this exchange, I would dash around the house in an effort to find her booze stashes and promptly pour them out. Of course, I had no understanding that she would simply go out and purchase more, but it was the only thing that I knew that I could accomplish. The booze made her drunk. Get rid of the booze, and she can’t get drunk. Problem solved, and I did my part to prevent her from drinking.

So it goes…..there are many, many, many examples of how my shame core was programmed and developed. But, that’s the best one that I can think of that makes sense.

NOW, having typed all of the words above, the relationship between shame core and appearing to be a perfect target for a sociopath is obvious. No matter what the spath sees, it’s a tool that they can use to their benefit. Perhaps, we’re in our middle age and always wanted children, or we grew up in a welfare assisted environment, or we grew up in a clearly dysfunctional/addictive environment – whatever our issues are, they become powerful tools for predatory people, whether they’re friends, lovers, partners, parents, etc……THAT, for me, was the starting point for my healing process. Knowing that I had always and clearly been a perfect target was a personal, and epic epiphany. Once I learned this, accepted it as True, and processed what this priceless information truly meant, I was able to begin the painful and tedious process of healing and building my personal boundaries. Oy-VEY, what a long response! LOL

Best and brightest blessings

they are all the same. If you want a template for recognizing one, just read about Lucifer. There are many stories about him and all are TRUE (in spirit).

The bible has several: Genesis, Job, Jesus’ temptation in the desert. They all paint a picture of an envious, slick, slimey dickwad.

There are stories in other scriptures, not sure where, about his rebellion against God. The key is not in the overall story. Believe it or not the DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS! Yep.

When I read those stories, I am shocked to see the exact same DETAILS as stories my spath told me about himself. He is illiterate so he isn’t aware of it.

My spath tempted a man in much the same way that Jesus was tempted in the desert. He sabotaged people the way Job was sabotaged etc….

The ancients were writing to warn us.

((hugs)) we have the same inner child!

Skylar, “dickwad.” (guffaw, snort) Indeed!

I actually gave a name to my inner child. When I was in the throes of the emotional rampages, I would “meditate,” I guess, and visualize myself as that child and approach the child-self with words of worth and encouragement.
And, this exercise was cathartic and very, very healing.

Hi Truthspeak and skylar and thank you so much for your thoughts. I had a bit of a meltdown about ten years ago, some years before I met the spath. I read some stuff then about the inner child and how I had to learn to love her and keep her in my heart.
Perhaps it’s time to get some counselling. I seem to go round in circles…..all my relationships with men have been shiat. I choose the wrong men …..and they choose me. I will look and see if I can get that book on amazon.


Strongawoman, had I not found the counselor that I did WHEN I did, I don’t even want to imagine where I would be, today. Like I posted before, I had already been to several counselors for various reasons and I never felt as if they had done much more than hearmy words, nod their heads, and ask, “So, how do you think you can change this?”

Yepper, that inner child is reeeeeaaaalllly damaged and I am finally glad to be able to recognize her.



My inner child sends your inner child a massive hug back.


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