Claire Hart, or Spalding, Lincolnshire, England, had just escaped her emotionally abusive and controlling husband. In July 2016, Claire’s grown sons, Luke and Ryan, packed up her and their 19-year-old sister, Charlotte, and moved them into a rented house.
Five days later, the controlling husband, Lance, shot Claire and Charlotte in the parking lot of a local sports center. Then he shot himself.
A Lovefraud reader just sent me a story about the tragedy that The Guardian newspaper published last year. You can read it here:
After the shootings, Luke and Ryan were shocked to see articles in the media that were sympathetic towards their murderous father. Locals were quoted as describing Lance Hart as “a nice guy,” and “always caring.” A psychiatrist wrote in the Daily Mail that a man killing his children “is often a twisted act of love.” At least the Daily Mail had the decency to remove that article.
The truth is that Lance Hart was disordered, and as you read the article, you’ll see all the clues:
- He had trouble keeping a job
- He had little interest in his children
- He gambled
- He controlled the family’s money, taking his wife’s paycheck
- The family didn’t have enough money for necessities, but Lance treated himself to holidays
- He restricted his wife’s use of a mobile phone and social media
- He would drink whiskey and yell at Claire all night, preventing her from sleeping
- If Claire met friends after work, Lance accused her of being gay or having an affair
- Claire wanted to travel around Europe, but Lance hid her passport
- Lance was angry that his children weren’t like him
- Lance flew into a rage over minor incidents
- When Claire got ovarian cancer, Lance complained that the children “didn’t know what it was like for him”
- When Claire said she was leaving, Lance tried to act nice, but it didn’t last long
All of the above symptoms are typical of a man with a sociopathic personality disorder. But even Luke and Ryan didn’t get it. I was shocked the read the following paragraphs near the end of the article:
What their father did was not unpredictable, random or unstoppable, Luke insists. It was part of a familiar pattern of male violence, carried out by a man with what Luke describes as “traditional masculine views.” Lance Hart was an ordinary man, who had no mental illness; he was like many other ordinary men who kill their families.
“He didn’t lose it,” Luke says. “When we got to the house, there was a to-do list, so he was functioning fine. And that’s the problem – there are many ordinary men just like him. People pretend it was random, because then they don’t have to confront the difficult issues causing it: the way men can behave and what they believe. He was willing to destroy the world before he changed his beliefs.”
No, no, no. Lance Hart was not an “ordinary man,” and the murders were not caused by “traditional masculine views.”
Ordinary men do not kill their families.
There’s a lot of talk these days about “patriarchy” being the cause of sexual abuse and domestic violence. This makes no sense.
We’re all part of the same, supposedly patriarchal, society. But if patriarchy caused abuse, then all men would be abusive. This is not the case. Millions of men would never dream of hurting a woman or child.
Plus, the patriarchy theory does not explain women who are violent in their intimate relationships. I’ve spoken to plenty of men who were assaulted by their female partners. And I’ve spoken to plenty of women who were mercilessly abused in lesbian relationships.
What’s happening is that abusive men are using “traditional male views” to justify their behavior. They’re disordered first, and using patriarchal views as an excuse.
If we were able to eliminate all patriarchy — guess what — disordered men, and women, would still be abusive.