Have You Ever Felt That Someone You Knew Was 'Off'?
by Jeanne Sager
All across the country, women were offered a night out on Mother's Day. More than a few of them probably said, "Not tonight, honey, I'm tired." But for Maryland mom Lisa Rainey, the refusal to go out seems to have prompted a brutal double homicide that claimed the mother of two and her stepdaughter. Luckily her son escaped the shooting, but that's just about the only good news to come out of a bizarre Mother's Day killing that leaves more questions than answers.
What would possess someone to kill their wife for refusing to go out on Mother's Day? And just how far can you go to keep yourself safe when you see someone you love turning violent?
It sounds like Lisa Rainey did all she could.
When she realized husband Ronnie was angry about the Mother's Day disagreement, she took her kids, including her 15-year-old son, to a hotel for the night. Then, before agreeing to meet Ronnie Rainey back at the family home the next day, she called her daughter's boyfriend, a parole and probation officer, for protection.
But somehow these precautions weren't enough.
It's Lisa Rainey's own husband who is charged in her death, as well as the murder of his stepdaughter, Ariale Chantre Shelton. Cops say the former Army medic who met his wife in the military and has been married to her for 15 years also tried to shoot at their teenage son, but the bullet got only the boy's hat as he ran from their home.
Over a Mother's Day disagreement?
No wonder she didn't want to go out to eat with him.
I wouldn't either.
It sounds like Lisa Rainey saw something off, and she did the right thing -- she got out. Only then she got sucked back in.
This is a reality in an American where more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day. Every year, one in three women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.
This is a reality that we must face: that people who love us can turn on us.
If we feel something is off, we should trust our instincts.
But what makes the Raineys' case so startling is the lack of a history. Cops in Prince George's County say they'd never been called to the Rainey home -- not before Monday when Ronnie Rainey called them to allegedly announced that he'd shot his wife and stepdaughter and planned to shoot himself. Ronnie and Lisa were both respected members of society, both veterans of the United States military who met in the service.
This sad case seems to fly in the face of what we tend to believe about domestic violence -- that there's an escalating pattern of abuse.
The suddenness of the murders, the leap to such extreme violence, the fact that this mom did all she could to stay safe and still lost her life are all tragic and unsettling. But they only hammer home the most important message of all: if you feel unsafe, get out. Now.
Have you ever felt this way about someone you loved? What did you do?