CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - In the past year, KSLA News 12 has reported on five murder-suicides in the Shreveport-Bossier area. Each time we ask how this could happen and would a protective order have made a difference?
At least two of the incidents had protection orders. KSLA News 12 Anchor Domonique Benn dug deep into the problem.
She took her questions to the Caddo Parish Clerk of Court where protection orders are filed. She spoke with a local judge about whether they are enough protection. Most women will say they aren't worth the paper they are written.
Caddo Parish Chief Judge Bobby Waddell has issued hundreds of protection orders. He says they do work. Judge Waddell says, "If there is a protective order and there is somebody not suppose to be there and they call the police then it is a vehicle they can use to go ahead and arrest them because it is a crime."
For one Bossier City woman it is too late. 51 year old Brenda Hampton filed a protection order shortly before she was killed. Police say her husband 45 year old John Hampton killed her three days after his wife filed the order. He then killed himself.
In the protection order, Brenda wrote, "He ask me did I want him to kill me so that we can be together forever. He said he would kill me then he will kill himself."
Cindy Lewis says she has been a victim of domestic violence during her first marriage 11 years ago. When ask how the protection order helped? She replied, "Nothing, absolutely, positively nothing. It's not worth the paper its written on."
Lewis says for years she felt like a prisoner in her own home. Cindy says her ex-husband choked her and pointed a gun in her face. She said many times he told her he could kill her in snap. Cindy is married again and says she has a loaded gun in every room.
Another woman who didn't want to be identified for our story says each time she sees murder-suicides on the news, she thinks it could have been her.
She says she still fears for her life even though she has left an abusive relationship. She says her "ex" once told a he has nothing to lose and he would kill her, the children and then himself. She says she doesn't think protection orders are much of anything.
Judge Waddell says in rare cases they don't work. He says "It's like waving a red flag in front of a bull." He adds, "You have that person that pops or goes crazy, mad, or who does not give a hoot about the law or police office and they go after someone."
Victims say there will be more murder-suicides unless the penalties are stiffened. Cindy Lewis suggests finding a better way of tracking abusers, like an ankle monitor.
When Judge Waddell was asked what we can do about the problem. He replied, "Everybody is against it and everybody will do anything they can to stop it or want to know what the problem is. How do you do it? The answer is I don't know."
If you need help escaping an abusive situation, please contact the Providence House. They often help fill out protection orders.
You can also download and print the protection order from the Caddo Parish Clerk of Court.