I am talking about a mother, Amy Leichtenberg, who has had the worst fate imaginable handed to her. Not of her own doing, mind you, she tried to protect herself and her boys. Even after Michael Connolly promised to ‘cut her open’ and violated an order of protection more than fifty times; McLean County Circuit Judge James Souk, decided that it was ok for him to have unsupervised visits. By killing their boys, Michael Connolly, has inflicted a wound so deep that I am sure Amy will have with her for the rest of her life. He effectively ‘cut her open’, but left her to live with this horror by killing her sons.
The story I have summarized above is not all that unusual. This didn’t just ‘happen’ one day. This father did not just ‘go crazy’ and kill his boys and then himself. There was an on going battle between the protective mother and this man. He continued to threaten and harass; but managed to make a good show for the judge. This man got kicked out of supervised visits by the people that were supervising the visitations because of his own erratic behavior! When I say he was kicked out of supervised visits I do not mean that he immediately went to unsupervised...no I mean he had NO visitation for a period of time.
Yet, Judge Souk felt that since Michael Connolly had gotten a job, found a place to live and had been able to stop harassing his ex-wife for about 8 or 9 months; then he must have been ok to take his kids for unsupervised and eventually (within a short few months) over night visits. He manipulated and then reaped the benefits from a system that still believes that children are better off having relationships with both parents.
When are our family court judges ever going to see that co-parenting with an abuser is just not possible? This man violated an order of protection almost sixty times, why was he not in jail? When are they going to see that a man that abuses his wife to this extent IS capable of killing his kids...because this continues to happen, over and over. It is not about the kids in the abusers eyes, it is about the control. The abuser doesn’t carry out the custody fights and keep going back to court over and over again until they get custody because they want to ‘foster’ a relationship with their children. They do it to control the mother. They are mad that she finally got up the nerve to leave.
Men don’t kill their children out of love or wanting to be a father to them. They did it out of pure, unadulterated need to control his ex. The need for control far outweighs their own sick twisted version of love even.
Just as most of us in today’s world have become calloused to the violence and killing that goes on around us, Amy Leichtenberg will now forever be raw to the senselessness of killings of this type. The evening news for her will no longer be an amusement in which to loose her day to the drama of the bigger world around her. Not many of us can know this feeling, but if more people were to open their eyes and ears and pay attention to what our family courts all across the US are doing, maybe just maybe one day a judge will be help accountable for their decisions made from the bench.
If you are interested in taking in part in removing this particular judge, please go HERE and sign the petition demanding Judge Souk resign. His poor judgment cost two little boys their lives. I have heard it said “the pen is mightier than the sword”, thus in my mind equating this judges pen with singing the death warrants for these two children.