Could Published Column Have Prevented Horrific Murder-Suicide in Utica, NY?

Administrators Note:

The following column was offered to the Utica Observer-Dispatch for publication on Father’s Day 2012, however, it was rejected without explanation. We believe this was meant to suppress the greater message here at It was also offered in a modified format to the New York Times, Albany Times Union and The Boston Globe.  Only 2 days earlier, a major protest occurred in support of Leon Koziol and his parenting rights litigation at a federal appeals court in lower Manhattan. Exactly, one week later, a murder-suicide occurred (Article 1) (Article 2) (Article 3). What you’re about to read presents a chilling and accurate indictment of the lucrative family court industry. A strong likelihood exists that the now deceased parents might have resorted to non-violent means of resolution had they been exposed to this unpublished column and profound reform efforts which underlie it.

Unpublished Guest Column:

David Dudajek
Opinion Editor
Observer Dispatch
221 Oriskany Plaza
Utica, New York 13501

Dear Editor:

Exactly one year ago, a man sat down, doused himself with gasoline and lit up a public square to bring world attention to an oppressive government. It did not occur in Tiananmen Square, Moscow or any other foreign venue. It happened right here in one of our original 13 states involving a maternal descendant of America’s first president.

Thomas Ball martyred himself in this painful fashion to protest the mistreatment of fathers in domestic relations courts. It was patterned after the identical suicide of Mohammed Bouazizi of Tunisia who gained sufficient attention to cause a wave of protests across the Arab world. Yet few beyond the city of Keene, New Hampshire took notice of the American version.

Despite efforts to isolate this event, evidence of a growing epidemic was everywhere. In our region alone, a police investigator took his life and that of his ex spouse after exiting “child support” court, leaving three children without their mom and dad. A mother took a knife to the throat of her divorcing husband and was sent to prison for 13 years, a father shot his boy in front of state police in a domestic stand-off, a sheriff deputy was killed in a similar exchange, and a purple heart soldier attempted suicide after years of court abuse.

Not far away, a mother drove her children into the Hudson River, and just when we thought it was safe to come out, at least three new incidents have arisen in Oneida County featuring parents engaged in stand-offs with law enforcement. Only last week, a man was pulled from a burning home in a bizarre case resembling the Thomas Ball incident. Had these cases involved a virus or related health factor, the Center for Disease Control would have flown in agents from Atlanta within a matter of hours.

Like so many ominous signs in our region’s history, this is a crisis which is being ignored or misunderstood. It emerges largely from domestic relations processes that continue to engage in parental abuses and gender bias. Victims denied sensible recourse then resort to violence and the taking of matters into their own hands. It is a common feature of all civil rights movements and the natural consequence of any dysfunctional system of justice.

Only last month, the USA Today placed Utica/Rome at the bottom of depressed regions nationwide. Unwittingly the feature was more important for its national forecast than a local assault because economic declines inevitably occurring elsewhere will bring similar extraordinary events. When people lose their homes, jobs and children, they have nothing left to live for when dealing with law enforcement. A meaningful study of the problem is therefore long overdue, and an opportunity emerges for local leaders to pave the way.

While our federal government intervenes in foreign countries for the sake of human rights, families on the domestic front are being sacrificed to needless custody and support wars through arbitrary money formulas and incentives. Billions of dollars in federal grants are based on the number and magnitude of support orders mass produced in state courts. This has the effect of transforming judges into profit makers contrary to their neutral character under the Constitution.

In 1925, the high court of New York adopted ancient practices of British monarchs to assert state control over all children impacted by divorcing parents. In its day, this seizure of power caught little attention because divorce was an anomaly and fewer lawyers were preoccupied with more legitimate matters of the profession. Today, separate parenting units are the mainstream and the state of California alone is impacted by nearly 300,000 lawyers.

As a result, parental authority is becoming seriously undermined while children are exploited for ulterior purposes. By simply declaring any government act involving a child to be in his or her “best interests”, the state can remove one or both parents from their gender based functions. It is a gold mine for attorneys perverting a natural order of childrearing. Adolph Hitler exploited similar propaganda to build a war machine.

This perversion is cultivated by a “separate but unequal” doctrine of laws which forces parents to name a gender merged “custodial parent” in all separation cases. Competition for a child’s favor then leads to immature behavior and breakdowns in development. Agreement, mediation and shared parenting are opposed as litigation substitutes because they would reduce conflict, thereby eroding a multi-billion dollar state industry.

With federal intervention, this industry grew exponentially as did the dysfunction of our families. Child support laws removed the needs-based formula and replaced it with a highly abused way-of-life standard even in cases where neither parent was on public assistance. This led to increased revenues and a giant bureaucracy featuring states and localities as collection agents for a central government complicit in the creation of lucrative domestic controversy.

In terms of childrearing, this fixation upon money is producing a fatherless America with devastating impacts. Data from the National Fatherhood Initiative shows that children fare better when both parents are involved. Under the current system, a father is influenced to abandon his role and any responsibilities which apply because he cannot overcome blatant male stereotypes, residual living expenses and fraudulent report tactics common to these court battles.

Meaningful reform will not occur as long as the victims allow these injustices to continue. As one veteran Family Court judge declared ten years ago, custody and visitation should be replaced with parenting plans in the majority of cases. The “oppositional framework” has long “outlived its usefulness” and should not be applied to presumptively fit parents. Such wisdom must be embraced by those seeking public office who exploit Fathers’ Day by essentially asking good fathers to accept their sub-class status.

Very truly yours,

Leon R. Koziol
Parenting Rights Advocate
(315) 796-4000

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