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Topic : 10/05 Attack in the Night

Number of Replies: 53
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Created on : Friday, September 29, 2006, 09:48:42 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
On a quiet night in mid-May in beautiful Orange County, California, Greg and Estela Becker were viciously attacked by a man with a hatchet as they slept in their bed. Despite sustaining head and neck wounds from their attacker, they were able to push him out of the room, and Greg ran for help. Their attacker escaped, and police are still working to locate him. In the meantime, an entire community struggles to find peace in what once was a safe neighborhood. Greg and Estela's twin 9-year-old daughters saw their parents covered in blood, adding to the trauma of this event. Their next-door neighbors, Anne-Marie and Billy Linas, were shocked by what they saw when Greg ran to their house for help. Dr. Phil meets with this community to discuss how they can move forward and feel secure again. Talk about the show here.

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October 5, 2006, 12:51 pm CDT

10/05 Attack in the Night

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October 5, 2006, 12:56 pm CDT

Amazing Courage

Both these two people amaze me with their courage. It is remarkable how they managed to fend of their attacker, and even more so how Greg dove out the window, ignoring further injuries, and ran to his neighbour for help.
I can sympathize with these people because, though I have thankfully never been attacked, I often have issues with anxiety over these issues. I find the things that people do to make themselves feel secure very interesting, particularly when it is a false sense of security. The first personal example for me would be my mother, she now lives alone in the country, the house has large windows, no security system and she got rid of her big dog. These days she pushes a dresser against the inside of her master bedroom door before she goes to sleep. The thing is, she may have blocked that door, but there are very large, glass sliding doors directly into her room that an intruder could easily break and attack her before she even knew what happened. Personally, I would like to see a security system installed ASAP, at the very least.
 
October 5, 2006, 1:02 pm CDT

10/05 Attack in the Night

Doc

Why is it not better to stand and fight an intruder than to risk leaving your home AND your family to face an unknown fate?

 

Personally, I do not believe the Police will do nothing other than to show up and write up a report and photograph bodies on the floor.  I, therefore, take full responsibility for my home and families support and defense.  In the event someone enters illegally with intent to harm...I will stand and fight and use FIREARMS to repel intruders.  In the event one or more intruders dies while in my home I will feel absolutely no remorse.  I will feel joy knowing my family is safe.

I deny that having firearms in ones home causes more homeowners to die or be injured.  As a parent, I have secured my families safety by teaching them the use and function of firearms and have taken the mystery out of the gun.  Its' much akin to telling children NOT to play with matches without ever teaching them what a match does or how it works.

 

I know I am on the "outer fringe", but, I believe the responsibility for my families protection is in my hands.  In closing, to those who will not believe in firearms for even miscellaneous target shooting let me say that fewer people have died or been injured by a discharge of one of my firearms than have died in the back seat of an Oldsmobile driven by Sen. Ted Kennedy.

 
October 5, 2006, 2:26 pm CDT

I totally disagree with forcing someone back home

Several years ago I was the victim of a violent crime.  A stranger came through my window in the middle of the night and I was raped.  After this incident I stayed with my parents for about a month.  My mother convinced me it was time to go back.  I went back and I was unable to sleep at night for at least a month or two.  I slept during the day only and I had friends spend the night on my couch at night.  Finally when I was at complete exhaustion I moved to a new home.  Finally I was able to sleep.  I moved in and purchased all new locks for the doors, windows and such.  If you think she is not being a complete mother to her children now, how could you possibly be a parent if she is totally stressed and unable to sleep and is exhausted.  I still, 15 years later have flashbacks when someone says something or does something that jumps me back to that scene.  I can't even imagine how I would be doing had I stayed there.  Sometimes moving on is better than facing agony.  I think everyone needs to realize that when you are a victim of a violent crime so is your entire family.  If I have to find that shining silver lining though I would say it is the knowledge that I survived, that I love being alive, and that I will do anything to keep my family safe (luckily at the time of my attack my children were on vacation with their dad and were not home). 
 
October 5, 2006, 2:35 pm CDT

Get dogs and let them go where you go

My best advice to this traumatized family is to get dogs and don't crate them or anything but let them stay with you and yours while in the home.  Get a dog door and let them run out and investigate if they hear something.  Their barking will run most people off.  Since you want a dog door, you don't want the biggest dogs there are, or a person would be able to get in the dog door.  Get medium dogs and a medium dog door.  Even tiny dogs make plenty of noise and will alert you if something is going on.  The protection of dogs is not that the dogs should be trained to attack but that due to their superior senses of smell and hearing, they will detect an intruder sooner than you will, and since they have a natural instinct to protect their owners and territory, they will cause a big ruccus if anything is going down.  There is no need to have a "guard-trained" dog.  Dogs are naturally good watchdogs.  Just learn to pay attention when the dog pricks its ears or sniffs around a door, and they will be good protection.  It's true there will be some false alarms because the dogs think it's just as important to go ballistic over a cat or squirrel as an intruder human, but if you pay attention, there is a difference in the way they bark at another animal and how they bark at a human.  I saw dogs in the opening photos on Dr. Phil, so I have to assume they were contained some way, if that was their dogs.  Let them accept you as their pack, and they will give you a lot of peace of mind and make it much easier to sleep.  I recommend letting them sleep right in the room with you. 

 

And someone else mentioned that comment about the neighbor who was startled when her neighbor walked in her back door.  I agree with the writer -- what on earth are these people doing leaving doors or windows open at all, much less when they've been through this?  I just can't imagine doing that.  My sister does sometimes so the cats can go in and out.  I think it's insane. 

 

I know security systems are generally a good thing, but since police rarely respond anyway and criminals know it, they certainly aren't failsafe and haven't been much of a deterrent lately.  For those of you who can't afford a security system or whose police won't respond to it, here's a couple of cheap "home remedies" I have used.  Go to a hardware store, feed store, or craft store and buy big cowbells and clear heavy-duty fishing line.  Tie the bell onto the middle of the line (or wherever you want it to hang) and string it across different places on your property where someone might enter.  Try to conceal the bell at the edge of a bush (get green ones) or have it dangling inconspicuously, and at night, it is all invisible.  If anyone walks through the fishing line, the bell will ring loudly.  I put one across my entire back yard just inside the fence line, and then I put one to the side of the house so that if they tried to go in the bushes and get to my bedroom windows, I would hear it clearly - plus my dogs would hear it.  I also tie a cowbell to the inside knob of doors in the house that go to the outside. 

 

Also, if you live in a house where windows don't lock properly, I have two suggestions.  If the windows have at least a couple of inch sill, you can place small bells or even small kitchen pots and pans up on top and if someone opens them, there will be a huge clatter.  Also, at the hardware or lumber store, you can buy very inexpesively, just a dollar or two, wooden dowels and cut them to fit in either the window groove, if it is a horizontally sliding window, or to stand up vertically at the side of the window in the side groove if the window opens up like most do.  Just measure the groove or slot where the dowel needs to fit (preferably you want it to not be visible once in place), and then go to the store and get a 1/2" or whatever diameter it called for dowel.  Then you can easily cut it to fit snugly into position.  The large hardware superstores will even cut them for you.  Of course, most thieves will simply break a window anyway, but this suggestion is for when you are at home and want plenty of warning and time to react. 

 

I have found that outside flood lights are very comforting as well.  Let me say one more thing.  For years, I was afraid to sleep with the lights off but too ashamed by my cowardice to sleep all night with the lights on.  Then I met a guy in a popular rock band on business who told me he left every light in the house on at night and had a gun as well.  You know, sometimes those guys have fan stalkers, so it wasn't irrational.  Anyway, I just finally, in my 30s, gave myself permission to not feel bad about just leaving lights on inside and out, and it really helped a lot.  I also like to leave a TV going (with the sound down) so that if anyone could see in, they might think I was awake and alert and think twice.  Leave them on and turned up loud when you are gone during the day.  That's when most break-ins happen.  Between lights, the watchful dogs, and a few extra booby-traps, I've slept pretty well lately. 

 

Best wishes for this brave family.  You did what you had to do, and it worked.  You are survivors, and you will prevail again should lightning strike twice.  You will be ready.

 
October 5, 2006, 2:41 pm CDT

10/05 Attack in the Night

Quote From: elkomt

Several years ago I was the victim of a violent crime.  A stranger came through my window in the middle of the night and I was raped.  After this incident I stayed with my parents for about a month.  My mother convinced me it was time to go back.  I went back and I was unable to sleep at night for at least a month or two.  I slept during the day only and I had friends spend the night on my couch at night.  Finally when I was at complete exhaustion I moved to a new home.  Finally I was able to sleep.  I moved in and purchased all new locks for the doors, windows and such.  If you think she is not being a complete mother to her children now, how could you possibly be a parent if she is totally stressed and unable to sleep and is exhausted.  I still, 15 years later have flashbacks when someone says something or does something that jumps me back to that scene.  I can't even imagine how I would be doing had I stayed there.  Sometimes moving on is better than facing agony.  I think everyone needs to realize that when you are a victim of a violent crime so is your entire family.  If I have to find that shining silver lining though I would say it is the knowledge that I survived, that I love being alive, and that I will do anything to keep my family safe (luckily at the time of my attack my children were on vacation with their dad and were not home). 
So sorry for what you went through.  I had two episodes when someone broke in when I was gone and stole all my underwear and, same thing, I went and stayed with my parents and in hotels.  I tried to stay there, but I'd still be awake at 5 a.m.  However, in the intervening years, I've learned to feel more secure by booby-trapping (see my other post), putting dowels in the windows, leaving lights on, and having dogs.  I sleep better now than I have my whole life.  I think Dr. Phil's thinking is that, you know, these people are now aware that they can be victimized NO MATTER WHERE THEY ARE.  It's a sad fact.  So they may as well learn to cope with their house.  Realistically, they're just as safe there as anywhere, especially now with the neighbors on alert.  Also, even if PTS keeps them from being able to stay there, PTS will follow you wherever you go.  I do believe getting back on the horse at least once will lessen its longterm effects some.  The redecorating idea is a good one.  It's like cleansing the house.  Going back in is demystifying it.  Otherwise it will always be a haunted place you visit in your mind.  It is a hard road.  I hope something they can do going forward will make them feel at ease, and hope the same for you as well.  It does change you forever, there is no doubt. 
 
October 5, 2006, 2:57 pm CDT

10/05 Attack in the Night

Quote From: lolita54

Dear Dr. Phil, I wanted to tell u about what happened a couple of weeks ago. My darling niece was at her dad's store. In the middle of the afternoon, she was savagely attacked by a young man with a claw hammer. Only by the grace of God was she not killed. I lost my son to suicide 6yrs ago on 10/6. We are still reeling from that an then this happens. She is still traumatized by the blows. She said every time she closed her eyes she still sees the hammer. My brother installed a video camera in the store and they showed it on the local news. I hope someone turns him in before he kills someone. But also I hope that she will be able to see this show and maybe learn something. Her little brother and little sister saw her after the attack an they are also traumatized by the attack. We talked to the police and they said that was one of the best videos they had ever seen. So I hope someone sees it an finds him. I really feel for my brother because I know exactly how he feels but at least he still has her to hold and love. He did close the store. Said it was not worth the extra money he was making. But I'm glad to know that your show might be able to help them both, it they are able to watch it. But it might still be too soon. But nonethe less thanks for what you do for the public.

So sorry to hear of all your family tradedies.  It sounds to me like you all need to find a good victim group.  There are a lot of after-effects, and you need to learn what to expect and talk to people who can guide you through recovering from it.  Here is a link for a website that can probably help you find resources nearby.  I'ts National Center for Victims of Crime.

 

 
October 5, 2006, 3:09 pm CDT

attack in my home

Last September of 2005, we had someone break into our home while we were asleep and were babysitting our grandson. The amazing thing about the whole thing was that my husband is a police officer, which means his patrol car and police motorcycle were sitting in our driveway in clear view.

When you hear the front door of your home opening, you automatically think it is someone that lives in the home; one of your children. Yet, that is not what we found. My husband got up out of bed, asked what are you doing home, I thought you were staying at church? This other voice answered. The fight was on. Thank God that my husband was at home. Our grandson slept the whole time Mike was fighting this person. He was very drugged up and high on something. This is my husbands job. He knows how to handle criminals but this guy was tough. Thankfully, I called 911 as soon as I heard the other voice answer my husband. In about 4 minutes, every on duty officer, police chief and sheriffs officer were located in our home. I thank God that we live in a small town where everyone knows everyone fairly well. No one had to be told where we lived. Thankfully the man is in jail for 7 years. He tried to get out on bond but my husband and I had to go to court and tell what had happened. This has caused me so many problems. For months and months I couldn't even stay at home during the day alone much less at night. Even when hubby was working out of town, I lived in fear. Things are some better. I truly understand where this couple is coming from. I can relate to everything STella described on the show.

 
October 5, 2006, 3:36 pm CDT

Who leaves their door unlocked??

Why on earth would ANYONE leave their doors unlocked?? I mean your just asking for something to happen. I dont care if you live in the best or nicest neighbourhood in the world, there are always bad people in every place....

 

Leaving the door unlocked?? Im in shock.. Now look at the problems they have... Why didnt they leave the door open with a sign on top saying "Come in, we trust everyone."

 

Very very poor choices people make that affect the rest of their lives. I live in a very nice, very upper class neighbourhood in CANADA and I personally lock and check every damn door and then set the alarm system for the house...

 

 

 
October 5, 2006, 4:05 pm CDT

Have to agree

Quote From: quietstorm

Maybe it's just me but something isn't right about this whole thing.I don't mean the attack of course that's is not right it was horrilbe but I mean the way in wich it happened. I just can't put my finger on it but something is just a little off about the whole thing. Thank God the husband is still alive and the children and the rest of the family are ok though. Also a wise thing to do is NEVER KEEP YOUR DOORS UNLOCKED!! I wouldn't even leave my doors unlocked if I lived in Beverly Hills! I'm not saying this is why he was attacked or saying people deserve things like that happen to them. I'm just saying that to all the people with the "I pay taxes it's my God given right to keep my doors unlocked" or " Not in this neighborhood it's so safe because it's an affluent area" ANYTHING can happen ANYWHERE people stop living in a dream land.
Just wanted to agree that there seems to be more to this attack.  It was a horrific thing that happened to this family and it will take a very long time for them to heal from it.  I am not going to repeat all that this post. said, it just doesn't add up.  I hope and pray for their safety and the safety of their children!!!!!!
 
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