Friday, December 31, 2010
Renee Pernice: Remembering You
Two years ago on New Year's Day 2009, Renee Pernice vanished, leaving behind her home in Kansas City, MO, her husband and three children. Two years ago her husband, Shon Pernice, says she just walked out of the house on foot and he couldn't "remember" where she said she was going. Renee has not been seen nor heard from since.
Following this case for the last two years has been a series of twists and turns, watching Shon Pernice sidestepping with inconsistencies in his original story, never participating in searches for his wife, and being arrested on several charges, finally for the murder of Renee. He will go to trial in 2011.
The pattern of conduct of Renee Pernice leading up to the day she vanished could be like so many other women trying to leave a marriage. Renee held a good job with a salary enough to support herself and her children, in fact, Renee alone cared for her children while her husband was stationed overseas. During the investigation divorce papers were discovered in Renee's home office, leading us to believe she was serious about leaving her marriage this time.
Renee Pernice was close to her family, was in constant contact, and, as is often heard in cases of missing mothers, "she would NEVER leave her children." Most of the statements from Shon Pernice are in direct contrast with the woman and mother her family knew her to be. Perhaps Renee confided in her family or close friends about the upcoming divorce, or the problems in her marriage leading her to make the decision to finalize it.
Maybe Shon Pernice has a history of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, being one of the last to see another missing mother, Star Boomer who vanished in 1999. It would be a great service to the family of Star Boomer if information on her whereabouts would come forth during the investigation of Renee's murder. Although there were a reported 13 witnesses, no one is talking. As always, someone knows where the remains of these two mothers are today.
Hindsight is always valuable, and one of the reasons many blog about cases like this is to learn and use the information to educate others in the hope that another mother may be spared. Had Renee Pernice, or Susan Powell, or Stacy Peterson taken precautionary measures while preparing to leave their marriages, this blog would not have been written. A revolutionary new procedure has been introduced by Susan Murphy Milano in her latest book, "Time's Up: A Guide on How to Leave an Abusive and Stalking Relationship" called the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit. This simple procedure is likened to a living will, spelling out in notarized, witnessed documents and video testimony the evidence of what went wrong in the relationship and, if abuse is present, it's documented as well. Procedures utilized by Murphy Milano over the last 20 years have led to a perfect track record in keep women alive during the traumatic end to their relationships.
Writing about missing mothers has given me an insight, as well as working closely with advocates and organizations surrounding the issues of intimate partner violence and missing persons. In many cases, there is a clear pattern of conduct in the actions of those involved, a relationship with violence, or at the least an "ownership" attitude, that if you leave me, no one else will have you and my children. It's a pattern that is seen over and over, and the results, unfortunately, are usually the same.
While remembering Renee on the second anniversary of her missing, I also urge readers to remember her children. They are now in the care of Renee's father, Rick Pretz, and although trying to give them the best childhood they deserve, it can't be easy. Children left behind with no answers, children left to deal with the trauma, children who were unconditionally loved by their mother, have daily reminders that their lives have changed dramatically. They have needs expressed in ways that we sometimes don't understand, and will be forever branded in their psyches. They are the innocent bystanders in the chaos surrounding them that makes no sense to them. Never will they have the opportunity to know what could have been.
Posted by Delilah