Domestic Killings in Massachusetts Continue To Rise With Recent Stabbing Slayings in Millbury and Milford

Statistics show that domestic violence-related murders are increasing in Massachusetts. As of October this year, there were 37 reported killings involving domestic violence. Last year, the total figure was 31 domestic murders. There were 15 domestic slayings that were reported in 2005.

The number of domestic killings for this year is still rising. On Monday, a 60-year-old Milford woman died after being stabbed to death by her husband. Joseph H. Ventola Jr, 63, who admitted the murder to a 911 operator. Joseph and Esther were married for 18 years. At his arraignment on Monday, Ventola, who has a history of depression, pleaded not guilty.

In another recent case, 30-year-old Millbury resident Justin Hiser pleaded not guilty to the stabbing murder of his ex-girlfriend Ronda Healey outside the T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant in Millbury where she worked as a waitress.

Hiser made an unprompted confession to Westborough police after a he was apprehended following a police chase in Southborough. Hiser had spent time in prison previously for assault with a dangerous weapon.

Healey and Hiser had previously lived together in Worcester. She leaves behind three children.

Toni Troop, the public relations director of Jane Do Inc., a company that keeps track of domestic violence murders, says that the increase in domestic violence-related deaths is a result of funding cuts that were made to national, state, and local domestic violence victims’ programs.

Domestic violence is a crime in every U.S. state and can involve verbal abuse, physical abuse, battery, sexual assault, stalking, and any other kinds of abusive behavior toward a relative or former spouse, partner, girlfriend, or boyfriend. Domestic violence is also called intimate partner violence (IPV).

Domestic slayings on the rise, Milford Daily News, November 28, 2007
Millbury waitress fatally stabbed; ex-boyfriend held,, November 28, 2007
Suspect in Millbury stabbing made spontaneous confession, court documents say,, November 28, 2007
Milford man charged with wife’s stabbing death,, November 27, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Massachusetts Law About Domestic Violence, Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries
Jane Doe Inc.

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