because my whole extended family has been ripped apart by alcoholism. I especially relate to the way the kids simply scattered far away from each other, not maintaining anything but perfunctory contact.
Dad didn't shoot Mom in any of the families, murder intruded from outside the family, but there are so many similarities to what my cousins and I went through that it's eerie.
It wouldn't have done much good for Fran Vessels to have pressed charges. If he didn't kill her, it was just a family dispute gone bad, nothing to see here, move along. That is the way it was back then: little birth control, no abortion, and men could do whatever they wanted to to the wife and kids with impunity as long as he didn't actually kill them.
I sat in a lot of Al Anon meetings to learn how to cope. Now some of my cousins are going down the same road, bipolars who are trying to self medicate with alcohol and ending up alcoholic bipolars.
I hope the Vessels kids find healing and peace. It's still a struggle for me.