Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sister tried to save victim from domestic violence

Couple in murder-suicide had history of violence, family says
Wife filed for order of protection in 2006 that was dropped when she didn't show up for court hearing

By Kristen Schorsch

Tribune reporter

August 19, 2009

Leslie Brown Simmons had been a victim of domestic violence, even going to prison after being convicted of arranging the murder of her husband, who allegedly had beaten her with a pipe and threatened to kill her.

Now, she leads workshops on how to escape abusive relationships and recently had counseled her sister, Christine Johnson Tyler, like she would any other victim: Change the locks. Don't be surprised if your husband beats you one day and buys you jewelry the next. If you want to be separated, don't let him back in the house.

"She listened but she didn't take my advice," said Brown Simmons, 55, of Maywood.

Johnson Tyler, 52, was killed early Tuesday in her home in Chicago's Austin neighborhood. Her estranged husband, Gardell Tyler, 57, shot her multiple times, then shot and killed himself a few hours later at his workplace, police said.
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Couple in murder-suicide had history of violence, family says

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