Domestic Violence Crackdown

// Abusers are not always the good guys they appear to be

  • Crystal Judson (Photos courtesy of Washington’s Most Wanted)

Half the women murdered in Washington State are killed by their current or former partner. On April 26, 2003, while Crystal Judson and Tacoma Police Chief David Brame were in the middle of a bitter divorce, he fatally shot her, then killed himself in front of their two young children.

“She’s this beautiful woman and he’s the chief of police and they live in this beautiful home – how could this possibly happen?” former prosecuting attorney Susan Adams asked.

Adams worked with the city of Tacoma and Pierce County to create the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center ( It provides shelter, food and counseling to domestic violence victims, and offers legal help filing protection orders and finding financial services and housing.

Washington’s Most Wanted correspondent Dana Rebik visited the center and met a client who left her abusive husband one year ago. “I was raped, I was pushed down stairs. I had a machete held to my body. He threatened to slice my hands off and told me if I ever crossed him he would finish the fight and bury me dead in the back yard,” said the victim.

As in Judson’s case, this woman’s abuser appeared to be a perfect husband. He tried to act like a pillar of the community. He was a very friendly neighbor, always willing to help. “It’s very frightening and not what you imagine an abuser to be,” said the victim. This is why the Judson Center director says it’s so important to reach out to friends and family who may be in a bad situation. “When you find you’ve encountered someone who might be a victim, knowing what to say is crucial: ‘I’m afraid for your safety; you don`t deserve to be abused; I’m afraid for your children,’” said Adams. “If we don’t, as a community, support the victims in a time of need, this will continue to perpetuate.”

This report is part of Washington’s Most Wanted’s month-long Domestic Violence Crackdown. Read more:


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