On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, Jessica Schaffhausen received an unexpected call from her ex-husband, whom she had divorced in February, asking to visit with their three daughters. Since Aaron Schaffhausen‘s move to Fargo, North Dakota, a few months prior, the girls hadn’t seen their father as much so Jessica agreed.
When Schaffhausen arrived at his ex-wife’s home at 2790 Morningside Avenue in River Falls, Wisconsin, he told the babysitter she could leave.
What happened between the babysitter’s departure and the arrival of police to the home at 3:32 p.m. that afternoon is known only by four persons.
And three of them are dead.
According to reports, Jessica Schaffhausen received a call from her husband stating he had “harmed the children.” Jessica, in turn, frantically called police from her cellphone as she rushed toward home.
When officers entered the residence they immediately noticed a strong gas odor and observed the fireplace had been activated. It was then they discovered the lifeless bodies of Jessica and Aaron’s daughters: Amara Schaffhausen, 11; Sophie Schaffhausen, 8; and Cecilia Schaffhausen, 5. An official cause of death has not been released as of this writing.
Aaron Schaffhausen had left the home before the officers’ arrival but was arrested when he turned himself in Tuesday evening. Since his arrest Schaffhausen has remained tight-lipped about what could have possibly possessed him to kill his daughters.
Providing only a vague hint at possible trouble is a 2009 domestic incident to which River Falls police responded and a “harassment incident” filed in March 2012 wherein Aaron threatened to harm one of his daughters. Specifics about each report is unknown but neither resulted in Order of Protections or restraining orders.
I can’t speak for the future jury that’s sure to hear this case but, for me personally, there is not a single excuse Aaron Schaffhausen can give for killing his children.
Zip. Nada. Zilch. None.
Having read story after story about pathetic parents such as Aaron Schaffhausen, I think I can guess what “excuse” he’ll use as a defense.
Dusting off my crystal ball, I see Aaron saying -
- He was angry with Jessica for breaking up their family and killing his offspring was how he decided to punish her
- He was ordered to pay more child support than he could afford and it was better for them to die than to live in poverty <insert eye roll>
- He was suffering severe depression after the divorce and wasn’t in his right mind. Ya think?
- He missed them so much and wanted them all to be together againso he planned a triple murder/suicide but chickened out (or something went wrong) after he murdered them
- His ex-wife had a new boyfriend he feared was going to take his place as Daddy and he couldn’t bear the thought of it. Smooth move, pal, now you’re not only their Daddy but their KILLER too!
Maybe Aaron Schaffhausen will give us an unique defense but I seriously doubt it. Since Wisconsin doesn’t have the death penalty, maybe he’ll do taxpayers a favor and plead guilty. I’m certain, however, his allocution will include one of the foregoing excuses (I’m placing my money on the “mental illness” defense, especially since a couple of interviews with family are already hinting as such).
At the end of the day, there is simply no excuse for these little young girls to be dead. This wasn’t some horrific accident. This was a deliberate execution of father’s plan to end his children’s lives. And for the next umpteen years, Wisconsin taxpayers will have to feed, clothe, and shelter this murderous bastard who callously snuffed out three beautiful lives he helped create.
So… tell me again why America shouldn’t have the death penalty? Because right now I’m having a tough time believing we shouldn’t.
Updated July 13, 2012: The official cause of death for the Schaffhausen sisters has been recorded as being the result of multiple stab wounds. Additionally, it has been reported Aaron Schaffhausen, who turned himself in clothing covered in his daughters’ blood, had recently been fired from his job – which leads me to believe he’ll claim both the child support and mental distress as a defense. <insert another eye roll>