Here’s the basic story: Ludwig Schumacher and Christina Schumacher were married for 19 years and had two children. Ludwig was a member of the Vermont National Guard and then a Republican campaign official; Christina was a finance/operations person. Last summer, they separated. It had been a rocky marriage, for sure: Christina had accused her husband of physical violence (striking her across the face, pulling her hair, etc.) After the separation, Christina was concerned what her husband might do to the children. Her biggest fear, apparently, was that he’d take them out of the country. It ended up being much worse.
In December, he checked his son out of high school early, claiming a ‘family emergency.’ He strangled his son to death, then hanged himself. A day later, Christina was checked into a Vermont facility against her will. She’s now being released after five weeks, thanks to a decision from a judge. Apparently she had indicated to friends last summer, after the separation, that if her ex-husband did anything to her children, she would kill herself; this ultimately led to her being placed in a psychiatric hospital. This has been an issue since the end of 2013:
Schumacher called the Burlington Free Press Dec. 30 and asked the newspaper to investigate her case, saying there was no basis for holding her. She said her top objectives were to be reunited with her 17-year-old daughter and to be able to grieve at home.
You can get more info here, here, here and here regarding this case. I’ve written about some really awful stories on here since I started doing this blog — Philip Chism, Adam Lanza — but this is one of the more f’ed-up ones I’ve ever seen. Thank the Lord that Christina Schumacher is out and the other child (named Elle) was not harmed. At least they can try to put some stuff back together around them. I’m not sure this says anything about divorce, military-type cultures, or whatever — probably it just says that a crazy person and a series of shifting life events can lead to tragedy — but it’s a tough story for sure. The important steps are what happens now, and hopefully that’s as positive as it can be in light of the context.