Saturday, September 16, 2006
Susan Kuhnhausen Strangled an Intruder, a Hit Man
Susan Kuhnhausen is a 51-year-old nurse in Portland, Oregon. She returned home from work September 6, turned off her home alarm and stepped inside to find Dalton Haffey racing toward her with a hammer in hand. He landed a couple of blows on Susan but she began to fight back and she wrestled the hammer away from him and then strangled him to death.
Police are not charging her with any crime concluding that Susan Kuhnhausen acted in self-defense. In the immediate aftermath the police investigation was going in the direction of an interrupted burglary that turned violent. However, when investigators looked further into Haffey’s background they discovered that he not only had prior arrests for assault and attempted murder, but that he also worked for Michael Kuhnhausen, Susan’s estranged husband from whom she was in the process of divorce.
Now there is evidence that Michael was upset over the divorce and hired Haffey to kill Susan. Michael Kuhnhausen also bought a gun just prior to this incident and left an apparent suicide note. Allegedly Michael was going to have Susan killed and then take his own life.
This story is but one more example of the axiom, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”
My point of reflection revolves around Susan’s recovery from this ordeal and God. It’s significant enough to deal with the sense of invasion that happens when someone breaks into your home. Add to that attempted murder, then killing a man with your own bare hands as a matter of defense. Then, to top it off, your husband has orchestrated this episode. This trauma is off the charts in terms of recovery.
Susan is an ER nurse and acquainted with trauma and bizarre realities. But, there is a world of difference in maintaining a professional objectivity in your job and coming to grips with multiple personal violations.
I couldn’t find in any of the stories posted if Susan is a follower of Christ. I pray that she is or will be. Her inner life has been ravaged and though medicine and psychology can offer many kinds of help, this life needs a touch from a loving God. Don’t misunderstand; that loving touch isn’t like a magic wand that suddenly and immediately brings transformation. Rather that touch leads to another and another that in process brings healing and wholeness.