Now, it's been about an hour and I'm sitting here thinking about it, and the thing that's pissing me off right now is that I know that the thing that's going to get paraded out as soon as this starts gaining traction is that there was a history of domestic violence, and some people are going to start saying things like "Well, she should have left."
And while the question of why a particular person stays when they're a victim of domestic violence is an important one, it's not actually helpful in this case at this point. We'll never know why stayed, because he murdered her. And the fact that she stayed should not, in any way, excuse, validate, or implicate her in her murder. The question "Why?" is important in that it can allow the people who care to provide assistence and help the victim escape the cycle of violence. In retrospect, the why is less helpful, and if it's used as a weapon to implicate or denigrate the victim, it's in particularly poor taste.
I hope they catch this guy very very soon, and I hope that those poor kids get the care that they'll need. I can only imagine how completely screwed up you'd be after watching your father stab your mother to death with a sword.
..edited 9:06 am...
Apparently, there's already a discussion happening over at Feministe about the question "why don't victims leave?" It's not about this case in particular, but more about the general questions around domestic violence. I'm reading through it right now, and some of the comments are very good- the point about how the question "why" is too big and cumbersome, while questions like "what is preventing the victim from leaving" tend to get more concrete answers (some of which Thomas mentioned in the comments here already). I hadn't thought of that before, but that makes some sense. Anyway, just thought I'd point to it, since it was a weird coincidence, and since some of the points are very good.