Children of NYC mom who killed husband pen book

Children of NYC mom who killed husband pen  book

COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press

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  • FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2011 file photo, Raymond Sheehan, the son of Barbara Sheehan, leaves a New York courtroom as proceedings in his mother’s murder trial break for the day.  Believing that she shot and killed Raymond’s abusive father in self-defense, the jury went on to acquit his mother on the murder charge. Raymond and his sister, Jennifer, have written a book about their mother’s ordeal entitled, “In Bed With the Badge: The Barbara Sheehan Story.” The book will be published Tuesday, July 17, 2012, through Changing Lives Press, and also as an e-book. Photo: Rick Maiman / AP
    FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2011 file photo, Raymond  Sheehan, the son of Barbara Sheehan, leaves a New York courtroom as proceedings  in his mother’s murder trial break for the day.  Believing that she shot and  killed Raymond’s abusive father in self-defense, the jury went on to acquit his  mother on the murder charge. Raymond and his sister, Jennifer, have written a  book about their mother’s ordeal entitled, “In Bed With the Badge: The Barbara  Sheehan Story.” The book will be published Tuesday, July 17, 2012, through  Changing Lives Press, and also as an e-book. Photo: Rick Maiman /  AP
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    FILE – In this  Sept. 23, 2011 file photo, Raymond Sheehan, the son…

  • FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2011 file photo, Barbara Sheehan leaves a New York courtroom as her trial breaks for the day. Sheehan, who was accused of fatally shooting her retired police officer husband, was eventually acquitted of murder when the jury believed that she shot him in self-defense. Sheehan’s adult children have written a book about their mother’s ordeal entitled, “In Bed With the Badge: The Barbara Sheehan Story.” The book will be published Tuesday, July 17, 2012, through Changing Lives Press, and also as an e-book. Photo: Rick Maiman / AP
    FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2011 file photo, Barbara  Sheehan leaves a New York courtroom as her trial breaks for the day. Sheehan,  who was accused of fatally shooting her retired police officer husband, was  eventually acquitted of murder when the jury believed that she shot him in  self-defense. Sheehan’s adult children have written a book about their mother’s  ordeal entitled, “In Bed With the Badge: The Barbara Sheehan Story.” The book  will be published Tuesday, July 17, 2012, through Changing Lives Press, and also  as an e-book. Photo: Rick Maiman / AP
    FILE – In this  Sept. 23, 2011 file photo, Barbara Sheehan leaves a…

NEW YORK (AP) — Jennifer and Raymond  Sheehan say their lives changed forever — for the better — the day their  mother shot their retired police officer father to death.

Neither witnessed the shooting  on Feb. 18, 2008. When they got the call, they expected to hear that their  mother was dead. They figured her end was only a matter of time after years of  physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their father, Raymond Sr.

So when Raymond Jr. learned it  was his dad who was dead, he felt an immense relief. “Like a weight lifted off  my shoulders,” he said.

But there was more stress to  come. Their mother, Barbara, would be tried for murder and their family’s dark,  disturbing secrets would be cracked open in court.

Less than a year after Barbara  Sheehan was acquitted for fatally shooting her husband 11 times at their  Queens home, her children have published a book about the ordeal.

“In Bed With the Badge: The  Barbara Sheehan Story” goes on sale Tuesday. It details her life and descent  into abuse and despair, and includes notes and recollections from Raymond and  Jennifer and from family friends who witnessed the abuse.

The two siblings said they  focused the account on their mother — and not their own experience — because  they hoped her story would serve as a cautionary tale for other abused women and  help them see the early warning signs.

“Going through everything after  my mom killed my father, living their experiences, we wanted to show other  people the importance of getting out of a bad relationship before it’s too  late,” Raymond Sheehan said in an interview with The  Associated Press.

The 22-year-old took the stand  in his mother’s defense last fall during the trial, which was much more  difficult than writing the book, he said. He was grilled on his childhood and  admitted on the stand that he thought of suicide, telling of horrific memories  where his mother was burned by scalding pasta sauce thrown by his  angry father.

“All the personal stuff came out  in the trial. That was the big thing,” he said. “The book felt  almost easy.”

The trial was brutal for the  family. Jennifer and Raymond took leave from school and from work to be with  their mother, who was out on bail after mortgaging two family homes. Aunts,  uncles, grandparents and friends filled the courtroom seats, many donning purple — the color for domestic violence.

And dirty laundry was aired.  Jurors heard of the elder Raymond’s consistent threats, his physical and verbal  abuse, and bizarre sexual habits he forced on his wife, as Barbara and her  children testified that he created a culture of fear at home. They said they  never told anyone, especially the police, because he said he would kill them if  they did.

Prosecutors argued Barbara was a  woman happy with her life and a willing participant in her husband’s sexual  proclivities. They suggested she killed her husband for money. Friends testified  the couple seemed normal and happy, and they did not suspect anything violent  at home.

But the elder Raymond’s children  said the 49-year-old former police sergeant put on a nicer face for  the public.

In their book, the siblings  explore the question of why their mother would stay with an abusive man for more  than 20 years. They interviewed her about her past and learned of his  manipulative behavior as far back as the first dates.

“I think after this all happened  and she realized how bad the psychological and physical abuse was that she was  going through even then, she started thinking back and realizing ‘Oh, this  wasn’t normal,'” said Jennifer  Sheehan, 26.

The 250-page book includes a  robust appendix. “Domestic Violence, How to get Help, Cops as Abusers and other  statistics” is designed to give readers some helpful tools, Jennifer  Sheehan said.

“We want people to know the  signs of what an abuser is and what they do to control you, even from the very  beginning,” she said.

Raymond is getting married and  will be in graduate school in New York in the fall. Jennifer lives in San Diego  and works as an oncology nurse. Barbara Sheehan, 50, convicted on one weapons  charge and sentenced to 5½ years in prison, is out on bail while appealing  her conviction.

Barbara Sheehan didn’t comment  for this story. Her children said she was happy with the book.

A call to Raymond Sheehan’s  brother Vincent was not returned.

Changing Lives  Press is the book publisher. The book costs $24.99. It also will be  available as an e-book.

Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Children-of-NYC-mom-who-killed-husband-pen-book-3707075.php#ixzz20jjqjeMC

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