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A Closer Look:
A Closer Look
Battered women form support group behind bars

Stories:
Story:Reclaiming the Past

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Barely alive
            He was Richard Turner, Jr., 39, trucker, owner of a chop shop in tiny Maud, Okla., ex-con, gun fetishist and sexual predator.  At 6’-6” and 300 pounds, he was twice her size.  Greenberg testified that he barged into the hotel and beat her. “He ended up taking me, picking me up and throwing me on the bed, taking my clothes off and raping me.”

            Turner then stuck her with a needle and she went to sleep. She regained partial consciousness in a cemetery.  “Rick was telling me that his father was buried there and I could end up in an unmarked grave.”  She woke up later tied to a bed in Maud, lying in her own excrement.  “I remember Richard coming in and telling me that I needed to clean up, that he owns me, that I am his,” she told Kaser-Boyd. “I didn’t know if it was really happening or if I had gone to hell, having died.”

            She was barely alive.  Locked for weeks in Turner’s cellar, “He gave me shots in the thigh or arm. I didn’t fight back. I didn’t like being physically hurt. He raped me constantly. I wouldn’t even fight him. I couldn’t even feel him penetrate me.”

            Explaining Turner is dicey, but it’s clear that he had a compulsion to dominate, according to Kaser-Boyd.  Lee Bowker, a battering expert who evaluated Greenberg for the Board of Prison Terms, wrote in his report that Turner’s brand of control “is extended by breaking down the victim to the level of the lower animals.”  This fit with Greenberg’s shattered self-image. 

            Many battered women like her end up “with older men who would be again physically and sexually abusive to them,” said Brennan.  The men “keep track of them all day long, where they are going and how much money they have to spend.  Then starts the emotional and financial dependence, low self esteem, and threats by the man that if she leaves he’ll do something bad to her family or children.”  

            Turner’s golden rule was “My Gold, My Rules.”   There wasn’t much gold -- she had to beg for tampons -- but there were rules. “I would be able to get, like, more privileges if I didn’t fight him and make it hard for him,” she told the court. “If I just listened to what he said and did what he wanted me to do, then my life became easier and less beatings and even though the humiliation kind of got more extreme.”

            Turner also exerted control by threatening to kill Greenberg’s parents.  One time he let her go see them in North Carolina, but soon called to demand that she return early.  The Greenberg family dog then turned up dead.  Turner called again and told her that he had a friend kill the animal.  Next time, he said, it would be her family if she didn’t return. She went back.

Greenberg’s attempted escape

     There were signs of trouble, but in semi-rural, macho Maud, the warning signs and injuries Greenberg sustained were either ignored or not taken seriously.  One particularly rough rape gave her an abscess on her thigh which required surgery. She was afraid to discuss it with hospital staff.  A policeman came out to investigate, but he only spoke to Tuner.  Turner suspected that she prompted the visit. He punished her with a severe beating and tied her to a bed for days.  Greenberg learned that not only was Turner all-powerful, but no one was going to help.  Her task was to survive.

 

 

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