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A Closer Look
Battered women form support group behind bars

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Story:Reclaiming the Past

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          One thing Tuner couldn’t manage was his chop shop.  Turner fled Oklahoma in March, 1987.  “Rick moved in the middle of the night because he owed the bank a lot of money.  He was kind of stealing away from town,” said Douglas Carden, one Greenberg’s lawyers.  “He packed up everything he could pack and just left.”

           They went to Lincoln, Calif. in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Placer County.  Separated from familiar surroundings, Turner’s insecurities and violence worsened.  After a couple weeks, Greenberg escaped.  Getting only to nearby Folsom Lake, she met an ex-con named Dennis Bockover who took her home. “I instantly fell in love with him,” she said. With a new protector, she enrolled in bank teller school and tried to make a fresh start. 

            It didn’t take Turner long to locate Greenberg. “I called home and my mom said Rick had been calling her,” she told Kaser-Boyd. After her mother agreed to pass on a message from Turner, “my heart sank,” she said.  She thought Turner would hurt her parents if they didn’t reveal where she was staying. Greenberg decided that her parents would be safer if she kept in contact with him. “Attempting to leave the batterer is always one of the most dangerous times for a battered woman,” wrote Kaser-Boyd in her report.

            Greenberg met him in a parking lot, but that led to dinner in a restaurant, which led back to the trailer a few days later, where it all started again. Filled with hopelessness, she got some mercury to put in their food. “I thought that maybe if we ingested it, we would go to sleep and we would both die and that would be the end of it and I wouldn’t have to suffer and I wouldn’t have to worry,” she told the court. The mercury did nothing. 

          Bockover tried to retrieve Greenberg, but Turner chased him away with a gun. Turner then used the gun barrel on her anus and genitalia.  She passed out.  The next morning, she awoke to find him outside with a shovel. “He told me he’d been digging my grave and he was going to kill me.” 

            After more rape, he lay exhausted on the bed.  She took the gun. “I ended up shooting him and he wound up on the floor and I shot him again, and I just kept shooting because I was so scared.”

            Then she took his money, his keys and her dog and left. Bockover took the money and got rid of the gun.

            Greenberg was charged with murder.  Coming out of a year of captivity, drug use and terror, and in the face of repeated interrogations by police, she told police she didn’t know who killed Turner. Years later, she admitted she lied to detectives constantly. 
           
            By the time she got a public defender, jailers were giving her anti-depressants which made her feel sick and put her to sleep 16 to 18 hours a day.  She took her first degree murder plea in a haze.  Bockover got time for conspiracy. The judge never learned about the abuse.

 

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