If you have tuned into the news the last few weeks, you can hardly have missed the story of Lois Goodman, the tennis referee who is accused of bludgeoning her 80-year old husband to death with a coffee cup, then trying to disguise the crime as a fall down the stairs.
As a defense, her attorneys claim that it is not physically possible that the 70-year old woman could have committed the crime. Apparently she has had two knee replacements and a shoulder replacement, and also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, hearing loss and constant spinal pain that’s controlled by an electronic device implanted in her spine and is awaiting another shoulder replacement.
I’m not sure what wearing hearing aids have to do with her ability (or lack thereof) to murder her husband. (My husband quipped that it probably made it easier as she didn’t have to hear him scream …) My physical condition is not that much different from hers as I’ve had a hip replaced, a shoulder replaced, and am probably going to have my other shoulder replaced in a couple of weeks — as well as having been diagnosed with RA. I will tell you that she’s probably more capable of doing the deed after having replacement surgery than if she hadn’t. And she was arrested in New York after traveling from her home in California to serve as a line judge in the U.S. Open. Really? She can travel across the country and be prepared to work a major tennis tournament, but she is too frail to raise a coffee cup and hit her husband?
Don’t get me wrong, there are many (too many) people who, as a result of RA, are unable to do simple, everyday activities. (Not that bludgeoning your husband to death with a coffee cup qualifies as an everyday activity.) But Lois Goodman has apparently been living an active, productive life. I resent her using RA as a murder defense.
I guess if anything good comes out of this, it will be that over the course of the trial, a great deal of light will be shed on the realities and disabilities of the disease. Maybe some people will come away more educated and with greater understanding of RA and what we, who have it, deal with on a regular basis.
Of course, if I were the prosecutor, I’d just point to all the RA medication ads that show people frolicking and playing golf and riding horses to prove that RA isn’t a “real” disease and that it’s easily controlled with medication.
Heaven help us all.
Thanks for checking in.