Day By Day

Friday, May 20, 2005

Family Feud

The Saint Pete Times reports:

TAMPA - Two months ago, Ralph Hamilton pleaded with a Hillsborough County judge to save him from his wife of 22 years.

He said Carolyn had pumped him full of anti-anxiety, pain and heart medications. He said that she had discontinued his dialysis treatments against his will and that he had shrunk from 232 to 164 pounds, unable to walk or eat without help.

He said she cut him off from the outside world - "I was a prisoner" - and tried to turn him over to hospice to die.

"My wife is trying to kill me against my will," Hamilton wrote in a March request for a domestic violence injunction. "I am afraid of my wife and I do not yet have the strength to defend myself against her, either physically or mentally. My wife is hell bent on trying to kill me."

Carolyn Hamilton, 60, did not kill her husband. He died Sunday, at 69, after a fall that led to bleeding in his brain. He had been living with a sister in Temple Terrace.

But she did bury him. Without permission.

Authorities said Hamilton ordered workers to dig a grave for her husband Monday morning in a graveyard off Providence Road in Brandon. They said she returned later, removed a locked gate from its hinges and had him buried.

Officials never gave permission for her to conduct a burial, according to sheriff's reports. And she never presented a death certificate, a permit for burial or proof of ownership of the plot, valued at $800, authorities said.

"He was buried like a dog," said his daughter, Alicia Martinez. "There's not a marker; there's not one flower. For him to be thrown in the ground like that, I can't even tell you."

On Thursday, Hamilton was arrested and charged with trespassing and theft, ensuring that the bizarre family feud that had poisoned Ralph Hamilton's last days would follow him into his (unauthorized) grave.

Read the whole thing -- this is as bad as it gets. The last months of this poor man's life were dominated by an escalating fight between his wife and daughter over who would get custody of him [and his social security checks].Family disputes are often the most bitter, but few get as vindictively terrifying as this.

On the other hand, there's a great script for a horror movie in this.

Read the whole story here.

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