Carol May Clayton
This woman was yesterday convicted of murder. She manipulated her two male boarders to throw the molotov cocktails that killed 71-year-old Joan Betti, through which she also hoped to murder the woman’s daughter and granddaughter out of jealousy. Aside from this being another case of a violent femme, it’s notable as an example of that proportion of violent crimes committed by men but caused by women. I have come across quite a few cases where a male is the one who actually assaults someone in domestic or general community violence, but the action was out of misguided chivalry resulting from a woman’s claims to him about the victim and encouragement that he defend the woman’s honour or exact retribution on her behalf. The Clayton case is unusual only in that the woman was held accountable on this occasion for her role. Usually that doesn’t happen and the offences merely contribute to statistics of male violence. Although the men who commit such violence need to be responsible for their own actions (and foolishness), we also need to acknowledge women’s violence in manipulating of age-old male social instincts to protect women, and the frequency with which this and other male instincts provides women with abusive power over men.
(Similar instincts I think are at play in police reactions to domestic violence by women against men. The police are inclined to protect the woman from the consequences of her actions and the woman encourages this in various ways.)
Tuesday, 20 Mar 2007
Woman guilty of killing great-grandmother
A woman has been found guilty of murdering an Upper Hutt
great-grandmother in an arson attack while the two men who
threw the molotov cocktails for her were found guilty only
A High Court jury in Wellington yesterday found Carol May
Clayton, 57, guilty of murdering Joan Betti, 71, while
Richard Steven Pearce, 21, and Nicholas Andrew Edgarton, 19,
were found guilty of manslaughter, but not guilty of murder.
Clayton was also found guilty of attempting to kill Mrs
Betti’s daughter and granddaughter , Judith Betti and
Latisha Owens, both of whom she suspected of having sexual
relationships with her boyfriend, David Betti.
The Crown alleged Clayton orchestrated the attack out of
jealousy, and that the two young men, who were boarders at
her house, threw a molotov cocktail each, in the early hours
of that Saturday morning…