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Michelle Richards

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 4:36 pm Wed 16th July 2008

Michelle Richards was in the news again recently when she was recalled to prison after being granted parole this year on a life sentence for her part in the murder of her partner. After her partner had written her into his will, she convinced her 18-year-old lover to kill him by stabbing him while he lay in bed.

I post this case because it is an example of a woman encouraging or inspiring a man to commit serious violence to another person that she does not want to commit herself. We hear about it from time to time and I believe it is more common than people realise. In Ms Richards’ case, her role was identified and prosecuted, and she was punished as if for murder. However, there will be many cases where the woman’s role is not uncovered, or (more likely) the police choose not to lay charges against a woman. The result is that violent crime statistics further underestimate women’s violence.

Two other interesting aspects to the Richards case are noteworthy. Firstly, she was granted parole at the earliest opportunity, this privilege rarely being accorded to men. Subsequent events suggest that releasing her early was not justified, and one wonders to what extent gender stereotypes played a role in consideration of her release. Secondly, no information is given about why she was recalled to prison and no outcry has ensued about that. When men are recalled to prison, the public demand to know why and the media usually oblige.


  1. Hans,

    Do you know what conviction the 18 year old received, and what his current position is (ie still in jail, paroled or sentence completed)?

    I have heard that in the US, murders of men committed by men acting as agents for women are recorded in statistics there as ‘male-on-male’ murder, further concealing the role of women in these crimes. I don’t know if that practice is followed here.

    Comment by Rob Case — Thu 17th July 2008 @ 4:49 pm

  2. Wow.This is amazing.I was overseas when this terrible thing happened and in those pre internet days the news escaped me.I was in love with Michelle Richards at Primary School.I guess most guys in our class were.She was tall and very pretty and confident.A normal student.Not clever or stupid and not naughty.I can easily see how she convinced a 62 yr old to write her into his will and an 18 year old to stab him.
    Must have caused quite a stir in Temuka at the time.
    I have just got an old class photo out.
    I might send her a message now she is free and maybe single.Or then again ,second thoughts, best stay clear….
    Its good she has stidied hard and got 2 degrees and now has a second chance.

    Comment by whanga — Thu 17th July 2008 @ 5:03 pm

  3. The jezabel spirit is nothing new Go

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Fri 18th July 2008 @ 10:06 am

  4. I’m interested why she was recalled, I was living in the Temuka area at the time and know Michelle Richards. What she done devistated the whole town, ruined the life of the young man she convinced to do the stabbing, I can’t understand how she got out so early, she is a very convincing person and has obtained many qualifications while in custody, the murder victims family have spoken out publicily how unfair her sentencing was or maybe still it, this was a very well organised crime, and planned for some time by this prostitude turn girlfriend

    Comment by karen — Sun 20th July 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  5. hi,would just like to say i meet mitchy in chch womens,and had the pleasure of living with her as a flat mate for six mths.she is a wonderful lady and most people could learn a thing or two about life from the end of the day we all pay the price for what we do and she has so leave her alone.michelle if you read this linda says i miss you mate think about you good girl.

    Comment by lindi — Mon 21st July 2008 @ 10:51 am

  6. Great stuff lindi. She must be a good girl and a wonderful lady. After all she had a man murdered for her own profit, and we all know men are good for nothing and deserve nothing better than to be killed, preferably long and painfully, and that women’s enrichment is much more important than the pathetic life of some man. And what better than to exploit another much younger man to do the killing; that way yet another man goes to jail for a long time. It’s just a shame that she was caught out, eh. And why shouldn’t women criminals get much shorter sentences than men, and get let out on parole much earlier than men do. Women are “worth it” and should have a lot more rights than men do. And of course it’s ok for an older woman to have sex with a teenage male, but if an older man did so with a teenage woman he would just be a pervert, abusing the power imbalance for his own selfish purposes. Stay strong sisters!

    Comment by Hans Laven — Wed 23rd July 2008 @ 9:15 pm

  7. I ask people to be careful about their wording.

    Do prisoners “serve” their sentence?
    Or are they just being incarcerated?

    Some people never really seem to pay a sensible price for their actions.

    at the end of the day we all pay the price for what we do

    I suggest that if the proper price had been paid, then the murder victim would be alive again. If this isn’t so, then the right price clearly hasn’t been paid.

    It is the job of the judges, to make sure that the penalty is appropriate and proportional to the crime. This should serve a practical deterrent function. If this isn’t done, then the deterrence will fail and the result will be a visible rise in murders, child abductions or in perjury and failed court hearings.

    The case of failing to prosecute child abduction makes a clear case for the deterrence principle:

    men are prosecuted and make up less than 15% of parental abductors.
    women are not competently prosecuted by Police/familycaught and make up over 85% of international child abductors and still growing.

    Responsibility and accountability are important in all aspects of our society. When the familycaught or any other court fails to apply these age old principles, then it fails to serve society.

    There are none so blind, as will not see.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 23rd July 2008 @ 11:16 pm

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