The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

December 30, 2012

Domestic violence was top issue for 2012

ANDERSON, Ind. — Some stories in 2012 brought joy, some gave promise, some brought terror.

All left indelible images on our lives.

The Herald Bulletin editorial staff evaluated the Madison County events that demanded reader attention in 2012. Here are the top stories that influenced and often dominated local news coverage.

1. The tragedy of domestic violence

No preventable issue cuts into the heart of a family more than domestic violence. In 2012, Madison County had some of its most horrific attacks in years.

Though all incidents are terrible, few could be considered as cold-blooded and vengeful as the June shooting of Amanda Wiles, 31, by her mother’s ex-boyfriend. He bound the mother and daughter together in the women’s rural home before shooting Amanda.

Another attack stunned this community with its chaotic randomness. In July, Kenneth Bailey drove from New Castle to Pendleton where he went on a shooting rampage aimed at his estranged wife. A passer-by, John Neil Shull Jr., 48, was driving home when his way was blocked by Bailey’s truck, which was stopped in the middle of the road. He was murdered by Bailey. Three police officers were wounded and a police dog was killed. Seemingly, Bailey’s wife had done what she could — she obtained a restraining order but it was unknown if Bailey knew of the court order before the attack.

In October, an Anderson man drove to Middletown where he shot his 38-year-old ex-wife and her male friend before driving a distance and shooting himself to death. And as the year ended, an Anderson man with a lengthy criminal history and a record of failed attempts at rehabilitation drove his sport utility vehicle into the front door of ex-girlfriend Susan Kidd’s home. He shot and killed her before taking his own life.

The community took notice as the toll added up. Since 2003, domestic violence has stolen the lives of at least 18 people from Madison County. The spate of deaths in 2012 brought the epidemic to the forefront of community consciousness.

More than a top media story in this county, it became an issue as the violence seemed to grow. The Herald Bulletin devoted five Sundays in November to the topic.

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