Thousands of Women, Fearing for Their Lives, Hear a Scary Echo in Tracey Thurman’s Cry for Help : People.com
On a balmy summer afternoon six years ago, Tracey Thurman’s turbulent relationship with her abusive husband, Buck, erupted for one last terrible time. Separated from Buck for eight months, Tracey had obtained a restraining order to prevent him from harassing and threatening to kill her, but—as in many other cases of domestic violence—that piece of paper had done nothing to stop him. Although Tracey begged the Torrington, Conn., police force for protection, she remembers, “They kept saying, ‘We have to see some proof of what he’s doing.’ ” On June 10, 1983, the police got their proof.
When Buck appeared that afternoon at the home of a girlfriend she was visiting, Tracey frantically called the police. But by the time an officer arrived on the scene 25 minutes later (after stopping at the police station to use the bathroom), Buck had stabbed his defenseless wife 13 times in the face, neck and shoulders. Tracey lay crumpled on the ground, while Buck stood nearby holding a bloodied knife, but the policeman, who later claimed he was uncertain a crime had been committed, made no move to arrest him. In the officer’s presence, Buck then kicked Tracey in the head, breaking her neck. Then he ran inside and grabbed his young son, C.J., and screamed, “I killed your f—-ing mother.” Not until Tracey’s limp body was lifted into an ambulance was Buck finally arrested—more than 45 minutes after her desperate telephone plea.