battered face appeared on the cover of tabloids in 1987, the wives of insane, violent men have faced a particularly cruel kind of scrutiny. Nussbaum called herself the victim of "intimate terrorism," but the world judged her culpable for failing to protect her adopted 6-year-old daughter from her murderous husband.
The BTK Killer
had a wife and children. James von Brunn, the white supremacist who allegedly shot two people at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum yesterday, does too-or at least he did (one son committed suicide, his wife divorced him). They surfaced last night in the
. His 32-year-old son Erik is a student at the University of Maryland, and defends his father: "I love my father," he said. "Everything you need to know about him is on his Web site." That such a website (it crashed yesterday,
are its remnants) could coincide with love, even in a son, is hard to stomach. The ex-wife, at least, kept her distance: "[It] ate him alive like a cancer," she said of Von Brunn’s hatred. "It's all he would talk about. When I questioned him, he would get angry and abusive." She did not, however, alert the authorities.