Part One of Three
Domestic violence is present in almost every society of the world and is not only a problem in developing countries, but is very prevalent in developed countries such as the United States, as well. Arizona, unfortunately, has its share of domestic violence incidents as, according to the Maricopa Association of Governments, every five minutes, a law enforcement officer responds to a domestic violence call and every 39 minutes, one or more children witness a domestic violence incident. Though many domestic violence incidents do not lead to death, unfortunately for one Arizona woman, this wasn’t the case.
One Arizona mother, Pamela Blaies, feared her daughter would come to harm or, even worse, perhaps death, at the hands of her husband, Anthony Rinaldi. When she handed her daughter a pamphlet on domestic violence explaining the signs of an abusive relationship saying “this is you”, she hoped her daughter would take action and leave the abusive relationship. Unfortunately, her daughter, 28-year-old Amanda Blaies-Rinaldi, just handed the pamphlet back telling her mother “not to worry”.
Even though Amanda’s two-year marriage had been very tumultuous with screaming fights, holes punched through walls and with her husband threatening to not only kill himself, but her and her mother as well, he had never actually harmed her or her children and she felt that with children in the house, he would never attempt anything that drastic or violent. Tragically she was mistaken as, two days later, her estranged husband shot her to death in the garage of her home.
Amanda’s mother, Pamela, said that Amanda had everything going for her and did not put up with anything from anyone until she met and fell in love with Anthony Rinaldi. They two met in Naples, Florida, and married soon after discovering Amanda’s pregnancy while Anthony was on leave from duty as an army sniper based in Germany. The relationship was tumultuous from the beginning and when Rinaldi exited the military , he then began destroying the couple’s property – punching holes in walls, breaking door frames, and smashing glasses and potted plants. Amanda finally left Rinaldi and moved to Arizona where her mother, Pamela, resided. Unfortunately, Rinaldi followed, and moved back in with Amanda and her sons.
What Amanda saw in Anthony Rinaldi, her mother Pamela and her twin brother Jonny couldn’t see. Anthony, according to Jonny, was angry all the time, hardly ever smiled, and would threaten to kill himself, with Amanda begging him not to do so. Anthony grew up in foster care, and Pamela feels that’s part of the reason her daughter stayed with the man as Amanda had told her once that “everyone who has ever loved him has left him”. Even though Amanda refused to file a domestic violence report on her husband, she did fear him for she told a friend that “if anything happens to me, look for Anthony”.”
To be continued.