Valentine's Day is supposed to be romantic -- couples in love finding extra-special ways of expressing their affection for their partners. But that's not the way V-Day turns out for all couples. In fact, a 2014 study of Facebook relationship statuses showed that breakups spiked sharply in the period shortly after Valentine's Day. 2011 data also showed that requests for divorce lawyers spiked close to February 14. So what is it about Valentine's Day that may spell trouble for lovebirds?
According to Alexis Auleta, a licensed clinical social worker, Valentine's Day tends to "push couples to pause and ponder the state of their relationships.... If one or both partners has been feeling unhappy within a couple, it makes it that much harder to tolerate times of the year that celebrate ... ideas and ideals around love."
Interesting... Maybe that's the reason why the couples in the stories below did some of the most horrifying things imaginable during Valentine's Day.
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10 Girl Murdered by Boyfriend as Screams Are Caught on Video
Tiana Notice was completing her master's degree at the University of Hartford when James Carter II, her ex-boyfriend, stabbed her 18 times. She was trying to end the relationship with him, even getting a restraining order, but James was persistent. That forced Tiana's parents to install a surveillance camera outside her apartment, and it was that same camera that captured her trying to run away from James as he chased after her, trying to stab her on Valentine's Day in 2009. The murder itself took place off-camera, but the audio on the video still managed to capture her screams. Tiana had actually found a way to call 911 to tell them that her ex had stabbed her and that she had been bleeding profusely, but she still failed to survive. Carter was eventually sentenced to 60 years in prison.
9 Man Threatened With Stabbing After Failing to Buy a Valentine's Gift
Failing to give a Valentine's Day present to a lover could definitely spell trouble, but just how much trouble? Apparently, it could cost a man his life. Fortunately, Henry Brown of Cincinnati was able to escape the wrath of his angry girlfriend, Kierra Reed, who after learning that Henry didn't have a present for her, went berserk. She began by pushing and scratching Brown, who then ran into the bedroom and locked himself in. But Reed wasn't going to let that stop her. She reached for a kitchen knife, screamed at Henry that she was going to cut him, then proceeded to stab the door with the knife. At that point, Brown called 911, and the police arrived to arrest Reed on a charge of aggravated menacing.
8 Amputee Runner Shoots Model Girlfriend to Death
Oscar Pistorius was famous for competing in several Paralympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics, but the amputee runner became even more well-known after he shot his model girlfriend to death on Valentine's Day in 2013. South African model Reeva Steenkamp was in the bathroom at Pistorius's home in Pretoria when he fired four shots through the locked door, three of which hit Steenkamp. The bemedaled athlete later claimed that he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder, but the judge nevertheless found him guilty of culpable homicide, along with a firearm-related charge in an unrelated incident. Pistorius was sentenced to five years for the murder and is serving time at Pretoria's Kgosi Mampuu prison.
7 Pregnant Woman Sends Ex a Photo of Her Slashed Wrists
In 2014, Casie Turton of King's Lynn, Norfolk learned that she was pregnant. The complication was that she suffered from Marfan syndrome, which increased her pregnancy risks. For that reason, her boyfriend, Michael Fysh, asked her to have an abortion. But Casie refused, so Michael ended their seven-month relationship on Valentine's Day. That caused the pregnant 26-year-old restaurant supervisor to take an overdose of medicine, then slash her wrists. She even took pictures of her gushing wounds and sent them to Michael, who promptly sent the alarming photos to Casie's mom, Sandra. The worried mother rushed to Casie's apartment to find her daughter being helped by a neighbor. However, it was too late. Casie died a few hours after arriving at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.
6 Transformers Actor Claims He Was Raped on Valentine's Day
The most recent stories about Shia LaBeouf would lead a lot of people to believe that the Transformers actor has, as Jimmy Kimmel put it, "gone crazy." In the past few months, he's been arrested for criminal trespassing, disrupted a Broadway Cabaret production, chased after a homeless man, and opened a bizarre performance art installation. In fact, it was at the #IAMSORRY exhibit that Shia claims he was raped by a woman on Valentine's Day in 2014. Part of the attraction included the actor inviting the public to visit him one-on-one in a room, where he sat wearing a paper bag with the words "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE" over his head. According to LeBeouf's story, a woman stripped, whipped, then raped him while their respective partners (Shia's girlfriend and the woman's boyfriend) stood in line to wait to see him. Whether or not the former Disney actor's story was true, someone certainly had a very strange Valentine's Day that year.
5 Cheating Man Kills Wife in Her Parents' Home
On Valentine's Day in 2013, Nathan Leuthold of Peoria County, Illinois shot his wife, Denise, while they were staying at her parents' home. He thought he could get away with it by staging a break-in, but within three hours of Denise's body being found, police identified Nathan as a suspect because detectives had noted that he had acted strangely to the news that his wife had died. Prosecutors who handled that case successfully argued that Nathan had killed his wife to be able to stay with his mistress, Aina Dobilaite. The woman was a 21-year-old Lithuanian student whom the Leutholds had sponsored to study in the United States. State Prosecutor Jerry Brady called the murder a "Valentine's Day present" for Dobilaite. Nathan Leuthold was sentenced to 80 years in prison.
4 Man Shoots Girlfriend After He Learns She Was Preparing to Leave Him
In 2011, Tomicka Peterson decided to leave her boyfriend, Gibson Paul. She was even getting ready to change the locks at her home since Paul had the keys to her Palm Beach home. However, Paul learned of the plan and confronted Tomicka on Valentine's Day. She admitted planning to leave Gibson, and he, in a crazed rage, took his semiautomatic pistol, followed Tomicka to a car that she had gotten in, and shot at the car multiple times. Another female and a young child in the car were injured, while Peterson, who was hit by five bullets, died. Paul tried to flee to northeastern Tennessee which was 800 miles away, but information from his cell phone led police to him. Strangely, Paul tried to serve as his own lawyer during the trial and asked the jury questions like "Why was the gun never found?" and "How could a person travel 1,000 miles so quickly?" A public defender eventually took over, but Paul still ended up being sentenced to life imprisonment.
3 Doctor Murders Wife After 14 Years of Marriage
All the friends and family of John Hamilton, a prominent obstetrician-gynecolocist from Oklahoma, believed that his wife was the love of his life. After all, Hamilton had showered Susan with lavish gifts, including a Porsche as a wedding-day present. But in their fourteenth year of marriage, something terrible happened. John called 911 on Valentine's Day in 2001 to report that in between surgeries, he had found his wife in a pool of blood in their bathroom, his ties used to strangle her and her head so badly smashed that her brain was exposed. At first, police focused on investigating pro-life activists who had threatened the couple for the abortions that John had performed. But several signs, including dozens of calls to a stripper from John's cellphone, pointed to the husband as a suspect. Eventually, a jury took less than two hours to convict Hamilton of first-degree murder, which was punished by life imprisonment.
2 Man Shoots Wife in Front of Their 4-Year-Old Son
On February 14, 1993, Juan Miguel Navarro went into a jealous rage and shot his wife, Ignacia, in the head and in the stomach while they were in the parking lot of a San Bernardino hospital. The worst part of the Valentine's Day murder was that it was committed in front of the couple's 4-year-old son, Juanito. Interviewed about the incident, the boy described the scene saying, "Ketchup is everywhere."
Juan Miguel ended up fleeing to Mexico, where he started a new family. But in 2010, he was finally extradited and sentenced to serve at least 16 years in prison. Sadly, Juanito, 22 years old in 2012, was unable to recover from witnessing the murder of his mother. Unstable and insecure, he failed to finish high school and remained depressed.
1 Valentine's Date Turns Out To Be a Setup for Murder
38-year-old Stacey Schoeck told her fifth husband, Richard Schoek, that they were going to have a romantic evening in an isolated area in Belton Bridge Park on Valentine's Day in 2010. What Richard didn't know was that his wife had set him up to be killed by Reginald Coleman, a gym instructor Stacey had hired for the shooting. Stacey learned of Coleman through Stacey's workmate, and the prosecution alleged that the payment for the deed was a house and $10,000. Phone records showed that the three suspects had communicated during and after the crime. To avoid the death penalty, Stacey admitted to having an affair and plotting the murder, her eye having been firmly set on the $500,000 life insurance policy Richard had owned. All three suspects were sentenced to life imprisonment.
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