Family Crimes

Family Of Woman Murdered By Husband Says He Had Tried To Control Her

"He’s the kind of dangerous boyfriend you don’t want your high school daughter to date."

The family of a mother murdered by her estranged husband says the alleged killer was so controlling, his wife had to ask him permission to do "pretty much anything."

Police in Polk County, Iowa say Harold Dudley broke into the home of his estranged wife Mary Dudley and shot her to death. Now, the Des Moines Register reports Mary's family is coming forward with narratives about Dudley's history of abusive practices, saying that he had attempted to control his wife throughout the marriage.

Police discovered Mary's body after looking into reports of a shooting at around 9:30am on Saturday. Later that day, Dudley was brought into custody and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree burglary. He has previously been convicted of sexual abuse, kidnapping, and assault.

"I didn't think he'd do something like this," said Debra Harrison, Mary's mother. "He’s the kind of dangerous boyfriend you don’t want your high school daughter to date."

Grace Moulton, Mary's sister, said that Mary's life was so regimented by her husband that she was only allowed to wear clothes and hairstyles that Harold approved of. Moulton is now encouraging women to be ready to leave men who don't treat them with respect.

Social media activism on the subject of abusive relationships has recently been showing the ways that abuse is often more than physical. Zahira Kelly started the hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou for victims to share their stories.

If you feel that you are being abused, call The National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 for more information or help.

[Photo: Polk County Jail]

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