On Saturday August 6th, 2022, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, a man named Francoise Littlejohn (age 30) pulled into a neighborhood and parked in the 11300 block of Treemont Lane, and heinously executed his three children and turned the gun on himself in an act of intimate partner violence-related homicide-suicide.

Not only am I grieved by the barbaric, hateful, and callous execution of his three children Trinity Littlejohn (age 3), Aliyah Littlejohn (age 4), and Kyren Littlejohn (age 6). But I’m also grieved by those who are responding to this horrifying incident with unjustified sympathy for the perpetrator based on his unfounded sob story that his ex-girlfriend (his children’s mother) is a serial cheater who cheated on him with multiple men and gave him an STD.

I am appalled and disgusted that so many people think that a man who is capable of executing his own children (which was also an act of abuse by proxy against his ex-partner) has a shred of credibility, and would actually believe one word coming out of his mouth.

Go ahead and pour yourself something to drink and get comfortable, because it’s time for another lesson in intimate partner violence and a peek inside the mind of an abuser. 

After you read this post, you’re without excuse, and next time you hear that some evil controlling man committed homicide-suicide because he was “so heartbroken over the loss of his relationship/family” “his partner/ex-partner was cheating on him” or because “his ex-partner was keeping his children from him,” hopefully you’ll know better and you won’t fall for his deception.

1. The first thing that we need to understand is that a man who executes his own children has no credibility whatsoever.

I repeat, a man who executes his own children doesn’t have a subatomic particle-sized amount of credibility.

I think that this point should be obvious, but sometimes, something that is obvious needs to be plainly stated.

Let me go even deeper here. Before abusers commit homicide-suicide, they first visualize or premeditate the act in their mind and mentally plan it out.

A man who imagines, envisions, and visualizes any evil scheme in his mind to harm his children, in fact hates his children, and is committing one of the most depraved forms of deception—the parental betrayal of one’s children. The heart and mind of such a person is so dark, twisted, inverted, and murderous, that he has no credibility and shouldn’t be seen as a trustworthy source of information.

For some disturbing reason, many people (including many professing Christians, sadly) believe that a man who premeditates violence against his own children and lures them to their execution, is a credible source of information. . . and not only that, but that he is more credible than his victims!

The point that I am driving home, that we all need to understand if we want to make the world a safer place, is that Francoise Littlejohn was not a credible person because of his character, mindset, and behavior. All of his screaming, raging, and crying into the camera (we’ll talk about the crying later on) didn’t move me. Nor did I believe his smear campaign against his ex-partner and his attempt to shift the blame for his murderous actions on her for a moment. . . and I hope that you didn’t either.

If you sincerely want to help victims and survivors of intimate partner violence (including their children) and be a part of the solution (not a part of the problem), then the first very important thing that you need to do is stop giving unwarranted and undue credibility to abusers.

Stop believing people who have destroyed their own credibility by being abusive. They don’t deserve all of the credibility and trust that society gives them. Stop believing their sob stories, misinformation, and smear campaigns which are just another tool that they use to deceive, manipulate, control, and manage their image.

Stop. Believing. Abusers. Periodt.

2. The second thing that we need to understand is that executing children is child abuse, and the most violent form of child abuse.

When an abuser executes his children, it’s not “a cry for help” “depression” “his ex drove him crazy” or “mental illness.” Framing violence against children in this manner turns the perpetrator into the “victim” (which is exactly what he wants, btw), minimizes the fact that the children are the true victims in the situation, and conceals the element of abuse by proxy (we’ll talk about this later on).

An abuser may have depression or mental illness, but that isn’t what causes him to murder his children. What causes him to murder his children is his abusive mentality towards his children and partner/ex-partner.

I feel the need to make this point because I see people all over social media commenting on this homicide-suicide and inappropriately framing it as a “mental health issue.” Ironically, people who do this are inadvertently making the world more dangerous for women and children.

The vast majority of people who deal with depression and mental illness don’t abuse their children, so it is inappropriate to put a negative stigma on them as being potentially more abusive towards children. But practically all men who abuse their partners, are abusive towards their children. Yet somehow, many people believe this false and dangerous idea that abusers can be great dads. This is completely backwards.

Framing intimate partner violence-related homicide-suicides as a “mental health issue” is dangerous, inappropriate, unfair, and can lead to prejudice and discrimination towards individuals who deal with mental illness. The negative stigma should be placed on abusers only, and the focus should be placed on their abusive mentality—not mental health issues.

Francoise Littlejohn didn’t execute his children because “he was crying out for help,” due to unaddressed “mental illness,” or because “his ex drove him crazy by cheating on him and giving him an STD.” He executed them because he was an abusive person, and I guarantee you that there was a pattern of abusive behaviors (red flags) leading all the way up to their murders.

Someone who is capable of murdering their own children has already been hurting them in some way — be it through withholding financial support (financial neglect), mental abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or spiritual abuse.

No one wakes up one day and says out of the blue, “I think I’m going to murder my children today.” They have already been harming their children in the past whether anyone knows it or not, or recognizes certain behaviors as child abuse.

So what we need to grasp here is that a man who murders his own children is a child abuser and has committed the most violent form of child abuse. All of our sympathy, empathy, and advocacy needs to be directed towards the true victims in the situation: the children and their mother.

Twisting an incident of child abuse and intimate partner violence-related homicide-suicide into an issue of “mental health” is inappropriate, misguided, and misdirected empathy and advocacy.

3. The third thing that we need to understand is that a man who executes his children to “get even” with his ex-partner is using a tactic called abuse by proxy (aka “violence by proxy” or “domestic violence by proxy”).

Abuse by proxy is a form of emotional abuse that occurs when an abuser inflicts harm upon the victim through third parties. The third party might be the victim’s faith community, mutual friends, family members, the general public, the police, the court system, child protective services, or the victim’s children. The third party can also be the abuser’s new partner.

Abusers often use the children as a tool to emotionally and mentally devastate their ex-partners. This can be done by telling the children lies about the non-abusive parent (e.g., “your mother cheated on me!” “your mother is a drug addict!” “your mother isn’t a godly woman!” “your mother tore our family apart!”). False accusations about the non-abusive parent can undermine the parent-child relationship, undermine the non-abusive parent’s authority and influence in their own household so that the child doesn’t respect them or listen to them, and create custody and visitation conflicts by swaying the child to prefer living with the abusive parent.

Abuse by proxy can be done by harming the children in a manner that flies under the radar of the authorities and would be difficult for the children and non-abusive parent to prove with empirical/physical evidence (mental abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, financial neglect, medical neglect, dietary or nutritional neglect, and even sexual abuse). The purpose of this strategy is to cause severe crippling mental and emotional distress to the non-abusive parent by harming the children.

Abuse by proxy can be done by “legally kidnapping” the children from the non-abusive parent through sophisticated manipulation of the family court, child protective services, and law enforcement. This often involves the abuser making false reports of child abuse or child neglect to civil authorities and social services agencies, in an attempt to gain full custody of their children. They will provide false information to the family court in order to get more visitation or a larger percentage of custody, and utilize the term “parental alienation” in order to mischaracterize the non-abusive parent’s attempts to protect the children from the abusive parent.

The most heinous form of abuse by proxy is when the abuser murders his victim’s children, in order to rob her of that which is most precious to her — her children — ripping her heart out of her chest, shattering her mind, and mentally and emotionally torturing her with indescribable pain, anguish, and grief for the rest of her life.

Every time that you hear a news story about a father committing homicide-suicide but he lets his ex-partner live, you are hearing a story of abuse by proxy. Please stop seeing these incidents as “depressed fathers” “men struggling with mental illness” or “vindictive mothers pushing fathers to the edge by keeping them from their children.” Start seeing these incidents for what they are, which is child abuse and abuse by proxy.

The sob stories of “depressed fathers” “men struggling with mental illness” and “vindictive women who cheated and kept the children from their fathers” are designed to tug at your heartstrings and make you feel sympathy for an abuser who executed his children because he couldn’t control his ex-partner and wanted to “get even” with her for leaving him.

Add the phrase “abuse by proxy” to your vocabulary and learn more about it online. It might help you understand why some women choose to stay with their abusers instead of leaving, because they believe that their children will be “safer” if they stay versus leaving and the abuse possibly escalating to homicide-suicide. It’s not as easy to leave an abusive relationship with children as people assume it is.

4. The fourth thing that we need to understand is that abusers often, commonly, and frequently slander their ex-partners and spread false rumors that she “cheated on him” “was sleeping around with a bunch of guys” and “gave him an STD.”

This malicious slander is part of a smear campaign to destroy their ex-partner’s reputation, discredit her, manipulate people into shunning her (social isolation, lack of support), spin the tables around so that the abuser becomes the “victim” and his victim becomes the “villain,” spread the guilt around (“she’s not as innocent as you guys think, because she was cheating on me!”), and to rationalize or justify his abuse towards her and the children (“she treated me so bad that she pushed me to this point!”).

Practically EVERY. SINGLE. SOLITARY survivor of intimate partner violence that I have spoken with, was falsely accused by her abuser of cheating on him. Yet, the abusers were the ones who were cheating, sleeping around, and spreading STDs. Even women who were monogamous with their abusive ex-husbands have contracted STDs from them, because their ex-husbands were committing adultery.

Abusers will run their mouths all over town, the church, and on social media telling anyone who will listen that their victims are “hoes” who slept around on them, cheated on them, and gave them STDs, while they secretly have multiple sex partners and spread STDs all over the place.

So, I’m not buying Francoise Littlejohn’s story that his ex-partner is a serial cheater who cheated on him and gave him an STD. He has NO CREDIBILITY because he’s an abuser and a psychological terrorist, so it’s more than likely the other way around.

Society is WAY too quick to easily believe abusers and throw women up under the bus all because some controlling man said that she’s a “hoe.” And no need to go into the “even IF she was cheating on him” line of reasoning, because the moment you say “even IF” you are entertaining the idea that a smear campaign has even a modicum of validity from a person who has NO CREDIBILITY. There is no “even IF” because abusers aren’t a credible source of information.

People also need to keep in mind that abusers define “cheating” A LOT differently than you and I or the dictionary. A normal person defines cheating as sexual infidelity or sexual unfaithfulness. For example, having a romantic/intimate relationship behind one’s partner’s back or engaging in sexual activity with someone other than one’s spouse.

Male abusers define “cheating” as their partner merely looking in the direction of a man, talking to a man, interacting with a man, leaving the house (if she is a stay at home mother/wife), texting someone on her phone, accepting a man’s friend request on her social media, clicking “like” on a man’s post or a man clicking “like” on one of her posts, working with men, and even having a dream or a “feeling” that their partner is cheating. Because abusers have a possessive view of their ex-partners as their property for life, they also consider it “cheating” if their ex-partner moves on and talks to another man or enters into a new relationship.

Abusers will also accuse their partners of cheating as a form of projection and deflection, to project what they are guilty of on to their partners, and to deflect attention from their own sexual infidelity. With this fluid, meaningless, arbitrary, nonsensical “definition” of cheating, no one should take an abuser seriously when they accuse their partners/ex-partners of “cheating.” Accusing their partners/ex-partners of “cheating” on them and “giving them an STD” may very well be an indirect confession that THEY are the one who is sleeping around with different people and gave their partner/ex-partner an STD.

I will end by saying that Francoise Littlejohn’s tears weren’t tears of sorrow and heartbreak because his ex-partner “cheated on him and gave him an STD.” They were tears of rage, because he wanted to talk to her *face to face* (as he stated in his video) but she REJECTED HIM and refused to talk to him. He was filled with demonic murderous rage because she didn’t give him what he wanted, so he “got even” with her by abusing her by proxy in the most vicious way.

He basically proved to everyone who has sense why she wasn’t with him anymore and why she didn’t want to talk to him face to face. Because he’s abusive, unsafe, unhinged, and violent. And legally, he should not have been allowed to be around their children.

In this age of social media, with increasing rates of violence towards women and children (especially Black women and children), we can sadly expect to see more executions of women and children being live streamed. We can expect to see more news headlines of abusers murdering their children and killing themselves. But we need to know what we are seeing and frame these incidents correctly (as intimate partner violence-related homicide-suicides, child abuse, and abuse by proxy) instead of naively going along with false narratives and smear campaigns devised by the perpetrators. They want us to see them as the “victim” when the only victims are their children and former partners.

This culture of violence isn’t going to significantly decline unless and until society gets informed and stops letting abusers enlist them in their smear campaigns. We need to get educated about abuse by proxy and put pressure on law enforcement, social services agencies, and the family court system to get educated about it as well.

For more information about abuse by proxy, please see the links below.

What is Abuse By Proxy?

Domestic Violence by Proxy

Understanding the Batterer in Custody and Visitation Disputes

One thought on “No, his ex didn’t “push him to kill himself and the kids.” It was abuse by proxy.

  1. This article is spot on. People have been believing the excuses of the abuser since Adam in the Garden of Eden claimed, “This woman you gave to be with me gave me the fruit so I ate.” The church took what Adam said at face value, failing to recognize that Adam was in sin at the time that he uttered the phrase.
    This has set a dangerous precedent for people to believe the justifications of the abuser rather than facing the situation at hand.

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