Man on Trial for Murdering Immigrant Wife
The murder trial for Timothy Blackwell began its third week Tuesday (5-28) in Washington state where Blackwell shot his wife and two other women during divorce proceedings one year ago. Blackwell met Susana Remerata of the Philippines through a catalogue called "Asian Encounters" that promised "pretty, single Asian women who want to meet you." The tragedy of Remerata's murder has brought increased criticism to the practice of purchasing mail-order brides, a practice many women's rights organizations consider akin to slavery; women are sold into the custody of a man they must live with for at least two years in order to obtain citizenship. Many of the 20,000 Filipino women leaving their country each year to marry foreigners are afraid to report abuse because they fear deportation.
During the divorce proceedings, Remerata testified that the two weeks she spent living with Blackwell were extremely violent. Blackwell shot and killed her and two of her friends minutes before closing arguments in the divorce trial. Though Blackwell has pleaded not guilty, his lawyers concede he committed the crime.
With thousands of men subscribing to magazines selling brides and more utilizing similar services on the Internet, the opportunity for men with histories of abuse and alcohol problems to entrap young women is increasingly high. The Asian Pacific Development Center in Denver argues that the mail-order bride services should at least be regulated, citing cases of men with as many as five counts of domestic abuse or other crimes having purchased brides
Media Resources: The New York Times - May 26, 1996