Can Someone PLEASE Explain This to Me?

The mentality of women who go back to their abusers is absolutely beyond me. I have referenced the case of Riss v. New York before, in Part II of Is the Government Responsible for Your Protection? I’ll repeat the pertinent portion of the story:

Linda Riss, an attractive young woman, was for more than six months terrorized by a rejected suitor well known to the courts of this State, one Burton Pugach. This miscreant, masquerading as a respectable attorney, repeatedly threatened to have Linda killed or maimed if she did not yield to him: “If I can’t have you, no one else will have you, and when I get through with you, no one else will want you”. In fear for her life, she went to those charged by law with the duty of preserving and safeguarding the lives of the citizens and residents of this State. Linda’s repeated and almost pathetic pleas for aid were received with little more than indifference. Whatever help she was given was not commensurate with the identifiable danger. On June 14, 1959 Linda became engaged to another man. At a party held to celebrate the event, she received a phone call warning her that it was her “last chance”. Completely distraught, she called the police, begging for help, but was refused. The next day Pugach carried out his dire threats in the very manner he had foretold by having a hired thug throw lye in Linda’s face. Linda was blinded in one eye, lost a good portion of her vision in the other, and her face was permanently scarred. After the assault the authorities concluded that there was some basis for Linda’s fears, and for the next three and one-half years, she was given around-the-clock protection.

Riss met Pugach in 1957, not knowing that he was already married. When she discovered he was married and broke off the relationship in 1959, Pugach promised reprisal. He carried out his threat. A thug threw lye in her face blinding her and disfiguring her face. Linda Riss sued the NYPD and the City of New York for failing to protect her, and lost. Burton Pugach was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison for the crime in 1962.

Guess what? When he got out of prison in 1974 they met, and eight months later she married him. (New York Times story, registration required. Use ‘newslinks’ for both user ID and password.)

But that’s not all! Sometime prior to 1997 Pugach got a mistress, and apparently repeated his earlier behavior. He went to trial for threatening her the same way he threatened Linda Riss.

Pugach Calls Ex-Wife As Witness

A Queens man on trial for allegedly terrorizing his mistress is defending himself today by calling the wife he blinded in a similar feud 38 years ago as a witness, reports WCBS’ Irene Cornell.

Burton Pugach , a 70-year-old ex-lawyer accused of terrorizing a former lover has rejected a deal to serve 60 days in jail and three years probation, choosing instead to become his own lawyer.

Pugach would face a one-year sentence if convicted on charges of aggravated harassment and sexual abuse.

According to the Associated Press, in 1959, Pugach, who was married to someone else, was convicted of hiring three thugs to throw lye in the face of girlfriend Linda Riss because she threatened to leave him. He served 14 years in prison. Then, after divorcing his first wife, he married Riss.

A disbarred Pugach then allegedly began a campaign of harassment when his 42-year-old girlfriend tried to end their five-year affair and started dating a younger man.

The woman has testified that Pugach threatened to hire someone to kill her.

Pugach Affair Still Getting Straightened Out

A jury in Queens today begins sorting out the case of Burton Pugach, charged with threatening a former girlfriend with death after she broke off their affair, reports WCBS’ Irene Cornell.

The 70-year-old disbarred lawyer defended himself. His chief character witness was his wife Linda. In 1959, when he was a young attorney, Linda was the girlfriend who dumped him after discovering he was already married.

Pugach hired thugs to throw lye in her face, scarring and blinding her, but she married him after he got out of prison in 1974.

Now she says she’s forgiven him for his affair. And she says the only reason he’s been charged in this case is because of his past.

Gee, YA THINK???

What is it that makes some women behave this way? The New York Times piece, published March 21, 2004, says very little about that 1997 prosecution, but it does say this about their relationship:

Over the years, Mrs. Pugach credited a number of factors for her decision to marry the man responsible for blinding her: a Christian sense of forgiveness, the advice of a fortuneteller, her increasing belief that the police were to blame, the fear that another woman would scoop up Mr. Pugach. “One friend told me,” she said, “that Burt could leave his shoes under her bed any night.” But mostly, she cited her need to move forward. “If you’re going to remain bitter and obsessed,” she said, “it will destroy you.”

Moving on, I understand. Forgiveness, I understand, a little. But marrying the man who blinded you? That, I don’t understand, and never will.

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