Man Charged With Killing Bedridden Wife Deserves Some Compassion

A man has been arrested for a horrible crime. John Dewees Jr. allegedly pushed his wife into a bathtub, punched her, and she drowned. That is awful enough. But what brings this to an even greater level of alleged horribleness is that Dewee's wife, Anja, was bedridden. At only 45, her health was so bad, she wore diapers. In fact, police say it was the diapers that pushed Dewee over the edge. He reportedly told authorities he was "sick of changing" them.


As truly horrific as this crime is, let's think about this for a moment. A man, who is 49, is caring for his bedridden wife, who is 45. This is stuff that shouldn't be happening until a couple is very old! I feel terrible for both of them. At 45, a woman could be vacationing in far-flung lands, climbing mountains, dancing the night away. In fact, it can be the physical prime of your life if you work at it.

But reportedly Anja was bedridden due to liver disease caused by her drinking. Alcoholism is a terrible disease. Some people can manage to get out of its downward spiral. Some cannot. If this is true, Anja sounds like she could not.

But what about John? Here we have a man having to take care of his wife, still young. Having to change her diapers. And if she really did get this way due to drinking, I imagine he would have some serious resentment toward her. I certainly would, even though I would simultaneously have compassion. Certainly no one wants to be wearing a diaper at 45.

This doesn't excuse what he allegedly might have done. But I can see someone snapping due to this existence. Not what anyone signs up for when they get married -- to have to deal with this while still relatively young.

Since Dewee's story has changed several times, and he himself was reportedly drinking on the night in question, who knows what exactly happened here. Absolutely no one should die in this way -- at the hands of your own husband, when you are helpless.

But I have compassion for Dewee too. People who are caretakers are under enormous amounts of stress. In fact, he sounds guilt-ridden. He is reportedly on suicide watch after slitting his wrists so he could "be with" his wife. Friends have said he was a loving and devoted spouse.

He has been charged with manslaughter.

Do you have any compassion for him?


Image via Enfield Police

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