Mom Says She Was Forced to Watch Husband Kill Her Sons as Revenge for Divorce Papers

Horrifying 75

A father of two young boys who is described by friends as "devoted and church-going" is accused of doing the most malicious thing imaginable. Allegedly, he killed his two children, ages 11 and 12, in front of their mother -- his estranged wife. It was reportedly in revenge for his wife filing for divorce. And the details of this double murder are brutally horrific ...

The man, Isidro Zavala, allegedly broke into his estranged wife's home in Florida at around 2 a.m. He then began trying to strangle his two children to death with a rope while he wife desperately tried to fight him off. The wife, Victoria, reportedly begged him, "Why don't you kill me instead?" but the husband said no, he wanted her to "live with" what she was seeing. He then pulled out a gun and shot his two children, and then himself.

Police believe the killings were in retaliation for his wife filing for divorce. Friends are astonished, saying that Zavala was the ideal dad -- he was heavily involved with his sons' Little League teams, and always encouraged them to get good grades. Police said the man had no record of violence against his wife, and he had no criminal record.

In fact, this type of thing isn't at all that uncommon. This weekend, another man, across the country in California, killed his two teenage sons -- plus himself AND the family dog. He was also estranged from his wife.

A lot of people blame this type of behavior on undiagnosed mental illness. I sense a dangerous trend in this country towards blaming everything on mental illness and the lack of "help." Certainly some people DO need help. And a discussion on mental illness is much needed. But we can't forget that people need to help themselves too!!

This was a revenge killing and killings with motivators of anger, hate, jealousy, revenge, and greed are the oldest reasons for killing in the book. That isn't called mental illness. It's called human illness. It's called self-entitlement. It's called "My wishes, hopes, and dreams were dashed, so I'm going to dash everyone else's. Even those of people I love. Because what I want matters more than anything."

Anger is a very real issue, and if we're going to talk about mental illness, we should talk about anger as well. Anger leads to murder, to war, to rape, to child abuse, to domestic abuse, to all manner of behavior.

But to deal with anger, you have to first admit that life doesn't always go your way -- in fact, sometimes it downright sucks. But this is natural. It's part of life. And too many people are unwilling to do that. The gun advocates are right about one thing -- it does take people to kill, not just guns. Where they are wrong is that "bad" people are the only ones that kill -- as if there are "bad" people who are born bad and will kill no matter what. This might be the case for a small percentage, but most killings are done by people who were just like you and me -- but who got hit with a certain set of life circumstances, and who let those circumstances fester and harden into anger and revenge.

No one could have seemed less "bad" than Zavala before he did what he did. Most people are not "bad" until they actually commit a crime. And by then it's too late.

What do you think about people's personal responsibility for their behavior?

Image via Alan Cleaver/Flickr

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twili... twilightsbella

How was she forced to watch. It sounds like she didnt do enough to save her children. I would of done or grabbed watever i can to fight him he would of killed me to cuz i would not have stoped shes pathetic those poor boys had to suffer cuz they had some messed up parents

Rosas... RosasMummy

yeah she should have killed him, or at least got the second child out, surely he didnt strangle both of them simultaneously? and shes also the only witness to what happened, i dont think this adds up...


nonmember avatar Shannon

Guys like this that kill their children or wives/girlfriends always wonder why they were dumped. It's because these women see they evil that's inside them and want to get away.

MokaM... MokaMommy

I hate to judge but how ... How are you forced to watch someone kill both of your children with a rope? I understand that once he pulled a gun there may have been nothing she could do at that point, I'm just baffled about strangling two kids with a rope, I just don't get it. 

dez0717 dez0717

The comments on here today are totally insane. Yes, obviously she didn't fight hard enough. Hell, maybe they should just charge her with manslaughter as well for NOT being able to stop a crazy man. 

Jeez, my prayers for this mother and her oldest son who have to deal with such tragedy. And for those mothers who have no sympathy.

Coles... Coles_mom

He would have had to shoot me too---I'd have been tearing the living hell out of at least doing my best.

nonmember avatar MomofTwo

These comments are disgusting... another level of "blame the victim". Maybe because Im a total visual person.. but put yourself in her shoes. 2AM.. she was probably sleeping and got woken up by the chaos that came with the ex attacking the boys. You run in and see your ex attacking your kids... what can you do to fight him off? He was probably stronger than her and if she (like any other mother)was terrified for her boys lives there is NO WAY she was going to step away and out of the room to leave this monster alone with her kids.. SHE STAYED she begged and pleaded for her kids lives. There was little else she could do.. I hope Im never in her shoes but it makes complete sense.. how can you walk away as someone is harming your kids?? YOU CANT!

nonmember avatar Adie

This happened right down the street from me. Local news said the first kid was already dead when she heard the commotion in the kitchen area. And for all of you judging her, just try to pry a raging maniac's hands (a grown man) off of something as delicate as a child's throat w.out further strangling the kid, all while you are in fits of hysteria because you already saw one of your other children dead. She begged him to take her life. Just because this story is not reporting any attempt to fight him off, does not mean she did not try. Strangling can happen very fast, people. There was not much time. Can't we just feel bad and pray for this poor woman instead of criticizing her? 2 of her 3 kids were murdered by their father, but she didn't try hard enough for you.

nonmember avatar NoWay

Wow. These comments make me sick. She probalby did try to fight him off, but failed. My boys are 11 and 12 years old and I can't even begin to comprehend her grief. That poor woman!

nonmember avatar Jesse

Actually the man in California killed his teenage son & daughter.. They lived on the same street as my sister.

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