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The Joel Steinberg/Hedda Nussbaum Affair

The recent story about the surgeon and his wife in CA, accused of raping hundreds of women (potentially), reminded me of the Joel Steinberg/Hedda Nussbaum affair of the late 1980s.

I was too young to remember when the story broke, but I've read about it in the years since, and something about it never sat right with me. I always felt she shared at least some responsibility. Joel and Hedda had a consensual, BDSM-type relationship initially, didn't they?

Obviously, Steinberg is a sociopath and a monster. What do we think about Hedda?

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by Anonymousreply 20505/25/2020

They did not have a BDSM relationship. Joel Steinberg was a domestic abuser and he relentlessly beat both Hedda and the child.

by Anonymousreply 109/20/2018

Reminds me of Karla Holmaka and Paul?.

by Anonymousreply 209/20/2018

I was too young to remember details, but the thing I remember the most is that this is the most “New York City” trial ever.

by Anonymousreply 309/20/2018

She was also freebasing cocaine as Lisa was dying.

by Anonymousreply 409/20/2018

Karla served twelve years in prison, r2

by Anonymousreply 509/20/2018

Yes, she was freebasing cocaine with Joel while Lisa was in a coma. Her story was that she was so abused and manipulated by him that she no longer had any agency. This was borne out by friends and co-workers, and was likely true to some extent. Her face when she was arrested was totally battered and kind of caved in.

Didn't Joel just apply for parole and get rejected?

by Anonymousreply 609/20/2018

He is out of prison, r6

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by Anonymousreply 709/20/2018

Nussbaum is not similar to Homolka at all

by Anonymousreply 809/20/2018

Hedda was just a different style monster

by Anonymousreply 909/20/2018

That's all New York could give? 17 years?

by Anonymousreply 1009/20/2018

The sort of cunt who reacted with jealousy upon realizing her husband was porking her daughter

by Anonymousreply 1109/20/2018

I don't think so, r11. She was sort of a zombie at the time, and so badly beaten that longtime friends and colleagues didn't recognize her--her face was really bashed in. I think he terrorized her to the point where she was helpless. Of course, there must have been a point when all this was beginning when she could have asked for help.....

by Anonymousreply 1209/20/2018

I think it's a question without an easy answer, r12

Hedda always struck me as a bit narcissistic. Some posters were saying in another thread that when a female sociopath and a male sociopath meet, sometimes the female's sociopathy is "activated"

by Anonymousreply 1309/20/2018

Law & Order did a great episode based upon Steinberg/Nussbaum... David Groh was an appropriately creepy Joel character.

by Anonymousreply 1409/20/2018

From the outset, Hedda was involved in the fraud of illegally adopting Lisa. Well-educated and connected she could have left Joel, but the sex was too good.

by Anonymousreply 1509/20/2018

Is that true, r15, or just your speculation?

by Anonymousreply 1609/20/2018

r15 = Joel Steinberg

by Anonymousreply 1709/20/2018

Hedda is probably someone who genuinely fits under the battered woman syndrome. Not only was her face caving in and distorted from all the beatings, but she had gangrene in her leg and bald patches from having her hair yanked out so much. She was a zombie by the time they were arrested. Joel Steinberg should have been given the death penalty, but since they don't have that in NY he should have been given a sentence that guaranteed he would never have freedom again until he died. He is a monster.

by Anonymousreply 1809/20/2018

How did a man who tortured and murdered a child get out of prison. That's shameful.

New Mexico had a horrible child abuse/murder case (baby Brianna). After this case, the state legislature changed the law. If you kill a child while abusing them, it's a felony and automatic life sentence. I think this should be the standard.

by Anonymousreply 1909/20/2018

I think Hedda served a couple of years. Presumably she was released because she'd suffered enough. She wrote a piece for New York or New Yorker after her release; I wish I could track it down.

Joel should never have been released. He has no redeeming value at all.

by Anonymousreply 2009/20/2018

[quote]Joel should never have been released. He has no redeeming value at all.

It's not like he got caught selling weed or something horrific like that.

by Anonymousreply 2109/20/2018

R20 here. I'm wrong: Hedda served no time. The court or other authorities concluded based on her physical and mental condition that she couldn't have formed the intent to harm Lisa and was physically incapable of inflicting harm on the child.

by Anonymousreply 2209/20/2018

Hedda should have served time for the neglect brought on by her coke habit

by Anonymousreply 2309/20/2018

I remember that episode, R14. It was the 9th episode in Season 1 - called "Indifference" and aired Nov 27, 1990.

There was a follow up episode, called "Fixed" Season 15, episode 11 (Dec 8, 2004). The same 2 actors played the couple. Really, really creepy to see the same actors and those same 2 characters after that length of time.

by Anonymousreply 2409/20/2018

What was the premise of the second episode, r24?

by Anonymousreply 2509/20/2018

I read about it in the papers and on TV when it happened. I remember thinking I knew Joel was a monster, but I didn't quite know where to put Nussbaum. Her whole face was disfigured from the beatings. She was obviously brutally victimized. In the end I just couldn't understand her inaction. When it was not just her.

by Anonymousreply 2609/20/2018

I could not finish reading the article R7 posted. That man is still an unrepentant monster.

by Anonymousreply 2709/20/2018

Neither should have been let out and the same goes for Homolka.

by Anonymousreply 2809/20/2018

R24, I don't want to give too much away. Imdb has a description of the episode.

The young man in the football uniformed pictured on the imdb page is playing the now grown little brother of the dead little girl.

Groh was one sick fuck in this episode.

The whole thing, for those who vividly remember the original episode, was creepy.

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by Anonymousreply 2909/20/2018

R29 and for R24, in the follow-up episode, the Steinberg character (played by Groh) is out of jail and living with a young woman who has a child. He gets run over by a car taking the woman's daughter to school.

The plot plays out from there. The episode has a great scene in the hospital between the cops and the young woman Steinberg's hooked up with - man that actress had some great dialogue.

One of the great things about L&O - retaining the same two actors for the Steinberg/Nussbaum roles years later.

by Anonymousreply 3009/20/2018

They should have asked Chris Noth to come back briefly as Mike Logan for that later episode. His responses to the events in the early episode were memorable and it would have made perfect sense for him to show up again for the later story.

by Anonymousreply 3109/20/2018

The little brother Travis(Mitchell) seems to have had a happy ending. This article is from 2004, a little while after Steinberg was released.

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by Anonymousreply 3209/20/2018

Law&Order did the later episode the same year that Steinberg was released.

by Anonymousreply 3309/20/2018

Steinberg attended the Perry Street Workshop AA meeting in the Village. This was in the news.

by Anonymousreply 3409/20/2018

Someone should "accisently" nudge that piece of shit in front of a subway train. He's an evil fucker, whose life is a waste of the space he takes up on earth. He deserved a murder charge rather than manslaughter.

by Anonymousreply 3509/20/2018

That's "accidentally"

by Anonymousreply 3609/20/2018

We guessed. ^^

by Anonymousreply 3709/20/2018

Nussbaum was no victim, no helpless "zombie." She was a very willing participant in a sadomasochistic relationship. Joel Steinberg was not the only abuser; Hussbaum would also hit LIsa and verbally abuse her. Those two were equally responsible for her death; Steinberg physically caused her death and Nussbaum could have prevented it by picking up a phone and calling an ambulance but chose not to. They were both scum. Thank God the little boy they illegally adopted (both children were illegally adopted) was taken out of that hellhole (although both Steinberg and Nussbaum had well paid jobs they chose to live in squalor). Poor little LIsa wasn't so lucky. That school photo of her is so haunting; at the age of six she has a look of utter despair on her face.

by Anonymousreply 3809/20/2018

Hedda Nussbaum, formerly of Greenwich Village, New York

by Anonymousreply 3909/20/2018

Great r34 -- more ammunition for DL's resident AA troll.

by Anonymousreply 4009/20/2018

Hedda was an adult and allowed and got off on the abuse.

She is equally culpable for that girl's murder.

Horrifying that they both didn't get put to death and are now free.

The agony that little girl went through and nobody ever gave a fuck about her.

People against the death penalty for two such evil individuals are imbeciles.

The fact they are both alive and free and getting on with their lives is fucking scary as hell.

by Anonymousreply 4109/20/2018

Hedda Nussbaum and Penny Marshall were separated at birth.

by Anonymousreply 4209/20/2018

At the time, I remember reading about some toll booth worker who believed he had seen the couple with the little girl in the car. It struck him at the time how lost the girl looked.


by Anonymousreply 4309/20/2018

[quote] She said Steinberg admitted to her that he had abused Lisa, saying he told her, “I knocked her down, and she didn’t want to get up again.” For a motive, prosecutors pointed to the paranoia caused by Steinberg’s daily freebase habit. The defense tried arguing that Nussbaum killed Lisa in a jealous rage, then pretended she was crazy to cut a deal and avoid punishment. Jurors acquitted Steinberg of murder but convicted him of first-degree manslaughter, and he was sentenced to the maximum 8¹/₃ to 25 years in prison.

I remember at the time thinking she was as guilty as he was and that maybe she was the one who knocked the shit out of Lisa. It fit. Joel knocks the shit out of her a d she visits that vengence upon the child, blaming her for angering Joel.

The prosecutors bought her testimony plain and simple. Putting the blame on her was risky cause she looked like such a victim. Putting the blame on both could have easily meant a jury wouldn't be avle to decide which did what and end up acquitting them both - that is always a real possibility. Joel was the easier one to put on trial and get a conviction. The only evidence they had of the actual assault of Lisa was Hedda's word that he did it. She faced NO charges.

So she had huge motive to put the blame on him.

by Anonymousreply 4409/20/2018

Good analysis r44

by Anonymousreply 4509/20/2018

After the trial Nussbaum went looking for a book deal to tell her side of the story. But she couldn't get one because any potential publisher was put off by her. She insisted she was a good mother! The woman was crazy before Steinberg, during Steinberg, and after Steinberg. She's as much of a monster as he is.

by Anonymousreply 4609/20/2018

I recall that cunt Hedda having quite a few cheerleaders in the media at the time, including Phil Donahue, Barbara Walters, and Alan Dershowitz

by Anonymousreply 4709/21/2018

I honestly can't figure Alan Dershowitz out, r47

by Anonymousreply 4809/21/2018

Does the expression "fame whore" help you out, r48? Or "gigantic ego"?

by Anonymousreply 4909/21/2018

R48, what's to figure out? He's a low life.

by Anonymousreply 5009/21/2018

I remember shortly after this happened I came across a children's book we had in our house on animals and their homes. I was shocked to see it was by Hedda Nussbaum!

She certainly was an expert on animals living in homes.

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by Anonymousreply 5109/21/2018

Slate weighs in, in typical Slatey fashion.

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by Anonymousreply 5210/25/2018

One look at Hedda’s smashed-in face should show who the real monster was. Battered woman syndrome.

by Anonymousreply 5310/25/2018

I hold her at least partially responsible, in the same way I hold Karla Homolka partially responsible.

Both women seem rather narcissistic.

by Anonymousreply 5410/25/2018

R54, Karla Homolka was more than partially responsible, I think she was more evil than her husband. Karla was a psychopath.

I agree with r53 about Hedda.

by Anonymousreply 5510/25/2018

I cannot believe they let Steinberg out. If ever someone deserved life without parole...

Who's getting out next, Adrian Lopez?

by Anonymousreply 5610/25/2018

Apparently Nussbaum was fine with her sadomasochistic relationship with Steinberg. It was what she wanted. I don't feel a bit sorry for her. I only feel sorry for those two poor kids that she and Steinberg got their hands on, one of whom did not survive. The children were abused by BOTH Steinberg and Nussbaum.

by Anonymousreply 5710/25/2018

R57, I can’t imagine anyone being “fine” with a bashed-in face. That’s a seriously fucked up case of battered woman syndrome.

Joel Steinberg should be dead or in prison. Period. HE is the soulless monster.

by Anonymousreply 5810/25/2018

Hedda was jealous of Lisa because Joel was molesting Lisa and treated her as his wife. Joel, the MONSTER suddenly started treating Lisa horribly, like she was trash. This was a calculated move on his part. He is the personification of EVIL.... However, Hedda is just as bad or worse, as she allowed it to happen and was horribly cruel to Lisa . FUCK THEM BOTH!!! That pic of Lisa at her school Halloween party is beyond heartbreaking.

by Anonymousreply 5910/25/2018

Any comments on her book, Surviving Intimate Terrorism?

by Anonymousreply 6010/25/2018

Evil fucking monster

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by Anonymousreply 6110/25/2018

JS and his shitty enablers....

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by Anonymousreply 6210/25/2018

And a deadbeat, too!

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by Anonymousreply 6310/25/2018

Joel will get his reward SOON

by Anonymousreply 6410/25/2018

" I can’t imagine anyone being “fine” with a bashed-in face."

She accepted the beatings as part of the relationship. If Lisa hadn't been killed she would have continued it. She never sought help. She was crazy about him. Really crazy.

by Anonymousreply 6510/25/2018

Human nature is to want to look at someone as either the good guy or the bad guy (woman in this case). It's really hard to know how to feel about her, for me.

by Anonymousreply 6610/25/2018

The even more infuriating part of this horrific story was that Joel was a well respected "jailhouse Lawyer" among inmates. He had protection. I was so hoping he would get wacked in the joint.

by Anonymousreply 6710/27/2018

God Bless Lisa and may she rest now, unafraid.

by Anonymousreply 6810/27/2018

"Steinberg attended the Perry Street Workshop AA meeting in the Village. This was in the news."

It was not "the disease" that made him a monster you AA nazi

by Anonymousreply 6910/27/2018

I am so glad to read the illegally adopted son of nussbaum and Steinberg was returned to the biological mother. He sounds like he has done very well in life.

by Anonymousreply 7010/27/2018

Joel and hedda are going to a hell where conscience and empathy awakens...

by Anonymousreply 7111/01/2018

So weird you brought this up....I've been reading (for Halloween) a book called Sprindrift: Spray from a Psychic Sea and it's a ghost story by a woman who lived in the same house where Joel Steinberg killed his adopted daughter. The old Mark Twain house.....

by Anonymousreply 7211/01/2018

OMG! Finally someone else who's read Spindrift. Jan Bryant Bartell thought the whole building was cursed.

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by Anonymousreply 7311/01/2018


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by Anonymousreply 7411/01/2018

R73 I re-read it every Halloween and spent a ridiculous amount of money finding it on Amazon several years ago. Why hasn't this been made into a movie??? The setting alone sells it.

by Anonymousreply 7511/02/2018

I wonder if public opinion about this case would be different today, and I hope people's attitudes about domestic violence have changed since the late 1980s.

But on the other hand, I still see a lot of victim-blamey type comments all over the internet (including on DL), so who knows

by Anonymousreply 7605/20/2020

I grew up in an abusive house. Both of my parents went from being Sunday School teachers to functioning alcoholics. They made their children suffer alongside them. By the time I started high school, my mother was unrecognizable, in form and fashion.

Whatever Hedda wound up as, there was a beginning, with choices.

They were present at the murder of an innocent child, Lisa, for whom they were solely responsible. The fact that Hedda's personal situation had devolved does not mitigate her blame. Both Joel and Hedda deserved to be charged with first degree murder, and punished with the harshest penalties allowed by law.

by Anonymousreply 7705/20/2020

Hedda Welts

by Anonymousreply 7805/20/2020

I think it was Ibeej’s greatest play!

by Anonymousreply 7905/20/2020

Here's a 1988 Vanity Fair article about Hedda Nussbaum & Joel Steinberg: "What Lisa Knew." Of course, it's also about Lisa Steinberg, the little girl who they killed.

I would like to be more sympathetic to Hedda Nussbaum, but I do place partial blame on her. The DA / prosecutor needed her as a witness (as a defendant, she would have had the right to remain silent), as posted above.

[quote] Whatever Hedda wound up as, there was a beginning, with choices.

R77, agree with you on that. I worked a few years with domestic violence victims. My conclusion: if the victims had gotten out early, they would have been OK. IMO, it's the repeated break-ups and make-ups that are a set-up for a bad climax. When an abuser senses that someone has actually moved on, they go nuts (not an excuse, though). What was OK (forgivable) in previous times is suddenly not forgivable and there's an explosion. That's why: get out when you first experience violence. Don't create a pattern.

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by Anonymousreply 8005/20/2020

This thread is another example of DL MRA loons trying to blame women for the shit men do

The vast majority of rapists and murderers are men. Not just in the US, but in every country on planet earth. Sorry if you can't handle the truth.

by Anonymousreply 8105/20/2020

[quote] But on the other hand, I still see a lot of victim-blamey type comments all over the internet (including on DL), so who knows

The only victim in this story is poor Lisa. You do know Hedda beat Lisa, right?

by Anonymousreply 8205/20/2020

Was Hedda's background ever delved into? Sister interviewed? Sounds like she had a really weird upbringing. It also sounds like the typical case of two people who would probably never have done what they did if they had never met.

by Anonymousreply 8305/20/2020

What a horrible case of abuse. Poor kid.

I remember this vividly back when it happened, but had no clue though he was released from prison.

by Anonymousreply 8405/20/2020

I remember reading about the case while it was going on. The DA made a deal with Hedda to testify against Joel in exchange for immunity. The fact that he beat her and she looked disfigured made it easy, but at the time people were very skeptical of her inability to pick up a phone and call the police. They would have taken Joel away and that would have been the end of him in her life, which it was anyway. She was left alone and could have called the police and told the truth. But she waited for him to come back and did drugs with him.

In reality, it looked like two drug addicts who beat and neglected their kid, and the man beat the woman too. The only reason she got away was her disfigurement, a prosecutor who was trying to get Joel, not her, and her race and education. A black woman who did that would be under the jail.

This “sympathetic” character played hardball to avoid charges. She refused to testify against Joel without a good deal. She portrayed herself as the most battered woman of all time. I’m not kidding, at the time people thought no one had ever been as battered as her. Her story was portrayed as a unique horror story, worse than anyone had ever lived through. A freak show.

Her whole portrayal was as an innocent victim of a monster, not a drug-fueled zombie who would put up with anything for more drugs, which was probably what was really going on. Everything these people were doing is how people of color who commit child abuse are portrayed, as degenerates that have no sense of how their behavior is wrong. But with these two, it was “inexplicable” because of their backgrounds.

There are so many stories now of prostitutes or other female drug addicts being beaten constantly by pimps or addict boyfriends, who gradually lose touch with reality due to drug abuse. They neglect or beat their kids in a drug-fueled frenzy, and afterwards when their kids end up in the hospital or dead, it’s found the neighbors called the police twenty times and nothing happened. The only thing different about these two was that they came from better backgrounds, and they had no excuse of bad upbringing, stupidity, poverty or being stuck with kids they didn’t want. They knew what they were doing.

Afterwards, years later she surfaced briefly and tried to portray herself as a sympathetic character again, but people looked at her with some sense of disbelief. It was all, “poor me,” and not, “poor kids.” She wanted pity for herself alone.

I agree, two sociopaths who met and brought out the worst in each other, fueled by drugs. They both should have been charged.

by Anonymousreply 8505/20/2020

R83 Nah, they’d probably still be solo abusive cunts.

by Anonymousreply 8605/20/2020

She’s like Katherine Jackson (Michael’s mother). Fucking cunt.

Fun fact: Steinberg’s attorney was Darnay Hoffman. He also defended Bernie Goetz, and married “Mayflower Madam” Sydney Biddle Barrows. He committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart with a knife in Sydney’s apartment (they had divorced by then, but she helped him out as he had fallen on hard times).

Now that’s some 1980s New York shit right there!

by Anonymousreply 8705/20/2020

Joel and Hedda were not good for the Jews.

by Anonymousreply 8805/20/2020

R85 FOH with your racist bullshit. It is tangential and boring.

by Anonymousreply 8905/20/2020

It’s not racist b.s. r89

You aren’t aware of racial inequities in law enforcement and the judicial process?

by Anonymousreply 9005/20/2020

two worthless crackheads.

by Anonymousreply 9105/20/2020

I read somewhere about the Bernardo/Holmoka thing that she was the one who decided that the girls he picked up to rape would have to be murdered as well because he was too stupid to get away with just rape. She couldn't have her darling going to prison, now could she?

by Anonymousreply 9205/20/2020

Okay, thanks to r73, I’ve borrowed “Spindrift: Spray From a Psychic Sea” from That’s why I love this place.

by Anonymousreply 9305/20/2020

^^ a few pages in, and I think I know where Meghan Markle cribbed her writing style. It’s... flowery.

by Anonymousreply 9405/20/2020

R90 Are you white?

by Anonymousreply 9505/20/2020

[quote]Joel Steinberg should be dead or in prison. Period. HE is the soulless monster.

I'm shocked someone didn't kill this scum while he was in jail.

by Anonymousreply 9605/21/2020

r92 the worst thing about that case were the videotapes that came out after Karla had struck a deal. (I think her attorneys had them and didn't turn them over?) She is shown discussing the crimes in graphic detail with Paul, getting him aroused, blowing him, etc.

I wasn't old enough to remember the case when it was happening, but I think those tapes swayed public opinion.

by Anonymousreply 9705/21/2020

I should add -- Paul was a serial rapist long before he met Karla, so I'm not trying to put the blame for his crimes on her in any way

by Anonymousreply 9805/21/2020

This truly broke my heart when I read about it. I saw Hedda upstate in Brewster NY. I'm sure of it, coming out of a grocery store.

by Anonymousreply 9905/21/2020

[quote] the time people were very skeptical of her inability to pick up a phone and call the police.

[quote]...and afterwards when their kids end up in the hospital or dead, it’s found the neighbors called the police twenty times and nothing happened.

Still can't figure out any reason why she might not have called the police?

by Anonymousreply 10005/21/2020

She was a crackhead and only cared about getting and staying high.

by Anonymousreply 10105/21/2020

I 100% understand traumatic bonding and why battered women don't leave. Also, the majority of abused women I've known have been addicted to drugs and/or alcohol as a way to cope. I have no doubt Hedda was living in hell.

But I also think her case presents some ethical ambiguity as well, in terms of her culpability. For me, it's not terribly black and white.

by Anonymousreply 10205/21/2020

[quote] A black woman who did that would be under the jail.

This is 100 percent true and it’s not “racist” to say so.

by Anonymousreply 10305/21/2020

[quote]Law & Order did a great episode based upon Steinberg/Nussbaum... David Groh was an appropriately creepy Joel character.

R14 And Hedda was played by the actress who played one of the hostages in Dog Day Afternoon.

It was a terrifying - but great - episode.

by Anonymousreply 10405/21/2020

Marcia Jean Kurtz played the Hedda character.

A great actress, a great teacher, a great person.

by Anonymousreply 10505/21/2020

I agree with R101. How many times have we heard about people who will do absolutely anything to get drugs? Plenty of women prostitute themselves to get drugs. I knew a guy who did fifteen years in prison for armed robbery to get drugs. He was killed by another guy for his drugs.

I think the DA had to make Hedda out to be a victim to get Joel. In reality, it was just two crackheads that didn’t care about anything but drugs.

And if Hedda was as high as a kite, and her drug supplier had attacked a child and was going to go away if she reported it, no wonder she couldn’t figure out what to do. If she picked up the phone, the drugs went away. And she was too high to think about how they were going to explain away a dead child. Joel called when they sobered up. All Hedda’s talk about “I couldn’t do anything” was to absolve herself. In reality they were probably both too high to care, went to bed and left the child to die alone, then woke up and concocted a story.

It was found that the little girl had been sexually abused by someone outside the family. Talk about burying the lede. Child trafficker murders child. Not “oh, look at that woman’s bashed in face.”

Why did two crackheads want young children anyway, and why “adopt” them off the books? Joel must have been pimping out the little girl. And the boy would have been next.

It’s ridiculous to say you’re innocent of crimes because you’re a crackhead. Or it’s “Stockholm Syndrome” if a drug addict doesn’t want to turn in their dealer. The “inexplicable actions” become more clear if you add hard core drug use to understanding the case. The DA badly mishandled the case to spare Hedda.

These people were portrayed as educated people that were above this, and it was a great mystery why Hedda would put up with this. Drugs. People didn’t know what was really going on in there, and she seemed nice, so she must be a victim. Looking at it now, it seems obvious.

by Anonymousreply 10605/21/2020

I’ve read a lot about the case, but didn’t know the girl was being sexually abused. It makes sense, since they’re completely depraved people. Where did you read that? Also, no one could believe educated Jewish people would do this. The stereotype of Jewish people worked in their favor; I remember being really surprised that Jewish people use crack. Such a Protestant thing to do!

by Anonymousreply 10705/21/2020

“Nussbaum's courtroom testimony against Steinberg earned substantial media attention, due in part to her face showing obvious evidence of physical trauma.

*There were also indications, as Nussbaum testified in court, that Lisa had been sexually abused by people outside of her immediate family.*

During the trial, medical experts testified that while Lisa's injuries were severe, she would have almost certainly survived if given prompt medical treatment.”

This totally changes the case. If Lisa was being sexually abused and Hedda knew it, that wasn’t a sudden emergency. She could have reported it and didn’t. That makes her just another dirtbag.

Interesting how that part of the case was minimized, wasn’t it? As if it were nothing, and the most important thing was, “look at my poor face.” Something a narcissist would say.

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by Anonymousreply 10805/21/2020

Lisa's bio mom Michele Launders wrote a book called "I Wish You Didn't Know My Name: The Story of Michele Launders and Her Daughter Lisa". It goes into detail on how she was tricked into the "adoption".

by Anonymousreply 10905/21/2020

Crack really fucked up "the inner cities" back in the 1980s just as fentanyl and meth are now devastating whitetrash areas. A lot of violent crime, craziness and money problems.

by Anonymousreply 11005/21/2020

T103 Do you know any black people? Most black people consider it part of their culture to beat kids. Maybe not as bad as Lisa but instead, it is out in the open and no one drops a dime. I’ve seen black comedians do bits on how not hitting your kids is a crazy white people thing and tell stories of childhood beatings - and this is met with uproarious laughter! Bizarre.

The normalization of it is striking (no pun intended); it is like no one will address it because then you’d have to admit you were abused.

by Anonymousreply 11105/21/2020

R111, I’m not R103 and I do know a lot of black people and it is normalized. But black people don’t routinely smash their kids’ heads in or kill them. And if somebody did, they would think that was excessive too.

And the cops, judges and juries that would handle a case of a black mother beating her kid to death would have no sympathy, and pity the child, not the mother. They would assume the mother was a dirtbag and should receive no mercy or consideration. Look at the comments posted after a child abuse death case. People calling for the parents to be put to death every time. Nobody’s laughing.

And Hedda and Joel were privileged, white, Jewish New Yorkers, who were not likely to have been raised in that culture. If you review the case on the facts, and not how it was presented, it looks a little different. Look at it this way:

Two black crackheads have two kids. The house is filthy and the kids are neglected. Someone is molesting the six year old daughter. The man severely beats the daughter and goes out. The mother doesn’t get her help. He comes back with drugs. They do the drugs and ignore the daughter. Next morning when they sober up, the child is dead. The man calls the police after the death. The mother tells the story that “he beats me and I was afraid to call the police.” People who knew or even just saw the daughter, later say she always looked sad or traumatized. People call the cops on them numerous times but they never do anything.

Later, more facts. The children weren’t legally adopted and are off the books. Someone is raping the daughter. Who? The man, or is he pimping her out to johns to pay for their drug habit? Trafficking underage children is a lucrative business and pays enough to buy drugs. The woman wasn’t working at her job, let go because of unexcused absences. People assume the absences have to do with beatings, but they don’t know about her drug habit. She never asks for help. But they can pay their bills.

Is there anything in this case that’s a mitigating factor if that’s a black woman? No. And there’s nothing mitigating if it’s a woman, period. But this case was presented as, poor white woman, she was so scared and didn’t know what to do. Because this was such an unusual circumstance for her. She was just at a loss. Let her go. Poor thing.

If it was a black woman it would be, dirtbag crackhead let her kid die for more crack.

Just the fact that Hedda convinced the DA to go this way tells me she’s a psychopath. They are very convincing and manipulative people, and letting her go isn’t rational. He got manipulated by her pulling the “little downtrodden housewife” act. Who has the composure to put on a big act right after their child is murdered by their partner? She was ruthlessly acting to save herself from the first.

Here’s some questions. Is Hedda a compulsive liar? She a drug addict and they lie constantly. Were they part of a child trafficking ring?

People assumed they were in BDSM relationship. But that was an assumption. What if he was beating her because she was prostituting herself for drugs and not bringing home enough money? Did she really stay up all night with Lisa? Why? She was high on crack. Crackheads are not known for their devoted compassion. Probably she just left her there and went to bed. Joel didn’t call the police for hours. Hedda had plenty of time to come up with a story. Maybe Joel even helped her, knowing he was going to take the fall anyway.

Their neighbors were whitebread people who wouldn’t know a BDSM relationship or a crackhead if you slapped them across the face with one. They were guessing. All they knew was somebody was getting beaten. Not why. And maybe Hedda didn’t call the police on Joel before this because he was her dealer, the house was full of drug paraphernalia, and she knew she’d be in trouble too, as well as she’d be cut off. They could have been doing drugs for years and only noticeably deteriorated after a long time. Why would they tell anyone? It wouldn’t help them.

by Anonymousreply 11205/21/2020

Why is everyone sure that “someone outside the family” was the molester? They both were lying assholes - wouldn’t the simplest explanation be HE was molesting the little girl?

by Anonymousreply 11305/21/2020

r96 I think he might have had friends or protection. Several years ago I read the book "The Other Hollywood" about the straight porn industry. At one point Joel turned up as a lawyer for some of the mafia/porn guys.

by Anonymousreply 11405/21/2020

Joel was a defense attorney for some shitheads. I imagine he bartered his legal advice for protection.

Hedda was a children’s book editor. Jesus Christ.

I didn’t buy her schtick then and I don’t buy it now. I say this as a woman: she used her pussy pass.

RIP Lisa.

by Anonymousreply 11505/21/2020

R113, I thought of that. It seems the most likely explanation except, they were heavy drug users and that costs a lot of money. They went out of their way to get two kids off the books. Renting out a six year old has got to be pretty lucrative. And think about the kind of lowlifes Joel must have been hanging with. Whoever he was buying drugs from was probably seeing this pretty little girl in the house. They could have been trading her for drugs too. At her age, if she lived, she would be a moneymaker for years. And he had access to her himself.

And when he got older, the boy was another goldmine. If they were turning her out, Joel probably had access to some sort of child porn or child prostitution ring. People don’t just fall into that, they know somebody. And if he was lawyering for the Mafia or other organized criminals, they could have hooked him up.

And why such a violent beating in the first place? What did Lisa really do? Not what they said, but what was the truth? Was she refusing to turn tricks? Crying or fighting when she was being raped? Was a customer there? Did Joel get embarrassed? He was pretty angry. All the real facts of the case are known only by two liars that only cared about saving their skins.

If they went too far with her, the last thing they would want is for her to live to tell anyone. He got a break on his sentence because the worst wasn’t known. He’s out because of it. A large part of the case was distracted from child rape and murder, and became about abuse of an apparently submissive adult woman in the press. It was presented as, Joel was the only adult in the room. That’s a lot of spin.

If he was active with the mob, has that got anything to do with why the DA was so lenient? He should have been charged with first degree murder and got life, at best. They had hours to save her and did nothing. Who approved that short sentence?

by Anonymousreply 11605/21/2020

Why has no one beaten him up since he’s walking around Harlem free as a bird?

by Anonymousreply 11705/21/2020

R117, asking the important questions.

by Anonymousreply 11805/21/2020

Why didn’t the medical examiner report sexual abuse? Is she was recently raped, that’s something that would have been obvious

by Anonymousreply 11905/21/2020

Maybe they didn’t want to prosecute for that R119. They seemed hell bent to let Hedda go. I don’t see how they could have if the media ran with that.

by Anonymousreply 12005/21/2020

I read that “Spindrift” book. Jan sounds like a loon, but it was a fun read.

by Anonymousreply 12105/22/2020

[quote] Fun fact: Steinberg’s attorney was Darnay Hoffman. He also defended Bernie Goetz,

Barry Slotnick defended Goetz.

by Anonymousreply 12205/22/2020

I must concur with R15, sex with Steinberg was mindblowing.

Well worth the few licks to the noggin I took.

by Anonymousreply 12305/22/2020

Not surprised at the MRAs all over this thread

by Anonymousreply 12405/22/2020

It was a different time people . They went easier on Hedda because back then women were still perceived as the weaker sex. We know now that women can be just as depraved and evil as men , and I bet you her whole case would have ended differently had she been tried today . I vividly remember this case as it was happening ,and how very shocked everyone was that 2 seemingly successful people were drug addicts. This was right before crack ravaged the country (like pills have been doing for 20 years,but thats another rant) . We werent as connected by the media or deluged with information 24-7 . So it was a "new" situation,for lack of a better word. Now of course its an old story .Like mass shootings (another rant) .

by Anonymousreply 12505/22/2020

[quote]They went easier on Hedda because back then women were still perceived as the weaker sex. [...] We know now that women can be just as depraved and evil as men , and I bet you her whole case would have ended differently had she been tried today .

Interesting thought, but I'm not so sure about the second part

by Anonymousreply 12605/22/2020

The witches may disagree with that [R125]

by Anonymousreply 12705/22/2020

[quote] They went easier on Hedda because back then women were still perceived as the weaker sex.

Tell us about it!

by Anonymousreply 12805/22/2020

They went easier on Hedda because her face was banged up.

by Anonymousreply 12905/22/2020

R112 What a rambling post full of bias.

[quote] But black people don’t routinely smash their kids’ heads in or kill them.

The majority of humans, regardless of race, do not do that. It is rare, so when it does happen, it gets a lot of attention. Also, you should check some statistics; black people have higher rates of domestic violence and filicide.

[quote]. But this case was presented as, poor white woman, she was so scared and didn’t know what to do. Because this was such an unusual circumstance for her. She was just at a loss. Let her go. Poor thing.

False. Where do you get your information from? Initially, she was arrested and charged. Because Hedda was malnourished, anemic and had multiple infections it was decided she wasn’t physically capable of administering Lisa’s head injury. She was complicit in Public opinion; most people held her in contempt. Leading feminists argued she shared culpability with Joel. There was not much sympathy for Hedda - there was, however, shock at her appearance. The fact that she was Jewish and they were both professionals was surprising because that Image didn’t seem to fit with the heavy drug use and physical abuse. Most people considered them scum and still do - Hedda has never told the truth and accepted responsibility for her actions. To most people, these two are both vile cunts that deserve to go to hell.

[quote]. If you review the case on the facts, and not how it was presented, it looks a little different.

Not really. Your fantasies about them pimping out Lisa are just that. Sexual abuse wasn’t proven but it was found out that Joel made up a story of Lisa being sexually abused years before to get one of his clients out of a messy divorce case. Joel was a scumbag lawyer Who probably got paid in drugs half the time. So how would the cops, judges and jury deal With the husband and wife if the races were reversed? Probably like the monsters they are if you ask me. There is no white privileged afforded child murderers.

by Anonymousreply 13005/22/2020

Oh honey, I beg to differ.

by Anonymousreply 13105/22/2020

I never heard of sexual abuse in this case. Is Poo making up shit again?

by Anonymousreply 13205/22/2020

I don't believe JS ever passed the bar. He was allowed to practice under some obscure New York law at the time.

by Anonymousreply 13305/22/2020

Both of them should have walked into the path of an oncoming bus.

by Anonymousreply 13405/22/2020

[quote]We know now that women can be just as depraved and evil as men , and I bet you her whole case would have ended differently had she been tried today .

Yes, but on the other hand, we know a lot more now about psychopaths (Joel) and battered women's syndrome.

by Anonymousreply 13505/22/2020

No one here is denying or is unsympathetic toward battered women. But there are differing opinions on Hedda Nussbaum's punishment, and Stein's for that matter.

The parents (and most people) I personally know, would crawl on their knees across hot coals to get between a child and an abuser. You simply can't make that fact go away by calling posters MRA's or whatever slur du jour.

Do a little research on Francine Hughes, if you doubt what I say.

by Anonymousreply 13605/22/2020

Enough of this horrible story. Let's talk about Jeff Stryker!

by Anonymousreply 13705/22/2020

^^^Marvelous idea!

by Anonymousreply 13805/22/2020

Could Stryker fuck as good as Joel?

by Anonymousreply 13905/22/2020

R117, read the article at R7. Steinberg is not getting a physical beat-down, but he does seem to be a social pariah in his NY neighborhood.

by Anonymousreply 14005/22/2020

r136 do you think Francine Hughes was justified?

by Anonymousreply 14105/22/2020

[R140] If I were his neighbor I would put a banana peel in front of his door, at the very least, I hate that dude.

by Anonymousreply 14205/22/2020

If I had Covid I'd spit on his doorknob.

by Anonymousreply 14305/22/2020

R142, you made me LOL and I love you.

by Anonymousreply 14405/22/2020

[quote]If I were his neighbor I would put a banana peel in front of his door, at the very least,

Why not a turd?

by Anonymousreply 14505/22/2020

132, not unless Poo was a reporter for the Washington Post when the trial was going on in 1988:

NEW YORK, DEC. 6 -- Under intense cross-examination, Hedda Nussbaum said today that, in 1983, she saw a large bruise on the vagina of her illegally adopted daughter, Lisa Steinberg. She said her lover told her that the girl, then 2, had been sexually abused, and she said the couple did nothing about it.

Nussbaum's revelation startled listeners as she testified for a fourth day in the trial of her lover, Joel Steinberg. He is charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of Lisa, who was 6 when she died Nov. 4, 1987, three days after being beaten comatose.

Nussbaum said Steinberg had placed Lisa with friends on Long Island for three weeks while Nussbaum recovered from a breakdown.

When Lisa returned to their Greenwich Village apartment, Nussbaum said she noticed "a black and blue mark" on her vagina while changing her diapers.

"Did you take any action as Lisa's mother?" London asked.

"No," Nussbaum answered.

"Why not?" London asked.

"I left it up to Joel's wisdom," she said. After a long pause, she added, "I wonder myself why I did not do anything about it. I don't have the answer."

Read it again. There’s nothing there that says she didn’t know what happened. She just says she didn’t do anything about it. And she absolves herself “because she had a nervous breakdown.”

Or because she knew what was going to happen to Lisa and doesn’t want to admit it? She had no control over what Joel was going to do. Did Joel send Lisa there to be trafficked? And did Hedda know?

Come on. If she didn’t ask any questions, she still knew what happened. She checked out at Lisa’s expense.

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by Anonymousreply 14605/22/2020

I consider myself a feminist and I never bought the battered woman syndrome BS of Nussbaum. She was as much of an abuser as JS and should have been charged as such. Who gives a shit about her face? Any mother I know would have killed to protect her child.

by Anonymousreply 14705/22/2020

Hedda was a cunt.

by Anonymousreply 14805/22/2020

R146 That story was made up by Joel. The “abuser” was the wife and the husband was Joel’s friend/client. They were accusing her during the divorce.

The story doesn’t make sense if you think about it - Lisa always had bruises from the physical abuse which Hedda turned a blind eye to. So why would she be concerned about one more? We’re supposed to believe she actually confronted Joel? And even if she had, Joel would answer her with the supposed truth?? Then Surprise twist it’s the wife who did it? Smear campaign.

also, Narcissists like Joel look at their children as possessions, so he would have no problem using Lisa as a means to an end in a divorce trial.

by Anonymousreply 14905/22/2020

This was said during the trail in front of the jury.

Lisa “always had bruises” on her vagina? Bruises on the vagina of a two year old means nothing? How on earth does Hedda Nussbaum’s trial have anything to do with somebody else’s divorce case from four years ago?

Hedda was the one saying this, not Joel.

by Anonymousreply 15005/22/2020

Joel told her to say it

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by Anonymousreply 15105/22/2020

I'm failing to find anything wrong with this story.

by Anonymousreply 15205/22/2020

The prosecutors had to make a deal with the devil to get any conviction. Without Hedda's testimony against Joel they didn't have enough conclusive evidence against either to ensure a guilty verdict. As it was, the jury only convicted Joel of manslaughter, not murder, despite being charged with both. Manslaughter carried a maximum sentence of 8 to 25 years. At least Joel was denied parole the first 7 times he applied after becoming eligible.

by Anonymousreply 15305/22/2020

^ That's all according to the 2017 NY Post article linked above.

by Anonymousreply 15405/22/2020

Hedda Nussbaum got off way too easy, she also had a responsibility to those children. I saw her around on the Westside a couple times after this and couldn't help but glare angrily at her. Fuck her if what she did was the best she could do. She got off way too easy. Fuck her.

by Anonymousreply 15505/22/2020

What's sobering and nauseating is thirty-three (33) years on, we read the same fucking story, or worse, daily in every city newspaper in the country; o'er and o'er.

I wish I had a remedy.

by Anonymousreply 15605/22/2020

This is amazingly frightening and so horrible on many levels, so many years on. School workers not reporting this shit on the daily, Hedda just letting it all be fine, other people knowing something was definitely wrong in the way that Joel acted with the girl...and the PD that didn't follow up on reports that were given over and over. i feel sick wondering what daily hell this little girl was experiencing from the moment she was "adopted." One has to wonder what lesson is supposed to be learned by this level of human torture. I had to stop looking for more info on this bc it just makes me feel so much worse about the human race and its fucking sicknesses.

by Anonymousreply 15705/22/2020

I find it hard to believe she wasn't being trafficked or rented out Money to be made (though not as much as people assume) and Joel is a hustler.

by Anonymousreply 15805/22/2020

I think he rented Lisa out to that couple that raped her for money, and Hedda knew it. She had to come up with an excuse for why she, as a “devoted mother,” didn’t care that her two year old daughter was being raped by a grown man over several days, so she “had a nervous breakdown.” That was her excuse for not being responsible.

What is that? Did she go to the hospital? Well, no, because Lisa “had to be sent away” because she was having a nervous breakdown at home. Is there any record of it? Well, if your nervous breakdown consists of being at home, no. What a coincidence that her nervous breakdown was cured as soon as those people were done raping Lisa.

For men that don’t know much about female anatomy, women never have bruised vaginas, ever. That’s not a normal injury. That area is well protected and pretty much the only thing that causes blood down there is periods or childbirth or rape. That kid was too young for anything like that. And normally there would never be bruising, just bleeding.

I wonder if “bruised” refers to some kind of hematoma or hemorrhage caused by trauma.

If you compare factually proven events to Hedda’s excuses, you become aware that a lot of her stories about what happened are excuses for why she wasn’t responsible. They’re not real accountings of events. “Why did you do nothing?” “Well, it wasn’t my fault really.” She’s not really giving a real answer. Facts are not coming out, a timeline isn’t coming out. There’s a lot of evasion and the jury isn’t really hearing a timeline of what happened. If she made a plea deal she was supposed to answer. That’s in violation of the plea deal.

There’s a lot of psychopathic answers, like her lack of emotional concern for Lisa when she was raped. Like, oh well, it happened. To a two year old, and that’s all the emotion you can muster? Wow.

The DA must have been brainwashed by this woman. Just one red flag after another until it’s a whole field full of red flags, and he’s missing all of them. They should have let a woman go after her, they would have cut her to shreds.

This story says when Lisa was found dying, she was nude. Why?

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by Anonymousreply 15905/22/2020

As to Joel Steinberg being paroled after 17 years: why the fuck not? I agree he is a total piece of shit, but 17 years is in line with normal punishment for that in NY state. It's enough to be a deterrent to both him and others who might consider doing the same crime. And he's unlikely to be able to do this again, because he wouldn't get the chance in any case.

Sadly, this kind of case happens regularly, but *this* case involved white, Jewish, middle class people and was in the press. Maybe you want to resurrect the death penalty or have mandatory life without parole or something.

Look, I'm not defending him but there are thousands upon thousands of people convicted of violent crimes. Not all of them as bad as this one, I'll grant you. and immediately people talk about more punishment as a solution to this. Meanwhile, we have the highest number of people held in prisons per capita than any other country in the world.

What we are doing doesn't work well. And it's hella expensive. I for one am tired of having so much of my taxes go to the prison industrial complex. Sometimes I sometimes I wonder if the posters who have this penchant for locking people away for life don't work for the prison industry.

so let this piece of shit Steinberg make his way in the world without me paying for his room and board.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 16005/23/2020

R159, see r153 to answer your question. The DAs were sickened about what they had to do to be assured of any conviction.

Despite the obviousness of what really happened, it was legally a complicated case,

by Anonymousreply 16105/23/2020

[quote] Meanwhile, we have the highest number of people held in prisons per capita than any other country in the world. What we are doing doesn't work well. And it's hella expensive. I for one am tired of having so much of my taxes go to the prison industrial complex. Sometimes I sometimes I wonder if the posters who have this penchant for locking people away for life don't work for the prison industry.

If you ever cross paths with a true psychopath you will understand why people don't want them released from prison. They leave a wide path of destruction in their wake. They can not change they are hard wired.

by Anonymousreply 16205/23/2020

Lisa was murdered in a West 10th Street building where Mark Twain once lived.

by Anonymousreply 16305/23/2020

This is somewhat tangential, but I've known a few families with minor children in which domestic violence was a serious problem (to the point of arrest/conviction). These were middle- to upper-class families and the kids were not removed, in part I suppose because there wasn't direct evidence of child abuse, and also because the system is burdened enough as it is.

But I think, from personal experience, that living in a home in which there is violence, or even extreme mental abuse punctuated by occasional physical aggression, is as damaging to kids as direct abuse. Aren't there studies that show witnessing violence can be as traumatic as experiencing violence?

Also, I think people figure that in 2020, if there is violence in the home, kids will be happy to discuss it with that proverbial trusted adult. But abusive family dynamics tend to be very fucked up, and even though they may not be told not to tell, kids understand not to tell. And I think this may be even more true in middle- and upper-class families, where "keeping up appearances" continues to be valued.

by Anonymousreply 16405/23/2020

I'm glad Maude had the courage to leave her abusive husband!

by Anonymousreply 16505/23/2020

There was a girl in my neighborhood during the 70s that everyone knew was being molested by her father. His behavior was totally inappropriate with her,very sexual . Many neighbors talked about it,but not one picked up the damn phone. It just wasnt done in those days to interfere in others business. When she hit around 13 she flat out told her school,the cops and anyone who would listen and NO ONE believed her . She ran away at age 15 and I dont think anyone ever knew what happened to her. That pervert dad lived in that same house until he died in the 90s . And yes,the wife stayed with him. Wherever you ended up Yvonne,Im sorry no one would help you .

by Anonymousreply 16605/23/2020

Hugh Wheeler's book for Sweeney Todd hewed very closely to Chris Bond's 1970 play Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Sondheim saw the show in London and it was the inspiration for the musical. IIRC, it was an environmental production.

by Anonymousreply 16705/23/2020

R166, I knew a girl like that, also in the 1970s. Her stepfather was a truck driver and pimped her out to other truck drivers at truck stops. They would set up dates by CB radio. She was sixteen.

Her mother was mentally ill and couldn’t fend for herself. The girl had a younger sister, and the stepfather told her, if you don’t do it she’d going to do it. So she did it. She was the one that was sacrificed so her fucked up mother could have someone support her.

We were friends for a while, but her situation became more and more dangerous and I finally had to stop seeing her. Grown men were flocking around her and they had no problem fucking underage kids.

The last time I saw her, she was pregnant with bruises on her sad face, living with a Mexican gang member. As bad as that was, I’m sure it was better. God knows what happened to her sister, who was 9 when I met her and very pretty.

Adults know this stuff. They just don’t care. Nobody ever took a real interest in her. She wasn’t very smart or special. But she sure deserved better.

by Anonymousreply 16805/23/2020

^ Very sorry, that was intended for the theater thread.

by Anonymousreply 16905/23/2020

The vagina is an internal organ. It wouldn’t be “black and blue” in any visible way. Bruises to the vulva are most likely the result of blunt force like a punch, a kick, or even a pinch.

by Anonymousreply 17005/23/2020

Google “vulvar hematoma.” It’s often a result of underage rape. It requires immediate medical care, possible hospitalization, and even surgery.

Now imagine you’re a mother and you see this on your two year old and do nothing, even after you’ve been told she was raped. Don’t even take her to the doctor. You’re not mad at the person who did this. Don’t call the police on them. Don’t get the toddler any medical care. Don’t have much emotion about it. Just let it go.


by Anonymousreply 17105/23/2020

Uhm, blue waffle...

by Anonymousreply 17205/23/2020

You know, this thread has me thinking ... it seems like victim blaming in domestic violence situations is more prevalent when the victim is educated and/or middle or upper class. "She had the means to leave, and didn't." "She should have known better, but stayed."

These situations really have nothing to do with socioeconomic status, though.

by Anonymousreply 17305/23/2020

"I always felt she shared at least some responsibility."

"At least?" She was equally responsible for the death of that poor little girl. While Lisa was lying comatose on the floor Hedda Nussbaum did nothing. She later testified in court that she though Steinberg had "magical" powers that would heal Lisa from any major damage. What horseshit. Some people tried to let Nussbaum off the hook for doing nothing to help the battered into a coma child by saying her "fear" of Steinberg kept her from doing anything. Fear? Fear of what? A beating? Obvious, his beating the crap out of her posed no problem for her; she accepted it as part of the relationship. No, the fact was that the beating of Lisa was of no importance to her. God, what a vile woman. No wonder she and Steinberg hooked up. They were made for each other.

by Anonymousreply 17405/23/2020

r174, I disagree, psychopaths can do a lot of damage to the psyche of a person especially when combined with fear and violence. Steinberg and Nussbaum had been together for awhile before little Lisa was brought into the picture. I wonder if Nussbaum had a brain injury from the beatings.

Joel is fucking evil, I'm not convinced Nussbaum is.

by Anonymousreply 17505/23/2020

Agree 100% r175

by Anonymousreply 17605/23/2020

R166 Back in the 90s, my next door neighbor growing up was molesting his granddaughter. Everyone knew, nobody did anything. She also told people, but no one helped. My sister, who was also a child, sent a letter to the DCF about it, which is the only time I think anyone tried to help. She got knocked up as a teenager and moved away. According to property records, the grandfather still lives in the same house. He's 88 now.

by Anonymousreply 17705/23/2020

I think a lot of the justifications Hedda used were just lies.

The more you read about the trial, the more you realize she was just lying. People fell for it hook, line and sinker, including the DA. And I don’t agree that there was no other way to get a conviction for Joel. There was no other way to get one while sparing Hedda, maybe. But if the case had been prosecuted bringing in all the facts, they both would have done time. It’s like somebody decided “she’s suffered enough,” and suppressed any evidence that showed she was a part of it.

by Anonymousreply 17805/23/2020

Did Hedda experience childhood incest herself?

by Anonymousreply 17905/23/2020

"I wonder if Nussbaum had a brain injury from the beatings."

There was never any indication that Nussbaum suffered brain damage from her beatings. By the way, she wanted to write a book about her experience but no publisher would give her a deal because in her book proposal she presented herself as a good mother! And don't know is "evil" is the right word for her, but one thing's for sure: she's human garbage.

by Anonymousreply 18005/23/2020

Anyone interested in this case should read "What Lisa Knew: Truth and Lies of the Steinberg Case" by Joyce Johnson. As one review said it "builds a persuasive case for Nussbaum's jealousy of Lisa and culpability in her death, posits that Steinberg and Nussbaum's relationship was sadomasochistic and mutually satisfying; that Lisa may have been sexually abused; and that Nussbaum's absolution as a battered woman is a setback for the feminist movement."

by Anonymousreply 18105/23/2020

[quote]and that Nussbaum's absolution as a battered woman is a setback for the feminist movement."

This alone tells me the book is crap.

by Anonymousreply 18205/23/2020

R181 I never heard that, but it's interesting. In my mother's family, women were always seen as competition with each other. As soon as they hit puberty, both my sisters, and all my female cousins were viewed as threats by their moms.

by Anonymousreply 18305/23/2020

"This alone tells me the book is crap."

It's not crap. It reveals both Steinberg and Nussbaum for what they were: scum. And it did touch on how some feminist circles wanted to make Nussbaum out as some kind of helpless victim in thrall to a domineering, abusive man, thus absolving her of all responsibility in the death of Lisa. By the way, it's a blessing that other child they bought, the baby boy, was taken away from them. He was found in a filthy playpen with a soiled diaper and a bottle of spoiled milk. No doubt he would have ended up dead, too.

by Anonymousreply 18405/23/2020

R180, I think she’s a true psychopath. She can’t relate to Lisa as a person; her whole idea of her is as if she were a problem and an inconvenience. There are some women that dislike or resent their kids, but that’s not what this is. It’s like she can’t understand she was human.

by Anonymousreply 18505/23/2020

Perhaps had she been willing to peel her lips off the glass pipe for a day or two, it's possible reason and empathy might have sparked in Hedda's addled brain.

She made her choices right down the line. Fuck her; she is trash.

by Anonymousreply 18605/23/2020

She gives us Heddas a bad name!

by Anonymousreply 18705/23/2020

After all these years what do we know about where Hedda's living? How is she surviving money wise? I can't imagine anyone hiring her or Joel.

by Anonymousreply 18805/23/2020

R188, Hedda wrote a book, worked as a paralegal, and lead a support group for battered women. She seems to have gone dark after Steinberg was paroled.

Just imagine, both of them free as birds. Gack!

by Anonymousreply 18905/24/2020

I love you r187

by Anonymousreply 19005/24/2020

Although I agree Hedda was a battered woman, there are many things about her story that aren't typical of abusive relationships, at least in my experience. The situation felt different in a way that's hard to put my finger on. Perhaps it did start as a genuine S&M relationship that devolved into something non-consensual.

In the recent thread on BDSM I remarked that true sexual sadists scare me. I think it's because they're not really looking for a consenting partner. They get off on the dynamic of non-consent and genuine fear.

by Anonymousreply 19105/24/2020


What idiot hired her to be a paralegal, lead support groups f write a book after what happened to Lisa????

by Anonymousreply 19205/24/2020

The same kind of idiot who wrote that Salon article that portrayed Hedda as the real victim.

by Anonymousreply 19305/24/2020

This thread led down the rabbit hole to the Elisa Izquierdo case, which I wasn't familiar with.


by Anonymousreply 19405/24/2020

^ I just looked up this case. I wish that I hadn't.

by Anonymousreply 19505/24/2020

I was only in fifth grade when it happened, r195. I maybe vaguely remember hearing that authorities had dropped the ball, but I don't remember any specifics of the actual case.

It made the cover of Time.

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by Anonymousreply 19605/24/2020

I had never heard of Karla Homolka until the case was mentioned up thread. I went down the rabbit hole reading up on the case. What an absolute miscarriage of justice.

She is just living her life now free as a bird. She has remarried. What kind of sick fuck would marry her after what she did? And Wikipedia says she has a relationship with her mother. WTF?????

by Anonymousreply 19705/24/2020

I think Karla lives on some tropical island, too. Life is good! For murderesses! 🍾🍾

by Anonymousreply 19805/24/2020

Michele Launders (Lisa's birth mother), and possibly other members of her family, need to pay Joel a visit in Harlem and end his existence.

If she's caught, no jury would convict.

by Anonymousreply 19905/24/2020

Karla married her lawyer's brother, I think that's who it is, just nasty.

by Anonymousreply 20005/24/2020

I would give Joel a nudge onto the tracks, with little hesitation.

by Anonymousreply 20105/24/2020

The thing about Hedda, if she wanted to have some fucked up sadomasochistic relationship with Joel, fine. Go ahead. As harrowing as that may be to us, they had a choice and they made a choice.

I believe in her diminished capacity as a battered woman. Diminished capacity isn't no capacity. When they brought Lisa into it, that's when Hedda had a responsibility to put a stop to it. She failed, she is culpable for Lisa's torture and death, whether she (or anyone else) accepts that fact or not.

by Anonymousreply 20205/24/2020

"Michele Launders (Lisa's birth mother), and possibly other members of her family, need to pay Joel a visit in Harlem and end his existence."

They should pay a visit to Hedda, too. She's equally responsible for the death of that little girl.

by Anonymousreply 20305/24/2020

I think "equally responsible" is a stretch, r203, although I think Hedda does bear SOME culpability.

The issue I have is that it feels a tad misogynistic to place as much blame on the mother for "letting it happen", as if somehow a mother bears greater responsibility for the protection of her children than their father. (I recognize they weren't Lisa's legal guardians or true "mother and father.") However, Joel is the one who beat Lisa to death, not Hedda.

by Anonymousreply 20405/25/2020

"I think "equally responsible" is a stretch, [R203], although I think Hedda does bear SOME culpability."

She abused Lisa, too, not to the extent Joel Steinberg did, but she DID abuse her. While Lisa lay on the floor after the blow to her head that knocked her out she didn't call 911. She did nothing. I think that makes her as culpable as Steinberg.

If a parent does not protect a child from the abuse of the other parent, then that parent is equally to blame when it comes to accountability for the abuse of the child.

by Anonymousreply 20505/25/2020
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