Kentucky AA Kills Wife

David O’Donnell has both a resentment and an anger problem. Last year, after assaulting his wife, he was sentenced to AA. Problem solved, right? Wrong. She was found dead a couple of months later:

Husband pleads guilty to wife’s slaying
O’Donnell had an active protective order issued against him, barring him from having any unlawful contact with his wife. That meant the couple could be together, but police would have more leverage if any illegal activity was taking place, police said.

The order alleged that O’Donnell had assaulted his wife in June and had an alcohol and drug abuse problem.

After the June assault, an emergency protective order barring him from any contact was issued, court records show. But in July, a less restrictive order was issued that required O’Donnell to attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings four times a week.

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  • So let me see if I understand this right. A couple is married for 2 years and it isn’t working out, but they still live together (at least in the end).

    Courts get involved and decide to send the guy to AA where there purpose is to find out facts such as: marital status, domestic relations, financial status, drink habits, employment status. Then they use this to get ready to suggest hospitalization to the prospect, his family, friends, doctors and the police if need be.

    All during the marital strife, AA’s are constantly trying to manipulate the family or put the prospect in the hospital or jail. I do not see anywhere in the “Big Book” where it says anything about getting the family together to work out problems, only passages where if they don’t join the Bill Wilson faith, put them in jails or institutions.

    I’m not saying that this family did not need help in surviving, because they did. What I am saying is that the Courts sentenced this guy to a program where the only stated purpose is to put the prospect in institutions or jails, if they did not meet 4 times a week to chant the teachings of Bill Wilson.

    He wasn’t sentenced to help, he was sentenced to a cult that failed to put him in an institution or jails, and it ended up in a death.

  • Lucy

    It would be easy to blame the courts, but the courts put these people in AA because AA keeps insisting that they are the ones who can solve problems related to alcohol. AA members show up at the jails, the courts, the prisons, and the hospitals telling them that they can help a guy who only commits crimes because he is drunk.

  • I am pretty sure that when I first discovered ST in JANUARY 2009 most of the stories were not news…right ..or I am wrong. It was mostly people leaving AA, bashing AA, and exposing AA and debating what people felt was going wrong. When we first discovered the rapes in Covina we were all so shocked. We wanted to just address 13 steppin, financial abuse and sponsorships power tripping. But when Kristine & Saundra Cass were murdered in Hawaii it just set me off and I can never look back. It pushed me over the edge. WHat I mean by that is our feelings of being afraid in certain meetings were right.

    Then Tracy White was murdered. Since last summer I feel like ST is doing seriously great work to bring these stories to us and to the public at large. Even if it’s through the internet.
    This is very important. Day after day I read one story worse then the other. I’m almost sad when another one appears because then that story goes further down on the blog roll.

    Is there somewhere on here where all the stories in the new of Murder and rape and criminal acts all in one spot. Maybe you have already put them together. But if I send a Judge to this sight it would be great if all the stories could be in one spot. Are they?

    I actually heard someone say recently they were going to read the chapter about employees …I shuttered. Why, or how can intelligent people read this garbage from 1936 and use it as a tool for today when there are so many other great books and tools out there.

  • gaytheist

    I don’t quite get the concept of forced AA attendance. Sure, if I had the choice between jail or AA, I would choose AA. But what is the point if the person doesn’t plan on quitting drinking or already is predisposed against AA? If I were forced to go, I would go, and just sit there and try not to roll my eyes too much.

  • The thing about forced AA attendance is that it has no quantifiers on the members recovery, except for what is called a “self reported” sobriety date. It is working if you go to church basements, chant the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, get other people to join and have a sobriety date. There is no “rehabilitation” in any of this. Judges should realize this, but they don’t because of all of the devout followers that Bill Wilson has tell them that a “miracle” will occur if people go to AA.

    Judges need to be made aware of this. The only way to do this is to bring it to thier attention. It is hard to bring it to thier attention, because the goings on in the rooms are cloaked in Anonymity and secrecy.

  • DeConstructor


    Another aspect of this is the fact that it is far cheaper (and wrongly feelgood for society) for the judge to sentence people to AA, than have the taxpayer foot the bill of incarceration.

    My biggest problem with that idea is innocent people continue to be killed in drunk driving incidents by persons wrongly trained at taxayer expense they have some type of brain ‘disease’