[Vision2020] Benoit told UI of fears 2 months before she was killed

Dave tiedye at turbonet.com
Tue Sep 13 11:14:10 PDT 2011

#1) I would be surprised...

#2) That is one hell of a question!


On 09/13/2011 08:44 AM, Art Deco wrote:
> This article raises several issues, but I'll limit this post to only two.
> 1.  This should not be taken as accusatory, but I wonder if the UI 
> decision to use rent-a-cops has reduced in an unhealthy/undesirable 
> manner some communication with the MPD. If the MPD had been as closely 
> involved with the UI before the rent-a-cops and thus be better 
> informed by the UI, might this matter been handled a bit differently?
> 2.  Allegedly Benoit asked that law enforcement not be involved when 
> she made her complaint.  If so, when does the level of a threat to an 
> individual and/or other students/staff/faculty become serious 
> enough to warrant the UI overriding such a request?
> w.
> *From:* Tom Hansen <mailto:thansen at moscow.com>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, September 13, 2011 5:26 AM
> *To:* Moscow Vision 2020 <mailto:vision2020 at moscow.com>
> *Subject:* [Vision2020] Benoit told UI of fears 2 months before she 
> was killed
> UI's inaction, months before student's murder, MUST be held to 
> account.  At a minimum UI is guilty of the wrongful death of Kathryn 
> Benoit.
> Courtesy of today's (September 13, 2011) Spokesman-Review.
> ------------------------------
>   Benoit told UI of fears 2 months before she was killed
> More than two months before her death, Kathryn “Katy” Benoit told an 
> official at the University of Idaho that she was frightened by her 
> professor, who carried weapons “everywhere, including to campus,” and 
> that she also worried about the safety of fellow students.
> Benoit, 22, was killed on Aug. 22 by Ernesto Bustamante, with whom she 
> had an intimate relationship. The assistant professor then killed 
> himself in a Moscow hotel room.
> Previously unreported details of Benoit’s June 12 complaint to the 
> university were revealed in the graduate student’s letter to Carmen 
> Suarez, of the Office of Human Rights, Access and Inclusion. A friend 
> of Benoit’s who proofread the letter provided a copy of the document; 
> another friend verified that it is the letter submitted to the university.
> A university spokeswoman said on Monday that no official was available 
> to comment on the contents of the complaint.
> Benoit wrote that Bustamante began flirting with her soon after 
> becoming her adviser “per the instigation of the university” last 
> fall, and by the end of the semester, “he and I were in a sexually 
> active relationship.”
> During this time, she said, she witnessed numerous sexual comments, as 
> well as “threats and unpredictable behavior” toward students 
> by Bustamante.
> “If students wanted to question him, or defy him in any way, he would 
> always premise his response with ‘it’s never a good idea to piss me 
> off,’ ” Benoit wrote.
> Bustamante is reported to have been afflicted with multiple 
> personality disorder, and Benoit wrote that she witnessed five of 
> these personalities, “or at least him portraying them.”
> Benoit began to feel concern for her safety and that of other 
> students, the complaint said. In it, she named 19 students as likely 
> witnesses of inappropriate behavior by Bustamante.
> She said she had seen Bustamante in possession of at least five 
> weapons and that he carried a Utah concealed weapons permit.
> “He answers his door with them, travels with them, sleeps near them, 
> everywhere,” she said of the weapons, “including on campus.”
> In the hotel room where Bustamante committed suicide, police 
> discovered six weapons, including the .45-caliber pistol officers 
> believe he used to shoot Benoit.
> Benoit suggested that Bustamante had inappropriate relationships with 
> others, and that she had firsthand knowledge of an ongoing 
> relationship between the professor and at least one other student.
> Benoit asked the university to protect her and help her sort out her 
> master’s degree program, which was heavily influenced by the professor 
> she had come to fear.
> “I cannot take classes of his any longer nor can I permit this twisted 
> behavior to continue for the sake of myself and other women who will 
> come after me,” she wrote.
> She closed by writing that there was “ample reason to be fully 
> concerned with the safety of all involved.”
> Benoit said Bustamante had threatened her at gunpoint on three 
> occasions between January and May, when she broke off the relationship.
> “He told her she had four days to make it up to him or he was going to 
> kill her,” UI student Sarah Sutter, who helped her friend hide from 
> Bustamante, said in a telephone interview Monday.
> After the deaths of Benoit and Bustamante, the university released a 
> timeline of the steps officials took in response to Benoit’s complaint.
> School officials said they first learned of the relationship and the 
> threats against Benoit on June 10 and urged her to contact the Moscow 
> Police Department. The university also contacted police directly.
> Two days later, Benoit filed the complaint with the university.
> Police said Bustamante filed a complaint of his own on July 8, 
> alleging that Benoit was trying to defame his character.
> On the day she was killed, school officials told Benoit that 
> Bustamante’s last day of employment had been Aug. 19 and cautioned her 
> “to remain vigilant and get assistance from the police and others if 
> she had any safety concerns.”
> Benoit was shot 11 times outside her apartment at 8:40 p.m.
> Sutter said the university told Benoit that her tormentor would be 
> dismissed, “but nobody checked to make sure he was really gone.”
> ------------------------------
> Seeya round town, Moscow.
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> "When all is said and done, have you done or said enough?  Have you 
> just gone along for the ride, or have you steered destiny's hotrod? 
>  When you leave this world, did you make it any better than it was 
> when you arrived?  All you need is all you've got: your wits and the 
> clothes on your back.  Your epitaph is yours to earn.  Your legacy is 
> yours to make."
> - Author Unknown
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