Today, in Hudson, Wisconsin, a man will be sentenced for murdering his three young daughters.
In April, 35-year-old Aaron Schaffhausen was diagnosed as ‘sane’ when he murdered his three daughters, 11-year-old Amara, 8-year-old Sophie and 5-year-old Cecilia at their River Falls’ home. He killed them by slitting their throats.
Schaffhausen killed the girls in July of 2012. He said he was ‘trying to get back at his ex-wife.’ At the time of his arrest, authorities determined that he had a mental defect, but that he also knew that the killings were ‘wrong.’
Each count faces a life sentence, but the judge must decide if he will have the possibility of a supervised parole after 20 years, or remain in prison for the rest of his life.
As the judge is making his decision, prison officials have expressed concern that Schaffhausen’s life may be in danger.
“There’s a hierarchy among prisoners,” said Martin Horn, a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who once led corrections for the state of Pennsylvania and city of New York. “Inmates who are bank robbers are very high-status prisoners because they’re viewed as very bold. But inmates who prey on children are viewed as weak.”
They are debating what sort of environment might keep him safe from harm.
“The prisons might be more vigilant with a high-profile case like this,” said Joshua Page, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, who has studied prison dynamics. “Which might mean he does most of his sentence basically in isolation until people forget about it.”
He will most likely spend his initial days at Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin. A former prison warden, Jeffrey Endicott, believes he may eventually be moved to a more modern maximum security prison, where inmates are placed in smaller groups and are watched more closely.
Today a man will learn his fate. Aaron Schaffhausen will be sentenced for killing his three daughters.
Alfred James reporting