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  1. #1
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    Oct 2005
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    NJ - Barbara Vanaman, 37, shot to death, Millville, 11 May 2006

    I couldn't find anything about this case online here and I live about an hour from Millville and I haven't heard anything about this case. I figured some of our Sleuthers could find out more about whether this guy is guilty or whether he really is a victim.



    http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/n...-6961656c.html

  2. #2
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    His wife would have had to have been suicidal. Going after a firearmed-trained cop with a knife???? Not something a rational person would do. Why were they still together if she was this looney? Wouldn't part of doing his job and protecting those children involve getting her out of the house?

  3. #3
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    Jan 2006
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    Arkansas
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    More...

    A blurb from the middle of the article:

    ..Instead, prosecutors believe Robert Vanaman's knife wounds were self-inflicted, done so to cover up the murder of his 37-year-old wife, who was shot twice with his service revolver during a domestic dispute inside the couple's Wedgewood Court home...
    http://tinyurl.com/ygpm7d

    ..On May 11, Barbara Vanaman, 37, was shot twice in the chest by her husband, Millville police Sgt. Robert Vanaman, in the home they shared on Wedgewood Court. Vanaman, who claims he acted in self-defense, is currently facing murder charges...

    and the following article is "very" interesting:
    http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2006/06/20195.php

    and blog about it:
    http://tinyurl.com/ybhe45

    With all of the above, it really makes one wonder.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    "Vanaman claims he was forced to shoot his wife when she came at him with a kitchen knife during a dispute. Both of the children had been sent to a neighbor's house prior to the argument, his lawyer said previously. The Prosecutor's Office — after investigating Vanaman's wounds and other evidence — claims some of the knife “cuts” were self-inflicted."

    I'll just bet it was MR. Vanaman that sent the kids to a neighbors, which I find very odd. My parents fought frequently when I was a kid (and they still do). They might have sent us to our rooms a few times, if that, but to a neighbors? That's just strange.

    Also, a policeman who loves his wife isn't going to shoot her because she has a knife. He'd take the knife away from her - as a policeman, he's been trained on how to do that.

    I agree his friends and colleagues on the Millville PD should be the last ones investigating this. And I wonder if the judge has any kind of friendship with him. I mean, to award custody to an accused murderer out on bail instead of to the murdered woman's family who live in the same town? Something is really messed up with that.

  5. #5
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    This case should be investigated by an outside LE agency, or state, and the trial venue changed.

    Like someone else said, he was a LE officer and trained on taking weapons away from perps. There was no reason for him to shoot her.

    I wonder if they were on the verge of divorce? I'd be interested in what her friends and family have to say about their marriage.

    Let me just say,.................I'm suspicious, to say the least.

    JMHO
    fran

  6. #6
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    May 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by fran
    This case should be investigated by an outside LE agency, or state, and the trial venue changed.

    Like someone else said, he was a LE officer and trained on taking weapons away from perps. There was no reason for him to shoot her.

    I wonder if they were on the verge of divorce? I'd be interested in what her friends and family have to say about their marriage.

    Let me just say,.................I'm suspicious, to say the least.

    JMHO
    fran

    Sounds like it was premeditated to me....sending the kids next door. What man couldn't take a knife away from a woman? Like you said...the guy is LE and is trained in such things. They might have him because of his self-inflicted wounds. Those are a big ole red flag. I'd like to know what kind of a marriage they had and what the argument was about. Be interesting to hear what friends have to say. Probably another husband murders wife crime. They are happening way to often. Seems a lot of guys would rather murder their wives then get a divorce. Don't they read the papers and listen to the news...a husband very rarely gets away with the murder.

  7. #7
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    North Carolina
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    And even if he couldn't take the knife away, couldn't he have shot her somewhere besides the chest? I am sure that a shot to the foot would have disarmed her if she was weilding a knife.
    Happy New Years

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    4,710
    My cop-husband and I have been married for 13 yrs. When he comes Home the first thing he does is stash his gun. Why? Because whether he is in uniform or plain clothes, carrying a gun all day is uncomfortable! In uniform he wears a heavy ballistic vest and utility belt loaded with several pounds of equipment attached. It is very awkward to move around in and even more cumbersome just to go to the bathroom. By the time he gets home he is ready to shed that extra weight as fast as a lady sheds her high heels! In plain clothes and off-duty, the gun is holstered inside the back of his pants so it is not visible...also very uncomfortable.
    So my point is, what kind of idiot goes and gets his gun out so it's nice and handy while he has a pre-meditated fight with his wife? He knew they were going to be arguing when one of them sent the kids out of the house. When did he retrieve his gun?
    Unless his wife was a lot bigger than him, he could have easily dis-armed her with his bare hands. Cops are heavily trained to use the least lethal force necessary in any situation, something a well-intentioned husband would do anyway! They are trained to remain calm in volitile situations. They are well-rehearsed in dis-arming an assailant, even if the assailant is bigger than they are.
    If the guy was still in uniform and the gun was handy, he also had access to pepper-spray, a flashlight, and his asp baton; all less lethal weapons than the gun!
    No question in my mind, this dude murdered his wife.
    And you all are correct, my hubby will do anything to appear to be a perfect husband, citizen, etc. Cops are good at manipulation; it's what they do.

    Susan
    Last edited by TGIRecovered; 01-12-2007 at 11:05 AM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
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    Mar 2006
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    Also, I believe the only reason wants the kids living with him is a matter of showing he is still in control. Those kids are his possessions. They are props used to show the community that HE is the victim here..poor widower doing the best he can to raise his dear children alone. Look at ME, see what a good person I am and what a *itch the wife was!

    Too bad the judge fell for it!

    Here is a link to an interesting blog about LE domesic violence:
    http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/

    I don't want to give the impression that I believe all LE are abusers. Control issues are common, but there are many, many good, honest men and women in law enforcement who work thier butts off to protect and serve for very little money!
    It just really *isses me off when someone abuses their position and training to hurt the ones who love them!

    Susan
    Last edited by TGIRecovered; 01-12-2007 at 11:38 AM. Reason: added link

  10. #10
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    From what little I've been able to find about this case, sending the kids next door is enough evidence to show pre-meditation, IMHO.

    You all are right, there was no way in He!! that it was necessary to use his weapon to defend himself. Oh, and it was TWICE he shot her in the chest. Overkill, if you ask me.

    I hope they get him for Murder 1.

    JMHO
    fran


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fran
    From what little I've been able to find about this case, sending the kids next door is enough evidence to show pre-meditation, IMHO.

    You all are right, there was no way in He!! that it was necessary to use his weapon to defend himself. Oh, and it was TWICE he shot her in the chest. Overkill, if you ask me.

    I hope they get him for Murder 1.

    JMHO
    fran

    I disagree. Sending them next door indicates to me that they had a violatile relationship that had probably gone out of bounds previously and they should have gotten away from one another or had the kids leave entirely. The kids shouldn't have to live in a house with parents who fight like that. Perhaps his wife had hit him before. Perhaps he hit her before. I'm not ready to speculate that it was premeditated murder. He may have been home from work only minutes and didn't have time to change before she started on him, if she did start the fight. We need more information.

  12. #12
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    Oct 2005
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    Loved your posts TGI! Very informative. I hadn't even thought of that if he was still in full uniform, he would have had other weapons available. I agree that unless the wife was on drugs (when people appear to feel no pain and just "keep on comin'), a shot to the foot or knee should have stopped her in her tracks. Forget that, if she was not used to carrying a knife and thought hubby was bluffing with the gun, even a shot near her feet, like firing into the floor, might have done the trick. I am trained in shooting and I can handle a gun quite well on my own but if someone else had a gun on me and I was standing there with a knife, I would be peeing my pants. But maybe it happened quickly and there was no time for him to negotiate. Millville is just such a little town. It is known around here as a town where a whole lot of nothing happens. You know, Saturday evenings spent watching the paint dry. Sorry if there is anyone here from Millville. : ) It is close to Vineland though which is a town with crime problems. I just wonder who sent the kids to the neighbors. Did the husband holler for them to "run" when he saw his wife out of control? Did they not have a home phone and they ran to call 911? Did the wife run out of eggs while cooking dinner and sent the kids to borrow some from next door? It doesn't make it clear why or when the kids were sent next door. And I can't find anything on this crime except my first post and what you guys have dug up.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2010
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    Maryland
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    Vanaman sentenced to 9 years in prison

    By Matt Dunn
    May 01, 2009, 9:01AM

    BRIDGETON - Millville police Sgt. Robert Vanaman was sentenced this morning to 9 years in state prison for manslaughter in connection with the 2006 shooting death of his 37-year-old wife, Barbara Vanaman.

    In front of a courtroom packed with friends and family of Barbara Vanaman, Robert Vanaman was led away from the courtroom in handcuffs after Superior Court Judge Martin Herman handed down the sentence, which calls for Robert Vanaman to serve 85 percent of his prison term before he is eligible for parole.

    More at link:
    http://www.nj.com/south/index.ssf/20...9_years_i.html

  14. #14
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    Robert Vanaman

    Housed: Mid-State Correctional Facility
    Admission Date: 05/01/2009

    Offense: Manslaughter in the Heat of Passion
    Sentence: 6 years 9 months 16 days - 8 years

    Offense: Tampering with Physical Evidence
    Sentence: 1 year

    Parole Eligibility Date: 02/02/2016
    Maximum Release Date: 02/02/2016

  15. #15
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    Apr 2009
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    474
    Nine years? Seriously. I wish I were surprised, but I'm not.

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