Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting suspect had targeted organization before, says ex-wife

Robert Dear is accused of killing three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado
(Image credit: Colorado Springs Police via Getty Images)

Barbara Mescher Michaux has been divorced from Robert Lewis Dear since 1993, but as soon as he was identified as the man who allegedly killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last week, she told NBC News on Tuesday, she knew he wasn't at the clinic on accident. "For him to plan this and go there, he meant to go there," she said. "There is no doubt in my mind."

Mescher Michaux, who lives in South Carolina with her current husband, described Dear, 57, as volatile and violent and said that while they were married he once put glue in the locks of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Charleston, South Carolina. "He was very proud of himself that he'd gone over and jammed up their locks with glue so that they couldn't get in," she told The New York Times. After police arrested Dear, he said "no more baby parts," officials told several news organizations, but his statement was "so rambling that it has been challenging to pinpoint what motivated the attacks," The Associated Press reports.

Mescher Michaux had also characterized Dear as physically and emotionally violent in a 1993 affidavit she filed during their divorce, AP notes, saying he would listen to music on headphones for hours and disappear on gambling trips to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. "He claims to be a Christian and is extremely evangelistic, but he does not follow the Bible in his actions," she added. "He says as long as he believes he will be saved, he can do whatever he pleases. He is obsessed with the world coming to an end."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Dear's third wife, Pamela Ross, also reported domestic abuse to police in 1997, and he has been accused of rape and stalking by women he was not married to. Neighbors of Dear in North Carolina and South Carolina describe him as "silent and sullen, a recluse notable for odd behavior: cruelty to his own dogs, bizarre mutterings about government conspiracies, skinny-dipping, and angry rebuffs when they tried to say hello," The Washington Post reports. "One person who had discussed politics with Dear said he had often praised those who attacked abortion clinics as 'heroes.'"

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us