By Hyun Cheon Kim
Translated by Michael Lesniak
The American Dream of one 1.5 generation Korean-American, Jeong Ah Lee (Jeannie Dube), who lived with her husband and dedicated her life to him and his children from a previous marriage, was shattered like the glass.
She is now under indictment for the attempted murder of her father and mother-in-law, attempted arson, vandalism, and for a violation of protective order.
Her American dream was simply to raise a peaceful family and become a teacher. However, on December 3rd, 2008, because of the events of one instant she being indicted and forced to leave her 7 year old son, and abandon her efforts to become a certified special education teacher --a six year effort for which she had only two years remaining.
Currently out on bail, Jeannie is waiting for April 19th when the judgment for her case is expected. She cannot find work, and is entirely dependent on her mother, who is more than 60 years old, and can barely afford to pay living expenses, hospital fees, court fees, and the cost of raising Jeannie’s son. Moreover, she is being sued for divorce.
“Everything fell apart in an instant. If I knew this is how it would be I would have stayed at home with my children, devoting myself only to my husband… I would have ignored my husband’s infidelity…” Jeannie said giving a hopeless smile.
Jeannie met her husband after graduating from Syracuse University while working for the Military Intelligence Brigade interviewing former POWs, translating Korean documents, and was responsible for Korean language instruction. Her husband was a divorcee and the two started out as coworkers, but after a while fell in love and got married. Her husband took custody of his daughter from his ex-wife, and Jeannie quit her job to raise his child and have one of their own. In 2001 they moved to Candia, New Hampshire, where her husband had grown up, and a few years later they bought a home. According to Jeannie, the two were happily living the American Dream. Though she was busily devoting herself to her husband and children, while the children were at school she took the opportunity to study special education for young children. Since 2002 she had been the assistant teacher for autistic children at Southside middle school, and a substitute teacher at Manchester School since 2005, where she also worked in the reading room and as a part-time guidance counselor.
While working she received tuition assistance to study for her masters degree in elementary and special education, and was anticipating to graduate in the fall of 2010. She was on a certain path to become a full-time teacher. When asked about why she wanted to work, she replied “I wanted to live a vigorous life,” and, “I wanted to give my husband some rest from having to work irregular hours.”
Amidst all this, her in-laws came to live with her and her husband. “I really liked living with the whole family,” Jeannie said.
The peaceful lady first feared a dark cloud forming over her family in 2008 just after Thanksgiving. Jeannie was doing laundry for her husband after he had been away for a few days when she discovered a picture her husband’s mistress. This is how she learned of his infidelity.
Jeannie tried to talk with her husband, but he would just leave for work leaving her to lay awake at home alone for several days. After a few days she received a phone call from her husband. He told her “I don’t love you, there is nothing between us anymore.”
Candia News reported the incidents of December 3rd, 2008. The newspaper cited state police officer Scott Gallagher’s report for the story, reporting that Jeannie Dube was arrested for attempted arson and vandalism.
According to Gallagher’s statement, Dube attempted to burn down her house. And the Candia fire department chief Rudy Cartier said on December 4th that “however, there was no evidence of arson.”
According to her husband’s statement, she threatened to kill the children and his parents and then went to the kitchen and attempted to start a fire using gasoline and propane gas. After preventing her from starting the fire, she then grabbed an axe destroying the furniture and shattering the windows. She wented after his parents, and they ran for fear of their lives.
When officer Gallagher arrived at the scene, he said that “she was extremely angry and yelling, and was trying to take the car and leave.” Furthermore, he stated that when he placed the handcuffs on Jeannie she had a scrape on her left hand. Also, that the sliding door leading to the kitchen from outside had been shattered as had been a glass table, and the axe was on the dinning table. He also reported the smell of gasoline in the garage.
When she came to her senses, Elliot was at the hospital. Jeannie had to be incarcerated. When she learned that she needed $100,000 to be released on bail she asked her husband to put up the money and he refused.
The woman who used every ounce of her energy living a vigorous life, worked hard to have a peaceful family life, from that day forward everything was falling apart. However, the most difficult of these has been that she is unable to see her children.
Also, she now realizes there were deep cultural as well as emotional differences between her and her husband.
Jeannie is being represented by an court-appointed American lawyer in New Hampshire. She needs assistance from a professional capable of submitting some recommendations or offering documentation regarding cultural and emotional realities of Korean women. Her attorney has never represented a Korean woman before and would like to know as much as possible.
Also, her attorney is also hoping for assistance from a specialist capable of offering assistance in understanding the psychological affect of an acute thyroid condition.