Radcliffe Haughton’s deadly rampage at a Wisconsin spa Sunday came after years of sidestepping Brown Deer, Wi., police on domestic violence incidents, including a 2011 confrontation when officers saw him point what looked like a rifle at his wife, but did not arrest him, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Police were back at the house three weeks ago after officers found his wife, Zina Haughton, at a gas station, barefoot with her face bruised. Officers went to the Haughtons’ house and spotted Radcliffe Haughton. He refused to answer the door. They left without making an arrest.
Both times, their failure to arrest Haughton damaged possible criminal cases, where identification of a defendant is fundamental. Police finally did arrest the 45-year-old Haughton on Oct. 4 – two days after he wouldn’t come to the door to answer for the bruise on his wife’s face. This time the department was making an arrest for police in Brookfield, where he had slashed his wife’s tires outside the spa where she worked as a stylist. Last week, Zina Haughton obtained a restraining order against her husband. On Saturday, Radcliffe Haughton purchased the .40-caliber handgun he would use to shoot seven women, killing three spa workers, including his wife.