Thursday, May 05, 2016

"House of Secrets" on Datelines tells disturbing story of a college honor student caught in family's domestic violence

NBC Dateline’s “House of Secrets” on Friday night (April 29) raised the disturbing idea that an outstanding male college student and athletic and community pillar could have a dark side.  Or maybe the darkness has a justification. Charlie Tan was attending Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in the Finger Lakes.  He was on a secondary football team and liked by the coach, students and professors.

But one Thursday night in winter he left for home in Rochester.  His mother, the following Monday, called police indicating that her son had shot her husband to protect her from domestic abuse,

The jury would hang at Charlie’s trial (agonizing and crying, according to jurors), and the episode leaves the impression that the mother could have done it (source).  The facts are inconclusive. Apparently the case will not be retried, and there is some public sentiment that the husband “got what he deserved”, perhaps, meaning the public does not want to see another family member prosecuted again.  Opinions differ on the end result, such as this piece in another college paper about being “well off”.

However, Tan appears to have violated the school’s code of conduct and withdrew from Cornell, not returning (Gannett story)..

Wikipedia attribution link for Cornell campus, by “sach1tb”, under CCSA 2.0.  I visited the campus once, in October 1970.

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