If you’re aware of the December 2009 child custody murders described in our article Killer Bonnie Hoult Made False Abuse Allegations Against Ex , you might have been wondering just what father Jason Fontaine has to say about the tragic events. Jason has started to write some about his feelings and thoughts on the horrendous death of his two beautiful little children in what appears be the murder-suicide plot of grandmother Bonnie Hoult and her daughter Catherine Fontaine. One of his recent postings can be found at Dreamcatchers For Abused Children  on their coverage of the story. I’ve excerpted it and edited it for typographical errors below.
Jason Fontaine’s Comment on Deaths of His Daughters
This is Jason Fontaine. I am the father of Julia and Catherine Fontaine, the two beautiful little girls that were murdered by their mother and grandmother on December 14, 2009.
I am devastated and crushed that my two beautiful and wonderful little girls’ lives were taken by two sick individuals that cared more about keeping them from me than focusing on making sure they lived happy, healthy lives. There is nothing that pains me more or haunts me more every night. I followed every court order and did everything I could to try to protect my little girls. In the end, none of it mattered. I spent every penny I had, put myself through every psychological evaluation possible (through court appointed psychologists) to prove that I had nothing but the best interests in mind for my little girls. In the end these two sick individuals refused to listen to the experts and decided, arbitrarily, to take these wonderful little girls’ lives.
I am forever going to remember the good times I had with them and the wonderful things that they had to offer the world. I am also going to be haunted, every day, how their lives were cut so short by two sick people who cared more about themselves than the two little angels whose lives they took.
Parental Alienation Very Common Type of Child Abuse
Jason’s situation is remarkably tragic because of how far it went. But sadly, everything right up to moments before the murders was not particularly extreme at all in the context of child custody cases involving a mentally ill parent.
While it may be unusual for a sick parent and grandparent to be involved in the murder of their own children and grandchildren, it is not at all unusual for parental alienators to use the system as Elizabeth Fontaine and her mother Bonnie Hoult did and then to refuse to comply with the court orders or behave in any reasonable fashion. People like them are narcissists who are accustomed to thinking only of themselves and being unable to separate the needs of their children and grandchildren from their own needs.
Extreme narcissistic behavior is a hallmark of many people with personality disorders, particularly those in the “dramatic” class including Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD), and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Their sickness runs deep in their psyches. But it is important to realize that often they are as much victims as they are perpetrators of child abuse. Often their psychological problems were created by years of child abuse they endured at the hands of adults in their lives, often from an abusive parent. They develop extreme means to deal with an extreme childhood. Those that go on to become abusers don’t learn that such extreme means are not appropriate when dealing with most people who are not abusive.
In this sad case, the information available to date suggests that Bonnie Hoult entangled her daughter Elizabeth Fontaine in a narcissistic web of manipulation that started during her childhood and continued right up to her pulling the trigger. What Hoult did to her daughter appears to be emotional child abuse. From accounts by Howard Hoult, Elizabeth’s half-brother, the abuse included parental alienation against Charles Hoult, her father.
While I’ve not yet seen any information about Bonnie Hoult’s own childhood, it would not surprise me if she was also an abused child like Elizabeth was and like Catherine and Julia were at the hands of their mother and grandmother. Child abuse, especially pervasive and extended emotional abuse, has a life-long effect. While not every abused child turns into a child abuser, nearly all are affected adversely by the experience. Low self-esteem, depression, substance abuse, and problems with trust and loving relationships are common outcomes from child abuse.
Court Involvement in Child Abuse and Murder
Family law courts are often accomplices in child abuse. Even their well-intentioned attempts to reduce conflict often in reality result in worsening it and its impact on the children.
In this case, Bonnie Hoult was particularly dangerous due to her psychological education and her history of child abuse against Elizabeth, Catherine, and Julia. While educating most parties in child custody conflicts may help them to reduce the impact on the children, education for narcissistic abusers and people like them simply provides more weapons to use to attack their targets.
This observation is a large part of why many well-intentioned programs and instructional material for parents involved in high conflict divorces actually worsen conflict and create more danger for the children involved. Ironically, the courts often order personality disordered parents into these training programs, thereby arming them with tools to hurt the children even more.
Commissioner Thomas Schulte, the Orange County Superior Court official presiding over the divorce case, blew this case. He, like many family court officials do, contributed to ongoing child abuse by failing to take measures adequate to protect the children from an emotionally abusive parent, Elizabeth Fontaine, and her emotionally abusive mother, Bonnie Hoult.
Further, he helped create the dangerous situation which was a powder keg for a child abduction or murder. Upset a narcissist and you’ll likely trigger a severe reaction. While child custody murders are at the extreme end of the spectrum, extended alienation campaigns and child abductions by parents involved in a custody battle are not. Yet Schulte failed to order measures that would have significantly reduced the risk to Catherine and Julia from these behaviors which were already evident in the case.
Perhaps Schulte thought he was reducing the chance of child abduction by allowing the move to Texas, thus allowing Elizabeth to get some of what she wanted and reducing her tendency to “opt out” by abducting the children. However, he was quite mistaken in the steps he took.
He was aware, as indicated by his own words, that there was a significant risk of Elizabeth Fontaine reigniting the conflict in Texas, and he cautioned her against doing that. She totally ignored his words, typical of the contempt of court behaviors of many personality disordered parents. But even if she had not done that, allowing the move constitutes judicial complicity in emotional abuse via parental alienation because it significantly reduces the contact between the children and the target parent, in this case the father.
Schulte Inadequately Addressed Parental Alienation and Abduction Risks
As a family court official, Schulte should have been very aware that preventing frequent positive contact between Catherine and Julia and their father and his family was likely going to contribute to parental alienation. The signs of parental alienation being an element in this case were extremely strong.
It’s my belief that Schulte and many family law court officials like him are accomplices in child abuse. The debate about whether “parental alienation syndrome” (PAS) is real or not rages on, much like the flat-earthers denounced the idea of a round earth despite overwhelming evidence. But nobody who has been involved in many contested child custody cases can honestly and realistically deny that parental alienation is a serious problem and that it hurts children severely. It is entirely clear that the target parents and children have no chance of stopping the emotional abuse against them without help from the courts. But the courts fail to do anything substantive in so many of these cases, and in others they greatly aggravate the damage. Family court reform is needed to put an end to parental alienation child abuse  because the judges are not willing and able to do their jobs to defuse conflict, promote reasoned adjustment to family structure change, uphold the law, and ultimately protect victims from aggressors when the former methods fail.
Schulte failed to meet his obligations to protect the children from the conflict. Even if they had not been murdered, he failed. What he should have done was to keep the kids in the same vicinity as their father and to have ordered frequent and ongoing contact and therapy sessions for them and their parents.
Elizabeth Fontaine probably could not have been helped much by therapy as personality disorders are very difficult to treat. But having a therapist monitoring and interacting with her and also working with a therapist for the children and one for the father could have helped determine exactly what was going on in the family and helped educate the children on how to resist parental alienation and child abuse.
Often those with personality disorders exhibit memories and recollections of events and words that are vastly different from nearly everybody else. Ordering Elizabeth into therapy with a therapist who does not communicate with therapists for the children and father would have been tantamount to ordering her to falsely accuse the father and providing allies for her to do so. It’s common knowledge that therapists are mandatory child abuse and domestic violence reporters and that alienating parents frequently lie and distort to them to manipulate them into filing false reports, thus engaging the government in the form of police and CPS agencies as allies in their alienation campaign against the target parent.
Judges in cases like these need to be protecting the children’s interests by disarming the parents from being able to use the government to perpetuate their aggressive destructiveness. Nobody can guarantee that parental alienation won’t take hold except by extreme measures such as isolating the children in foster homes and blocking access of alienators to the children. But that extremism is a form of child abuse in an of itself.
While there is no guarantee of outcomes, realistically it was possible to ensure that the children would have had a reasonable chance to overcome the programming being directed at them by their alienating mother and grandmother. Schulte did not do enough in this area. He resorted to erratic and extreme decisions in approving a move out of the area and then ordering a custody change to the paternal aunt. He foolishly failed to put in place the protective measures involving law enforcement that were necessary to keep risk of parental abduction controlled. Those measures probably would have been enough to prevent the murders, too.
Schulte didn’t pull the trigger on the children, but he gave their sociopathic grandmother and mother the excuse to abduct or murder them without removing the means to do it. He should have been able to discern how irrationally they were behaving and that there was greatly elevated risk in this case, but either he was unable to see this or did not understand what he needed to do to mitigate the risks. So in at least this way, he and the family law courts are negligent accessories to murder of two innocent little children.