Blue Eyed Butcher is based on the true story of Susan and Jeffrey Wright, a seemingly perfect young couple whose marriage ended in murder.
The couple met and married in Texas. They had two children by the time the marriage went sour and Susan stabbed her husband 193 times and buried his body in the backyard. She was convicted of first degree murder in 2004 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The film is told through flashbacks during Susan’s trial for Jeffrey’s murder. Testimony supported Susan’s claim that Jeffrey was very controlling, insisted that she stay at home with their kids where she could constantly be at his beck and call, punished Susan if their house was not immaculate, and forced sex on Susan whenever he wanted. In short, he was a very abusive husband. It is certainly completely plausible that she was forced to kill him.
The District Attorney in the case is a heartless bitch, which lends more credibility to Susan’s side than to Jeffrey’s. The only testimony from Jeffrey’s family was that he felt trapped into marrying Susan when she unexpectedly became pregnant. Well then he should’ve been more careful about where he put his penis.
Susan’s testimony throughout the trial is completely consistent with a victim of domestic abuse. Jeffrey Wright was hyped up on steroids and testosterone most of the time. He spent his time pumping iron, at strip clubs getting juiced, and with clients furthering his career. At the end of the day he expected his wife to have an immaculate home and be his personal sex slave. The fact that his parents thought this was acceptable makes me wonder what kind of parents they were.
The turning point for the couple’s marriage seems to have been when she tried buying groceries for their “date night” and her card was declined. She has sixty dollars in cash and buys what she can. He shows up hours late, snorts cocaine in the car before coming inside, and then punches their four year-old son with his fist. To hear that this was “typical Jeffrey” is horrifying. What a monster.
The District Attorney seems to have based her “first degree murder with premeditation” theory on the fact that there was blood everywhere, which in my opinion should’ve proved it was NOT premeditated. Susan snapped and honestly who wouldn’t? Years of abuse does add up. A man who punches his four year-old son and tells his wife she looks like a whore is not a “model husband and father”.
There are some instances where I believe it’s justifiable to re-enact a crime. This was not one of them. The reenactment made me sick and caused the jury to convict Susan, who I believe was innocent. The reenactment was the District Attorney’s “opinion” and solely that, based not on any evidence. That alone should have made the judge refuse to allow it. Bad judge. Bad call.
Now for the film. There was no chemistry between the two leads. The dialogue was cheesy. I found much of their acting unbelievable until it became violent. There were very tiny snippets of scenes, not entire scenes, and that makes it hard to believe. According to the District Attorney’s reenactment, Susan tied up her husband then stabbed him. There was no proof of this. And after the trial, Jeffrey’s former fiance came forward and testified to four years of abuse at Jeffrey’s hands. No surprise there. Why wasn’t this in the film?
Texas is like another country. The men from Texas are cocky, self-assured, and often abusive. Women are their playtoys. That’s what I got from this film and it pretty much agrees with what I’ve experienced firsthand. Susan behaved like a victim of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and no one got her any help. After the crime her PTSD symptoms worsened and still she received no help. Something’s wrong when your friends and family see that you’re a victim and don’t help.
Five out of ten stars for the film. It kept me interested, but was still lacking in just about every way possible. It made Susan look like a psychopath, which she was not. Susan’s attorney was inadequate and the judge was heavily biased from the beginning. When politicians, judges, district attorneys, and others in the legal system use families to get elected, it’s a real shame.
I’ve noticed that many of the reviews of this film that are floating around have mentioned Susan’s very odd behavior after the murder. Among other things, she buried Jeffrey’s body in the backyard, planted flowers, and held a yard sale selling off Jeffrey’s belongings. She told everyone that Jeffrey had taken off on a business trip, but his cell phone was left behind. This seemingly odd behavior, believe it or not, is typical of victims of PTSD. Examine the stories of war veterans who come home. They exhibit the same very odd behavior. It doesn’t make you a butcher or a cold-blooded murderer. It makes you a victim. For more information on domestic abuse and PTSD, read any of Patricia Evans’ books. She gives a clear picture of the escalation and isolation that takes place within an abusive relationship.
The court modified Susan’s sentence to 20 years in prison, down from 25 years, when it was demonstrated that her attorney did nothing during the punishment phase of her trial.
Blue Eyed Butcher Movie Trailer
Blue Eyed Butcher Movie Trailer 2
Cast Interview with Sara Paxton of Blue Eyed Butcher
How Susan Wright’s Lawyer Failed Her
This news interview sheds light on the many ways Susan Wright’s attorney failed her. It also goes into other cases of Battered Woman’s Syndrome, which has successfully been used as a defense in murder trials. In order to show Battered Woman’s Syndrome, the victim must demonstrate systematic and long-term abuse at the hands of her victim.