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East side Green Bay deaths ruled murder-suicide

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GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Police are talking more about the investigation of a man and woman found dead inside an east side Green Bay apartment Monday.

The deaths of 52-year-old Jeffrey Fish and 47-year-old Linda Dickenson have been ruled a murder-suicide.

"Jeff shot Linda as she was near the front door of the apartment," says Green Bay Police Capt. Todd Thomas, revealing the autopsy results. "And then he went into the bedroom and committed suicide with the same rifle."

Officers initially responded around 11 a.m. to the apartment at 1055 Bader Street after Linda Dickenson's employer asked them to do a welfare check. Dickenson didn't show up to work Monday morning.

"They attended a wedding Friday evening together and were drinking with family and friends," says Thomas. "Jeff was supposed to meet up with some family members Saturday morning and he never showed up."

Capt. Thomas detailed a history of domestic violence incidents through their investigation. Fish and Dickenson had been in a relationship for 10 years, and had been through several police calls regarding Jeff's abusive behavior towards Linda. 

"We've interviewed several people who knew Jeff and Linda, and it appears she has been the victim of domestic violence in the past, which included an incident where she got a black eye and an incident where he allegedly pointed a firearm at her," says Thomas. "A family member said that Jeff was jealous and controlling of her and that is usually what their arguments were about."

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROBLEM

Capt. Thomas also revealed that during their decade-long relationship, Linda Dickenson left Jeffrey Fish several times but did end up going back to him. Its part of the ongoing problems surrounding relationships rooted in domestic abuse.

"Unfortunately it's a tragedy we see all too often," says Thomas. "Since 2011, if we go back and look at all of our homicides that we've had that are not vehicle or drug-related, 5 of the 11 are domestic-related homicides."

Thomas added that the issue of domestic violence isn't a private family issue, "it's a public safety issue."

Golden House Executive Director Karen Faulkner, who hosted Tuesday's media conference, says that no relationship is the same and while some may be ready to leave an abusive relationship, others are not.

"Leaving the relationship is often the most dangerous time for a victim. It is a time when the abuser tends to feel that loss of power and control, which is the root of most domestic violence," says Faulkner. "There are so many factors...the feeling of love, dependency, socio-economic status, if children are involved, it may be that person doesn't understand that this is the relationship that could have devastating effects like in this recent case."

According to Faulkner, Golden House helped over 1,500 women, children and men through their shelter and services. However, she adds that 20 percent of requests for help weren't able to be met at their shelter. In those cases, other plans needed to be made.

"We have a significant problem with domestic violence in our community," says Faulkner. "We need to do a better job of helping people understand what healthy relationships look like. How to handle difficulties in a relationship, and that starts with our children and it's our responsibility as a community to make sure our kids understand what respect looks like in a relationship."

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