Domestic Violence...Claims Life of Mom and Son

Christine Keith
On December 5, 2013, Christine Keith {37}, mother of four and writer of a popular housewife blog {Adventures of a Thrifty Mama}, and her son Isaac Miller {14}, were fatally shot.  Christine's ex-husband, Randy Keith {53} used a hunting rifle to kill them because he refused to accept that their marriage was
over. Randy Keith then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.  The three were found dead at their home in Lansing, Michigan.  'It seems surreal, you just don't think this is going to happen to someone that you know who is a wonderful human being and contributes so much to the world,' said Melissa Quon Huber, a family friend of Christine said.

As well as bringing up four children, Christine was heavily involved in her community teaching Zumba classes across the city.

Family and friends who knew Christine and her family say they knew she had dealt with domestic abuse in the past and dreaded something like this would ultimately happen.

My understanding is that she was very firm, and had basically told him they were done,' said attorney Steve Cornish, who represented Christine, told the Times Herald.  'I had very grave concerns for her safety, but I don’t think I expected something this extreme,”   'I was shocked but not surprised,' said friend Cheryl Overley. 'It's part of the cycle of violence. For people who see this and are moved by the story of people who died before their time... I hope they learn about (domestic violence) and start discussions.
Crime Scene

Numerous times in recent years, Randy Keith reportedly threatened to kill his wife if she ever left him, court documents say.  'Threats of shooting me to death with one of his hunting rifles were par for the course,' Christine Keith wrote in a petition for a personal protection order filed in April in Ingham County Circuit Court.  Sadly she later withdrew that order.

In her first divorce filing, as well as in the personal protection order, Christine Keith outlined what she said was her husband’s controlling, erratic and sometimes violent behavior. The couple were married in 2003 but just five years later they were filing for divorce.  Police were called to their Jackson-area home after Randy pushed Christine to the floor, knocking her unconscious briefly.  Christine said they had fought over his refusal to watch the children.  In her petition for the personal protection order, Christine said that in 2011, they were living in a trailer in Webberville, and Randy was fired from his job and didn’t work for a year.

'I had to walk on eggshells not to trigger his abuse,' she wrote, noting that she had been diagnosed with depression and believed Randy also was depressed. '(He) stayed in bed for nearly the entire year, only rarely getting up other than to use the bathroom... At least once a week, he told me if I ever left him he would kill me.'

Christine said she kept an old cell phone in the house, and told their children they could use it to call 911.

'I need to be safe from Randy,' she wrote in the petition filed April 8. 'Based on Randy’s consistent pattern of action, once he’s released…I will not be safe.'

In October — for the second time this year — the 37-year-old Lansing woman filed for divorce. The new divorce case was proceeding toward becoming final, her attorney said. She dropped the initial divorce case in May.

The Keiths had three other children 8, 6 and 4-years-old who were not home at the time of the shooting.

'There was always that possibility when you have someone in your past who has a tendency to be jealous or vindictive,' Huber said.

'It can happen to smart women, rich women, poor women, it doesn't take anything to be a victim of domestic violence.'

Christine's three remaining children are staying with their grandparents.

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I will continue to post about Domestic Violence.  I will be sharing my own story of Domestic Violence.  I want to share others' stories of Domestic Violence.  I want to get the word out about Domestic Violence.  I want to give Victims of Domestic Violence options.  I want them to know they don't need to remain Victims.
I want them to know they ARE stronger than they think they are.  I want to help the victims and their friends and families by sharing information.

If you know someone who is being battered or in any other way being victimized by a spouse, ex-spouse or boyfriend or anyone else, tell them they are not alone.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..


  1. Hi Jan, I am so sorry you have been a victim of domestic violence. Your story is chilling and so scary. I can only imagine what an awful time that had to be. I am so thankful you survived and share your story now helping others facing the same terrible ordeal. I know this was hard to relive through your writing. God Bless you for sharing.

  2. Oh, Jan! I'm so sorry this happened to you but so thankful you have lived to tell your story. I know this could help someone. I have knows victims of violence and one was a church friend. It was just awful and she was 'stuck' as she said. I'm sure it's taken a long time to begin to feel normal after this. God was looking out or you.
    Shelia ;)

  3. Oh WOW!!!!! Ms. Jan, that is just horrible... I'm so so so thankful that you made it out of that. How scary. I hate hate hate that this happened. I'm so glad that you are able to tell the story and possibly alert another woman.... it's terribly terribly sad!!! I ♥ you!