Domestic Disturbance: The Barbara Lacey Story
I first met Barbara Lacey in late 2005. I was a new nurse, working in a long-term care center in O’Fallon, Illinois. My colleagues warned me that she as a tough surveyor and would likely find something to “tag” me with. Barb was the Illinois Department of Public Health surveyor, a Registered Nurse, inspecting our facility. As I performed wound care, and made a mistake, Barb was kind and sought to teach me. I honestly can say meeting her was a positive experience and I am a better nurse for it.
Barbara Lacey was born January 8th, 1956, as Barbara Roberson. She graduated from Alton High School and pursued higher education in nursing. She had obtained her LPN education from Olin School of Practical Nursing and her RN from Lewis and Clark Community College. She had served with the United States Air Force Reserves. She was also very active in her church community. She was a mother and a grandmother.
Barbara had married for the second time around 2002. However, her second marriage to Glenn Lamonte Lacey would prove to be problematic. In July of 2005, Barbara Lacey filed for divorce after three years of marriage citing her husband “has been guilty of extreme and repeated mental cruelty” towards her (Thorsen, 2006). Glenn was not happy about the pending divorce, but police reported no history of domestic violence calls to the Lacey home.
That was until March 7th, 2006. Barb’s sister called the Alton police department. She stated that Barb had called her around 5:30 pm that night and asked her to come to the house. Barb’s sister arrived, but no one answered the door. It was eerily quiet, dark, and a sheet covered the window. She noticed her sister’s car was present and she became very concerned. She met officers at the house to perform a wellness check just after 7 pm.
The officers entered the Alton, Illinois, home and began searching for Mr. and Mrs. Lacey. They attempted to open the door to the back bedroom, but it was locked. As they jiggled the door handle, they heard a gunshot inside the room. At this point, officers forced the door open and found a tragic scene.
Barbara Lacey, age 50, was lying dead on the couple’s bed. Glenn Lacey was lying next to her with a self-inflicted gun shot to the head, but he was alive. Glenn was taken to St. Louis University Hospital and placed in critical care. Barbara Lacey's cause of death was a gunshot wound. Police found a paper in which Glenn had written down funeral plans for both himself and Barb that included the outfits they should be buried in. The outfits were laid out over the back of the couch.
Glenn Lamonte Lacey had an extensive criminal record. Court records show he was significantly delinquent in child support payments for his children. He had been convicted of manslaughter in 1979 for the slaying of nineteen-year-old Michael Everge in Alton, Illinois. He shot the young man to death in a parking lot and served four years in prison. In 1999, he was sent back to prison for aggravated battery but was paroled after eight months. This time he would not go to prison, however, as Glenn Lacey died a day after shooting himself in the head.
Domestic Violence is never okay. If you are the victim of domestic violence, you can get help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
Thorsen, L. (2006) Man who police say killed wife has prison record; St. Louis Post Dispatch; 9 Mar 2006
St. Louis Post Dispatch (2006) Killer wrote funeral plans, police say; St. Louis Post Dispatch; 11 Mar 2006
Illinois State Senate Resolution (2006) SR0671 Senate Resolution; Illinois Senate