Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Convicted Killer Sues Victim’s Family

Larry Shandola. Prison photo.

A man serving time for the murder of a former friend and business partner is suing his victim’s family for emotional distress.

In 1995, Bob Henry was gunned down in the parking lot of his Tacoma, Wa., office by a man in dressed head to toe in black, his face covered with a ski mask. Henry’s wife, Paula Henry, knew who her husband’s killer was. She called police and told them to look into Larry Shandola, a former business partner who’d had a dispute with Henry that turned physical. At the time of his death, Henry was suing Shandola for medical damages resulting from Shanola punching Henry in the face.

After a lengthy investigation and trial, Shandola was found guilty and sentenced to 31 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Now 61, Shandola has filed a lawsuit against Henry’s family from behind bars, claiming that they violated his privacy and caused emotional distress by telling the Department of Corrections he shouldn’t be allowed to serve his sentence in his native Canada.

John Ladenburg, Sr., an attorney for Paula Henry calls this move “a simple case of using the courts as harassment.” Paula Henry is worried about retribution if Shandola knows her address.

In an attempt to prevent other victims of crimes from ending up in this situation, Paula Henry, with the help of Ladenburg, is pushing for legislation that would require a convict to get a court’s permission before filing a lawsuit against a victim’s family.

On Friday, a court will hear a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Shandola will be representing himself via phone from the Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, Wa. Paula Henry also plans to ask for $10,000 in damages and a permanent restraining order.

Slideshow: Weird Lawsuits

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