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Scorn For The Worst Neighbor In The World

About ten days ago a news story broke about neighbors so heinous they engaged in taunting a dying 7-year old child to retaliate for what allegedly began as a perceived etiquette slight.

Published : Thursday, 07 Oct 2010, 11:56 PM EDT

Trenton MI

myFOXDetroit.com Staff – Her family says 7-year-old Kathleen Edward is in the final stages of a degenerative brain disorder diagnosed as  Huntington’s Disease – the same disease which killed her mother, Laura Edward, when she was only 24.

Neighbors Jennifer and Scott Petkov, who have been feuding with the family, admitted to posting grim depictions of Laura and Kathleen on Facebook.  One photo depicts Laura in the arms of the grim reaper, while the other features Kathleen’s face as part of  a “skull and crossbone.”

The couple hitched a coffin to a pick-up truck in front of the house,  which they say is nothing more than a halloween decoration.

What compels supposedly mature adults to taunt a dying child? On the news video, which readers should watch, Jennifer Petkov rages,  ” Because it burns Rebecca Rose’s  ass raw for me to make fun of her dead daughter on that page.”    And why exactly is it imperative for Jennifer Petkov to make sure the grandmother of the dying 7-year old Kathleen Edward gets her backside suitably chafed?   Police told the news reporter that they have been called to this street before, dealing with long-standing “family-feud” issues:

A member of Kathleen’s family says the bad blood started about two-years ago after the two families had a falling out over a birthday party at the Rose house.  At the party, kids were using a “bounce-house” and playing games in the front yard.  The source says that Jennifer Petkov texted someone in the Rose family, asking if her kids could come to the event.  A response to the text did not come quickly enough and it angered Jennifer.  According to the Rose family, she’s been harassing them ever since.

Awww, how awful!  Jennifer Petkov’s kids were not invited to a party and lest they endure the tragedy of this deprivation, Jennifer tries to get them invited anyway and when her entitlement expectations were not met, she begins a campaign of harassment to punish her neighbors using a deceased mother and dying 7 year old as her weapons in her warfare.  Anyone who has known me or read my writings over the years knows how profoundly deep my disdain is for adults who use children as props in their little battles and machinations.   I can’t control the sneer of disgust that is on my face as I type this and my mental daydreams of horsewhipping Jennifer Petkov are hard to suppress.

Once the story made the news, the public reaction was swift and hard against the Petkovs.    Faced with a world solidly against them, as well as unfortunate death threats against them, the Petkovs issue an apology:

“And to that little girl, I apologize if you’ve been hurt. There’s not much more I can say. And hopefully we can live our lives peacefully from now on.”

Scott Petkov also said he was sorry earlier Friday.  “We apologize for our actions and stupidity.  It was an ignorant thing that we did and it was basically in retaliation about things that were said about my house and my wife.”

Oh, Jennifer.  You should have been reading Ehell for the past few years.  You would have found out that apologies with the word “IF” in them are not valid apologies at all.   Especially the kind that end with “if so-and-so was hurt/offended”.  There is no ownership of the wrongness of the deed and therefore no real regret expressed.    Scott Petkov at least does take ownership of his actions but then somewhat negates it as being justified in defense of his house and his wife.

One lesson readers could take away from this story is that there is no such thing any more as a “little neighborly feud” in this age of cell phone cameras and rapid information dissemination.  Really botch it up and the entire world can know the depth of your idiocy within minutes.  And it will live on FOREVER in news archives online.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Shayna October 22, 2010, 10:59 am

    @Bels – some legitimate mental health disorders can turn people into jerks, or that “other” word you’d like to use. I can think of three of them: Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Sociopathology/Psychopathology (and I think that Jennifer Petkov might fit the criteria for all of them). I believe these are the mental disorders that people here are referring to, not things like depression, bi-polar, etc.

  • Lizza October 22, 2010, 3:27 pm

    Wow. This is heartbreaking. That poor little girl. I don’t even want to believe there are people like this out there. Talk about insane…there is NEVER an excuse to mock a dying child/her dead mother.

  • slicedturkey October 25, 2010, 2:52 pm

    Logistically, if I’d been running a child’s birthday party elaborate enough to include a bouncy castle, I doubt very much I would have heard the chirp that alerted me to an incoming text. It’s possible that the recipient of this all-important texted self-invite didn’t even see the request until much later.

    But all that is significantly secondary to Rose’s behavior. WOW. Just, WOW. A young mom dead at 24, 7-year-old daughter dying of the same disease, and neighbor family is beside themselves because of a birthday party non-invitation two years ago — so upset that they’re using the internet and prop coffins to wound the family. That is profoundly, profoundly wrong, and the “apology” is extraordinarily self-serving.

  • Antonia October 29, 2010, 7:21 am

    Coming in late here, but I feel the need to put my $.02 in. I believe this woman’s behavior definately indicates mental illness. That being said, I have been diagnosed with BPD (the disorder she seems to exhibit the most signs of), and I find her behavior just as beyond the pale as everyone else here. BPD is charactorized by a lack of empathy, severe narcissism (which actually is masking feelings of inadequacy), and a willingness to do anything to get one’s own way. That being said, it does not excuse you from knowing right from wrong and being able to put the brakes on when you know you are being outrageous. I’ve definately done hateful, hurtful, selfish things in my lifetime, but am able to acknowlege that I knew the wrong at the time and was fully responsible for my actions. To try to excuse them would be unthinkable, mental illness or not. And I certainly would never have recklessly tried to hurt a child, ill or not, over some slight, imaginary or not. I guess my point being that if her disorder is anything along the personality spectrum, it is still no excuse. She openly admitted she knew what she was doing was wrong, and even if your illness impairs your ability to feel empathy, you are still an ass. I worked in a nursing facility with a resident much like this (well before my own diagnosis), and when I asked her social worker what could be done, she replied “There is no pill for @$$hole”. Sadly, this is true, but does not excuse this woman’s actions in any way.

  • Mother of a Bride October 29, 2010, 11:09 am

    Antonia said “There is no pill for @$$hole”.

    Agree! My own sister has BPD and for a while was using it as her crutch to get away with doing things that my parents NEVER would tolerate out of me. She disrupted holidays, ruined things for both of our children at Christmas, she had temper tantrums and expected to be the center of attention at all functions. This was as a grown adult with her own children! That behavior stopped cold the last time she had a raging fit at Christmas because I made it clear her “mental illness” was not making her act like an a-hole, it was all of us tolerating her acting that way and excusing her behavior by claiming it was her illness, that caused her to do it. My mother argued and excused her behavior, but I made it clear that was going to be our last holiday ruined by a 30 year old acting like a 3 year old. One thing my family knows is I don’t make idle threats. Lo and behold, my sister has had a complete turnaround in her attitude, at family events, and she’s quite delightful to be around. She NEEDED to be called out on her behavior and when she was, she stopped using her illnesses as excuses to misbehave. So many people do that, now. They all have an “illness” to blame their bad choices on. Whatever happened to taking responsibility for your own actions?

  • Shayna November 3, 2010, 10:15 am

    >>So many people do that, now. They all have an “illness” to blame their bad choices on. <<

    Yes, and I’ve seen many a lazy parent use their child’s illness to lay blame for their piss-poor parenting.

  • PO'd reader November 5, 2010, 2:21 am

    I’m sorry but not only is it rude and thoughtless to taunt a dying child but who in thier right mind would put up a coffin as a halloween decoration if that’s even what it was. Even if I didn’t care what that family thought of me for whatever reason I’d hate to think of what the neighbors would think.

    Then the birthday party excuse. Come on if you’re throwing a birthday party for kids you can’t just sit around waiting for some nut job to text asking to come over. They were busy making their child’s birthday party special.

  • Dawn November 16, 2010, 11:20 am

    If it makes anyone feel better, a judge ordered that Jennifer’s kids be taken away from her, and they are now in the custody of their birth father.

    I know it makes ME feel better! 🙂

  • Anonymous March 22, 2011, 9:38 am

    @PO’d Reader–I can see putting up a coffin as a Halloween decoration, but definitely NOT if you know that your neighbours are suffering from bereavement–in this case, mother dead, child dying…..yeah, I’d stick to jack-o-lanterns and fake spider webbing. It’s really all about discretion. Also, I’m just wondering, did the coffin incident actually happen around Halloween? Did the rude neighbours put up any OTHER (legitimate) Halloween decorations, or just the coffin? Because, if the answer to either of those questions is “no,” then that’s a pretty flimsy excuse.

  • Li June 20, 2011, 2:58 pm

    I know this is an old article, but this just appeared in the news today, awful awful people.