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Posted at 7:55 AM ET, 05/ 5/2010

Friends shocked by Huguely's arrest

By Washington Post editors

People who know murder suspect George Huguely say they're stunned to learn of the allegations against him, WJLA reports.

Huguely, 22, a University of Virginia senior and lacrosse player, is accused of beating his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love, to death. He is charged with first-degree murder and remains held without bond.

Kathy and Peter Preston recall a very different Huguely. Their three kids grew up next door to George and his younger sister in a quiet North Chevy Chase neighborhood. From their deck, the Prestons still see the lacrosse bounceback the kids practiced on.

"He was polite as can be," Kathy recalled. "He was a personable, friendly kid."

Childhood buddy Michael Preston told WJLA: "The George we know is a wonderful, smart man and gifted athlete. Most of all, though, he is a close and dear friend. We all love him and always will."

By Washington Post editors  | May 5, 2010; 7:55 AM ET
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How sad for the Love family.

Posted by: OMG1 | May 5, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

This is a tragedy for both the families; one has lost a daughter, and the other must cope with the aftermath of what their son has done.

Of the tale itself, it speaks volumes already known about men who abuse and the women who are recipient of that abuse; even comments from family and friends are classic examples of the public persona of either vs the private knowledge of both being at variance with one another.

Sadly what we may never know is how many warning signs were given that friends, family and even the couple themselves missed. Nor will we know how many incidents were ignored by onlookers or which were overlooked because 'my son, friend, etc. would never be anything other than kind and courteous.

(Not so surprisingly, one of the biggest signs was the incident between the young man and the police woman. That incident waved huge red flags about the young man, and yet, it was essentially swept under the rug with a slap on the wrist...thus allowing this fatal event to occur.)

How many more tragedies like this one must occur before society takes off its blinkers and begins not only to look at the reality but also begins to act proactively to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again?

Posted by: GazelleDZ | May 5, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Excellent comments from GazelleDZ.

There are always warning signs. Huguely's hostile comments and abusive behavior toward the policewoman; the very recent necessity for other UVa lacrosse players to intervene at a party at which Huguely was aggressive toward Love; other examples will come out.

It's the denial of the reality and of the warning signs that lead to these tragic events.

How many men who fly into narcissistic rages know how to charm others into believing they are polite and gracious people?

So long as there are people who insist on a murderer's good qualities and remain in denial about the possibilities of narcissistic rage, domestic violence will continue.

Who will educate our young women about the very real dangers they face from intimate partner violence? More importantly, who will they think will stand up for them if they see only others' denial?

Posted by: JenniferA11 | May 6, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

great, constructive posts by Gazelle and Jennifer. Back in the day, stories of rape arrests were peppered with friends/co-workers of the accused sputtering that this would not be "like him" at all.
This is generally out of favor with the press today, to its credit. Rapists often have a smooth line to the outside world, as do abusers of this sort.
Who cares if he was polite, or seemed polite, to neighbors? Why is this relevant? Was Madoff a nice guy to the hired help? Was Ted Bundy a good help line volunteer, as has been reported by the author Ann Rule? Perhaps. But why is that important?
It seems to offer him cover, to paper over the monster-like violence against women, which he took part in. End this type of story and these quotes. He essentially admitted the murder.
A better angle would be why to abusers and murderers pass among is, so easily?

Posted by: FloridaChick | May 6, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

This young man had substance abuse problems in addition to rage. Friends are admitting that he was violent on a regular basis when drunk, that he liked to party hard, that he broke bottles, threatened Love and friends witnessed this. He apparently smashed his hand through a car window and that's why Love didn't want to see him. He was obsessive, emailing her constantly. That's why he stole her computer. And after being tazed by the female cop he got even stronger and angrier. Sounds like a misogynist-hater of women. One messed up dude and no one intervened after the numerous times he showed inappropriate violent behavior. Teammates don't want to rat on him. Typical for men. How are we raising men in America that they have this idea of entitlement and narcissism? I love it when the neighbors and nanny said he was a sweet boy. Lots of denial and it ain't the river in Egypt.

Posted by: huidel | May 7, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

"We all love him and always will."

I hope they mean this in a much more nuanced "now we must deal with our deep fondness knowing that someone we love has killed someone" than the denial filled "we love him, thus he can't have done it" protestation it sounds like.

I mean, I've never had a friend of mine turn out to do something like this, so maybe I shouldn't be talking. But I've had plenty of friends who I knew had tempers or problems or trouble that I discovered got worse. I can't say my reaction's ever been anything but ", I hoped something like that would never happen. I guess I've discovered that that person was more darkness than light. How sad."

Posted by: amm72 | May 7, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

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