Chris Mackney – A Casualty of Family Court


“In hindsight, I recognize that my reactions to being bullied, abused and denied access to my children gave my ex- wife’s attorney the ammunition they were looking for to bring me into Court…

The love that my daughter and I shared was truly special… I am so sorry that I will not be there to see her grow into a beautiful woman.  My son Jack was just entering Kindergarten, when I lost access to him… It absolutely breaks my heart that I will not be able to help him grow into a man. I love you to, Jack. I miss you both so much.

Truth, facts, evidence or even the best interest of my children had no affect on the outcome. The family court system is broken, but from my experience, it is not the laws, it’s the lawyers. They feed off of the conflict. They are not hired to reduce conflict or protect the best interest of children.

I took my own life because I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing I could do or say to end the abuse. Every time I got up off my knees, I would get knocked back down. They were not going to let me be the father I wanted to be to my children. People may think I am a coward for giving up on my children, but I didn’t see how I was going to heal from this. I have no money for an attorney, therapy or medication. I have lost 4 jobs because of this process. I was going to be at their mercy for the rest of my life and they had shown me none.”

           – Excerpts from Chris Mackney’s suicide letter

On December 29, 2013, a man named Chris Mackney took his own life after spending years in Family Court fighting for his children.  While it has been months since his death, I only just learned of it this past weekend when I was notified by a reporter who plans to cover the case.  When I first read the email, I was stunned and speechless.  I am no stranger to stories that demonstrate the devastating impact that Family Court has on the lives of many.  Chris’ story, however, has hit close to home.  It has hit me because Chris was one of my readers, and he had reached out to me only a few short months before his death.

Upon googling Chris’ name to find out the details of his death, I noticed many websites that have attempted to exploit and twist his story in an attempt to make it appear as though it was something that it was not.  The very fact that Chris had asked to work with me shows that he was not a man trying to tie himself with an anti-women’s movement or speak out against mothers.  From what I knew of Chris through our conversations, he was a man who was trying to survive the horrible legal abuse he was enduring.  He was trying to find a way to get back into his children’s lives.  He was trying to navigate a broken system.

Initial Contact:

12/31/2012 – “My name is Chris Mackney.  I post on your site as madmacks…my case is so bad it’s incredible. I want to call for an investigation because there is so much corruption.  The pattern is so clear and they pretend it’s not there.  I wanted to see if we might work together to expose the courts failures in our cases.”

I was initially skeptical of Chris because I receive loads of letters from all sorts of people – some of them don’t appear to be psychologically sound.  I asked Chris to tell me a bit about his story.  Chris responded with a long email explaining his belief that his ex-wife and her father were both psychopaths.  He claimed that he had proof that his ex father in law was a murderer and heroin trafficker.  Chris went on to explain that his ex in-laws were very wealthy, and that his ex-father in law was extremely litigious (sadly, a strong characteristic of psychopathology).

While Chris wanted to stay out of court, and was willing to give custody to his ex-wife to just have access to the children, his ex’s family was determined to eliminate him.  Chris believed that he was being targeted by his ex wife’s family for uncovering the truth about their criminal behavior.  He also believed that if he went public about his case, he would get to see his children.

1/28/2013:  Psychopathy seems to be the problem.  No one wants to touch it.  Even the Father’s Rights groups…On one hand, it is absolutely the single source of conflict in my case, so I want to have it addressed by the court.  On the other hand, I almost do not want to bring it up, because I know they don’t know how to deal with it.  Dealing with psychopaths in court is hopeless.

This was one of the last times that I heard from Chris.

My reaction:

Many people likely read about my story and wonder if there is something wrong with me too for falling for such a sick and twisted person like Luc. Even though I have seen corruption at its worst drive the justice system into the ground, I still read Chris’ story with a skeptical eye.  I wondered if he had been the abuser.  I wondered about the other side of the story.

 Chris’ story haunts me because many things he said were absolutely true.  The claims he made, while seemingly outlandish, could have absolutely taken place given our broken system.  I was never able to help Chris.  I am not sure what I would have been able to do; however, I still feel sadness that I could not help him see that taking his life was not the answer.

The Ending:

In August 2013, a friend of Chris’ reached out to me to tell me that Chris had been arrested.  She claimed that his ex’s family had orchestrated this arrest, and that she feared Chris would kill himself in jail.  In December 2013 – he did kill himself.

I believe that Chris suffered from Post Traumatic Stress as a result of the legal abuse that he endured.  Psychopaths are bullies.  They enjoy litigation and have a strong need to win.  In Family Court, you will always find a lawyer who is willing to take your money.  Sadly, these cases that involve a disordered person can go on for years leaving people completely penniless and emotionally wrecked.

Some people have looked at what Chris did and thought, ‘he must not have loved his children if he was willing to just give up and kill himself.’  Anyone who has been a victim of this sort of vicious cycle of abuse, however, can understand exactly how Chris felt.  Many of the words he wrote in his suicide letter are not rational, and his final behavior doesn’t seem all that sane.  I would argue, though, that what Chris endured as a result of trying to be a father would drive any sane person crazy.

Currently, Chris’ ex wife is trying to erase Chris’ message from the Internet.  She claims that she owns the right to his final words through some sort of copyright.  I wish Chris had stayed and continued to fight here on earth for his children, and for those children who would come next.   I pray that beyond all the rhetoric not he Internet, that his children one day know that their father loved them.  I also hope and pray that after this tragic situation, we can come together and discuss the real issues apparent in Family Court and stop clouding the issue with gender politics.

Rest in peace Madmacks.


  1. Ostara on May 21, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Thank you for posting this!

    Chris also reached out to me, sadly the day prior and the day of his suicide. My last message to him went unanswered. I didn’t know why till I heard of his death weeks later.

    For those of us dealing with psychopaths, and while I was skeptical of his story at first as well, the essence is always the same. They do the same things, and you know what is the truth. The pattern of behavior is the same.

    God speed Chris.

    • Edward Bonfrancesco on July 11, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Was this guy from New Jersey. A New Jersey TV Program from Chasing New Jersey wants to cover this story on the air. She would love to hear from a friend or family member. Anyone?

      • cappuccinoqueen on July 14, 2014 at 5:43 pm

        Edward, I am actually not sure where Chris was from. I think there are a few people who have commented on here, however, who knew him well.

    • Santos A. Perez on May 5, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      I am a lawyer. I’ve fought a similar battle for 3 years. I was my daughter’s mother for 12 years, now she won’t even look at me. Her mother alienated her – the Family Court system is corrupt. They collude – and they “micro manage” your emotions. In one case, the Judge’s clerk – knowing that I would appeal – said it bluntly, if you appeal you will not be given visitation, and the appeal will take years. He was right, so I had to do as they ordered. My wife has gotten away with raping my and my daughter’s emotions. With impunity. I reached out to Ms. Macney through her twitter. I have one appeal and was told would not be decided until 2019 – three years after the adverse order which forever shut my fate. My twitter:

  2. Anastacia on May 21, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I too suffered legal abuse at the hands of my ex and my wealthy parents, who joined with my ex in his quest for custody and petitioned the court for Court Ordered Grandparent Visitation. But, unlike Chris, I had a VERY supportive spouse and health insurance that offered mental health care.

    This is NOT a Mother’s Rights vs. Father’s Rights issue. I too wish he could have survived to help us fight this battle.

  3. Anastacia on May 21, 2014 at 4:24 am

    I should have written: “You are right – this is NOT…” (…It appeared as though i was correcting you…sorry!) But, on that note: “…rhetoric *on* the internet….” 😉

  4. carol shinn on May 21, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Oh no… this makes me so sad. For his children and all those who need to know that psychopathy is REAL. Strangely, I feel happy for HIM. It can be unbearable. I do not have children, thank God. I was married to a psychopath for 10 years. I have PTSD. I know the feeling. I was raped in 1976 by a murderer and I only escaped by having an out of body experience and bargaining with Someone on the other side. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my Mom and especially my Dad with a never-ending thought of their 29 year old daughter being murdered. I was allowed to re-enter my body and remain on Earth. My Dad died 19 years to the DAY after my rape. I was given other work to do on this planet. I am a trusting person. I was raised to believe that we are all born equal. I knew the rapist was sick but I didn’t understand. I have studied nazism all my life trying to figure out HOW that could happen. After studying all aspects of nazism (historical, political, esoteric) and concentrating on it in college, I finally found books on psychopathy.. Mask of Sanity.. and then “Without Conscience” by Hare. (and others – just finished Martha Stout). That horrible creeping feeling of finally understanding what was wrong with my mate…. It was horror… like having lived with my rapist for 10 years. When he made outrageous statements in Oct 2012, I knew I had my perhaps ONE chance to get out with my psyche intact. It was not physical abuse, it was psychological and predatory. He had a dead affect and when I left and saw those black, dead eyes for the last time…. He wished me dead and said so. I have thought about suicide but I do love life. I love people. I love the Earth. I love my friends. I love my cats (bless them!!). But I have been crying again all day. Some days I cannot stop. Like after the rape. Just exactly the same sorrow and horror and hopeless feeling. I am trying to work through this. I have changed countries. I am determined not to let the 19 years I had with my Dad be punctuated by more death. That will come in time. Just have to keep moving forward. But sometimes, I do wonder why.
    I have followed your story and taken strength from it. Thank you for sharing it. I think that Chris is OK now and maybe can watch over his children better now. After the OBE, I have no doubt that we go ON and ON and ON. We are electrical as is this universe. I got a lot of information on psychopathy on the SOTT.NET site. The woman who runs it helped translate “Political Ponerology” – a great book that describes psychopathology in great detail. It has helped me understand that there was nothing more I could do to help my husband. he is beyond help as was his father (in my last month with him, his mother called to tell me she had finally had to admit to her shrink that she had been married to a psychopath. This is not a sophisticated woman who would even use that word. Her husband had been dead for 6 years at that point and she was still so decimated).
    I wanted you to know that you are positively affecting others out here – like me – still struggling to come to grips with this nightmare.
    I love you,

  5. Maria on May 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

    It’s a sad fact that if you spend a great deal of time dealing with someone who is crazy, trying to manage the crazy, avoid the crazy, and understand the crazy, you WILL become crazy yourself. It’s inevitable. The only viable option is to walk away from the crazy people, and I’m so sorry that Chris didn’t have that option. Well, come to think of it, I guess he did get away from them in the only way left open to him. So very sad.

  6. Tessa on May 21, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I am so sorry for Chris, my take is he killed himself because he loved his children more than life itself, so when he was stopped from seeing his children, the longer the process went on, the more he knew that it was highly unlikely that he would ever see his children. Evan when the children became adults it’s highly probable that they would have been turned against him. My heart goes out to his children, and I hope & pray they both find out just how much their Daddy loved them. I honestly believe it’s a world wide problem. It should always, always what’s best for the children, not who has the deepest pockets. May you Rest in Eternal Peace Chris. My thoughts & prayers are with your friends, family & children. Lord God please help those children.

  7. Angelica Brackeen on May 21, 2014 at 11:06 am

    This is so sad. I too wish he would of stayed and continue fighting. But I can see how that situation would drive someone crazy.

  8. Vicki Kuper on May 21, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    It is true that crazy people have the ability to drive sane people crazy.

    After being the target of a fraudulent lawsuit that went on for 3 years, I can say I completely relate to the feelings of despair that Chris felt. It is so sad that the judicial system failed him. The judicial system is broken across the board. It’s hard to believe this unless a person goes through it themselves, something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I thought it was my local judicial system, but have discovered this happens everywhere.

    Silence is corruption’s best friend. Let’s not be silent about this issue.

    It is my hope that Chris is now resting in peace.

    • cappuccinoqueen on May 22, 2014 at 4:49 am

      I am so sorry that you also endured this sort of abuse Vicki. You are so right – silence is for sure in bed with corruption. Some serious things need to change about this system or our country is in real trouble.

  9. jillmitchell on June 26, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    i’m so happy you wrote this….Chris introduced me to you and your sad, sad story about Prince and your struggle to keep the psychopath away, while the unaware world was opening doors to him into you and your child’s life. Chris really admired all you did and i’m so glad you were a source of strength for him.

    he fought hard to get the relevant parties to see and listen, but hopefully now we can push forward to educate people about how dangerous the psycho/sociopaths, in particular when the Family Courts become their playground.

    Jill Mitchell