Woman Kills Man Husband Hired to Kill Her During Break-In
"Tell me who sent you and I will call 9-1-1 for you", Susan told her attacker shortly before she killed him
Susan Kuhnhausen ain’t got time for that.
When her husband hired a hitman to kill her, it was the hired help who would end up six feet under. Susan fought the man with her bare hands and the claw hammer he intended to kill her with. She won the fight. He called the WRONG bluff, that’s for sure.
The Brutal Attack
It was about 6:37 p.m. on September 6, 2006, and 51- year-old ER nurse Susan Kuhnhausen had just arrived home after a long shift at work. She’d stopped by the beauty salon first. As she opened the door to her kitchen entrance and disarmed her security alarm, she walked through her house before returning outside to check her mail.
As Susan stood in the hallway looking through the mail, a man jumped from behind the bedroom door and attacked her.
The man stood 5’9, weighed 190 pounds, and wore a blue-striped shirt with Dockers. His tan baseball cap was pulled over his eyes, his long hair in a ponytail tucked underneath. He carried a red and black claw hammer in his pocket. Susan would learn later that his name was Ed Haffey and her husband hired him to kill her for a heft fee of $50,000.
Susan Fights Attacker
Susan was not afraid at the sight of the hammer Ed carried. As an ER nurse for over 30 years, Susan had seen and heard it all, from helping with heart massages to assisting with overdose patients. She was also trained in self-defense and has a strong love for life and the will to live.
As Ed approached Susan, she crowded him, asking what he wanted. She was bigger than Ed, although standing 5’4” tall. He didn’t answer nor did he stop. Susan used her body weight against the man and slammed up against him. He pushed Susan, telling her “you’re strong.”
This sent Susan into a fury. It was at this point she knew the man was going to kill her. She asked again who he was and who sent him. Still no reply. A struggle ensued and Susan wrangled the hammer out of his hands, swinging its claw three or four times into his head as hard as she could.
He grabbed the hammer out of her hands and Susan grabbed him by the throat. She asked again who sent the man, cutting off his airway. As his face began to turn blue and purple, Susan let go and tried to run. Ed caught her.
He punched her several times, causing her to fall to the floor. She looked up to see Ed standing over her with the hammer. She thought “this is how I die.” Determined to live, Susan fought back, pulling Ed to the floor.
Susan began biting the man, thinking that she would leave her DNA on him if she was going to die. Wrestling on the floor, she bit his arm, his flank, his thigh. She even bit through his zipper to his genitals.
She got on top of the man.
"TELL ME WHO SENT YOU HERE AND I WILL CALL YOU A FUCKING AMBULANCE!" she yelled at the top of her lungs.
The man only growled at her.
Susan leaned forward, tightening her forearm against his throat. He stopped moving. She then grabbed the hammer and ran to the neighbors' house, who called 911.
Neighbor Calls 911
Ann the Neighbor: "We have an intruder in the house next door.… The intruder was in the bedroom with a hammer. The woman who lives there thinks she may have strangled him. He was down when she left."
911:"Can you put her on the phone?"
911: "Does she need an ambulance?"
"No, she's a nurse. She says call an ambulance for the guy. He may be dead."
911 dispatcher: "What did she use on him? She strangled him. What else did she do?"
Neighbor: "She put a chokehold on him."
911:"I've got help on the way. Stay on the line."
"She has a hammer here."
"Don't touch it. Don't touch it. Just leave it there."
Neighbor: "She hit him in the head several times. That's the hammer he had with him. She struck him, and she strangled him, and she thinks he's dead."
—Sept 6. 2006 911 call
Mike R Sentenced
Police arrived on the scene and quickly identified the attacker as Ed Haffney. They also found a backpack with ransom money and a note from Susan’s husband inside. Ed had worked for Mike at his janitorial company after moving to Portland. He’d recently been released from prison after the 1991 arranged murder of his ex-girlfriend.
Susan and Mike had been married for 19 years but things went sour and she decided to leave him for her own happiness in September 2005. That’s when he plotted to kill her.
Mike was out of town when the incident went down. A note left in the mudroom for Susan professed his love for her and explained that he was headed out of town.
Police eventually caught up with Mike and arrested him for the murder-for-hire plot. He was sentenced to 10-years in prison.