By George Demetriou


We have caught several episodes of the BIO Channel show I Survived.  The television show is done in interview format with the actual survivors telling their stories.  Each episode seems to contain three individual stories.  The three stories fall under three seperate categories: surviving a severe industrial/motor vehicle/work related accident, surviving the elements/act of nature/outdoors and surviving a violent incident.  The real life stories are compelling and harrowing.  Anyone with an interest in how humans function during times of severe stress will find I Survived interesting.  I have, but one problem with I Suvived.

Our main interest in the show is the segment on violent crime survival.  The times I caught the show I found myself hanging on the words of the speaker/crime victim survivor waiting for the explanation on how the crime victim "turned the tables" on the mugger/shooter/rapist/home invader.  The problem is there never is a "turning of the tables".   At the end of the show the survivors offer their explanation on why they survived.  The crime victims we've seen interviewed survived because, in our opinion, their attackers lost interest or focus on the victims.  The victims never committed to fighting.  They never took their destiny into their own hands.  We understand that not everyone is capable and willing to determine their own destiny in all situations.  This is not a criticism of any survivor.  It is a criticism of I Survived's producers. 

Why the producers?

Simple.  There are a number of real life incidents where the odds were against an individual or a family and not only did they survive a violent incident, but they won.  There was a clear cut victory by individuals fighting back, taking charge and making sure the bad guys would never commit an act of violence again.  We're not blood thirsty, but if blood must be spilled we prefer it's the blood of the bad guys.  We prefer the viewers leave each episode with the feeling that they can take action to save their families or themselves if need be.  We want people to know it's possible to fight back even when the odds are against them. 

We can't help but be curious about why there is an aversion to showing good guys and gals winning as opposed to merely "surviving".  Surely someone from BIO has the ability to track down a winning survivor.  Are the show's producers worried that viewers may suddenly realize they can be self-reliant?  Do the show's producers feel the episode is more interesting when the victim's survive simply because their attacker allowed them to?   We don't have the answers to these questions, but not wanting to complain without offering a solution we took the liberty of composing a list of real events that the BIO people can use to make a good television program even better.  Or they can have a completely separate show….I Survived….By Winning:

October/1996: A man who had been arrested 8 times in nine years for various robbery and assault charges attempted to rob Courtney Beswick.  Beswick, a wrestler and judo practitioner, threw the mugger over his shoulder and to the pavement where he subdued him with a "wrestling hold".  The mugger died on the scene with a "neck injury".  Beswick is legally blind since birth and formerly named the Most Valuable Wrestler in the Eastern Atlantic Wrestling Division for Schools of the Blind.  Beswick had asked the man, several times, to leave him alone.  (Source: Philadelphia Daiy News)

July/1998:  Musician Marc Maurizi returned home from a show in New York, was shot by a convicted robber on the elevator in his building.  Maurizi fought with the mugger, disarmed him of his 9mm handgun and shot him, ending the incident.  Maurizi suffered a graze wound.  The mugger is taking a dirt nap.        (Source: NY Daily News-7/20/98)

May/2002:  New York City bus driver, Clinton Phillip, is stabbed, while driving a bus, by a passenger who demanded that Phillip drive faster.  Phillip fought with his attacker, disarmed him and used the attacker's weapon to stab the attacker.  The offender was able to get off the bus and make his way to the same hospital that was treating Phillip.  Phillip left the hospital after being treated.  The attacker was transferred to the morgue.      (Source: Newsday May 6, 2002)

March/2006:  Five home invaders, 2 armed with handguns and one with a rifle, crashed the door of a Texas family.  The homeowner walked in to find the gunmen rounding up his wife, elderly parents and children.  The homeowner fought with the home invaders getting one of their guns and shooting him.  Upon seeing their fellow criminal DRT (Dead Right There) the other four cowards ran off.   (Source: Houston Chronicle 3/25/06)

September/2006:  {Our personal favorite}  51 year old nurse, Susan Kuhnhausen returns home and is suddenly attacked by a man with a hammer.  The man struck Kuhnhausen in the head and face.  Kuhnhausen fought the attacker who had an arrest record that includes conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and convictions for robbery and burglary.  Kuhnhausen was able to get the hammer, strike the attacker and get him into a choke hold, choking him to death.  Kuhnhausen was taught basic self defense as part of her nurse training.  Turns out that the attacker was hired by Susan's ex-husband to kill her.  The husband gave the hitman the key so he could enter and hide in the house.  Mr. Kuhnhausen is sitting in jail probably grateful that Susan cannot slip her arm around his neck.  (Source: FoxNews.com,9/16/06)

November/2006:  A Ball Ground, Georgia woman was raped by a home invader.  When the rapist announced to the woman that he was going to rape her six year old daughter the woman ran to her kitchen.  A struggle ensued in the kitchen where the rapist was able to get his hands on a pot of boiling water and throw it on the woman.  Thinking only of her daughter the woman grabbed a knife and stabbed the rapist to death.  (Source: FoxNews.com)

December/2007:  Upon hearing a knock on the door, looking through the peep hole and seeing a woman, a West Valley City, Utah man opened his door.  The woman moved out of the way and two armed men barged in to the home where the homeowner's wife and infant child were.  The gunmen shot and killed the family's Great Dane then duct taped the wife to a chair.  The gunmen forced the home owner to take them around the house.  The homeowner fought with the gunmen getting one gun and shooting them.  One gunman ran off the other never saw another New Year again.  The dead offender was charged with Attempted Murder in 1994, but plead guilty to Aggravated Assault.  (Source: Salt Lake Tribune, 12/31/07)

August/2008:  A 52 year old, registered sex offender broke into an Indianapolis, Indiana home, apparently, to rape the 17 year old girl who lived there.  The rapist wore only a mask and gloves, no clothing or shoes.  The rapist carried with him a rope, a gag, condoms and a knife.  The girl's father, 64 years old, fought with the sex offender and got him into a choke hold, killing him.  (Source: The IndyChannel.com, 8/28/08)

September/2008:  Two gunmen smashed through the front door of a Blue Mound, Texas home where Kelli and Keith Hoehn live.  Kelli began fighting with the men which enabled Keith to disarm the one with the shotgun.  Keith shot and killed the man and wounded the one with the pistol.  (Source: FoxNews.com, 9/8/08)

September/2008:  A 44 year old man entered an unlocked back door of a home in Fort Worth, Texas, armed with a hatchet, gun and a pipe wrapped with tape.  The attacker confronted Ron and Jill Huddleston, ages 50 and 47.  The Huddleson's complied with the attacker's demands and gave him cash and a coin collection.  When he demanded more the Huddleston's, not wanting any trouble, offered their cars.  The attacker apparently didn't want their cars because he began beating Ron with the pipe.  The assault left Ron with a broken arm and cuts to his face.  Ron and Jill began fighting with the home invader when he turned to assault Jill.  Ron was able to disarm the man while Jill grabbed a knife.  Upon disarming the bad guy Ron tried to shoot him, but discovered the attacker's gun was unloaded.  Jill was able to stab the attacker. The home invader was removed from the home and died in police custody.  (Source: Dallas Morning News, 9/22/08)

November/2008:  Brooklyn shop owner, Youssouf Drame, disarmed one of the two armed thugs who entered his store and announced that they were robbing him.  There was a struggle over the cash register, one employee was pistol whipped and Drame was shot in the stomach.  After being shot, Drame snatched a gun from one of the robbers and shot and killed both men.  The two lookouts outside the store ran off.  (Source: NY Daily News, 11/18/08)


The better your physical conditioning the harder you are to kill.

Mindset is everything in a life and death confrontation.

Pleading and reasoning with a sociopath is a waste of time.  Decisive action and overwhelming force wins the day.

Gender is not a factor in self protection capability.  A motivated woman can defend herself despite the fact that there are men and women who believe the contrary.

It's possible to beat attackers who surprise you, injure you, are armed and are more vicious than you once you commit yourself to winning, not just surviving.  These life and death fights are not sporting events.  The above listed dead perpetrators were depending on their victims not putting up a fight.  If they knew they were going to be in a real fight the bad guys would have picked who they perceived as an easier target.  If these thugs were brave they would have real jobs and be productive members of society.

You can fight effectively after being shot, beaten with a pipe or having boiling water thrown at you.  You can allow yourself to suffer the affects of pain when the bad guy is no longer a threat.

The dead perps were either repeat offenders or would have been.  Some were charged with serious crimes previously yet they were back in society to commit more crime.  These bad guys would have kept committing violent crimes if they had gotten away or went to jail.

Saving a loved one is extremely powerful motivation.  If you cannot muster the inner strength to save yourself think of a loved one and fight as if you had to protect them.  By winning you are protecting them.

Husbands and wives who are on the same page when it comes to defending themselves and their homes are very formidable.  Family planning for emergencies should include guidelines for a violent incident/home invasion.

Fight sooner rather than later.  Don't try to figure everything out before going into action.  The most chaotic time of violent incidents is the beginning stages.  It is also chaotic for the bad guys.  Take advantage of the chaos.  Cause chaos.  Operate in the chaos.

Convicted sex offenders are never rehabilitated.

The choke is a valuable defensive tactic and relatively easy to apply.


We purposely chose incidents where the bad guys had the upper hand by being armed, having greater numbers or surprise on their side against unarmed, unsuspecting, decent people. There are numerous incidents every year where responsible, law abiding citizens who are armed stop criminal acts just by being armed.   We don't expect this fact to be widely publicized and we especially don't expect a television production to bring this fact out.  Self-reliance goes against the agenda of many of the powerful people in television land.

In our humble opinion the above listed incidents would make for more interesting viewing and would offer a better lesson for those willing to take it.  The only reason we can see for these incidents and those like them not to make it to a production such as I Survived is the winners of these confrontations don't wish to comment or be involved.  This would be completely understandable.

Hey BIO, give us a call!

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