Logan woman killed in apparent murder-suicide remembered as advocate for victims of abuse

Posted at 5:26 PM, Mar 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-12 22:03:34-05
A photo of Mary Palley posted by CAPSA.

A photo of Mary Palley posted by CAPSA.

LOGAN, Utah — A letter to a local newspaper led police to the scene of an apparent murder-suicide in Logan this week, and the woman who was shot and killed is being remembered for her years of advocacy work on behalf of victims of abuse.

Mary Flynn Palley, 73, was found dead at a home along with her husband, 82-year-old Dell Andrew Johnson. Police believe Johnson murdered his wife before taking his own life, and police were led to the scene after a local newspaper received a letter warning of a tragedy.

According to a press release from the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, Palley was a long-time member of Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse and served on the Board of Trustees for more than 26 years–most recently as the group’s historian.

Palley was an attorney, and the release states she provided “countless hours of free legal advocacy to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, working selflessly to promote safety as she helped survivors navigate the court process and obtain protective orders.”

The release states Palley gave of her time freely and helped CAPSA and others partner to help fund transitional housing for survivors along with other support services and opportunities.

In addition, Palley had established the Flynn Endowed Scholarship in honor of her parents, aunts and uncles. The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate female students who are returning to college.

The release states: “Mary graciously supported the CAPSA team with mentorship and generosity. She was a dear friend to CAPSA for many years and we will miss her greatly. This tragedy has been reported as a murder-suicide, which is a form of domestic violence or intimate partner violence. The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition reminds our communities: free, confidential help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-897-LINK (5465).”

Resources are also available through the coalition’s website. 

CAPSA works to provide safe, caring and confidential support, including shelter and advocacy, to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. They also promote education aimed at preventing abuse.