The Illinois man who shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R- La.) during a GOP congressional baseball practice was an abusive alcoholic with a violent past, his foster daughter told a judge before her overdose death.
Cathy Rainbolt told St. Clair County Circuit Judge James Radcliffe that James Hodgkinson drank every day and would verbally abuse her.
“I didn’t mark a time when (Hodgkinson) started hitting me,” Cathy told the judge in November 2006, according to The Chicago Tribune. “It’s been hard to live with (an alcoholic) and how (he) treated me.”
Cathy died of a drug overdose in 2015 at the age of 26. Her obituary said that her life “was mixed with human suffering and laughter.”
Hodgkinson and his wife Sue were foster parents from 1990 to 2003.
Cathy’s biological mother lost custody of her after child services officials found that her mother’s boyfriend was sexually abusing she and her two sisters.
Cathy was then placed in foster care where the Hodgkinsons adopted her. She took the family name, becoming Cathy Hodgkinson.
While living with the family, Cathy became friends with a neighbor named Janae Rainbolt. The two became inseparable.
That enraged James Hodgkinson. In April 2006, he barged into his neighbor’s home, “screaming for Cathy” and demanding that she come home, according to a police report obtained by the Tribune.
When Cathy refused, Hodgkinson “grabbed (Cathy) by the hair and pulled her off the floor,” according to the report.
The report also showed an abusive Sue Hodgkinson, who joined in the fray, arguing with and hitting Cathy. “I’ll just call the police and put you back into foster care,” Sue told Cathy, according to the report.
Hodgkinson then joined in by “grabbing Cathy again, choking her, tearing her Belleville West sweatshirt,” the newspaper reported.
After that incident, Cathy was placed yet again in another foster home but came back to Janae Rainbolt’s house when that arrangement didn’t work out.
Court records show that Janae Rainbolt’s mother, Nicki Stieren, then agreed to take custody of Cathy – who changed her last name from Hodgkinson to Rainbolt.
Hodgkinson, 66, was shot dead by Capitol Police after he opened fire on a GOP congressional team in Alexandria, Va., on June 14, wounding four, including Scalise, whose condition was upgraded from critical to serious.
The troubled Hodgkinson also took in another foster child, Wanda Ashley Stock, who died in 1996 after dousing herself with gasoline and then setting herself on fire in a parked car.