Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wednesday, July 23, 1999

The indictment came down today, but the Prosecutor says he can't tell us anything until Monday. Another day of waiting and wondering for nothing. It's so hard to focus on anything else. Today I've thought a lot about *Jeff Balder. I guess I've always been so fascinated by his crime that I didn't really consider the pain he caused to his victims' families. Maybe I did consider it, it's just that up until now, I didn't realize the depth of their pain. How can I listen to him tell me how he deserves an appeal, when I am now in the same position as his victims? How would I fell about Bethanie's killer getting out early because it was his first offense? A murder not only takes a life, but forever changes the lives of all of the victims. Should he be allowed to get on with his life after losing only a few years? I don't know if I can ever face him again. I know that there will be many lessons to be learned throughout the duration of this journey we didn't ask to take. I only hope that I am able to identify them all and use them to enrich our lives. It just wouldn't be right to let Bethanie's death be in vain. I've become very frustrated with the press. All they want to talk about is the Kennedy deaths. There was even a Kennedy memorial fund set up. Don't they have enough money? Yesterday, a young man from Guatemala was found drowned in the river. There was a fund set up to send his body home in less than 24 hours. Wasn't our baby's death at least as important as his?

* Jeff Balder was convicted of murder in Tuscarawas County. My now ex-husband had been his jailer during his trial, and the two remained friends after Jeff was sent to prison. I frequently went along to visit Jeff and found him to be a pitiful young man who had made an irreversible mistake. He was caught stealing a $3 bottle of deer lure, and chose to shoot the security guard who apprehended him, rather than go to jail for the theft.

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