By Sarah LeTrent
(CNN) -- "Missy, you need to change your last name," the shackled man in the orange prison jumpsuit said into the receiver, staring blankly at his 15-year-old daughter's tear-stained face.
"That's when I knew that these things were true," recalls Melissa Moore, now 33.
Until that day, the man behind the glass partition, Keith Hunter Jesperson, was simply her father; the one who used to tuck her into bed at night "like a burrito."
Families of killers and what they go through.
So often forgotten victims.Susan Klebold said in an essay:
"For the rest of my life, I will be haunted by the horror and anguish Dylan caused. I cannot look at a child in a grocery store or on the street without thinking about how my son's schoolmates spent the last moments of their lives. Dylan changed everything I believed about my self, about God, about family, and about love. I think I believed that if I loved someone as deeply as I loved him, I would know if he were in trouble. My maternal instincts would keep him safe. But I didn't know. And my instincts weren't enough. And the fact that I never saw tragedy coming is still almost inconceivable to me. I only hope my story can help those who can still be helped. I hope that, by reading of my experience, someone will see what I missed."
I can not even begin to imagine that, how she feels. It has to horrible.
Melissa worried that she might also be a killer, a bad person or have some kind of evil inside of her due to her father being a serial killer.
"“When I was growing up, my dad had put so much pride in my last name, and he gave me lessons on how to be a good citizen,” Moore said. “My name was now known for these horrific murders, and it started to make me wonder if I was like my dad.” Brown says it’s normal for the family members of killers to doubt their own moral integrity. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right?"
Imagine for 1 second growing up with that fear inside of you. I can't. It speaks of her courage, that she went on.
There is also often a survivor's guilt for the families of the killers.
"Mildred Muhammad’s ex-husband and father of her three children, John Allen Muhammad, terrorized the Washington, D.C., area with random sniper attacks in 2002. Soon, there were reports of shootings throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Once John Muhammad was captured, there were whispers that he had done it to get his ex-wife’s attention. At first, Mildred Muhammad thought that if she’d only stayed with him, he would have killed her instead of killing 10 innocent strangers and wounding three. The guilt and disbelief were overwhelming. It’s difficult to grasp the reality that a family member could cause nationwide sorrow, said forensic psychiatrist Helen Morrison, who has profiled dozens of killers. Also hard is the realization that it’s not the family’s fault. Morrison said it’s imperative to get the individual to talk about their experience — their feelings, their doubt, their anger, their distress — and try to put that in a perspective that finally leads them to say, “It’s not my fault.”
This poor woman blamed herself for not being killed.
I can hope that there will not be anymore murders, but I don't think that is a hope I can really expect to come to being.
So, I hope that in the face of a tragic event people can remember that the killer is alone in their blame.
The families are victims as well, even if that is hard to process.
Another excellent book on this subject, We Need to Talk About Kevin. This is a fictional account but it still has a lot of insight into this subject.