This angel story was submitted by Sarah’s sister, Gretchen. In her own words, she describes to us the traumatic life that she and her sister had leading up to her eventual murder. Thank you Gretchen for sharing your story with us!
I am sharing these stories on my blog in hopes that during Domestic Violence awareness month that you would consider supporting the organization, Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence. There are many opportunities to help including a one time gift or an ongoing membership. You can find out more by visiting https://www.breakthesilencedv.org/become-a-member/
This is Sarah’s story, written exclusively by her sister and with very little editing from me.
I only tell this story in the hopes someone will learn from it, or gun laws get stronger and the gun laws already in effect are enforced better. Sarah was the baby of the family and had 13 siblings. 11 of those siblings lived elsewhere with their other parent. So In our home there was only us 3 girls, and our mother. Our mother became very religious when Sarah started kindergarten. Going to church and being involved with all church functions. As a single parent trying to make a living, we all grew up quickly out of necessity. We were also taught to instantly obey adults, never talk back, never stick up for yourself, always turn the other cheek. Often hearing the phrase, “if you make your bed you have to lie in it”. I believe all 3 of us ended up in bad marriages. After all we should be keeping the men happy, no matter the cost of our health and happiness. But through all that Sarah grew up a happy child. We had no television due to religious beliefs, so we learned early to entertain ourselves, play outside, use our imagination. At 17 she fell in love with a man. She was head over heels, and wanted to get married within weeks of meeting him. My mother would not sign papers for her to marry early because he already had 5 children, with four of them living with him. They married 4 days after she turned 18. They were pretty happy for a while. Whenever they had a disagreement he would just completely ignore her for weeks to months on end, without speaking, or even acknowledging she was in the room. During the last year of their marriage she stepped out on him several times. I am certainly not proud of that. And that is when her killer came into the picture. He probably would of just been another affair but she ended up pregnant. Her first husband moved away. And Sarah struggled with the guilt of her oldest daughter not having her father around. She was determined that would not happen again to her daughter, so she stuck it out, he was an alcoholic, he was suicidal several times. In and out of re-hab, using marijuana for sure. They broke up several times and always got back together with him convincing her that they married for better or worse, in sickness and in health. And his sickness was the bottle. He had a passion for guns. Having had a felony he was not allowed to own guns. So the few they registered were in her name. After that fateful day I learned there was over 25 guns in the house, stashed everywhere according to police report. Under sofas, under coffee tables, etc. Two years almost to the day, Sarah collapsed at work. She was life-watched into Wichita Hospital. She was having a brain hemorrhage. The drilled into her scalp and drained blood, in doing so they discovered an aneurysm. She had a 7% chance of recovery if she had surgery. We made the decision as a family to try because her children were 7 and 15 ( the fifteen year old had a baby). It took nearly a year for her to recover. She had memory issues, vision problems, shuffled her feet. The doctors recommended some therapy. He told the doctor, “ nah, she’s home now, and doing well enough for sex” I went back to the doctor later that day. and set up her therapy. Although that was not legal the doctor bent over backwards. She was definitely a survivor at this point. So moving ahead two years now. Brian was due for some surgery. He had mis-used his pain meds of course and was self-medicating that night with alcohol. My sister was trying to sleep as she was working over the weekend. According the youngest child who was in the house and witness to the crime. Brian would not leave her alone, begging for sex, etc. My niece said she finally went into the bathroom with him and had sex. Then he demanded she get out of the house and don’t come back. So she said, No you leave.. he went into the other room and came back with a military rifle and shot her twice in the chest. As she tried crawling towards the front door, he shot her four more times in the back. She was able to tell her 9 year old, I love you, get the phone and run. And then Brian shot his head off. My niece called me at 3:30 am 9/9/12.