John, my step father was frantically trying to get out of that underground room as the sand started to fill the dungeon. He was normally very calm, rocking, and chanting to himself. I knew this particular part of his sadistic lifestyle was coming to an end. It was my fault, I knew that too, that was why I was put in the cage. Once I discovered the power I had within myself I wouldn’t quit talking regardless of what they did to me. And even though he left me down there, pulled up the rope ladder that led in and out of that black hole, and though my cage was locked I was still happy. Happy because he could no longer hurt me or Dawna. I knew he’d leave for ever. Happy because I knew people were watching him and that was his greatest fear. He would undoubtedly find another dark whole to hide in, without us. As the rope disappeared and I could hear footsteps scrambling above my head, I lifted the latch climbed out of my cubby prison cell and went across that underground penitentiary to unlatch a little boy’s cage. He had the most beautiful olive colored skin, bIack hair, and before he was put into that nightmare he had a bubbly happy energetic personality. I remember watching him play, the same day my step father took him, and thinking he would be a fun friend.
That day, when the hole was being filled, I just stared at him wondering why he wasn’t trying to get out or listening to my voice as I plead for him to hurry. Then something very peaceful and calming came over me. I looked deeper into his dark brown eyes with tiny golden flecks in them, they just stared back at me, and they were empty. He was no longer there with me. Though the sand and water kept filling the entire dungeon I stood looking into those eye slowly climbing up the sand pile as it got bigger. I was amazed at the peace and light I could see around him. Not so much in the death process itself but the place I knew he had gone. It seemed to be glowing all around me, I say glowing for a lack of any other word to describe it. He was happy, he was ok. As I think back on it today while I write it down, President Monson’s favorite quote comes to my mind. “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left. My spirit shall be in your heart and mine angels round about you to bear you up.”(1) I knew the angels were bearing him up though we were in two different places now we were both being surrounded by angels. Nephi also talks about angels “…, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about…” (2)
I climbed out, went to the other side of the crawl space and just stayed there until I could not hear anyone above me. As I sat there, I began to cry. I wondered why that little boy got to go home. And I had to stay here on earth. Death was beautiful and not something that was terrifying. The terrifying part was living in a world and taking the blunt end of others bad choices. Later that night I climbed out of the crawl space, wet cold and dirty, but tougher and stronger. Determined I would never love anyone again. Up to this point those that I loved were either dead, had used that love to manipulate and hurt me or had lived in another state though they had never hurt me, I wasn’t sure I could trust that to last. So instead, I built a wall between me and the world, with Dawna being the only one with a key to get in. Oh, some saw glimpses of me, and even got a foot in my closed off heart. I truly believed Love was a four letter word synonymous to hate, hurt, and pain. I wanted nothing to do with it.
Until I took missionary discussions and was taught that within certain boundaries it was safe to love. If others followed the Lords instructions, lived them, they would have no desire to hurt you. They just wanted the same things I did. A safe happy life.
I have carried a promise in my heart for that little boy, for all of John’s victims. I promised to set them free. To tell their loved ones they are ok. Where they now are. For 25 years I have been trying to fulfill that promise but, I can’t get the people with the authority to do something about it to act and use the power the law has granted them.
After our trip to Oklahoma I was so excited. I was certain I would be able to fulfill that promise. I was convinced that the police officers would see the error of their ways and just go look at the crawl space. It was exactly the same as I remembered, exactly how I had described it to them. Anyone could tell there was a room there just by looking. And they would arrest the psychopath and no one else would be hurt. But, I was wrong.
One of the first disputes the Edmond Police Officer gave me. Was that all that evidence we found and brought to them was materials accidently swept down into the crawl space when the home was remodeled in the 1990’s. It was obvious to me that, that was not true. So we gave our pictures to an investigator here in Utah and asked them to find as much information out as they could.
By looking on the numbers on the side of the pipe they could tell it was too old to have been used in 1990 when the home was remodeled. They would not have used this material in any kind of plumbing. It was material that they would have used when the home was originally built. Also, it was definitely broken off not cut as they would have done in a remodel. The water line and the vent were exactly as I had described in my police report before I ever went back to Oklahoma. They concluded that this piece of evidence is consistent with the report I had sent the Edmond Police Department. This proved yet another one of their excuses to be invalid.
Thank you for sharing my story with your friends. Thank you for supporting me. I’m sure all of John’s victims are thanking you from above. I just have to believe with a little or a lot of pressure they will have to go look.
(1) The ministering of Angels General Conference talk. By Jeffery R. Holland https://youtu.be/TGy3dY6Z7ks
(2) 3Nephi 17:24 The Book of Mormon