I wanted to share with you today some news that could be very exciting. One of my friends did some digging into the Oklahoma County Accessor’s office. This week’s blog will be a short one but, I am full of amazement, and very excited today with the direction of our case. I have met so many wonderful people and have grown to love them all. I can’t believe the amount of help that I am getting from people I hardly know. My friend looked up the current homeowner’s name and past owners and or business names which are public record. She has found some names associated with the homes registered owners and deeds over the last 40 years that she thinks may link the home to my stepfathers’ children. For instance, the man who owns the house right now has the last name Wright. My oldest stepsister’s last name is Wright. She also found a Brown and a Robinson that have once owned the house. Those are also last names that my other step sister has gone by. She is going to do some more digging for me to find out more information. Meanwhile, I am going to give my stepsister a call and ask her. If in fact, they have ties to the house, then there is a very good likelihood that we will be able to dig. All of us siblings got along when we lived together. Here’s a picture.
Boy pictures are deceiving. Looks like a normal family
All of us got along well enough expect Dusty. He was a very disturbed boy and for our own safety, we kept clear of him. Or as far away as possible (that’s a story for another day.) Top right Troy Olson, far right middle is Debbie Marr, and Dawna is sitting on her lap on the far right. Middle row is Dusty Olson and John Marr Jr. Who now goes by the name of Julius. Far left upper corner is Jackie Marr-Wright. Me next with Cindy Marr- Brown- Robinson on the bottom left. Oh… I hope this is true and they find it in their hearts to find the truth!
Oh and Thank you so much for your support!
I was just telling Neil how thankful I am and how much I love so many people! This picture cracked me up because I pulled my legs up like I always do and it looks like my knees are a heart. Thought It was totally appropriate for all the thanks and love I feel in my heart for you!
While we wait to see if it will ever, in this lifetime, be apart of my journey to dig in that crawl space. Somehow… Today I feel a lot more peace about what may or may not be.
Let us cut the ropes that keep us tied to the things that weigh us down.
The huge net of experiences we have during our lifetimes are interwoven. Ultimately, they can help us learn who we want to become and where it is that we want to go.
Or in the mix of frustration, anger, helplessness,…. All those feelings that we, all of us, have felt. We can get tied up in the whirlwind of confusion keeping ourselves grounded to the same spot unknowingly not cutting ourselves free from the experiences that caused these anchors. Our individual life stopping shank’s that keep us from flying and living the happy life we dream of.
No matter how much warmth and love we surround ourselves with or fill our balloons of life with. We can’t ever get full enough for takeoff if we don’t cut the ropes that keep us grounded in the same hopeless spot.
I realized that I have been airborne for quite some time. And good job for me for even getting off the ground. But, without even realizing it, until this morning, I have always kept myself tied to my past. Double knotted to my heavy loaded basket. I worked so hard daily on trying to stay lifted up above my past sorrows and pain. That I never stopped to look back at the ropes I still had tied to my past. I suppose I never realized the responsibility I took upon myself for another’s bad choices. I held onto the guilt of knowing what had happened and tied a double knot in that connection to that sorrow. Regardless of all the different avenues, I took to find the freedom to fly I just could not take flight. Floating hovering, loving life yes. But, flying no.
It was liberating when my step-sister told me that my step-father had died it was almost as if someone cut the rope I didn’t have the strength or knowledge on how to cut. That particular rope of frustration and anger that kept me tied to my past, severed, just simply was not a part of my life I needed to worry about any longer. He was gone.
Yes, John did get away with murder. He did. At least in this lifetime. But, those acts of his will forever keep him from flying. He spent a lifetime of hiding, living in his frustrated dark cold world. He’ll expect nothing more in the life to come. Yet, I have spent a lifetime learning how to fly as far away from him and those memories as I could. I never realized that it was me that needed to cut the rope that kept me connected to him. Cut the rope and throw it over and away from my basket. Give all those blessings I have been given, the power they were intended to have. I have been promised to be set free, free to fly above the challenges I have courageously conquered. Now Each time the fire is stoked when I feel that soft but powerful warmth come over me putting more air of positive, hopeful, light into my life balloon, I’m not going to hold it back. I’m going to let it fly.
My life, as well as yours, has been full of gusts of windy trials. The ropes or challenges are essential for the ride. They keep us connected and held together constant reminders of who we are and where it is we are headed. But, they don’t have to be a constant anchor.
Those ropes can be manoeuvred and strategically placed to get us to the right destination or keep us hovering just above the ground. Far enough away that you keep your dreams in sight yet, not completely away from the anchors that hold you down away from them. I felt like the very heavens cut that rope for me this last week.
The heavens cut the ropes that kept me tied to the things that weighed me down. The net of experiences I have had during my lifetime is interwoven. Ultimately they can help me learn who I want to become and where it is that I want to go. The eternal perspective that I have right at this moment. As if looking down upon my entire life. It all looks and seems so small insignificant in comparison to the vast future and unlimited opportunities that await me.
The words the Savior said, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship…,”(1) That’s what I will do. I’m going to take my tangled net of ropes and cast it to the other side of the boat like the Savior told his disciples to do. Just because my life may not have unraveled the way I had imagined it to, doesn’t change the fact that it is unraveling and it is up to me to see the beauty in the design of the rope, and cut the anchors that stop me and fly in the direction I was intended to travel. Thanks for travelling with me. Let us together have faith in the course the wind blows and faith in the captain of our destinies. Love you!
ps. I have had a lot of people want more personal stories on how to overcome such tangled experiences and how I did it, how I would suggest they do it. I promise in the upcoming weeks I will share with you. While we wait to see if it will ever in this lifetime be apart of my journey to dig in that crawl space. Somehow… Today I feel a lot more peace about what may or may not be.
Have you ever had a feeling that you should do something? A prompting to act even when it is completely out of your comfort zone? This was me last week.
All the insecurities I’ve acquired over a lifetime of rejection from those that I once loved. I knew they had lived with the same monster I had. Just knew they knew more than what they were telling the authorities. Yet, my mother and step-family never confessed the truth. My thoughts would echo to the phrase I once heard, “Just give up Shawna there is no one to help.” So far they had been right. Then I’d pray and read my scriptures and remember all the wonderful people who have tried to help. And I’d feel courageous and believe there were more out there, I just needed to press forward.
All week I kept having the prompting to find Julius. Who is Julius? Julius was my little brother. My birth mother had 4 children she brought into that marriage with my step-father. He had four children that he had brought in too. Julius was his youngest. Dawna and I, my twin sister, where her youngest. Julius was six months younger than we were. And we were the best of friends. We looked out for each other…. Well, the best that we could. I had a bond as close to him at that time as I did with Dawna. We were very close and I loved him like I loved my twin. The day my step-father left was a huge relief to me. I knew Dawna and I would be safe. But, I couldn’t shake the helpless deep seeded sadness that I felt and have felt my whole life over the fact that we could not take Julius with us. It was almost as if my birth mother found joy in his sorrow, in our sorrow…. Perhaps some kind of victory for her because I had taken away the lifestyle she loved by what she called, “My big mouth.” We hung out with Julius and Cindy, my other stepsister, a few times after the divorce. But, we quickly moved back to Utah. I didn’t hear from him until I was in high school, then I got to see him once. It was too short of a meeting.
All week last week I kept having this prompting to find him. The faithless part of me kept thinking, ‘Ya right, I’ll find him.’ I’d chuckle with frustration at the thought because I had tried to find him. A lot as a matter of fact. Each time I asked I was told I couldn’t talk to him. The first time was by Becky, my birth mother, she smirked and smugly said, “You can’t talk with him. He’s in a mental institution.” Of course, she didn’t know which one. The next time he was in prison. I actually wrote him a few times there. The next time, he was in yet another mental institution. When Becky’s cackling voice told me that for the second time, I was actually bold enough to tell her, “If he is, it’s because you and John put him there. I’m surprised all of your children aren’t there.” Again she would smirk that same smirk of victory. I stopped talking with her after I had my own children. I didn’t feel they were safe with her. And I knew that no amount of Love I tried to give would change the destructive choices she deliberately took in her life. But, I didn’t give up on Julius.
The next time I went looking for him I asked my stepfamily. They said they didn’t know, they believed him to be homeless in San Francisco. They hadn’t heard from him. The next time, they said, “Prison in Hawaii.” The next time after that, “Prison in Canada.”
‘Ya right,’ I thought to myself, ‘I was going to find him now. How? How would I possibly find him?”
Then the fighting side of me came out again I told myself ‘ok I can do this. I’ve done hard things before.’ I called my step sisters again to ask. However, when I did the only phone numbers I had were no longer working.
‘Ya right, you’ll never find him.’ The doubt inside of my head echoed. With 40 years of frustration boiling over, I fought the feeling to do more. I wanted to scream. How much more could I do? When will this stop?
Then I decided to fight again. ‘Keep going…’ I searched on the internet. Thinking to myself, if Moses parted the Red Sea (1) surely I could find a number if prompted to do so. Guess what? After hours of searching and a lot of fighting back and forth with the fictitious angels I had whispering on either side of my shoulder one whispering encouragement the other whispering facts you’ve never been able to find him, you won’t this time either. But, guess what? I first found his ex-wife’s number. A girlfriend’s number. Then my two step sister’s new numbers. One was now living in another state. I knew she probably wouldn’t want to talk to me. But, I left messages on both of their phones anyway, asking them where Julius was and if they would please call me back with that information.
They didn’t call me back. So again I had that internal battle, my head swirled like a whip lashed victims’ ‘Call Shawna.’
‘No Shawna don’t they won’t answer, they don’t want to talk to you.’ Back and forth my thoughts raced.
‘Call Shawna, find Julius.’ Well, finally the prompting to call won. I just couldn’t shake the feeling to find Julius. So I called again and left another message for my step sister. And she called me back. We talked for about an hour. She was always kind to me when we were growing up and though I have gotten frustrated with them in the past for not sharing what I believed they knew to be true. A big part of me understood. I have a fear of my stepfather and what he would do to me and my family if I told, saw it firsthand. It was so ingrained upon my heart that it sometimes controlled my very actions. And I only lived with the man for 5 years. They spent a lifetime with him. I understood how afraid they must have been.
She gave me Julius’s number. Told me he was out of prison and doing well. She even sent me a picture.
My two stepsisters and Julius
Debbie, Jackie, and Julius
I can’t even express to you how wonderful it was to see that picture. He looked healthy and happy in it. Quite different from the scared little brother I was forced to leave behind. I’d spent years crying because his life had been so hard. It just didn’t seem fair. But, somehow that picture brought me peace. I called him, I hope he calls me back. I pray that he will. Will you pray with me?
Debbie did tell me that my stepfather had passed away. He died of Prostate cancer a year or so ago. That brought me some relief. Now Hell could deal with him, which is where he strived his entire life to go in the end. But, I just can’t give up. Not now. If they find the bodies in our old home. I just know they will find more in other places he has lived. He loved what he did and would not have ever stopped killing. There are still so many of his victims’ family and loved ones out there wondering. My birth mother is still alive. My older brother is still alive and they were as guilty as John they knew and they helped him.
My point in sharing this experience is we all have those inner battles to do what’s right and yet another to act out of fear. Though it is hard and we may not see the result immediately we will always feel the peace after we have made the right choice. Life is hard for all of us. But, it’s also great if we give those good prompting the chance to be a part of our lives. We are always blessed. There will always be a calm after the storm and we will be standing that much stronger in the end.
Hi everyone, I love you so much for caring enough to read this.
It has been a very busy week tons of questions. But, ones that need to be asked. First let me tell you I have never gotten into social media. I didn’t understand it and didn’t care to take the time to learn. But, now I am loving social media. Crazy never thought I would say that. But, it has helped so much. I have actually gotten the attention of people that may be able to help me and those little children. Which brings so much hope to me. Without the communications we have through social media channels I could not and would not have ever met so many wonderful people in the state of Oklahoma! The people in Oklahoma are so wonderful. Yet, another thing I never thought I would say. Growing up if you just said the word Oklahoma to me, so many bad memories would come flooding back I would just cringe and categories the entire state with just the horrid memories I had. Now when you say Oklahoma to me, my shoulders square, I stand a little taller with more hope and a lot less overwhelmed from the weight of my past. Because of the great people I have met.
One of the questioned asked was if I had a description of the children and where they were from. These are the memories I have of them.
John, my stepfather, had one of these hanging.
He had chicken wire up along the walls to hold back the dirt and hung up an image that looked like the above picture. There were times I literally had nothing else to look at for days, so trust me when I say I have this image seared into my memory. He also had a map of Oklahoma up next to it with the same kinds of marks along the roads and highways. He would rock back and forth for hours and chant “7,7,7,7,7,…” When we were driving to get one of his victims he would rock while holding the steering wheel, pushing on the gas, and gazing, like in a trance, through the windshield, he would chant “7,7,7,7,7,7,…” We were always traveling on a highway that was a hwy 7 or added up to a 7. He believed that number to be some kind of sign talking to him. Instigating his every move. I believe his victims were children taken from these points shown in the bigger knots of the dream catcher he had hanging. Which would tell us what part of Oklahoma the children were taken from.
Here is a description of the children the best that I remember them.
1. The one that I know is still down in that crawl space: He had short dark black hair. Dark brown eyes with gold flecks. When he was taken he was chubby. He was shorter than me. I was 7 he had to have been close to that age. He was bouncing a ball in the front yard. The boy that was watching him was talking on the phone he spoke Spanish, and went inside. We had been there for hours. Our car was in the front of their house and John was ‘fixing’ the broken down car. I remember looking at the little boy thinking, it would be fun to play with him. He was happy and had a lot of energy. John called him by the name of Miguel. I honestly don’t know if that was a made up name.
2. The next girl I remember John called her by the name of Stacy. She was taken at a small airport. Her father and mother were drug addicts who had partied with my step-family and mother. She had long kinda frizzy red hair. Not bright red. She had sad green eyes. Taller than me. And bigger built than the other kids I knew that were 7.
3. Another girl that I remember her having a softball uniform on and a backpack with a bat coming out of it. She had long sandy blonde hair more sandy than blonde. Light brown eyes. A lot bigger than I was and the other 7 year old kids I knew.
4. There was an oriental girl that spoke very broken up English. She was playing on the playground with me. She had a pretty smile but we couldn’t really understand each other. She had black silky hair that was just above her shoulders. And dark eyes.
5. Another little girl that John called Dolly. She had black skin. Light green and brown eyes. Really tight curly black hair that went just below her ears. She was about my size.
6. Another little boy that John called Linquest. He was tall and skinny. Light complicated. Light brown hair. Sad light brown eyes. He was playing in the corner of a yard by himself.
7. The last one he took was my friend. She went by the name of Candy. She had long blonde hair with soft curls. She had green blue eyes. She was my size. The nicest person I had ever known. She came up to the car because she saw me and thought it was safe. She was living in Edmond but her family was military I believe. I remember her dad or someone that she really loved wearing a military uniform a lot.
So many of my new friends and people I’ve known my whole life have been struggling with finding peace. People abusing their free agency has been my greatest hardship so I totally understand your struggles! But, the greatest blessing I have found is peace. We have been promised by a prophet of God Elder Richard G. Scott promised this.
There are many prophetic promises of the blessings of daily studying the scriptures. I add my voice with this promise: as you dedicate time every day, personally and with your family, to the study of God’s word, peace will prevail in your life. That peace won’t come from the outside world. It will come from within your home, from within your family, from within your own heart. It will be a gift of the Spirit. It will radiate out from you to influence others in the world around you. You will be doing something very significant to add to the cumulative peace in the world. (1)
I love this quote and can testify without the scriptures in my life I have no peace at all.
While studying my scriptures this morning, (1) I felt like the Lord had the prophets record this section just for me. To see the parallels from what I wanted to share with you today, to what the Nephites were going through at that time. They were fortifying their cities. Building their faith on the foundation of the gospel. The ingredients to that foundation being the word of God, or the commandments. They mixed all those ingredients with Love truth, light, kindness, and built up a fortification against all the storms or wars the Lamanites brought up against them. And nothing the Lamanites did could destroy them. Interestingly though the building of these fortified walls did not stop the downpour of anger against the Nephites. However, it did prepare them to face the storms that would inevitable rage against them. Because they built their walls on a sure foundation, they were prepared for their enemies and defeated the blood thirsty Lamanites.
When we went down into that crawl space, 32 years after we moved from Oklahoma, we found pieces of boards and plaster. The very foundation upon which John had built his life, lies, hate, anger, frustration. Torn apart by the very waters he let loose in covering up his life of darkness when he broke the main water line. He himself destroyed the weak foundation he had built when he lived in that dark dirty hole.
The interest thing about these two different foundation are amazing to me. I remember when I first joined the Church. (Seems like 100 years ago) One of the biggest disputes from people about the Book of Mormon was the fact that it talked about cement and there was no proof that the ancient people of America were ever that advanced. Today that comment would sound absurd for we now know that there are walls and ancient ruins that have been uncovered from beneath the earth that date 1000’s of years back, constructed with cement. (2)
So you see lies, deceit, hate are all part of a vicious cycle of destruction those who are a part of it continue to destroy. Whereas truth, honesty, and Love will forever stand. The lies about there never being a crawl space… Revealed…. The lies about the items we found in the crawl space being a part of a remodel… Revealed as lies that will not stand the test of truth….
Plaster was not used after World War II, 1945, it was more cost effective to construct homes from sheetrock. The home we lived in was built in the early 1970’s Never would there have been nor was there any plaster in that house. Unless, someone brought it in. Brought it in bag by bag, mixed it in their hide out and built walls made of plaster and small boards which could also be brought in through smaller openings. Big sheets of sheetrock would have been difficult to get down into a 3’ x 3’ hole and would have disintegrated from the moisture of the dirt surrounding it. However, bags of plaster could have easily been brought down. By a remodel NO. But, from an existing structure built in tight confined quarters YES. John’s small prison for children. They must go look.
(1) Alma chapter 49 in the Book of Mormon
(2) Meridian magazine; Latter-day saints shaping their world. November 7,2018 edition Https://ldsmag.com
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
I have been asked a legitimate question from a few people that don’t know me very well. They have asked. “Why now? Why is she doing this now?” Here’s a quick synopsis. During my teenage years I was sad, filled with hopelessness, angry, frustrated, and there were very few that I let into my life. I was guarded, keeping thick walls of protection around my heart. I never spoke of my past. It was too frightening.
When I turned 19 I took missionary discussion and slowly realized that not all people are bad. I finally connected the reason why there were some people that seemed to glow. They glowed because they were active (not just in name) but lived their religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I slowly opened my heart to the idea of love. With that strength behind me I started to talk. And have been trying, though there have been times when I thought there was nothing else I could do, I have been trying to convict my step-father and keep others safe. For the last 25 years.
I have talked with law enforcement and attorneys who have suggested the idea of putting pressure on them through social media. It is a long expensive process to get permission to go into another state and investigate without being invited to do so by the local law enforcement.
I now have evidence on what I am saying is true. And I felt ok with sharing my experiences now because of all these reasons. My greatest hope is that on this journey I can build and uplift those who feel like the darkness will never end. It has for me, even when it felt suffocatingly overwhelming. My hope is to build friendships and bonds that will reach across state lines and into the hearts of those in Oklahoma who can do something to rectify this horrid man’s actions and ease the hearts of all those whom have lost loved ones because of him.
My thanks to all my new friends and those who have been there for me for years!