I hope people will understand when I talk about the what if’s of the past.
Have you ever had something horrible happen in your life and then you wondered what if you had done something different?
This happened to me so many times in the first month after Morgan was murdered that I lost count. I’m sure it is something many parents of murdered children experience. In Morgan’s case one of the what if’s that I thought was, “What if she hadn’t had her little puppy Wylah May, would she have gotten away in time and would she still be alive?”
So earlier today I was talking to my sister-in-law about Morgan. Just so you know, I think my sister-in-law is one of the kindest and most logical people in this world. She is also a mom of four, and a good listener. Her family is everything to her, as it should be, and she is a great person to talk to. Back in 2011, after the first month of Morgan’s stalking, she was one of the many relatives that spoke with Morgan, Steve and I about ideas that we could try in order to stop the stalking.
Today I admitted to her that in the first month after Morgan’s murder I was so angry that I even felt that her little puppy Wylah May was partially responsible, as she was the reason Morgan would not leave when the danger was starting to become obvious to so many people. It is ludicrous to think about it now, but it is true…I even blamed the puppy. I know it sounds awful, but at the time I felt that if it hadn’t been for her puppy Morgan most likely would have left Colorado in time and maybe she would be alive today.
Morgan’s sister had been franticly calling Morgan asking her to please get on a plane and fly to the west coast to stay with her – she was so worried that something bad was going to happen. Morgan adored her sister, but said she wouldn’t leave because of her puppy. Her sister was living in an apartment that did not allow dogs.
Then Morgan’s Godfather called her and asked her to please come stay with him and his wife in Kauai to get out of Colorado, as he feared she was in a dangerous situation, but Morgan told him she did not want her puppy to be quarantined when she arrived into Kauai, so she wouldn’t do it.
At the same time Morgan’s soulmate had been calling her and begging her to fly out to Georgia to get out of Garfield, but again she could not bring her puppy. So finally at the beginning of her last week I spoke candidly with her about everyone’s concerns. I told Morgan that I too would feel so much better if she did go away for her safety, at least for a little while, just until her dad and I got the rest of the house packed up and moved, as that was our plan – we did not want our family to continue to live in the house where Morgan was being terrorized – we wanted her hidden from her stalker. Morgan was happy we were going to move. She had already packed up a few bins with her books and personal things, which were staked up in our dining room, but she was adamant that school would be over in 2 weeks so she wanted to wait at least that long. She said she would consider leaving for a week or so, but she did not want to just leave her puppy any longer than that because Wylah was too young and she felt that she needed her. I tried to reason with her, but to no avail. When Morgan made up her mind that was that. She loved her puppy so much.
One week after my talk with Morgan about leaving she was dead, and not only was I blaming myself for not insisting she get away, but I was also blaming her puppy for making her feel like she couldn’t leave. I explained to my sister-in-law how bad I felt for blaming her little puppy – especially the sweet adorable innocent little creature that Morgan loved so much. It obviously wasn’t the puppies fault, it wasn’t anyones fault except the person(s) that killed her. And you know what my sister-in-law said? She asked how in the world could anyone ever think that Morgan would have committed suicide? She was a victim of stalking, she was exhausted and frightened because of her stalker, but she loved her puppy so much that she wouldn’t leave for safety because she didn’t want to leave her behind. She said it is absolutely ridiculous to think she would take her own life and leave her puppy behind.
This was something I had never even thought of because I knew Morgan had not taken her own life, and this hit me like a rock… how can officials decide to call someone a suicide after 8 months of insisting she died of natural causes, without any investigation, then threatening me when I wanted evidence from her death looked at by others who did not believe for one second that she had really died from natural causes? If they had done any investigation or asked any questions it would be absolutely obvious she did not commit suicide…they did not interview her teachers, employer or her friends or family and even with all the physical and psychological evidence contradicting the opinion of both natural causes and suicide they still cling to the wrong conclusion. Why? I guess you can ask any seasoned investigator and they will readily explain the answer to that question…it is because they “know” by writing down the manner of death to be “natural” or “suicide” it will keep the case from ever being officially investigated. It is something that has happened again and again over time. The things you learn when your child is killed are sometimes the things you would never have believed…officials have ways to prevent an investigation when it suits them. I have been asked so many times how can a healthy 20 year old woman die from natural causes, who had just seen her Gynecologist for her annual checkup less than two days before. She was in excellent health, and all of a sudden we were being told she died from a disease she didn’t even have – how can that be? To these experts it meant one thing – they knew, but I didn’t understand, I was still too trusting of the authorities. I didn’t get it back then, I wanted answers that made sense. Morgan was dead and the answers I was getting from Garfield were said to be just about typos, and cut and paste errors, and then I was told by the lead detective that if I found a picture of Morgan wearing each and every piece of jewelry that was missing from her room then they could look into it. For seasoned veterans of homicide the handwriting was on the wall, for whatever reason a coverup was in play. I wouldn’t figure that out for a long time, I still trusted and believed.
So with that I ask another what if…what if you were Morgan’s mother and you knew she did not want to leave her puppy behind in order to be in a safer place, would you believe all of a sudden she would commit suicide and leave her puppy behind? After realizing this would you believe what the officials in Garfield County were trying to make you believe, even though all the evidence and forensic specialists contradicted both manners of death?
If you get a chance let me know how you would have felt if you were in my position, and what you would have done.
Thanks so much – always question things, because not everything you are being told, even by people in positions of authority, are not always telling the truth. Just watch the news, every day there is another story about a sheriff or policeman who got caught crossing the line, it happens. In your darkest hour you should not have to be figuring out if law enforcement is there to help you and cares about solving the horrific crime, or if they are lying to you, and busy making sure the truth stays out of sight. Even though it is a small percentage, trust me, it is something you must do – you must question. Because as the days crawl by it won’t get any easier. It has not for me, and it has not for any one of the other parents I’ve spoken with over the years who found themselves in similar positions.
And I would love to hear how you would have handled trying to get Morgan to leave for safety, even though she didn’t want to leave her puppy, with only a couple of weeks left of college, and at the same time a predatory stalker closing in.