Friday, June 5, 2009

"Mourning Mommy"

The haunting call from a young teenager nearly 16 years ago would be one of several I would receive during my career from children whose mothers were murdered at the hands of their father.

Some kids have called to ask does the pain every stop while others just want to learn the truth behind the women who gave them life. Someplace in the conversation would always be the question, Why? How could this have happened? "My mom was such a good person and she didn't deserve to be murdered.

During this particular call the young man was angry that his father did not go to jail for killing his mother. "How did my father walk from a slam dunk case" Edward asked. I comforted him as best I could trying in someway to relieve his pain with similar unanswered questions, I too, had when my own father murdered my mother. Before I ended the call I said" you and I in a private club, whose membership is growing."

Who would ever believe, years later in another state as I was ending a conversation with a women whose father had also killed her mother, Edward now a man in his early thirties with a family of his own would hear me repeat those very words as he stood before me. "Your name, what's your name" Edward demanded to know. I responded with another name that I use for safety reasons. "No, no! That is not your name. Your that women I spoke with", as he explained
his own private hell to me. "There is only one person I ever heard say what you just told that called and she helped me figure out things after I learned my father killed my mom."

The next day Edward came to me with documents from 1974, the year his mother Judy Topp was murdered. Edward had already gone through old case files, talking with officers who were listed on police reports and court files. Nothing made sense.

"I kept having these terrible nightmares-I was walking through an apartment building with so many doors-I walked through the last door until I came across my father sitting up in bed without his shirt, next to a woman with half her head blown off. It was mother he killed, my dream was real." After further investigation we learned Edwards father had hired a lawyer for $10,000 and got him acquitted during a bench trial.

Recently, we spoke. "Somedays I want justice, and other days I just want to die. I can never be close to people again. I don't feel whole-like I am incomplete somehow. No one see's the real me. I feel like I am living a lie.

I want to honor my mother, but that is not really possible. Maybe somehow from heaven the words from my heart can reach her now. Edward's mother would be proud of how her son out in the world . And yes, as long as she lives in his heart, the angels will always carry the message of his love and honor for a woman who died without justice being served. Judith Top was born on January 28, 1953 and died on November 23, 1974.
This is a topic untouched. Fathers murdering women and leaving their children behind with unanswered questions. On June 10, 2009 at 3:00PM Central time, on The Susan Murphy Milano show, we will discuss the topic of children whose fathers have killed their mothers. It is an important subject. As the lives of the children who witness violence and terror in their homes if they survive, live the remainder of their days on earth often in darkness and without hope.
Please join me for this very special hour.


Anonymous said...

Susan, you made me cry. Bless you for just being you!


Delilah said...

Children deserve answers and truth. I can't begin to think about how many people are wandering through this world wondering and asking these same questions. So many missing mothers, and yet, so many children left behind. We don't often hear about them, hear their stories, help them find answers. How do they go on? What do they do to get throught this? It's not the same as losing a mother through illness or an accident, it's different.

This subject matter hasn't been touched and I thank you for having the courage to bring it out into the open, talking about it, and showing others in the same situation as you, that they can talk about it, too.

Chris Crandle said...


Thank you for what you do. There are 3 children I pray for every single day....their names are Sarah, Joel, and Hannah. Their mom was murdered when they were 7 and 3 years old....will they remember her? Does their father, who is the ONLY suspect in her murder and has not been arrested, say ANYTHING about her? I highly doubt it. If so, I can guarantee it's not good. Oh, there will be questions some day....I wonder how his brainwashing will affect them. He does everything in his power to keep those kids from Renee's family....thank GOD for the liberal grandparenting rights they have been granted. The children have not been allowed to see any of their old friends....any of their mother's many friends. He, in fact, has legally documented that he does not want them to see any "Rockford friends" (where they lived before he whisked them away after the murder)---including me specifically, because I have been such a voice for their mom. The kids have indicated that my family is "mean" and "we don't want to go to their house"--not that he would allow it. Funny, once upon a time, those kids were best friends with my kids and they loved being here...felt very comfortable at my house.

I'm encouraged by this fear is that they have not been allowed to mourn her. Renee's family doesn't feel that they can be open in talking with the kids about her, because of his "threat" of taking the grandparenting visitation away. I've often wondered with Sarah, especially, who is so tender-hearted and so much like her mom, what he says to her when she says "I miss mom"....

Susan, I love you...I'm thankful that God has brought us together. THANK YOU again for what you do, and for discussing this much-needed topic.

Sherry Witter, Alabama said...

This blew me off my chair. Thinking about the children we never hear about affected by crimes againt their mothers.

What a powerful description of a conversation apparently etched in your mind.

Every time I read your blog or listen to a show i wonder, how do you stay sane and focused?

You are a miracle for so many who have no voice.

Many thanks for what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

I am a grandparent of 4 children with many questions, indeed. Our daughter Julia was murdered by her husband, missing for nearly 4 weeks, and is finally after 4 years is serving his life sentence without possibility of parole. Yes, these chidlren have many , many questions, some of which were read at his sentencing. It was heartbreaking. I look forward to hearing your show, and grateful for the link and help it may bring.

Anonymous said...


You are missed


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