by Anne Hart
Mark Dallas would love to open a Father’s Day card from his daughter, but
his Father’s days will never be the same ever again. He would like to tell
his daughter he loves her and hear her say “I love you too Dad,” but he
won't ever hear that again. He would like to see his daughter’s smiling face
as she greets the customers who come into their family owned convenience
store, but that will never happen again.
Sarah Dallas would love to hug her daughter and have all her children
together for the holidays, but those Holidays will never be the same.
Jennifer Jo’s four-year-old son, Connor, would love to hug his mother and
have her tuck him into his bed, listen to his prayers and kiss him good
night, but he will live the rest of his life without his mother’s love, her
touch, her smile.
The customers at her family’s convenience store would
Like to see her smiling face as she greets them each morning but she won't
greet them any more.
Jennifer’s sisters want to hang out with her and go to their brother’s
football games together cheering him on, but there won't be any more
football games for Jennifer.
Sometime Christmas night Nineteen-ninety-three, between the hours of ten
p.m. Christmas night and eight a.m. The day after Christmas their beautiful,
vibrant, loving daughter, sister and mother of four-year-old Connor was
brutally raped and stabbed to death in her Marathon Florida duplex. Duct
tape bound her hands. A plastic dress bag had been placed over her head and
tied with red ribbon around her neck. The petite Twenty-two-year old mother
was brutally murdered on a calm, cool silent night in her own home by
someone she knew or at the very least by someone she thought she knew. A
crime of passion, a random killing… or did someone decide it was her time to
die? Why the killing of a young mother, daughter and friend to all who knew
her? A killing which defied all reason.
For the Dallas family finding answers to their daughter’s brutal murder
would be like using a teaspoon to remove water from a sinking ship, and all
her parents want to know is why. Who hated Jennifer? They couldn't think of
anyone who hated their daughter. Hated her so much that she had to die,
whatever he had done to her, they wanted to know why he had to kill her.
“Surely he was in a rage to murder my daughter so brutally.” “Stabbing her
once wasn't enough,” Mark said; why on earth did he have to stab her again
and again, tearing her body to shreds. Why,” he sobbed, “all we want to know
is why.” What did she do to deserve that, Mark asked his brother?
Jennifer would have never done anything to anyone to deserve this. She
adopted stray animals; she let the neighbor kids come and play with Connor
whenever she was home. She fed them cookies, and popsicicles.
“David hugged Mark, letting him cry until he didn’t think Mark could cry
anymore. He was afraid to let him go. He wished he had the answers his
brother was looking for. He was as stunned about Jennifer’s death, as the
rest of the family. Never in his lifetime did he think he would lose a
family member, and certainly not to murder.
The family was frightened, because they had no answers to why Jennifer was
killed they were sure she didn't have to die; she would have done whatever
the killer asked of her. He didn't have to kill her.
How long before the killer strikes again? Did his daughter know this man?
Did she see him when he entered her home? Until they had answers all they
could do was wonder who did this and why.
Mark didn't want to wait; he didn't want to wonder.
He wanted answers and he wanted them now, today.