Through the eyes of an angel
Part 1 of 4
By Reality Check
This is a real-life story written by an inmate inside of a Florida Correctional Institute(DOC). His name has been changed to protect him; however, the names of the people involved in the story to the best of his knowledge are true. PLEASE BEAWARE THAT THERE ARE SOME GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS IN THIS STORY. IF YOU DO NOT CARE FOR GRAPHIC DETAILS, PLEASE DO NOT READ. There are two sides to a story and then there is the truth. What happens when a murderer meets the mother and grandmother of his victims? Find out in this Four part series.
The officer told her that her daughter Pat and her six-year-old grandson Chris had been murdered in cold blood. Agnes had already lost one child to AIDS, another to CIDS. Pat was her last living child; she’d overcome breast cancer fault to free herself from addiction…
Life has dealt her some devastating blows. She was familiar with the bitter taste of suffering, she’d been to war with pain. How much pain can one human being endure before being broken.
Yet, seven years after killing Pat and Chris, sentenced to life in prison after confessing to their murders, the murderer received a card from Agnes in the mail. On the cover of the card was a dove with an olive branch in its mouth. On the inside, Agnes wrote, simply “I’ve been thinking of you for some time, I wish you peace”… amazing!
This is a true story. The power and grace of Agnes has impacted me and I am honored to share her story with you.
They’d been dead for four days when Sarasota Police Department found them, Chris hidden under a pile of dirty clothes like a dirty rag. Agnes had been unsuccessfully trying to reach Pat all week. Calls to law-enforcement resulted in the discovery of the bodies. Leonard was soon in custody. His confession given.
Love people, compassionate, she had a heart for the broken of the world. She struggled with alcohol. She met Leonard while in rehab. He struggled with cocaine. Agnes first met Leonard in the parking lot of Walmart. Only in his presence a few moments, yet her soul made it clear to her that Pat’s stability did not wait enough to avoid being drowned by the demons that hounded and haunted Leonard. She warned Pat but Pat couldn’t hear her.
As a child, Pat would always bring home street animals, the lost and wounded. Leonard stole Pat’s VCR and disappeared. Much later he reached out to Pat, he was fighting his addiction, and trying. Pat forgave him and allowed him back into her life, encouraging him in any way she could.
The second time Agnes met him in Pat’s home, she detected a hidden violent rage. In a minute, her eyes peeling away the illusion of sophistication he used to hide his demons. Seeing beyond the charisma she heard his own soul screaming out run, get away from him, save yourself.
She tried again to warn Pat. Pat’s response, “you always say everybody deserves a second chance.”
Pat wasn’t able to recognize the smell of death.
Chris’ classmates remembered the six-year-old as loving puzzles, building blocks, the swings, snack time, helping people. On Monday he loved sharing what his family had done together on the weekend. They cried for days upon hearing of his death.
When Chris was four he came to live with Agnes when Pat was in rehab. She took him to preschool and learned how to pack his lunches. He went with her to church and her AIDS Committee meeting. They talked about everything. He was her youngest grandchild, her rainbow.
Leonard recalled the look of surprise and disbelief in the eyes of Pat and Chris when he attacked them. He sold everything in the apartment for crack. For four days he did robberies in Pat’s car. Having pizza delivered to her apartment while their bodies lay in the next room. Leonard was 20, Pat was 40. She was trying to put her life back together. Leonard smashed the puzzle into a million pieces. Leonard’s second chance cost Pat and Chris their lives.
Agnes was devastated, in shock, drowning in pain suffering. Pat was her last living child. Chris her sun, Pat her moon. Having lost them both, where was her light to come from?