It is important to me that I not dwell on the negative, but at times it is inevitable. Difficulties will arise to be faced head on – topics that require focus and attention. They’re a challenge to think about, but they have to be addressed in order to move on. There can be events or situations in our lives that are so especially dark and are such a heavy burden that it becomes a necessity to work through them and find relief. In my view, darkness can be overcome by shaking things up, upturning the tables, standing strong and firmly resisting that which wants to overpower. So, that’s what I’m doing now. Here I go. Bare with me as I tell you about it.
My good friend Bonnie was murdered by her husband, Bill. He killed Bonnie and it has kept me riled up for weeks since it happened. How could he do that? Why did he rob us of Bonnie? Why did he rob her of her future? She was getting ready to have her first grandbaby. She was a loving mother, a caring wife, and good friend. Only a very deranged and evil person could look that precious person in the eye and shoot her in the chest with a .410 caliber shotgun, taking her life in an instant. I truly hope that it happened quickly. I can’t stand the thought of the terror Bonnie must have felt when she saw it happening. I look to the heavens and say to you Bonnie, that you didn’t deserve this and that we are grieving that we lost you. We all loved you, Bonnie. We appreciated you. We admired you. We miss you.
Early in the morning Bonnie was getting up and getting ready for work. He came into the room where she stood by her bed. There he was, looking at the woman he had spent the last 34 years with, someone who had dedicated her life to him and her children, and he shot her in the chest. She fell backwards onto the bed. Then he shot her in the head. He took care of things, didn’t he.
Bonnie was sweet. Yes, I know that word is an easy, overused word. It’s used too often and has lost it’s meaning. But, sweet is the word most of us would use to describe Bonnie, because she was an extremely pleasing, kindhearted person and delightful to be around. She had an innocent quality yet at the same time, she was not naïve. She was savvy, competent, aware, and she was knowledgeable. Her charm was transparent and genuine. There was nothing false about Bonnie. I liked her very, very much.
Bonnie and I worked together daily. When we had a chance, we would have fun conversations, deep conversations, and simple chats about the latest happenings. There was not one time that I asked her assistance or opinion that she didn’t immediately come with a readiness and an openness to whatever was needed. She was an expert in her field as a legal assistant and knew how to prepare the most gorgeous documents. I know, I know, how can a document be gorgeous. Well, let me tell you, they can be and Bonnie knew how to do it. She combined artistry and diligence with technical ability and out came the beautiful products from her office in file after file.
I remember the first moment we met. She seemed so painfully timid or self-conscious and seemed to lower her head upon introduction. I was intrigued and wanted to observe her behavior even more, trying to figure out how one could be pleasant, extremely capable, with such excellent abilities, yet so uncomfortable and lowly acting at the same time. I did wonder at times what sort of parent or spouse might bring upon that behavior in someone. I think I now know.
As I got to know her, I began to see that she wasn’t truly so shy or self-conscious. She had a nice level of self-esteem and knew her strengths very well, although modest about them. She could be very easygoing and very talkative once you knew her. We’d spend quite a lot of time discussing a myriad of topics. She was an avid online reader and had stored up quite a bit of information. I will have to say, though, that now I understand a little better the why’s of the ducked head and the appearance of low self-esteem. Bonnie lived a home life that brought her down, no doubt about it. And she wasn’t comfortable enough to let go and be herself until she got to know you.
After I joined the Peace Corps and moved to Paraguay, Bonnie became one of my biggest encouragers. You’ll notice that Bonnie commented on each of my posts here, always saying kind things and asking interesting questions about my Peace Corps service. She and I messaged regularly regarding our daily lives. Bonnie sent her last message to me at 12:45 a.m. the morning of death, telling me that she was excited about her plans for getting a divorce. She told me of the apartment she was planning to lease closer to work I told her that my response might be different than usual. I was not going to tell her I was sorry to hear that she was ending her marriage. I told her instead, how pleased I was to hear that she was leaving and starting a great new chapter in her life.
I don’t know much about her husband, Bill. All I know is that he’s dead now, and I’m glad. Suffice it to say, this is not one of my “love one another” moments, and this event may have swayed my opinion regarding capital punishment. Without doubt, this action of Bill’s puts him in a very special category. In my opinion, he wouldn’t deserve to live after what he did. If he were walking this earth, I’d have a very difficult time knowing so. After what he had the audacity, arrogance and selfishness to do, and to do it to such a dear person, he should be banished from this earth. So, I thank God he’s gone. He killed himself after he killed Bonnie. To top that off, if it can be topped, get this. He called their grown son after he had shot and killed Bonnie and told him to come over, but said that he might want to call 911 first. Didn’t explain a thing, allowing perhaps purposely, his own son to go through the terror of the unknown about his mother. Then, he hung up the phone and shot himself. Bill, you didn’t just violently and bloodily remove a dear person from this earth, you included your son in the arrogant event.. You called him so that later he could carry in his heart forever not only the enormous loss of his mother, but that moment when you called him right after you had splattered her blood all over the room, shooting holes in his mother with a shotgun, first one in her heart, then another in her head, making certain you’d finished the job. You evil man.
My guess is that Bill fit the mold of many slimy wife murderers – a mama’s boy who demanded control of his wife, turning her into his maidservant, assuaging his gutted ego, protecting his hidden fears and neurotic needs, his jealousy, looking to his woman to give him that powerful feeling he hungered for, controlling her to puff himself up. For some of these guys who kill, especially the loners, they feel immense fear and anger when their needs aren’t met or they fear they won’t be met in the future. What an empty existence.
Jealousy and the inability to control someone both appear to be the leading homicide motives in many of the studies I’ve been reading since Bonnie’s murder. Interview studies of the surviving killer, witnesses, friends and family suggest that a large majority of homicides committed by spouses have evidently been precipitated by the wife’s decision to terminate the marriage. Bill would lose the power and control he had had over Bonnie all these many years. Bonnie had perhaps become his only source of strength. But, she had made some online friends over a course of time, out of loneliness and a desire for appreciation and meaningful friendships, I imagine. And more than likely those friendships awakened in her the reality that she didn’t have to live in the crippled fashion in which she was living, waiting on unappreciative, controlling Bill, tending to his every need. After more than 30 years of marriage, she was ready to get out, to start over, and she told Bill this. I imagine she told him that she could do better and he couldn’t take it. Bonnie was his possession. No one else could have her. By damn, he’d see to that.
Heaven only knows what she may have gone through while living with him. He had to have been the devil himself to live with, that man with venom coursing through his veins.
Although I still have my angry moments, I do know that Bill’s evil, sick ways will not overpower or prevail. They will not. Bill, I’ll not give you that power. You will not live on after death! I won’t be thinking about you anymore. I’m choosing to overcome evil with good, to be done with you and the anger I’ve held. Instead, I will remember our Bonnie, her goodness of character, her sweet countenance, her bravery, and what she gave to all of us during her time on earth.