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I just lost another friend of 15 years. Former Georgia State Senator and Georgia head of Eagle Forum, 73-year old Nancy Schaefer, other of five, was found shot-to-death in bed from a bullet in her back around 6 p.m. Friday evening, March 26. Her husband Bruce, 74 who, according to a report from a family acquaintance, was sufering from cancer, reportedly shot himself after leaving notes for his children and, according to the video (below), a suicide note in which he reportedly complained of having money problems. There are some problems with the murder-suicide theory offered by Habersham County Sheriff Joel Terrell.

Leaving notes around the house and the suicide note wrapped it up for the Sheriff, but it didn't answer the unanswered questions. Terrell had a problem with the suicide note, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, when he spoke to the Schaefer children, none of them appeared to be aware that their father had cancer. His note gave "money problems" as the logic for what some were calling a suicide-pact. In a suicide pact, wide awake participants kiss and say good-bye and then end their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible. Two people are dead, but there was no "suicide pact."

Sadly, I chose this weekend to take a complete hiatus from the news and missed the tragic report that I just lost a friend of 15-years. I opened an email, sent on the 29th, with the subject line: "A great patriot murdered for speaking the truth" that originated from Wiley Drake. Drake merely posed the question: "Was Nancy Schaefer killed because she was exposing the stealing of children...(by the state welfare department or by religious zealots)...? It's not clear to me who Wiley believes was responsible. I do know that Nancy has been a child's advocate for more years than I've known her.

But I also know that Nancy and Bruce are both very devout Christians and I can't conceive her agreeing to a suicide pact that would put her eternal salvation at risk. The odd thing about the initial media reports coming out of Turnerville is that they differ in how he died. I'd seen news reports which stated he shot himself in the head. And, I saw news reports which said he shot himself in the chest. The Habersham County Sheriff's department released the autopsy report which states that all of the forensic evidence suggests that Bruce Schaefer shot his sleeping wife in the back, killing her; then turned the gun on himself, firing one bullet into his own chest, killing himself. The autopsy done by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation concluded there was no evidence to suggest that it was anything but a murder-suicide. Law enforcement officials believe Nancy was asleep when she was shot. They place the time of death sometime early Friday morning. What made Bruce Schaefer decide this was the night to end his own life and that of his wife we will likely never know, and his children will ponder for the rest of their lives. It's evident he spent the night painstakingly saying goodbye to his children, and then attempted to explain to them and the world, what drove him to such dire action that was so catastrophic that he selfishly refused to let his children keep their mother. Nancy, I am but one among a thousand whom you have touched, who will miss you.


Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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