Some of you may remember the headlines about the brutal murder of Sarah Anne Walker in July 2006; however, it is more likely that you either do not remember or never saw the reports. I heard about her murder in passing and thought..."How horrible!" Then, in truth, I thought about it no more...until this morning.
Sarah Anne Walker was an attractive, successful, 40 year-old onsite agent for D.R. Horton in McKinney, Texas. On the day of her death, she was doing what she did every other day...her job. She was hosting an open house in a model home of the Hemingway at Craig Ranch Community when Kosoul Chanthakoummane, her killer, showed up unexpectedly and took her life...brutally biting, beating and stabbing her 27 times. Before leaving, he stole her Rolex watch and ring...leaving police to suspect that robbery was his motive.
Although Walker was Chanthakoummane's first known victim in Texas, her murder was not his first assault on women. In 1996...he broke into a home in Weddington, NC, tied up two elderly, female occupants and stole their car. He was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Due to overcrowding, he was transferred and released into the Texas' parole program after serving 9 years of his sentence. At the time of Sarah Walker's murder, he had been living in Texas for only six months...serving the remainder of his parole sentence for his crimes in North Carolina.
Even more disturbing, the day before Chanthakoummane's savage attack on Sarah Walker, he had approached another onsite agent...claiming that his car had broken down and asking to use the phone. According to the agent's statement, he became frightened of her dog and ran away in a fury. Thankfully, she was unharmed and capable of identifying Chanthakoummane from a police sketch...which directly led to his arrest and conviction for Sarah Walker's murder. Police believe that Chanthakoummane specifically planned to target real estate agents.
For the shocking and senseless murder of Sarah Anne Walker, it took jurors only three and a half hours to unanimously agree that Chanthakoummane (27 years old) should die by lethal injection. He is currently awaiting his sentence on death row in Livingstone, Texas. In his death row webpage profile, he writes..."I am a condemned man here on death row, in Livingston, Texas-U.S.A. My cause is in the appeals process. For the time being, I pray God's mercy on my soul." Ironically...in his profile...he also links to his personal MySpace page.
In my opening paragraph, I stated that I had forgotten about this story until this morning...when I discovered a very touching story behind the story. Mr. Joseph Walker, the father of Sarah Anne Walker, is a devout Catholic who posts a daily message on the Semper Fi Catholic forum from the Diary of St. Faustina on the Divine Mercy. On the day that his daughter's murderer was sentenced, Mr. Walker posted this message:
TODAY I WROTE A LETTER TO KOSOUL AND HIS ENTIRE FAMILY..
EXPLAINING I PRAY THE DIVINE MERCY CHAPLET EVERYDAY FOR HIM.. AND ALSO THAT I FORGIVE HIM COMPLETELY. AND HAVE NO ANIMOSITY TOWARDS HIM. I PUT IT IN A COPY OF THE DIARY WITH OTHER MERCY PAMPLETS..
JESUS I TRUST IN YOU
May we ALL find the courage that HE found...to forgive THOSE who have broken our hearts and crushed our spirits.
To EVERYONE WHO HAS READ AND COMMENTED: Each one of you deserve an individual response, but I feel that the emotions that this post stirred are similar for everyone. What I have to say, I would like to address to EVERYONE at the same time.
Believe me when I say that I feel angry...furious by this man's actions. He, and people like him, terrify me. I am not some kind of superwoman who has a perfect heart...nor do I suspect Mr. Walker of being a superhuman. I believe his heart is broken into a thousand pieces...as I KNOW my heart would be if someone took one of my daughters from me.
This man does not deserve forgiveness. He does not deserve your forgiveness nor my forgiveness. And, he certainly does not deserve Mr. Walker's forgiveness.
In truth, I don't believe that anyone DESERVES forgiveness. That is what makes it such an incredible thing. And...it is definitely NOT something we can do in our own strength.
What I have learned in my life is that forgiveness is a gift we give...NOT to the person who hurt us...but to OURSELVES. I'm still learning how to do this, as I carried a lot of unforgiveness in my heart until I finally was able to forgive my father. Now that my heart is free, I NEVER want to be locked in the prison of unforgiveness ever again.
That is really what this post is about for me. Mr. Walker is the kind of man/person that I hope to one day be...a person whose heart is THAT FREE.
MUCH LOVE AND APPRECIATION TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUAL SUPPORT!!! GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!
Written and Posted by:
Elizabeth Nieves - Broker, REALTOR® -- The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group @ Keller Williams (A Bilingual Real Estate Team serving Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill NC and surrounding areas.)