On September 11, 2015 I put a story on the blog about the people in the photo above. It told a story of friendship, jealousy, rage and finally violent murder. (If you would like to re-read this story put 'Brak' into the search box on the right side of this blog and it will take you right to it.)
'Braskell, the one murdered, is the man with a guitar on the far right in the photo. Much to my shock, two days ago I was contacted by the murderer's granddaughter Laura. She explained that she found my name on my blog and then messaged me on Facebook. She was discouraged from contacting me by her family, who did not want to see her hurt. But she felt the need to let me know how her Grandpa Oscar's life turned out. We messaged back and forth on the computer that day, both of us in tears.
After receiving a life sentence for the murder, Oscar served eight years and was released for good behavior. Laura then told me that he came home from prison and lived a solid, hard working life. He came home to his wife and daughter, and eventually Laura. The crime was never discussed and Laura grew up not knowing anything about it. She said she grew up with an amazing Grandpa who worked until he was 75 providing for his family. She told me he was humble and simple and lived as though he deserved nothing. His manners and actions were kind and apologetic.
Three years ago Oscar was in the hospital, and told Laura about Braskell and the murder. She said that finding out her Grandpa took a man's life was unbearable. After she found my blog, she read him the story I wrote and it continually brought him to tears. She wrote me that the story I wrote down, and Ruel Teague told, was verified as accurate by Oscar. His life had never been easy, with both he and his wife carrying the guilt with them every day, and carrying Braskell in his soul. He frequently commented that he deserved nothing. Oscar passed away in August of 2015.
Laura thanked me for writing down the story and sharing the post. She said that her mom had been told that Oscar's sister Ophie influenced Oscar and encouraged him to be violent. But our story verified that for her. She also said that her mom would find closure from this event, after I told her that our family had forgiven Oscar, finding Ophie to be the mainly guilty party. Her mom needed that forgiveness and closure because she had been only two years old and in the back seat of that car the evening of the murder, and she witnessed the whole thing. (We never knew that horrible truth)
We both told each other how good God is, to bring forgiveness, closure and peace to this story 64 years after it happened, for both families, when that seemed impossible.
Laura's main point for writing was to let us know that her family has not forgotten. That Braskell's life mattered to them and that losing him was tragic. She wanted to give some comfort to our family and I wanted to give some comfort to her family. She sent us her condolences and we both blessed each other. Only God can do that. Turn a story of friendship, jealousy, rage, and murder into one of forgiveness, peace, blessing and comfort. I am so very happy to be able to write this postscript to the original story. Wow!