When Deception Hit Close to Home
After college and newly married, as many of my friends were at the time, one of my close family friends took a husband. This Godly man she met was everyone’s friend, neighbor and son. He walked in uprightness, integrity- handled his own struggling small business without complaint. This man became a youth pastor of a rural church where he and his new bride (my friend) were planning to move.
Less than a year into marriage, on one of their trips out to the area where they were planning to buy property, they stopped for the night and camped in their camper. The next morning, her husband found his wife dead outside the camper at the edge of a small body of water. Her husband did everything in his power to revive her to no avail. My friend had taken a strong allergy suppressant the night before and wandered out into the darkness before dawn, falling to her death in a nearby pond.
All of us attended the funeral. It was an amazing display of both emotion and celebration that we had been given the gift of her presence on earth for the years that she lived. Her husband was beyond repair- only able to look at the heavens with his hands raised high to the Lord, trusting Him for the next breath.
In the procession past my friend’s casket, I shook the hand of this husband, who held on to me like we had always known each other. He looked me in the eyes and held back his tears with a pain-filled slight smile as his mother-in-law introduced us. I left that funeral changed; wanting to have the kind of strength of character and trust in God this man had shown us all.
One year later, the man who left his wife’s funeral and moved in with his in-laws to grieve the loss as a family, was arrested and charged with the murder of my friend. After prosecutors began unfolding their case- he confessed to the murder to escape the inevitable death penalty that would follow his conviction.
You see, this man was the epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The prosecutors took almost a year to discover that my friend had been suffocated, then transported by a two-wheeled metal dolly from their campsite and dropped face-down in an open field in a pool of groundwater to give the appearance of a drowning. Her husband had been discovered taking out several life insurance policies to the tune of $1.6 million on his new bride leading up to her death.
Was I bitter, angry, vengeful, taken? Yes. We all were. But I will not regret the love we showed this man in what seemed to be his ultimate time of need, though there was nothing truly lovely in him. And although prosecutors suspected otherwise, we did not know the deception, and believed in him that he was a man of God. And today, I rest in the knowledge that God has brought him to justice on earth, and I was without reproach.
This article was written by K. Scott Rimell