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    wadahoot

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    Family Members of victims

    Post by wadahoot on Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:50 am

    I thought I'd bring over a post I made at WS, seeing as we were talking about Mark's Mom on the Skinny Cop thread ... we have the space, so let's really organize well! (can anyone copy and/or move that info over here?)
    So, here's what I posted 10/08/09:My husband and I were talking more about the case (we're the ones that knew Mark in younger days). I thought I would add in some info that might offer more understanding to at least Mark's actions (since we didn't know his wife, I can't postulate as to what she was thinking).

    Mark had a SERIOUS problem with alcohol from his teens until at least 30. I mean SERIOUS ... to the point where he had many friends turn away from him, because he was so difficult to be around. By the time my honey connected up with him in about 1990, Mark was EXTREMELY active in AA, clean as a whistle and really, really outspoken about his sobriety.

    Our thought that I wanted to share with you is that Mark knew that one could have be a "wild-child" and still turn it around. Perhaps these were the rose-colored glasses he was looking through when he dealt with Emma and her 'wildness.' He felt that 'this too will pass' and to just hang in there with his precious daughter and see her through the difficult stages of her life.

    Likewise, perhaps Mark was able to identify and wish to mentor Sam, thus having blinders on when seeing (or, not seeing, as it were) the danger.

    He [Mark] also came from a 'broken home' and knew the pain that both Emma and Sam perhaps were feeling. His Dad died when Mark was either in high school or younger. His Mom remarried eventually (a state cop or sheriff department, we think, but a non-city-type cop). He, too, died of some illness. Now his Mom has lost her son, as well. I can't fathom the pain she must feel.

    Mark's Mom, Jan, has gone back to using Niederbrock, not the cop's last name
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    tapu

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by tapu on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:18 am

    Oh, I remember this post, Wadahoot, and I think it does go a long way toward helping answer the question that keeps arising: "Why would 'these people' let 'that guy' into their house with their daughter and her friend...? yada yada, wada wada....."

    I know I myself have said many times on here that I thought they were remiss in parenting, but when I break it down into parts, I can see how the picture put itself together differently along the way than it does now that we have it whole. (With the murders as culmination. Obviously much more will come out at trial.)

    I was a teenage drug addict. I was and am into "dark" imagery. I turned out to be fine. (Shaddup.) And I might very well have projected that onto any teenagers like emma, mel, and sam. I'm sure Mark did just that and in a million other cases, it might have turned out that they got that positive connection that would take them through the next rough road. It's really depressing that in this case, it didn't.

    I guess I'm still on the psychopath theory, although it's not going to make me very popular with some of sam's connections.

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by Guest on Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:23 am

    tapu wrote:Oh, I remember this post, Wadahoot, and I think it does go a long way toward helping answer the question that keeps arising: "Why would 'these people' let 'that guy' into their house with their daughter and her friend...? yada yada, wada wada....."

    I know I myself have said many times on here that I thought they were remiss in parenting, but when I break it down into parts, I can see how the picture put itself together differently along the way than it does now that we have it whole. (With the murders as culmination. Obviously much more will come out at trial.)

    I was a teenage drug addict. I was and am into "dark" imagery. I turned out to be fine. (Shaddup.) And I might very well have projected that onto any teenagers like emma, mel, and sam. I'm sure Mark did just that and in a million other cases, it might have turned out that they got that positive connection that would take them through the next rough road. It's really depressing that in this case, it didn't.

    I guess I'm still on the psychopath theory, although it's not going to make me very popular with some of sam's connections.

    Excellent points. I only knew Mark the last four years of his life, but just as he likely projected his past/other self/reformed self/bad karma/fill in the blank onto others, I think some of us could *sense* something was not quite right. He came across as extremely passive, "out of it" and appeared to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of a poor country preacher (stark contrast to his ambitious wife) a little too much. Sorry to speak ill of the dead, but I always thought he was weird. His parishioners loved him. I have theories as to why, mainly, and without going into much detail but -- here goes:

    Probably plenty of you here have experienced or heard about the petty, sniping politics that go on within churches, esp. small, rural ones. Such churches are poor (financially) and often have to take what they can get, in the Presbyterian case, whatever the Presbytery sends you that they think you can afford. Walker's has an interesting history and has been around for nearly 200 years. But it is extremely isolated, over the years attended by farm families who lived close by. It's a cute little church. But poor. In fact, don't know if you guys knew it, but Mark was not an ordained minister. He qualified to become one, but the time and cost involved were out of his interest and reach. And anyway, the church was happy with him just like he was BECAUSE (and this is important to the rural churchmember mindset) he was passive, devoted to visiting the sick and dying, didn't try to stir things up or change anything, basically let the deacons/elders run the show. This is how they want it to go. Mark was perfect, no wonder they loved him.

    This passivity carried over into his family relationships. I totally agree that he felt a certain empathy for Emma as well as Sam. I think that is a given. And he also was so malleable and passive -- afraid to lose the love of his daughter, just let her do what she wants to do.

    All that being said, I still stand by opinions expressed on the other board: her parents let Sam in the house because they were scared to death of the alternative. Any parent who has lived through this knows full well that to at least one degree or another, we are held hostage by our children's forays into the dark, or any other dangerous side of life. I admit to you all I become incensed when those who have not been through such an experience pretend to know all the answers or judge those who endured such a horrific experience. What Mark and Debra allowed happens EVERY DAY, and fortunately overwhelmingly most children survive. We just don't hear about it. It's not the kind of thing parents are eager to talk about. If our kids make it through we just sigh, thank the gods, try to recover, and move on.
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    wadahoot

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by wadahoot on Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:34 am

    Thanks Atlantica for telling us about Mark as you knew him. I'm curious ... with the long-ago background I've mentioned, could you explain what you meant by 'something was not quite right?'
    And I don't think you spoke ill of the dead ... facts is facts

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by Guest on Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:04 am

    wadahoot wrote:Thanks Atlantica for telling us about Mark as you knew him. I'm curious ... with the long-ago background I've mentioned, could you explain what you meant by 'something was not quite right?'
    And I don't think you spoke ill of the dead ... facts is facts

    Good question. I have a hard time pinning it down. If you want just my instinctual reaction when I met him and the times I spent in his presence -- he was very caring to church members and their families, spending hours and days at a time at hospital, hospices, sickbeds, families going through some sort of trauma. I guess we should all realize that by doing that, he had less time for family.
    Ok, so, his service as the flock's good shepherd is commendable -- priests are supposed to do that stuff. But I personally believe he rather liked it because it was so laid back, neither intellectually nor physically demanding. Show up. comfort. chat. pray. if things are going pretty well (i.e., nobody is in death throes) there is usually a free meal or two involved. Then perhaps a bit more visiting elsewhere. Home. Relax. Weekly written assignment of about ten pages or less and based on basically one book....a smattering of research...church meetings a couple times a week. What else....maybe monthly presbytery meetings in Richmond? Committee work? Nothing terribly overwhelming, since he was not a full minister.

    I find it very interesting that a man of his age with a daughter to support had so little ambition. She was headed into her expensive college years and he's happy to make less than $24K a year. One can hardly live on that. Let alone provide for a teenager. But he was content.

    I'm about to say something some may find rude, but I am putting it all on the table here: It is my belief that someone with addiction problems (current or resolved) is either too emotionally fragile or perhaps too lazy to take on a more challenging life. I am not suggesting he was a non-believer. I think he was drinking the christian kool-aid, but behind that was a non-ambitious man who felt he had hit the jackpot in avoiding real-life responsibility.
    When you look at how Debra was driven in her career -- opposites attract, but they also eventually repel.

    So, when I said something was not quite right -- whenever I would see him at the bedside of a family member, he just looked like the cat who ate the canary -- yet the cat looked "out of it." He did not join much in conversation. He would sit, red-faced, "out of it" with a silly little smile on his face. I would wonder...what is up with this guy? Was he drinking again? I don't know, maybe! It is possible some of the prescription drugs found in his car were anti-anxiety meds or something similar -- did I hear about heavy pain killers? Some take those for fun.

    Finally, he came across to me as a person who used things to cope because he couldn't handle real life: religion, prescript drugs, laid-back job in the country, prosperous wife to take care of the kid.....

    I mean, sometimes I think I can relate to that -- I'm always trying to find a way to slow down and drop out. But anyone with an ounce of ambition would be doing pretty much anything other than what Mark was doing. And if he was so damned dedicated to his profession, why didn't he borrow the money to go back to school and get ordained and get a real job, or at least a raise?? He was happy as things were, even though he had a daughter who might have needed him to step to the plate at a future date.

    Again, just my thoughts and observations. And I did not know him well. Only at church, weddings, funerals, and lots of hospital visits (I am from the biggest family in the church, dozens of us, many aging). I was an occasional visitor to the church, I live about an hour away and attend no chuch at all, but during Mark's tenure we had a number of funerals and weddings/other events that required my attendance.


    Last edited by Atlantica_Redux on Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification)
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    piXy

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by piXy on Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:59 pm

    Has anything been said by Mel's family publicly regarding any of this. Only thing i have heard from them anywhere is what raz said mels mom said to her on the phone.
    maybe im overlooking things idk
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    piXy

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by piXy on Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:42 pm

    no one knows the answer to my question???
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    claudicici

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by claudicici on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:21 am

    I was wondering that myself...I have never seen or heard any statement or anything about her family...
    I guess they're grieving quietly.
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    Percy
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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by Percy on Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:25 am

    piXy wrote:Has anything been said by Mel's family publicly regarding any of this. Only thing i have heard from them anywhere is what raz said mels mom said to her on the phone.
    maybe im overlooking things idk
    Its a good question Pixer, I really dont have an answer, it appears they have chosen to remain out of the lime light and grieve privately and I really dont blame them, I would love to know their views on the DP.


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    claudicici

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by claudicici on Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:48 am

    ...and I wonder if they kept in touch with raz and sick...or if their views changed like sarah's did?
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    dangrsmind

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by dangrsmind on Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:57 am

    If they lawyered up, they may be looking at suing SKR or someone else.
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    LoveEndsWar

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by LoveEndsWar on Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:44 am

    I didn't know where to put this, but did we ever hear that Debra attended the concert in Illinois also?
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    Snipped~Debra Kelley, 53, an associate professor at Longwood University, was hoping that Emma Niederbrock was just “going through a phase,” said James F. Hodgson, a former colleague who had known Emma since she was about 1 year old. He said Kelley took her to horrorcore concerts, which feature artists who rhyme violent lyrics over hip-hop beats, in Michigan and Illinois.
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    piXy

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by piXy on Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:53 pm

    LoveEndsWar wrote:I didn't know where to put this, but did we ever hear that Debra attended the concert in Illinois also?
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
    Snipped~Debra Kelley, 53, an associate professor at Longwood University, was hoping that Emma Niederbrock was just “going through a phase,” said James F. Hodgson, a former colleague who had known Emma since she was about 1 year old. He said Kelley took her to horrorcore concerts, which feature artists who rhyme violent lyrics over hip-hop beats, in Michigan and Illinois.

    Her mom and her dad were both there in Southgate, Michigan.
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    Kay

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by Kay on Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:39 pm

    piXy wrote:Has anything been said by Mel's family publicly regarding any of this. Only thing i have heard from them anywhere is what raz said mels mom said to her on the phone.
    maybe im overlooking things idk

    Where do they live?
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    piXy

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    Re: Family Members of victims

    Post by piXy on Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:34 pm

    Kay wrote:
    piXy wrote:Has anything been said by Mel's family publicly regarding any of this. Only thing i have heard from them anywhere is what raz said mels mom said to her on the phone.
    maybe im overlooking things idk

    Where do they live?
    Inwood WV just south of Martinsburg WV

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