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December 4, 2004

In Memory of Innocent Lives Lost - Kelsey And Hayley Byrne, Killed By Their Father

Topics: National News

Today I learned of a very sad story indeed. This post is in concert with a lot of other bloggers in memory of Kelsey and Haley Byrne, from those of us who didn't know them, but know that their lives were far too short unnecessarily, because their father killed them. Story thanks to Diggers.

Having worked all over the world, served four years as a Marine (some as a Recon Marine), and having volunteered with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (still do) most often working with the poorest of the poor - I have seen a lot of sadness, cruelty, pain, hunger, abuse, and death in my 61 years.  I've had several children, both boys and girls, and like most men I wish to God I could undo and redo a lot of things that I did and failed to do with my children. As I said in an email to someone earlier today, I often feel like the tiger hunter(Michael Douglas) in the movie "Ghost and the Darkness" when he was asked by the bridge engineer(Val Kilmer), "Have you ever failed?" Of course the bridge engineer was referring to success or failure regarding tiger hunting. However, the hunter after thinking for just a moment looks up and says, "Only in life."

When I heard that in the damned near empty theater, I felt like someone had just taken a pack of rocks off of my back. My thought at the time which I also passed on to a reader today was that there goes most of us. Life is a tough test, it is damned hard to make an A, and as hard as I think I've tried I have so far barely made it up to a D, if that. We are talking about succeeding or failing in life itself, not making money or achieving status, we are talking about getting through our time on earth and leaving it a little better off than we found it. I think most of us would admit to missing the mark a bit on that one.

But then comes along the story I read at Diggers tonight. It's been a slow news day for the most part and I've spent most of my free time doing site maintenance instead of blogging. So having gotten a late start I make it to Diggers and right off the bat there is a story about two little girls, Kelsey And Hayley Byrn, who were killed by their father Stephen James Byrne, 50, supposedly because he was upset over a custody dispute. I went back and read the obituary at Michelle Malkin's  and then read the link to the Seattle Post article at  Diggers.

According to the article, the father had e-mailed a suicide note to friends letting them know he planned to kill his two young daughters and himself, then he apparently followed through with it. Now just a couple of minutes ago I was talking about failing in life, but taking the lives of your own children, your own little girls who love their daddy and expect him to protect them and take care of them, how in the hell can someone screw-up his life so badly? The article goes on to say that the day before, alerted by friends alarmed by his note, Edmonds police officers arrived at a home in a quiet neighborhood at 12:42 p.m. and discovered the bodies of Byrne and his two daughters.

The following information is posted on Diggers site but he is asking bloggers to help get the word out:

Kelsey Byrne was born February 7, 1993. Hayley Byrne was born September 15, 1995. They were killed by their father on November 22, 2004.

Digger was tipped off by a reader that there is a short documentary that has been put together on the girls. You can find the video here. Digger says that it is not a documentary like we might expect, he says that it is more of a life-in-pictures video. Their obituary is here. You can leave a tribute message to the family here. They have not yet designated any charity for donations.

Digger says that it is a deeply moving video, both happy and sad. Digger says that he cried watching it because he has two kids of the same age and had seen his kids doing the same things like playing dress up, at the beach, learning to crawl etc. I haven't seen it yet, but I plan to see it.

Kelsey and Hayley Byrnes memorial service was held today, December 4, 2004 at 2PM, at;

Trinity Lutheran Church
6215 196th S.W. Lynnwood, WA US 98036

Digger has asked that all of us, bloggers and readers alike, help to get the word out on this. Here are a couple of images of Kelsey and Hayley (from Diggers);


Kelsey Byrne - click on image to enlarge.


Haley Byrne - Click on image to enlarge.

We've all made mistakes in life that weigh upon us and we move on and do our best to make fewer with lesser consequences. I hate to judge another man, but I just can't understand how a father can kill his children. May God have mercy on that man's soul. As for Kelsey and Haley, it's hard to keep my heart in my chest just thinking about them and their moments of pain, heartache, disappointment, shock, disbelief, suffering and precious moments never lived. We all know that God already has a special place for the innocents like Kelsey and Haley. Goodbye girls, we didn't know you, but we love you.

Posted by Hyscience at December 4, 2004 7:38 PM

Thank you for letting more people know about this and expressing your own experiences in life.

We all have failures in life we occassionally think of, I'm sometimes even haunted by mine.

People without kids sometimes forget that us parents are flying by the seat of our pants in all of this parenting thing. Most of us try our hardest to do our best.

I can't understand this man's thought process in killing his kids. The only conclusion I could come to is he did it to hurt his ex-wife.

It's been a sad day for me as I have thought about those two girls throughout the day and the joyful periods they had in their lives. The running to the tree for Christmas presents, the running along the beach discovering shells and the just plain silly goofing off that little girls do.

Thanks once again.

Posted by: Digger at December 5, 2004 2:37 AM


Posted by: Gene Atkinson at December 6, 2004 5:05 PM

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