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Tears of a job

I've been in the newspaper business for 15 years now, starting with my senior year at Thomson High.

Most of those years have been spent writing, and there are some stories that stand out: a story I wrote about Coach Luther Welsh leaving Thomson High for The Bulldog Bark, a short story about UFOs over Thomson for the Thomson Times, a story about an Olympic hopeful from Augusta State University for The Bell Ringer and the Army basic training experience for The Augusta Chronicle.

And like many naive journalists, I prided myself on being a detached observer. Nothing could faze me. Nothing could bother me. After all, I was just there to record history.

Then I was assigned a series of World War II stories for The Chronicle.

I did fine until I met Donna Palmer and her family. Her father, Paul Felberg, had never met his father -- a fallen hero of World War II. As we sat and talked about their memories and the son's trip to Normandy to visit his father's grave, I cried with them.

But that was nothing compared to the moment I was alone in Robin Reeves' house.

In the four years since the mother of two was stabbed to death in the front hall, very little had changed -- a bedroom rearranged, Robin's clothes removed.

But most everything else was the same.

The digital alarm clock still sits on her headboard, just as the Bible, Ulysses and How to Win Friends and Influence People. The Thinker is on her bedside table and Mona Lisa is on the wall. In the den, an unopened Van Halen CD is third from the top in a stack and Titanic and The Shawshank Redemption sit among other movies.

And in the hall where Robin Reeves died, there's no place to catch your breath. Cars passing by fade away, even the laughter of Robin's daughter Hannah -- who is planting purple flowers (her mom's favorites) on the front porch -- sounds miles away.

The tragedy is not just that a mother died.

It's not just that a little girl has to pass a home every day that she can never go back to.

It's not just that a little boy doesn't remember his mother.

It's not just that a mother is filled with four years of questions wrapped up in a house that sits in her front yard and grandchildren who fill her house with laughter and toys.

It's that no one has been held responsible for any of it.

And somewhere, someone knows something.

Their silence is allowing a killer to walk free.

And that's enough to bring tears to anybody's eyes.

Previous stories
 • Looking for answers: Ceremony remembers slain woman
 • Silohuettes to mark Victims' Rights Awareness Week 2005
 • Perdue ups ante in Reeves case
 • Reeves asks Perdue for help in solving daughter's murder
 • For the victims: Events honor victim's rights in McDuffie
 • Looking for answers: Ceremony remembers slain woman
 • Silohuettes to mark Victims' Rights Awareness Week 2005
 • Remembering Robin Reeves: Four years later, questions remain
 • Remembering Robin: Family and friends hope vigil brings focus back to case

 'Mourning a mother' slideshow

Previous stories from The Augusta Chronicle
 • Slaying victim found
 • Police look for woman's killer
 • Autopsy confirms stabbing
 • Woman's slaying remains unsolved
 • Thomson police set up reward in slaying case
 • Victim's mother seeks custody
 • Reward rises in slaying case
 • Father refuses psychological exam
 • Stalking sentence deferred
 • Slain woman's ex gets probation for stalking
 • Investigation, custody battle drag on
 • Judge grants custody to slaying victim's mother

 • Tears of a job
 • Don't keep justice waiting in cases

Letters to the Editor
 • A call for justice, healing and remembrance

Web posted on Thursday, February 24, 2005


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