MAY 3, 2021—Our family learned in the late evening hours of May 3, 2021, that the convicted murderer who took the lives of our family members, William L Corporon MD and Reat Griffin Underwood as well as the life of Teresa LaManno on April 13, 2014, had died of natural causes. We choose to not use his name ensuring he occupies zero percent of our consciousness.
We offer gratitude to the first responders, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, police, detectives and the Johnson County District Attorney’s office for their assistance with all matters relating to the soulful lives taken and the capture and conviction of the shooter. A jury of his peers convicted him. A judge sentenced him to death row, and this is where he took his last breath.
The murderer took the lives of two Methodists and a Catholic while intending to murder Jews. No one should have lost their lives at his hands.
We are neither happy nor sad. He stole so much from our family, but he didn’t steal our hearts or our dignity. He did not steal our memories, the love that sustains us or the ability to offer forgiveness and kindness in the face of such tragedy.
With shear grit, determination and faith, our family forgave this murderer his sins against us. In no way does this forgiveness mean that his actions were correct. Our forgiveness releases the hate from our own hearts. Hate comes in all shapes and sizes, all colors and creeds. We pray that our healing journey helps others move forward during their own struggles and challenges. Don’t allow hate to occupy your heart or mind. It will rot you from the inside out. This murderer was rotten to his core. At no time did he ask for our forgiveness or offer regret for his actions. He was taught to hate by his own father from the time he was young. Only knowing how to hate another drove him to murder. This is heartbreaking.
We are sad. We miss our family, Bill (aka Popeye) and Reat. But we don’t carry the weight of hate in our hearts.
As Christians and people of faith we learned the Gospels. The Gospels taught us to forgive.
On May 3, Healing a Shattered Soul, a memoir by Mindy Corporon was published. The fact that this memoir—Mindy’s faithful journey of courageous kindness after the trauma and grief of domestic terrorism was published on the same day the murderer who inflicted horrendous pain into our lives, died, is not lost on us. In fact, we feel even more connected to our family members in Heaven with each passing minute.
Typically, we have answered the question about “closure” to say that there is no closure when you lose a loved one. In the same way, you lose a limb, you learn to live without it. We are thankful that the court system, media and our families no longer have any need to concern themselves with a potential appeal from the convicted.
Thank you for your prayers upon our family and others who suffer at the consequences of hate. We each have a responsibility to love our neighbor. Our family started the Faith Always Wins Foundation to promote dialogue for the betterment of our world through kindness, faith and healing. Our work will continue.