What went wrong: Questions asked about murder-suicide
Shaun and Jenni were married October 20, 2007. Both died in a murder-suicide between the night of August 17th and the morning of August 18th, 2008.
Edgerton Police Chief Tom Klubertanz' response to questions about the handling of the Vordermann murder-suicide case.
Rock County Crisis Intervention and the procedures they follow when dealing with a suicidal subject.
The mother and her daughter pick up the conversation where they left it the night before.
It's 9:30 a.m. Aug. 17.
"What's going on, Jenni? Are you OK? Do you want me to come pick you up?"
"No, Mom. I'm fine."
Jennifer Vordermann says she wants to keep packing.
Then she gasps.
"Oh my God!"
Through the phone, Tina Pond hears the screen door squeal. She hears her daughter demand: "What are you doing here?"
"Jenni, what's going on?" Pond asks.
"What the hell do you mean he's home?"
On Aug. 18, less than 24 hours later, Edgerton police found Shaun and Jenni Vordermann dead in the bedroom of their home at 39 Mildred Ave.
It was the third time in five days that police were called to the house. On Aug. 16, the night before Shaun's and Jenni's last conversations with their families, Edgerton police placed
Shaun on an emergency detention and took him to Rock County Crisis Intervention for an assessment.
Crisis intervention dismissed the detention and released Shaun to his sister in Milton.
Since Shaun's and Jenni's deaths, their families have asked if police and crisis intervention did everything they could to protect the couple.
The Janesville Gazette interviewed the families, local police and mental health officials and out-of-county domestic violence experts. The Gazette also obtained documents related to the Vordermanns.
Shaun and Jenni would have celebrated their first wedding anniversary Oct. 20. This is the story of their last days.
8:36 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Tina Pond is edgy. She's getting weird text messages from her daughter, but she can't reach her.
"Mamma where are you?" and "I need help. Call me," Pond reads.
"I'm thinking this was Jenni, I have no idea."
Pond calls 911.
Edgerton officer Doug Vierck went to 39 Mildred Ave. at 8:39 p.m. Aug. 13 but didn't write a report about what he found.
According to dispatch records, he talked to Jenni, 24, at 9:25 p.m.
Everything is "fine for now," Jenni said to Vierck, according to dispatch records.
Jenni was "reluctant" to talk to Vierck, although she did tell him she and Shaun were talking, according to dispatch records.
It turns out Shaun, 25, had been sending those texts through the Internet using Jenni's cell number, Pond said. She wasn't the only person getting them.
An anti-domestic violence advocate said those texts could be considered controlling.
"Is he wanting to get messages back?" asked Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "We can't know his motivation, but that has a lot of controlling elements, pretending to be her with her friends. Is that a way to get information, to do a little recon?"
Thursday, Aug. 14, and Friday, Aug. 15.
Starting at 4 p.m. Thursday, Shaun dials Jenni's two cell phones every two minutes.
Jenni is at a friend's home in Madison.
On Friday, Shaun calls Jenni every half hour from work.
After work, he starts again. Every two to five minutes.
Jenni, her friends and her relatives were used to frequent phone contact from Shaun. Shaun often called looking for Jenni, Pond said. He called Jenni at work and sometimes drove by to make sure she was there, Jenni's cousin and close friend Melissa Bakken said.
Pond said Shaun used Internet tracking sites to find Jenni through her cell phone. Pond recalled a time when she had been shopping with Jenni in Madison. Shaun called them several times and accused Pond of delaying Jenni.
"I've got you on East Wash," Pond recalled Shaun saying.
Saturday, Aug. 16.
Shaun keeps it up—texting or calling Jenni or others every two to five minutes.
That day alone, he tries to contact his wife 178 times.
Among other things, Shaun threatens to burn Jenni's clothes if she doesn't come home. He threatens to shoot himself.
Among the more disturbing texts is one Shaun sent Bakken:
"Click click boom all cause she won't answer."
Shaun's high school girlfriend was stunned when she read about Jenni's and Shaun's deaths. And she was furious to see Shaun described as a controlling person.
Nicole Lyons, who went to Milton High School with Shaun and now lives in Lubbock, Texas, called the Gazette to talk about Shaun.
"I've struggled with this a lot," Lyons said. "Shaun is very insecure, at least he was back then. When things were good, he was fine. When the insecurities came up, that's when he got worried. I've thought long and hard about this since it happened. Over the five years we were together, I never, ever thought that he would hurt me."
In the four or more years Shaun and Jenni dated, Jenni's family had no fears, either.
"We all thought Shaun was a really good guy," Bakken said.
It took time for the family to get to know Shaun because he was shy. But he was sweet to Jenni, always getting up to get her a soda at family gatherings and always generous with gifts for Jenni, Bakken said.
Shaun and Jenni were generous in their affection, said Nancy Haferman, Shaun's mom.
"They were a very affectionate couple, and just looking at them you could tell how much they loved each other," Haferman said. "They made other people smile just to look at them."
The two enjoyed going to Badger and Brewers games together. They were a "great" aunt and uncle to Shaun's sister's children and often talked about having kids of their own, Haferman said.
The couple adopted two bulldogs from a rescue organization and liked taking the dogs to play days. They also enjoyed decorating and baking for family get-togethers, and they made homemade holiday cards, Haferman said.
"They had so much fun planning for their wedding," Haferman said. "Hours were spent making decisions and making sure everything was just perfect. It was a shared experience, and you could tell they both were so happy and excited. They were so happy the day of their wedding, and everything was so beautiful. The church and reception were filled with friends and family and love."
But after the wedding, Shaun started showing a jealous streak, Bakken said. He would get upset when Jenni did things without him. At the same time, Jenni wouldn't have fun because she was worried about Shaun being mad when she got home, Bakken said.
Shaun often called and accused Jenni of being late getting home, Bakken said.
Shaun might have been reacting to the fact that Jenni occasionally left him for days at a time, Haferman said. Shaun and his family believed Jenni was having an affair.
Edgerton police were called to the house March 6, according to dispatch records. Early that morning, Haferman and Shaun had waited in the parking lot of a Madison bar for Jenni. Shaun eventually had to go to work, and Haferman confronted Jenni when she and a male former co-worker returned after hours, Haferman said. Pond feared there would be a confrontation at the house later and called police just in case.
Records do not indicate if Shaun told police or crisis intervention workers that he thought Jenni was seeing other men. He did mention financial problems and told Edgerton police that Jenni had been "going through money."
"No matter how many times Jenni took off or didn't come home nights, he always wanted her back," Haferman said. "He never once told her to leave."
It's too late for domestic violence experts to interview Shaun and Jenni to learn what went wrong in their relationship.
Regardless, law enforcement trainer Judi Munaker said police should treat every domestic call as if the relationship had potential for violence or abuse. Munaker is a retired Dane County domestic abuse prosecutor who works as a police trainer.
"You need to investigate it the way the Legislature requires," Munaker said. "You have to talk not only to the parties but to as many witnesses as possible ... absolutely every time."
10:39 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16.
Jenni is scared to go home. But she's worried about Shaun.
From a friend's home in Madison, she calls 911 and asks that someone check on him.
"I don't want to go home, because he has a gun ... ," Jenni tells a Rock County Communications dispatcher.
When asked, Jenni says Shaun has never hurt her or specifically threatened to do so.
"He does stalk me at work and all this other stuff. It wouldn't put it past me that he would try to hurt me," she said.
Edgerton police are dispatched to 39 Mildred Ave.
Jenni had used the work "stalk" to describe her husband's behavior to a dispatcher before. In April, Jenni and Bakken ate dinner at a bar in Middleton. Shaun showed up and took Jenni's car, Bakken said.
The women started home but pulled over to call 911, Bakken said. Shaun was chasing them and threatening to drive off the road, she said.
"Jenni said (to the dispatcher), 'He stalks me. Texts me. Calls me. He shows up at my work,'" Bakken said.
The Public Safety Communications Center of Dane County did not call police that night, Bakken said.
A spokeswoman for the center was unable to locate a transcript of the call.
Records don't indicate that Edgerton police or Rock County Crisis Intervention knew about the incident.
10:51 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16.
When Edgerton police officers Michael Williams and Christian Chilson get to 39 Mildred Ave., the front door is boarded shut, and it looks like Shaun is trying to lock the back patio door.
Williams draws his gun and orders Shaun to the ground. The officers handcuff Shaun and put him in the squad car.
Shaun says he's had a couple beers, and he blows a 0.04 on a preliminary breath test. The legal limit to drive, in comparison, is 0.08.
Shaun tells officers the gun is on a basement shelf. Before they can secure the house, they call Jenni and ask her to come home to get the couple's bulldogs.
In the meantime, the dogs seem friendly, so Williams lets them outside and searches the house. He finds the Taurus 9 mm handgun in its case on the shelf where Shaun described.
Shaun says he boarded the door so Jenni couldn't get in.
At 11:34 p.m., Williams calls Rock County Crisis Intervention and tells crisis worker Terry Murphy he's considering putting Shaun on an emergency detention.
Shaun doesn't deny texting Jenni about hurting himself but says he was only trying to get her attention and "scare" her into checking on him.
The report does not indicate whether Williams asked Shaun why he wanted to scare his wife. Williams did not return several calls from the Gazette for clarification.
One domestic violence expert said she would have taken it seriously if a man told her he was trying to scare his wife.
Madison Police Lt. Mary Lou Ricksecker has worked on domestic violence cases for more than 10 years and since 2000 has been teaching police about domestic violence. She said she would ask a man why he wanted to scare his wife, and she would frame the question several ways.
Ricksecker said she might call the couple's friends or relatives to learn more. The interviews are necessary to find evidence of reported and unreported abuse, she said.
"We're not psychologists or psychiatrists, but after initial probing questions, even if he said that he didn't want to hurt himself or her, let's just go talk to somebody else to make sure," Ricksecker said. "You would definitely want to follow that up with a lot more questions."
About 12 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 17.
Jenni walks up the driveway past Shaun in the back of the squad car. She rounds up the dogs and shows police the ominous texts that Shaun sent.
Williams asks Jenni if anything else is "going on."
Jenni asks what he means, and Williams clarifies. Has Shaun ever been violently abusive or has he threatened her? he asks.
"No, nothing like that."
Officers are trained to ask specific questions to determine if a relationship is dangerous, said Marlys Howe, a domestic violence specialist with the Dane County District Attorney's Office and a member of the City of Milton Police Commission.
"A victim may or may not be able to articulate," Howe said. "You're in a moment of crisis."
Ricksecker said it's important to give time and attention to domestic problems because of the potential for violence.
"Domestics are a very, very high threat level, especially when someone is trying to leave," Ricksecker said. "There is possibility of serious harm."
Police reports from Aug. 16 do not indicate if Jenni told officers that Shaun had been calling her continually since at least Aug. 14. Reports do not indicate that Jenni told officers that Shaun regularly called searching for her and regularly used Internet cell phone tracking sites to find her.
The Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance held domestic violence training for police officers this past summer, spokesman Ryan Sugden said. No attendees said they were part of the Edgerton department, Sugden said. But an officer who worked part time in Edgerton might have taken part in the training through another department, he said.
The Gazette was unable in several attempts to reach Edgerton Police Chief Tom Klubertanz to ask whether his officers participated in that training.
In a Sept. 29 meeting, Klubertanz said he would not seek additional training for his department after the murder-suicide.
"Nothing more than what we've already had and what we're doing now," Klubertanz said. "There's nothing to add to it."
Klubertanz said officers knew nothing about Shaun and Jenni's relationship.
"If we would have had all the information that the media got after the fact, things may have been handled differently," Klubertanz said. "Anything about this relationship that was learned, that we learned, was after the fact. So the officers couldn't have done anything differently than what they did, because we didn't have that information."
Shortly after 12 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 17.
Before they leave to take Shaun to crisis intervention, Williams and Chilson ask Jenni if she wants to get the gun out of the house.
Chilson checks that the gun is not loaded and puts it in the trunk of Jenni's silver Pontiac. Jenni says she'll take the gun to her parents and go back to Madison.
Shaun's and Jenni's families have been full of questions since their children died.
At the top of the list is, "Why didn't they take the gun?"
If a crime has not been committed, the laws directing when and how police can confiscate weapons are not black and white, said Aaron Tomlinson, a law enforcement trainer with Blackhawk Technical College.
If someone requests a gun be taken from a home, officers might be able to take it, Tomlinson said. But a gun owner's constitutional rights prevent officers from taking a gun simply because they have a bad feeling about a situation, he said.
"Domestic abuse is one thing, but simple concern for party safety is a whole separate issue," Tomlinson said. "Policies on that (confiscating guns) range widely in departments. Some departments just don't have room to house every firearm. The common practice is, if people say, 'We're fearful for our safety. Please remove the gun,' and if there's no objection (from another family member), we would."
Nancy Haferman, Shaun's mom, understands that police can't go around confiscating weapons.
"But if someone is threatening suicide, and you take them at gunpoint, handcuff them, put them in a car and take them to Edgerton Hospital and the Rock County Health Care Center," Haferman said. "And then no one takes this situation seriously enough to remove a gun from the premises?"
Klubertanz said Williams and Chilson had no reason to take the gun.
"It is not something we would normally do," Klubertanz said. "If we were taking guns out of houses, it would be every house in town, especially around this time of year."
The gun wasn't used in a crime, and Shaun did not take action beyond threats to kill himself, Klubertanz said.
"If the gun had been laying on the table, that's a different issue," Klubertanz said. "You take pills to kill yourself, and they're out on the table, that's different. But the gun wasn't even in play."
According to police reports, Williams and Chilson asked Jenni if she was comfortable taking the gun and holding on to it or giving it to a family member.
Jenni said she wanted the gun out of the house and said she would be willing to take it to a relative, according to police reports.
No report indicates that officers offered to take the gun for Jenni.
Ricksecker said it's best to take a gun in a domestic dispute even though victims don't always ask.
"It's not that unusual for a victim to not want police to take the gun … because she's going to have to live with the results of whatever happened tonight," Ricksecker said. "A lot of times by turning (the gun) over to police, it's going to escalate what's happening."
Edgerton Lt. Bob Bolgrihn on Sept. 8 told Nancy and Ed Haferman that Williams and Chilson would not have offered to take the gun, Nancy Haferman said. Bolgrihn told them the department couldn't be liable for it and didn't have space in the evidence room for the gun, Haferman said.
Haferman was appalled.
"My son is dead, for Christ's sake," Haferman said. "You couldn't have found room in your evidence room for 24 hours?"
Klubertanz denied that those were the reasons his department would have given for not taking Shaun's gun.
Bolgrihn did not return several calls from the Gazette asking for clarification.
Between 12 and 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 17.
Before taking Shaun for a crisis assessment, Williams stops at Edgerton Hospital and Health Services for a medical clearance, a necessary step in case Shaun needs inpatient psychiatric treatment later.
In the squad car, Shaun insists he wasn't serious about killing himself. Williams calls Murphy at crisis intervention, and they decide to skip the medical clearance and bring Shaun straight for an assessment.
At 1:20 a.m., Williams drops Shaun off at crisis intervention, which is in the Rock County health care complex a few miles north of Janesville.
Shaun is in his pajamas. He cries a little but is "calm and cooperative" during his assessment. On a form, Murphy marks Shaun's suicide risk as "low" to "moderate" with alcohol increasing the risk.
Until two days earlier, "life was good," Shaun tells Murphy. They talk about Shaun and Jenni's relationship and methods of offering support, love and space in a marriage.
Together, they devise a safety plan: Shaun agrees to stay at his sister's house that night and call crisis the next day.
Murphy calls Williams to say Shaun would be released to his sister.
"Boy, did he smoke them," Haferman said when she read her son's crisis assessment.
The document is not a public record and would only be available to Shaun. But because Shaun is dead, Wisconsin administrative code gives Haferman the right to it. She shared it with the Gazette.
Haferman thinks Shaun was saying whatever it took to get home.
"So they knew that he had threatened (suicide)," Haferman said. "OK, so he said he was trying to get her attention. They don't know Shaun. Was he telling the truth?"
Shaun's assessment paperwork indicates that crisis intervention found no criteria for an emergency detention and dismissed the one police had started. The paperwork indicates Shaun agreed to check in with crisis intervention the next day, to consider outpatient counseling, not to contact Jenni until things cooled down and to avoid alcohol.
If crisis intervention had determined that Shaun was mentally ill, Shaun would have met the criteria for an emergency detention. After a medical examination at a local hospital, he might have been checked into inpatient psychiatric treatment for more evaluation.
Rock County courts would have used the emergency detention paperwork and doctors' comments to assign follow-up treatment for Shaun.
But crisis intervention found that Shaun wasn't mentally ill and therefore couldn't be locked up on an emergency detention.
The safety plan included with Shaun's crisis assessment paperwork doesn't mention the gun.
Edgerton police told crisis intervention that Jenni had left with the gun, Charmian Klyve, Rock County Human Services director, said in an Oct. 15 interview with Haferman and crisis intervention Supervisor Denny Luster. Haferman described the interview to the Gazette.
The paperwork doesn't say if Shaun admitted that he had been calling his wife constantly and hadn't slept for at least two nights.
Shaun didn't come across as being suicidal, Klyve and Luster told Haferman. Crisis worker Murphy, who evaluated Shaun, said he looked tired, and she thought he hadn't slept in some time, Klyve and Luster said.
But Shaun was making good choices in his words and actions when he talked about how sad and worried he was about his marriage, Haferman was told.
"They admitted that they work on limited information and do the best with what they have," Haferman wrote in an e-mail to the Gazette. "I made them promise that they would always tell everyone from this day forward when someone threatens suicide. Every threat-no matter why made-should be taken seriously."
2 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 17.
Shaun's sister is asleep in her Milton home when he calls.
Shaun asks if he can stay the night.
Half asleep, she says, "Yes."
A Rock County Crisis Intervention worker gets on the phone and asks the sister if she would help Shaun.
Shaun's sister doesn't know that he threatened to kill himself. She doesn't know that Edgerton police took him out of the house at gunpoint or that-for a time-he had been considered dangerous enough to be put on an emergency detention.
In an e-mail to the Gazette, Shaun's sister wrote about the call from crisis.
"(She) said that she was from Rock County and was unable to tell me anything because of patient confidentiality but wanted to know if Shaun could come here for a supportive environment for the night," Shaun's sister wrote.
Luster wouldn't talk to anyone other than Haferman about the details of Shaun's assessment. But he did tell the Gazette that crisis workers would never release a client to a relative without making sure everyone knew what was going on.
"We would get the client's consent, and we would certainly fill you in about the reasons about why we got involved in the first place so you would not be caught in the dark," Luster said. "We wouldn't be just saying, 'OK, here's your brother or sister. Can you watch him or her for a few days?'"
Shaun's crisis assessment states that Shaun's sister was given a brief overview of the situation. In the Oct. 15 interview, Luster and Klyve told Haferman that Shaun did not seem suicidal. Murphy would have had no reason to tell Shaun's sister he was at risk, they said.
But Shaun's sister said things would have been different if she had known the whole story.
"I never would have let him come here if I would have known what had happened," Shaun's sister said. "I would have seen that he got the help that he was reaching out for."
6:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 17.
Shaun is awake when his sister gets up, Haferman told the Gazette. After a couple hours of playing with his nieces and nephews, he asks for a ride home.
When they get to 39 Mildred Ave., Shaun and his sister see that Jenni is home.
Shaun's sister doesn't know that he had agreed to not contact Jenni until things cooled down. She doesn't know about the gun that is still in her sister-in-law's trunk. But she knows that Shaun must have had a reason not to go home earlier.
Shaun's sister asks if she should come in, according to Haferman.
Shaun says no, things would be OK.
Jenni told police she was taking the gun to her parents' house. According to Shaun's crisis assessment, she left for Madison when police left with Shaun.
Bakken said Jenni instead stayed home and didn't take the gun out of the trunk.
It's not clear if police called Jenni when Shaun was released from crisis.
Klubertanz said Williams "out of experience" probably called Jenni. But when asked by the Gazette, Klubertanz could not confirm that Williams made that call. The Gazette was unable after several attempts to reach Klubertanz or Williams for follow-up and clarification.
Klyve and Luster told Haferman that Edgerton police did not tell crisis intervention that Shaun had barricaded the door or that he was taken at gunpoint and handcuffed.
Crisis intervention didn't know that police also were at 39 Mildred Ave. on Aug. 13.
Sunday, Aug. 17.
Jenni is on the phone with her mom when Shaun walks in at 9:30 a.m. She gets off the phone to talk to Shaun and calls her mom back.
Jenni texts Bakken around noon. Shaun works on Jenni's car in the driveway.
Shaun calls crisis to check in at 2:40 p.m. He says everything is fine, that he has no plans and is "just relaxing."
Shaun talks to his mom at 4 p.m. He declines her offer for a visit but promises to meet her for lunch Monday.
Shaun, Jenni or both rent a Pay Per View movie from 5 to 7 p.m. Shaun takes out the trash at 8.
Jenni is packing, apparently intending to move out. She fills two garbage bags with clothes.
At 8:30, Jenni calls her mom because Shaun is going to take her car and leave her without a ride to work. Pond says she will pick up Jenni in the morning.
Shaun leaves in Jenni's car. He says he's going to his mom's house to sleep.
Between 9 and 9:30, Shaun tries calling Jenni 20 times.
According to Rock County Coroner Jenifer Keach, Shaun fired four shots from his Taurus 9 mm handgun sometime after 10 p.m. Sunday. One shot went through the bedroom door and a wall into a closet. He shot himself in the foot and shot Jenni in the back as she was apparently trying to leave the room, according to police reports.
Then he shot himself in the jaw.
Jenni and Shaun died instantly, Keach said.
When Jenni didn't call Pond for a ride at 6 a.m. Monday, Pond assumed that Shaun had changed his mind and left Jenni her car keys. A little later, one of Shaun's co-workers at Hostess in Madison called Pond to say Shaun hadn't come to work and hadn't called.
That wasn't like him, Pond said. She called and learned that Jenni hadn't shown up at her new job at 84 Lumber Components in McFarland.
At 8:08 a.m. Monday, Pond called police.
Edgerton police checked the house at 8:33 a.m. and requested the coroner at 8:35, according to dispatch reports.
Noon Monday, Aug. 18.
Shaun had promised his mom he would take her to lunch Monday.
He doesn't call and doesn't answer when Haferman tries him at noon from her office in Monona.
She doesn't think anything of it.
Just after 1 p.m., Shaun's sister calls Haferman and says that her grandparents told her two people were dead of gunshot wounds in Edgerton.
"Don't be silly. They are both at work," Haferman says.
Shaun's sister calls back a few minutes later.
She is hysterical.
Eventually, she spits out that she saw a picture on the Internet of Shaun and Jenni's house surrounded by police tape.
Haferman collapses from her chair, screaming.
When Rock County Chief Deputy Coroner Chris Hawley got to 39 Mildred Ave. at 9 a.m. Aug. 18, the first thing she did was ask Edgerton police if the families had been notified.
"They said they were taking care of it," Keach later told the Gazette.
Notifying next of kin normally is a coroner's office responsibility, but Keach said it's normal for police to handle it during an investigation of a suspicious death.
"We were shocked when we found out they hadn't," Keach said. "We would have stepped up and taken care of it."
It was, of course, a busy morning for the 10-person Edgerton Police Department, which handled the investigation on its own.
For comparison, the Janesville Police Department devoted 30 personnel and 400 hours to investigate the Aug. 30 murder-suicide of Rexhep and Shukrije Menxhiqi, 12 N. Washington St., Janesville, Deputy Chief Dave Moore said.
The two murder-suicides cannot be strictly compared because no two cases are the same, Moore said.
Klubertanz said his department worked overtime to follow up with the Vordermann murder-suicide.
And he said he called Haferman personally Aug. 18.
Haferman said she and her husband already knew Shaun was dead and were on their way to Edgerton when the chief called. Haferman was in such shock that she doesn't remember the call.
Klubertanz said a tragedy such as the Vordermanns' deaths is tough on police as well as families. But he stands by his department and wouldn't change the way his officers worked the case.
"Anything like this is tough, looking back. You're always questioning. You're always wondering," Klubertanz said. "But that's where you get the support from the guys you work with and from the department. And that's why I say there's nothing in there that would make me even flinch at not supporting everything that was done. I'm behind them 100 percent, and they know that."
Luster can't talk publicly about Shaun's assessment, but he previously told the Gazette that he and crisis intervention's medical director, a psychiatrist, always review crisis intervention charts after a suicide.
Staff will talk as a team about what happened, Luster said.
"It's hard to see anybody take their own life, regardless of whether we had any contact with them," Luster said. "We are here to save lives."
Pond is haunted by the times she offered to pick up Jenni and take her from 39 Mildred Ave. She wishes she had tried harder.
"I'm sitting here beating myself up," she said, crying.
Haferman keeps herself busy talking and writing to local, state and federal officials about her son and daughter-in-law. She wants to see gun laws tightened to protect people who threaten suicide. And she doesn't want any other mother to go uninformed when her son or daughter is in crisis.
If she had only known what Shaun and Jenni were going through, she would have sought help, Haferman said.
"Nobody let me help my son."