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Karly Sheehan Murder

March 30, 2012 by staff 

Karly Sheehan Murder, The minute I walked out the door of Benton-County Courthouse in Corvallis, Oregon in 2007, my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but it didn’t take me long to figure out who the angry woman yelling at me was. I knew Sarah Brill Sheehan like I know my own daughters. For a season in life, Sarah was like a daughter to me. She lived in my home, ate at my table, laughed with my children, and swapped stories with me.

But this Sarah, the one ranting at the other end of the phone, was a stranger to me in many ways. She was right when she declared “You don’t know me anymore.” I sometimes wonder now if I ever really did know Sarah. I wonder if anyone has ever really known her.

I’m not denying that Sarah had a right to be upset with me. I had debated numerous times about whether I should tell her that I was working on a book about the murder of her daughter, Karly Sheehan. I was torn over it.

“Don’t you think you owed me a phone call?” she implored.

It was the question I’d asked myself a gazillion times. I intended to tell Sarah at some point, but first I wanted time to sort through the court’s documentation and to get in as many preliminary interviews as I could. I was doing my best to approach the story as a journalist, gathering the facts the way I had done hundreds of other times during my tenure as a reporter.

Two years had passed since Sarah made that desperate 911 call on June 3, 2005.

“What’s your emergency?’ asked Dispatcher Andy Thompson. Sarah was so distraught it took nearly a minute before she was able to say, “My daughter is not breathing.”

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