Ramsey victims speak out
Fri, 18 May 2007 16:20:59 GMT —
An almost 11-year-old murder case is over and Dan Ramsey is headed back to death row, but the nightmare will never end for the families who lost so much. Ramsey was on trial for killing two girls and wounding three others during a shooting spree in Hancock County in 1996. After pleading guilty last month, a jury gave him the death sentence this week.
KHQA's Melissa Shriver caught up with the Sloop and Marson families to talk about their loss and how they feel after going through a grueling trial not once, but twice.
A lot has changed for Rachel Sloop since the terrible night back in July of 1996 when Dan Ramsey shot her and her sister and two other children inside this Burnside home. She's gotten married and had two children of her own, but she will always remember the event that changed her life forever.
Rachel said, "That's when I said there is a car coming down the lane and he shot me and it was crazy scary. I thought I was dead, everything went black."
The second murder trial was harder than the first for many of the Sloop family because they had to relive so many horrific memories.
Bill Sloop, father of victim Lonna Sloop, said, "Everything was brought back out like I said the first trial I was never able to go into the courtroom and this time I was. It helped but its been rough bringing it all back."
But unlike the rest of the family Rachel says she was thankful to have gotten to attend the second trial. She says she feels as if a cloud has been lifted from her mind. During the original trial she was trying to recover from her injuries and was not allowed inside the courtroom. Now she has a better understanding of what happened to her and her sister that horrible night.
Rachel says, "Yes I was nervous but I have recovered from my injuries so to me I got to understand the case. I thought they did a good job showing pictures being graphic with everything."
Rachel's husband Christian White says the trial has given him insight into the horrors in his wife's past. He says the end of this trial means a new beginning to his marriage.
'We've been able to come through it together and its been very challenging because of the emotional roller coaster we've been on during the trial," White said.
They're just glad the outcome was the same. Ramsey is back on death row.
Do you feel justice has been done?
Bill Sloop said, "I feel justice has been served, however it will never erase anything and in my opinion until he's gone it really isn't served."
The family deals with the death of 12 year-old Lonna Sloop every day. Lonna was just two weeks shy of becoming a teenager when she was gunned down. Her parents say she loved sports and was on almost every Nauvoo Vikings sports team.
Ramsey also killed his girlfriend Laura Marson..
Bill Marson, Laura's father, said, "I'm Bitter, he took something that was precious to me."
That precious something was 18 year-old Laura . Dan Ramsey shot her to death back in July of 1996, but even after 11 years the tragedy feels all too fresh in their minds, especially after Ramsey's second murder trial.
Suzane Marson, Laura's mother, said, "It was a little more painful and I didn't want to do it but I thought I need to do it for Laura and I did and I learned an awful lot."
Laura was a very active teenager, she played in the band and loved spending time at church and with friends. Her brother Edward says she was all about helping the underdog, which may have been how she got caught up with Dan Ramsey.
Edward Marson said, "She always wanted to help people as much as she could."
Bill Marson says his one wish is for the murder weapon to be welded so it can never hurt anyone ever again. He also wishes to see it fastened to a plaque and displayed so that young people can see what can happen when a dangerous person gets ahod of a dangerous weapon.
"It's not the gun's fault," said Marson. "It's the person who controls the weapon."