Posted: May 26, 2010 5:08 PM by Kate Durio
Updated: Sep 15, 2011 5:35 PM
To many in Jennings, the eight women who were taken from their families hits too close to home. In a small town, where everyone seems to know everything about everyone, it's unsettling that the families of these women may never know what happened to their daughters, sisters and cousins just before their death. What the families of these women choose to do is think of their loved ones in times of life.
Sarah Benoit, the mother of victim Crystal Shay Zeno, describes her daughter as generous and loving.
"She always gave hugs and kisses. She always tried to help somebody out. There was an elderly lady who lived here in the projects and she would just go and bathe her and help her out every now and then," says Benoit.
Her mother says Crystal was a happy child who loved homemade dresses and loved playing "hide and seek".
All of the girls were from the same circle and all met the same deadly fate but to it's the memories of their lives that resonate with those who knew them best.
Sonya Beard is the first cousin of Whitnei Dubois and recalls the talents that made Whitnei shine.
"She could sing. Whitnei was in chorus. She sang in church. That's what she did. She made us laugh. She was funny. She was a good girl," says Beard.
Whitnei wanted to be a school teacher and as her cousin says, Whitnei looked for the good in people.
In her eyes, she was just, everybody was good. In spite of everything that she went through in her life, she trusted everybody," says Beard.
An unknown killer brought grief to the families of these eight victims. Some of the family members tell us, seeking justice for the person they've known since childhood is the only comfort they can hope to find. As Kindra Brown tells us, a bond she formed with her younger sister Muggy at an early age gives her strength.
Kindra Brown says Muggy got her nickname from playing in the mud as a child. The name changed from Muddy to Muggy, Kindra says, because of Laconia's "mean mugging" tough exterior. But as her sister tells us, Muggy was once just a little sister who wasn't always so tough.
"We protected over each other. If she would cry, I'd be like, what are you crying for, 'oh, momma whooped me', and I'd be like, 'come on let, sister pat you up, you going to be okay, keep going," remembers Brown.
Unfortunately, we can only bring you a peek into the lives of these eight women taken too early from their families. They're absence is probably most felt by the victims' children left behind.
But all of the women are missed by all of their family members. The untimely and brutal way they were taken is felt in a ripple effect beyond their family ties.
-Written and Produced by Kate Durio