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The Seattle Times ^ | 11/28/04

Posted on 11/29/2004 8:15:32 PM PST by paulat


Stephen James BYRNE Steve, who lived in Edmonds, savored life. He has left us now, in a struggle to find peace, and we will miss him.

But we will remember that savoring of life, his love of sailing, biking, cross country skiing, diving, hiking. His love of an incredible mountain vista, how the leaves turned gold in the fall, a great bottle of wine and a wonderful meal with friends, a long ride around Lake Washington or up Washington Pass, completing the STP bike ride for the first time, and the second.

He loved his friends and family as well, and we loved him. More than anything in the world, Steve loved his daughters, Kelsey and Hayley. He was at every soccer game, every school performance, every important event in their lives. He taught them how to do all the things he loved - ride bicycles, go sea kayaking, ski, or simply find some good snow to play in. They read together, played games, went to movies, worked on school projects. He hiked halfway up Mount Rainier with them when they were very young, and all the way up on his own. He taught them by example to love the world, to be adventurous, and to be gentle. There is great tragedy in how his life ended, and theirs, but know that this was a loving, good man who did the best he could while struggling against an incomprehensible burden that none of those of us who loved him could have known.

He loved travel, and he had traveled far, from Nebraska to Asia, to the Middle East, to Europe. He traveled overland from Europe to northern Africa. He had lived abroad - in Pakistan and in France - and savored the knowledge of other cultures he gained from that experience. That was an important part of knowing Steve, knowing that he had been to just about any place in the world that might come up in conversation.

He was tolerant of other views, full of ideas, and a great conversationalist. He graduated from the University of Nebraska, and received a Masters Degree from Arizona State University. He taught at the University of Arizona before going to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. He lived in Pakistan in 1988-1990, where he worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development, assisting the Pakistani people build an energy infrastructure in their country. When he returned to Berkeley, he launched a career as a software developer specializing in energy conservation. He moved to Bainbridge Island in 1994 with his family.

Steve was preceded in death by his father, John J. Byrne in 1997. He is survived by his mother Lorene Byrne of Mesa, AZ; a brother Tom (Arlette) Byrne of Encinitas, CA; three sisters: Shannon Byrne (Bill) Brower of Harbor Springs, MI; Teri Byrne (Bill) Marx of Bellevue, NE; Mitzi Byrne (Jim) Zimmerman of Oak Hill, VA; and his good friend Rita Hibbard of Edmonds. He was a favorite uncle of Ashley, John and Andy Brower; Michelle and David Byrne; Aimee, Josh, Ryan and Joey Marx; and Kate, Sam and Layne Zimmerman.

Memorial Service, Friday, Dec. 3, 11:00 a.m., in the Chapel of Beck's Funeral Home, 405 - 5th Ave. S., Edmonds, 425-771-1234. In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to Cascade Bicycle Club, P.O. Box 15165, Seattle, WA 98115. Published in print from 11/28/2004 - 11/29/2004. Guest Book • Funeral home info • Flowers Gift Shop • Charities

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: 1selfishjerkinhell; 2004obituaries; 2childreninheaven; babykiller; burninhellscumbag; childkiller; doublehomicide; liberalmedia; mediabias; murder; murderers; obituaries; obituary; seattletimes; suicide
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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Man kills himself; daughters also dead


EDMONDS -- He e-mailed a suicide note to friends letting them know he planned to kill his two young daughters and himself, then the Edmonds man apparently followed through.

Yesterday, alerted by friends alarmed by his note, Edmonds police officers arrived at a home in a quiet neighborhood at 12:42 p.m. and discovered the bodies of Stephen James Byrne, 50, and his two daughters.

Mike Urban / P-I Neighbors console one another near the scene of an apparent murder-suicide in Edmonds on Monday. Police found the bodies of a father and his two daughters. Byrne was in the back yard of his home in the 8100 block of 188th Street Southwest, and the two girls were inside the home, Sgt. Debbie Smith said.

The father was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, she said. But investigators did not know how the two girls had died.

An autopsy by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office likely will establish that.

Some neighbors were visibly distraught by the news hours later, watching as police waited for crime-scene investigators from the Washington State Patrol to process the home for evidence.

Those closest to Byrne were left stunned and grief-stricken by this apparent murder-suicide.

"It's been enormously shocking," said Rita Hibbard, a close friend of Byrne's. "Steve was a wonderful person who loved his daughters."

Hibbard, an assistant managing editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, was one of the friends to receive Byrne's e-mailed suicide note. But nothing in that note explained his actions, she said.

She last saw Byrne on Sunday.

"I saw nothing that would lead me to believe this would happen," she said. "Everything seemed normal."

The note, Smith said, was sent to more than one friend.

It included comments that Byrne would take his own life and kill his daughters "and that he can't be deterred," the police sergeant said.

The e-mail told those who received it that it "would be too late" by the time they read the note to stop him, Smith said.

She also told reporters that police received a telephone call from a male caller who "asked to have police and medics sent to this address and then hung up."

Byrne and the girls' mother divorced in 2000. The girls lived primarily with their mother at her Shoreline home, neighbors said. Calls to the mother yesterday were not returned.

The woman's attorney, Paula Crane, said last night that when she last talked to the mother about two months ago, she and Byrne had "slight frictions" about the terms of the parenting plan.

"They must have resolved them because I didn't hear any more about it," she said.

Crane said she was not aware of any domestic violence in the couple's history.

Crane's last contact with Byrne was about 18 months ago when the girls' mother got a new job in North Seattle and wanted to relocate from Bainbridge Island; Byrne didn't want his ex-wife to move, so she went to court to obtain permission to relocate, Crane said.

Byrne had problems paying child support because he was unemployed for a period of time, she said.

A filing from the state Department of Social and Health Services indicated that in April, Byrne owed $8,673 in past-due child support and a lien was placed on his property.

The Shoreline School District yesterday said it was notified of the deaths of the two sisters, who were in the third and sixth grades at Sunset Elementary, and planned to have counselors available today for their classmates.

Byrne was a software developer who did consulting work for energy companies. He ran his company, Item Systems, out of his home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. P-I reporter Hector Castro can be reached at 206-903-5396 or

1 posted on 11/29/2004 8:15:33 PM PST by paulat
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To: paulat

The leftist media is at it again, glamorizing criminals.

2 posted on 11/29/2004 8:18:08 PM PST by Ptarmigan (Proud rabbit hater and killer)
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To: paulat

Can someone help me out by posting the pic that ran with the obit? I don't have a place to host pics.

This is one of the most awful things I have ever seen in a newspaper.

3 posted on 11/29/2004 8:18:13 PM PST by paulat
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To: paulat
That second article goes WAY out of its' way not to say the guy "murdered his daughters." It's always "two girls also found dead."What gives? Was this guy a gay community leader or something?
4 posted on 11/29/2004 8:20:46 PM PST by ez (Let the tolerant tolerate my intolerance!)
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To: paulat

What's going on:

Newspapers now don't write obituaries any more.
(except for those they choose to honor)
The family writes it and pays per line.

The paper was following its policy.
It didn't 'honor' the deceased.

My opinion: It could have refused the family's submitted obituary.

5 posted on 11/29/2004 8:21:08 PM PST by edwin hubble
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To: paulat

6 posted on 11/29/2004 8:21:40 PM PST by blam
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To: paulat


7 posted on 11/29/2004 8:21:58 PM PST by Mr. Buzzcut (metal god)
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To: paulat
More than anything in the world, Steve loved his daughters, Kelsey and Hayley.

I think I am going to go break something now......

8 posted on 11/29/2004 8:22:05 PM PST by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some FReepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: paulat
Does sickness respect sickness? If not, then why can't some sick SOB dig up his grave and throw his indurate remains to the carnivores?
9 posted on 11/29/2004 8:22:35 PM PST by Puckster
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To: Mr. Buzzcut; blam

Thank you for posting pic. Can you BELIEVE the TIMES had the gall to run this?

10 posted on 11/29/2004 8:23:49 PM PST by paulat
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To: paulat
More child custody fallout. The guy didn't want his wife to move, so he made sure she wouldn't take his daughters away from him.

I wish these cowards would just kill themselves and leave the innocent kids alone.

11 posted on 11/29/2004 8:24:16 PM PST by sinkspur ("It is a great day to be alive. I appreciate your gratitude." God Himself.)
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To: Ptarmigan

Nah- newspapers don't write obituaries- family members do. I'll bet his Mom wrote that glowing obituary. Or a sibling wrote it. Denial is not just a river in Egypt..

But the newspaper COULD have declined the obituary and the blood money they charge to run those over-long obituaries- as a matter of good taste and respect to the grieving mother.

Maybe this episode will stir enough outrage to change their editorial policies about running laudatory obits for child killers. This is obscene.

12 posted on 11/29/2004 8:24:46 PM PST by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: edwin hubble

Exactly right.

13 posted on 11/29/2004 8:25:06 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: paulat

Another sad tragedy.

I have never heard of that software before. I wonder if this was his company:

14 posted on 11/29/2004 8:25:29 PM PST by Pikachu_Dad
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To: paulat

Is the glowing report about Byrne in the form of a letter to the editor? An obituary? People can say anythng they want to in those. Though why anyone would want to heap praise upon a nutcase who killed two beautiful little girls is beyond understanding. It's the liberal mindset, however.

I read about a couple in some city who was walking down the street when a robber jumped out of the bushes and shot the husband dead. The obviously liberal wife said she "felt sorry for the killer and didn't bear him any ill will."

15 posted on 11/29/2004 8:26:03 PM PST by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: sinkspur

Scriptually there is a millstone prepared to go around his neck for those that offend the children.

This is to ensure they dwell at the BOTTON of the lake of FIRE!

16 posted on 11/29/2004 8:26:13 PM PST by Puckster
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To: paulat


17 posted on 11/29/2004 8:26:14 PM PST by classmuse500
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To: paulat
<ob obit>blah blah blah</ob obit>

And then he went completely nuts.

18 posted on 11/29/2004 8:26:33 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (This is your budget. This is your budget on the Drug War. Any questions? [eno_])
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To: Puckster

offend = "cause to sin"

19 posted on 11/29/2004 8:27:07 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (This is your budget. This is your budget on the Drug War. Any questions? [eno_])
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To: Mr. Buzzcut

Another reason why I don't subscribe to the Seattle papers.

Jeez. The man kills his kids and they put this picture w/his obit? It boggles the mind.

20 posted on 11/29/2004 8:27:35 PM PST by radiohead (Will work for post-election tagline.)
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