Skip to comments.SEATTLE TIMES RUNS GLOWING OBIT OF CHILD KILLER...RUNS PIC W/OBIT OF HIM WITH DAUGHTERS HE KILLED
Posted on 11/29/2004 8:15:32 PM PST by paulat
Stephen Byrne (NOTE: MY EMPHASIS BELOW)
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
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Man kills himself; daughters also dead
By HECTOR CASTRO SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The leftist media is at it again, glamorizing criminals.
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.
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.
I think I am going to go break something now......
Thank you for posting pic. Can you BELIEVE the TIMES had the gall to run this?
I wish these cowards would just kill themselves and leave the innocent kids alone.
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.
Another sad tragedy.
I have never heard of that software before. I wonder if this was his company:
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."
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!
And then he went completely nuts.
offend = "cause to sin"
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.
Given my admittedly limited exposure to Seattle ... yes.
This is one SICK family, in denial and unable or unwilling to acknowledge the skeletons in their closet. One wonders whether prayer for the family--or Freeper/ProtestWarrior picketing the funeral--would be the higher road. Perhaps both. /sad
Sad. Very sad that he is seen as a good man, and his life was a struggle. I bet theirs were too, being killed and all.
He murders his children because he's a deadbeat who can't pay his child support and it's not even mentioned?
This has to be some kind of joke, right?
This is from the same state that jeered one of our servicemen in a parade about 2 months ago..............I can't shake my head enough to compensate for such moral depravity.
This obit is in incredibly poor taste. The paper does have the power to refuse to print paid items, including obits. I hope they receive a thousand angry emails about this.
Prayer of course.
Only Fred Phelps of godhatesfags.com pickets funerals.
"Entries are free and are posted after being reviewed for appropriate content. "
I would imagine that saying something like "Child killers like this should not be remembered fondly in death as this obit suggests but instantly forgotten, and all documents bearing their names and all of their life's works should be excised from this Earth. The Times and it's Leftist clone the P.I. both need to be burned to the ground for being the shameless and obvious mouthpieces of the Democrats while pretending to bring us objective news." would be regarded as "inappropriate content"
And I think the family PAYS for the obit.
More than anything in the world, I love the reporters of the Seattle Times. Where's my shotgun?
Under your bed.........and a case of slugs.
I appreciate your point about the tone of the obit under the circumstances..... but those obits are placed and paid for by the family, not written or edited by the paper.
If I lived closer..........I'd be inserting my clip into my semi-auto shotgun.
"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."
There are other issues hinted at besides just the move away issue that probably contributed to this tragedy.
Look again at the line on the child support. He was probably faced with an excessive child support amount while he was unemployed.
Look also at the line indicating that they had attached his property to collect that money. While federal law prevents excessive garnishment, the current child support laws allow that to be bypassed by seizing the persons property directly. What did they leave him to live on?
They are so precious, pictures say a thousand words.
I agree. If I ever decide to kick, no matter what the circumstances, I will go alone. Why in the heck would I want to drag innocents along? What sordid, unspeakable people.
We can't deny, however, couldn't they have reprinted the facts with the obit? Or in the OpEd? Something, anything, but unchallenged?
They don't fact-check every obit to see if the deceased was as nice as the family always says. It's a paid obituary, not a new story.
What do you expect from the Seattle Times, or for that matter, any mainstream media newspaper?
"It's been enormously shocking," said Rita Hibbard, a close friend of Byrne's. "Steve was a wonderful person who loved his daughters."
I would beg to differ with her on two points:
1. He was a wonderful person.
To me, a wonderful person does not murder his children.
Thah she thinks he is a wonderful person says a lot about her character.
Why? Because we usually tend to admire and draw near to those who have our values and think as we do.
2. He loved his daughters.
Again we disagree. I have a hard time being convinced that one murders those one loves.
But that is just my $ 0.02 cents worth.
Now mom has nothing.
You're assuming anyone in the obit department even knows the real facts surrounding the life and death of the man.
Oh yeah, right! Next logical step is MURDER?!
I get it, yeah, yeah!
If you were the paper's editor, would YOU have taken the money?
I'd investigate the wife.
Then would you agree that SOMETHING is seriously FLAWED?
It's not the editor's job to make a judgment on this guy. If his immediate family wanted the obituary, then I would run it for their sake.
I could place the ad and pay for it online. I bet it's appearance in the paper is a lot more automatic than coordinated by the paper.
It's a bizarre act by the family.... but it's vital that you get it straight in your head that the newspaper didn't write that obituary, the family bought space to do what they wanted.
Running an obituary is not a good or bad thing. It just is what it is.
Write a letter to the editor, if you're so inclined.