Skip to comments.Together in Death: Funeral of Parents Murdered by Daughter's Boyfriend
Posted on 11/20/2005 2:10:53 PM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
The funeral service was led by elders from Monterey Chapel in Leola, where the Bordens worshipped and where Mike Borden was an elder and Sunday school teacher.
None of the five children spoke during the service. They appeared drawn but composed, even near the end of two hours of greeting mourners.
The deaths of Mike and Cathy Borden were a tragedy.
But, Rex Trogden said Saturday, Id like to introduce you to the word triumph.
A hard word to speak when standing on a stage behind two closed caskets, with five orphaned children in the front row, yet one, the Bordens friends said at their funeral service, that is integral to their lives and their faith.
They risked their lives together, Trogden, a pastor who knew the Bordens in Charlotte, N.C., said. Mike and Cathy were willing not only to risk their lives but to lay down their lives.
And they did so ... together.
Before a gathering of at least 500 in Lancaster Bible Colleges Good Shepherd Chapel, the Bordens, who were shot to death last Sunday, were memorialized in a funeral service with a strongly evangelistic tone.
That was intentional, Trogden said: The Bordens children knew their parents would want the gospel message to be proclaimed.
David Ludwig, the 18-year-old boyfriend of the Bordens 14-year-old daughter Kara, has been charged with the killings at the familys Warwick Township home.
Kara Borden, wearing a light-colored sweater, sat with her four siblings during the funeral.
Afterward, the children and other family members attended a graveside service at Landis Valley Mennonite Cemetery.
Trogden referred to the funeral as a homegoing to be with the Lord.
They loved you so much, he said, speaking to the Borden children, and cared for you so well, and prayed for you.
Echoes of tragedy
Television cameras and still photographers were barred from the LBC campus Saturday, although reporters without cameras were permitted to attend; the funeral was open to the public.
Cameramen were sent to a media area at the far end of the Manheim Township campus.
One person who attended a Wednesday service for the Bordens at Monterey Chapel said friends had noted that the oldest son, James, was bringing his girlfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet his parents, and the second son, Justin, had recently returned from serving in Iraq.
The other two children, Katelyn, 15, and David, 11, were at home last Sunday morning when, according to police, David Ludwig pulled out a .40-caliber handgun and shot first Mike Borden and then Cathy.
Police have said Ludwig was summoned to the house after the Bordens discovered he had brought Kara home after what they thought was a sleepover at a friends house. The parents apparently disapproved of the relationship, at least partly because of the age difference.
Ludwig is charged with abducting Kara after the shootings, triggering the issuance of an Amber Alert. The two were finally caught in Indiana after Ludwig crashed his Volkswagen Jetta into a tree during a police pursuit.
Saturday, the funeral included only fleeting references to the tragedy.
I see the compassion of Mike and Cathy in Kara, said Bill Bradford, who delivered the message. Kara was able to reach out to touch some of the most unlovely people.
Focus on triumph
Instead, the Bordens friends talked about Mike and Cathy.
Trogden compared them to Aquila and Priscilla, a husband and wife mentioned in the New Testament. Three times theyre listed as Aquila and Priscilla and three times as Priscilla and Aquila.
Equal billing, Trogden said. Its that way, isnt it? The two of them were together in everything.
Mike was a bit of a perfectionist, said Bradford. He wouldnt preach a sermon until every I was dotted and every T was crossed.
Cathy had the same perfectionist streak, Bradford said.
Both were mighty warriors of prayer: If you were in Mike Bordens Palm Pilot, you were prayed for.
Mrs. Borden had a twin, Cindy. Bookends, Bradford said.
And, because they both spoke with Southern accents, stereo bookends.
Mike had a wonderfully dry sense of humor, Trogden said. One Christmas, Cathy wanted the biggest tree they could find to best display all the family ornaments. But the tree was so big that it had to be trimmed before it would fit into the house.
For Christmas, Mike gave Cathy a crystal snowman with an inscription: Room for one more ornament.
Mike Borden was vice president and general manager of the Digital Publishing Services Division of Cadmus Communications in Ephrata. Cathy Borden was a homemaker who home-schooled the three youngest children.
They dated in high school in Hannibal, Mo. Cathy earned a bachelors degree in special education and Mike an associates degree in graphic design, both from Northeast Missouri State University. They were married in 1977.
Both were 50 when they died.
Cathy Borden had been attending weekly Change of Pace Bible studies at Lancaster Alliance Church, sponsored by Friendship Foundation, since the family moved to Lancaster in 1996.
Dona Fisher, head of Friendship Foundation, said Thursday that Mrs. Borden was just a joy. When she walked in, she was just so happy.
The group offers a program for homeschoolers, so the three children accompanied their mother. Change of Pace participants told Fisher that Kara was so much fun. The kids just loved her.
Michael Borden was a spiritual leader in his home, Fisher said: He confronted evil.
... Its a real loss for us.
Not the end
Most importantly, the Bordens friends said, both of them loved Jesus.
One Bible verse printed in Saturdays program, As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, from the book of Joshua, was taken from a plaque in the Bordens home.
The Bordens went with Bradford to see The Passion of the Christ at the theater two years ago. We all shared the same hanky, Bradford remembered. Afterward, Cathy said, It never dawned on me how much somebody was willing to do on my behalf.
Its difficult for us to say goodbye, Bradford said in his benediction. It should be easy to look forward to a time when we can say, Welcome home.
He quoted Matthew 5:4, Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted, and John 16:22, Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
This, Rex Trogden said, is not the end.
According to another thread, Ludwig was sneaking into their house and sleeping with her on more than one occasion. There was a lot more than a curfew violation here.
some of the stuff found on Kara's computer, here--
Interesting that you should mention that, Ditter. I have the 1966 translation of the Jerusalem Bible. Tolkein was among those who helped with this effort to translate it into modern language without losing any of the majesty, which is why I purchased it, even though I am not Roman Catholic.
When my oldest died, I opened it up, looking for an answer, and Job's final answer to God was the page it opened to
Job got me through. These were the words that carried me, when all else failed. I hope God reaches out to these children, and gives them comfort to carry on.
Job's final answer to God......
"I know that you are all-powerful:
what you conceive, you can perform.
I am the man who obscured your designs
with my empty-headed words.
I have been holding forth on matters I cannot understand,
on marvels beyond me and my knowledge.
(Listen, I have more to say,
now it is my turn to ask questions and yours to inform me.)
I knew you then only by hearsay;
but now, having seen you with my own eyes,
I retract all that I have said,
and in dust and ashes I repent.
Oh goodness, I don't remember what color I wore to my 18 year old sons funeral. Maybe a light colored suit, I really don't remember. Do you think people thought I wasn't grieving for him because I wasn't sobbing and wearing black? I sure hope the other people at the funeral weren't talking about me behind my back and saying I was responsible for his accident. Fashion is so important.
"Also, I was struck by the fact that the kids were so 'composed.'"
Most likely medicated. I know I'd need it, were I in a situation like that.
That Kara is going to have one cr@ppy life ahead of her. Her parents were executed because of her, her siblings are probably going to ostracize her later even if they're putting on a brave front now. It's just such a sad, sad tragedy.
And really, ANY of our own kids could've (or still could) bring home a monster at some point in time. Especially we girls. Who hasn't had a boyfriend our parents disapproved of at some point in our dating years? And since when are fourteen year old girls willing to listen to advice from parents when it's a choice between parental "control" and the first blush of newfound romance? She was obviously seeing him against their wishes, from what I've read to date.
I'm curious to see if the murderer was on meds, or off them. I'm curious to see if Kara was involved in plotting this at all. (I'm hoping not.)
I'm curious to see how these orphans get through this, and I'm praying for them all. :(
I thought she was the one in black. If she is the one in the red jacket she looks much older than 14 and angry. I had read somewhere that there was an older sister and thought it was her.
I hope you're right about Kara's motives. But I can't help thinking you're not.
That thought has crossed my mind too.
And no her motives were not worthy IMO, even though they may have started out that way. She was in "love" but haven't we all been? I just mentioned that some kids are drawn to troubled people that others wouldn't go near.
No need to get defensive -- actually, I was impressed that you were able to look for a good side. I haven't been able to do that... Sorry to have sounded snippy.
Well fortunately you hadn't just murdered him! And, yes, they probably were talking about you behind your back. Sorry, however, for your loss. It is a terrible tragedy. I grieve for you.
I'm sorry my post came across defensive. I'm not and it wasn't meant that way. She may have been involved. I hope this isn't the case though. Time will tell. Either way this girl has (or had) problems with authority though.
I'm sorry to hear about your son. You do what's best for you. I find it's best not to worry about what others think. There will always be a "well I never" in a crowd.
"When she finally matures, it will be hell to live with what happened"
I pray she will get through this. However, if she played a role, she should pay.
A good firm lock up with some forced guidance may be what she needs.
I just don't feel she is completely innocent.
She needs to learn to respect her family.
Her disrespect for her parents rules makes me distrust her.
She had been seeing this young man since May 2005, all the time lying to her parents.
But regardless, she has to know that if she had obeyed her parents, none of this would have happened. And that's a dreadful burden for her to bear even if she had no idea what this boy was planning to do.
There doesn't seem to be much doubt about the boy, though. He is very bad news and has been for some time. Only question remaining I guess is how much his parents knew. (I don't necessarily blame them though, some of these psychopath/sociopath kids can be very cunning and disguise much of their pathology.)
Yeah. Sadly, This can only end badly or horrible.
"All Teenagers are defiant, and it usually doesn't get their parent's killed."
This girl must have been so out of control.
The investigation is ongoing and believe me she is not out of the woods yet.
But I think it's going to get worse before it gets better. The boy is apparently already trying to implicate the girl in the murders, and if he really is a sociopath he will be cooking up a scheme to spread the blame around as much as possible.
Problem is, he's the original untrustworthy witness. And for that matter, so is she. And the computer postings aren't much better, because of the Teenage Drama Queen syndrome . . . going to take some good police work to figure this one out.
But if I were one of her siblings, I don't know if I could ever speak to her again.
I identify completely with you...my son died when he was 15...I remember everything about the funeral, what I was wearing etc. but I could not cry...
My son had a usually rare and terminal type of leukemia...I cried so much when he was ill for the 15 months that he lived with this disease, that when he died, I could no longer cry...no matter how hard I tried to cry, I could not...I was either all cried out, or just in absolute grief and shock...
His funeral was held 700 miles away from where we were living, down by my parents...so we drove down there...when we returned home, a few weeks later, I lost my memory completely, and it was gone for about 15 months..
That was 20yrs ago, and I still have very little recollection of that time right after his funeral...my doc says its just my brains way of dealing with his loss...its probably better that I dont remember how I felt during that time...since I did not get into any trouble or cause problems for anyone(My hubby took great care of me during this time), I do suspect that my having amnesia for that time is really the best thing for my mental health...
People who have never gone through a tremendous shock, or tremendous grief, do not really realize that that shock and grief can make a person act in ways which they thought they would not...
My prayers are with you, in dealing with the death of your child...I know how difficult it can be...
Your right, but I didn't have words for worse than horrible. What surprises me is the way the police are taking their time investigating her part. Normally we see them removed from the home, and then checked out. I think that's good. I do have concerns that the guy he planned with might still be out there but I guess if I thought about this then the police have too and are monitoring.
If he's implicating her then this wasn't about a guy in love with a girl and trying to take her away from her parents. I'm no psych but he probably was just mad because they "interfered"
Pharmacuticals'll do that to you. thanks for the ping.
he probably was just mad because they "interfered".
been thinking the same - a control freak. Probably that's why he brought the gun to the house, if they forbid him to see Kara, he would use it.
It's probably shock. I was 13 when my father died and didn't shed a tear at his furneral. I showed no emotion at all much to the approval of the adult guests. Of course thast repressed grief came back to bite me later but at the time no-one thought anything of it.
I wait further evidence before weighing in on her criminal culpability. She is morally culpable for their murders.
Yes, I agree with you completely.
That was what I figured, in the absence of hard info.
I remember being fourteen, and probably alot better than you since it was 5 years ago. This poor girl was probably enthralled with the idea that an older boy took interest in her. And of course her parents weren't thrilled. I mean the boy was 18.
She probably just snuck out one night or stayed out and didn't come home. Her parents not knowing where she was went frantic which is what good parents do. And when she shows up at 6 in the morning, they hold her and him accountable.
14 year olds are prone to bad judgement especially bad judgement calls abouts character. Usually we're just left emotionally hurt, and we learn and move on. If her parents thought that boyfriend was even the slightest bit dangerouse, there is no way they would have invited him into their home.
Thank you for saying what needed to be said.
That doesn't exactly look like a flattering portrayal (comparing the parents to the rebellious daughter).
what an odd thing to say ... I'm biting my tongue. ouch.
My comment or the one in the article? This entire article is odd. Almost as if there's a celebratory undercurrent.
Yes, the whole article is odd -- guess that's natural, since the whole situation is, too.
I join in prayer for all those suffering this loss!
He was grasping for anything to say to try to comfort these kids . I mean, what can you say at a funeral like this?
Thank you for your agreement in prayer!
LOL I slammed my door a couple of times and my Dad was coming through it just as fast. Doubled my grounding time.
"Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?" was the first thing to go through my mind upon hearing about the incident.
LOL! I got smart after a while and only slammed when he wasn't home! But smart off to him at the dinner table?? Couldn't run fast enough!
Kara Borden had better make something very special out of her life. Whatever her degree of guilt, she'll need therapy, as will all her siblings, for a long time. The family will resent her, perhaps even blame her...naturally. Still, she's only a kid and that explains everything. Adolescents' brains don't fire the way adults' do. Terrible tragedy, for the shooter's family, too.
I have appreciated your comments. I personally think that people here are being too hard on Kara. Yes, I've read her blog and yes, she was obviously a handful for her parents. But a lot of kids are before they mature. Fortunately, most of them do not have murderous boyfriends. What if your young boyfriend had been a David Ludwig? I expect Kara's siblings and family to surround her with a lot of love and try to help her through this horrible situation.
Yes, there are consequences to sin and they can be devastating, as Kara is learning at a tender age. But depending on what they turn up about her and her relationship with Ludwig, I don't think she bears responsibility for their murder per se. But that may not be much solace to her, though. They're still gone.
Hi, there, CindyDawg -- good to see you!
Yeah, I figured that. But considering what we know at this point, it doesn't make sense -- even if it did serve his purpose to comfort. As if he's also in denial, or in shock, or putting a bandaid on it ... who knows.
Yes, healing and comfort are needed for all concerned, incl. the community at large -- but they (and we ALL) must also examine themselves as responsible people and come to grips with and learn some difficult lessons.
From all I know at this point, it was a longer term process -- a train wreck in the making. How could no one be aware if there was such sneaking around going on? It goes against all I know of sisters, and little brothers! How can a mother not know what's up with her daughter to this extent? Was she truly so very disengaged?
It is as if they'd impotently wrung their hands over Kara: we know, for example, that her mother wondered in emails to friends "what she should do about Kara". Then when Kara was out all night, & caught in an obvious lie, they said to themselves and to Kara, "That's it, young lady! Now you've done it! Things are going to change around here!"
Anyway ... this is truly a cautionary tale. My husband & I will continue to say "No.", "NO!!", "No, sorry, you can't, that's not a good idea." We pray for wisdom, discernment, and honesty before God, as we are accountable to Him.
Hi, Ditter -- thank you for your post. Best to you -- years later as you continue to heal from that difficult loss.