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by, Linda Marie Pharaoh-Carlsonęcopyright, all rights reserved
"They shot and killed Randy last night"...
Seven words that stung my sensibilities like a mad swarm of bees.
I heard them - but from somewhere deep in my psyche the only response I could muster was the word,
"what"? As if I hadn't heard them correctly at all. As if that one word would force a different phrase to come forth as a correction to the first seven words spoken. They had to be repeated before my mind could comprehend what was actually being said to me by my brother.
My dear brother, who was still at this very moment in time, trying to process the death of the only love of his life just seven months earlier, and just three days short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
I briefly touch upon just a little about their love story
But today, this is a grief of a far different manner. Just last week his biggest concern was whether or not his beloved wife's memorial stone would be in place by Memorial Day. It was, and it was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful and much beloved woman. The money once being saved towards a set of new gold wedding rings on their 50th golden wedding anniversary as her surprise gift, instead, went into etching two intertwined golden rings on the black granite stone they placed where now the memory of her rests.
But today, he cradled his daughter in his arms and wept at her pain and grief, and that of his own. Today they, we all, witnessed the family of what used to be five, then four, reduced once more. Today, the police killed his son-in-law in what can only be considered a ruthless act of violence.
One for which the small rural community of Ogden, Iowa had never witnessed before, and hopefully never will again.
And perpetrated by the very ones we are all supposed to look up to, admire, respect and depend upon for our safety and well being.
After such a horrific and senseless taking of another's life, I can assure you that there will be none of that anymore.
How can any average person ever feel safe in their home again?
The extreme action taken by "law enforcement" against Randy Kimsey was nothing short of "criminal".
For Randy was not some low-life reprobate preying on children. He was not manufacturing or selling drugs to anyone, or a drug using derelict or someone who abused prescription drugs. He was not a child molester, criminal, or wanted murderer. He did not head up any hate group anywhere or commit acts of violence. There was no outstanding warrants for his arrest for doing anything unlawful at all. He had lived just over fifty years, a HALF CENTURY of life, and never hurt one single other living being. Not once. Not ever.
People who knew Randy, knew he was a very private person. It took a lot to get into his "inner circle" of friends and people he trusted. But once there, you were deeply ingrained in that big heart of his for life.
Randy was a good man.
He had loved his wife for almost 30 years solid, from the time they first met.
Their own 27th wedding anniversary was but two weeks away from the day he was brutally killed in his home, leaving behind a broken hearted grieving young widow, a father-in-law and brother-in-law who loved him, many many friends and other family members who are all left in the violent aftermath of what they did to him, to now have to try to live with it in some way. As for me, I have to write it out, for that's what I do.
Just the night before Randy died in the wee morning hours, a brief mention came to us about a "stand off" situation in Ogden. I turned on the scanner about 11:30 p.m. and heard nothing. I decided it was probably none of my concern and switched it off to go to bed. As I did that, Randy's name came to mind...just like that.
And although I usually don't dwell on things like that for too long, I thought it strange enough and issued a quick, "God, please protect my family" prayer before going to bed.
At six o' clock a.m. that next morning, the phone call with those ominous seven words came.
I hurriedly readied myself to make a trip there to be with my niece and family. To grieve with them yet again, a significant and dreadful loss. The details unfolding were so horrible that I could hardly take it in. The mind goes numb. Something that I'm sure my niece and her family wake up to have to face every day now. I think it's a condition called Post Traumatic Stress.
There is no answer for this. There is no reason good enough that police can give for doing what they did.
And what they did is certainly in question. At least in the minds of almost every person in that small community. And it always will be whether the Department of Criminal Investigation clears all those law officers involved or not, and they always seem to be able to do that often enough, don't they? The questions, doubts and rumors will always exist. And for many, these "officers" will always be guilty of nothing short of murdering a man who could certainly have used compassion in the moment, not the swat team that came instead.
Randy was a big guy that marched to the beat of a different drummer in life. He always had. He was an only child. His meeting my niece was a "forever" thing. They were so close and she loved him dearly, and he loved her the same. They had no children, outside of the various fur family that Randy himself had helped rescue and care for along with his wife, just as gently and carefully as if they were their "kids". Randy had saved more than one of the helpless little cats around and had nursed them back to full health and loved them for their life long. And there had been those with special health needs that he cared for daily all their years without the worry of cost or time demands it might have required of him to do so.
He did not ever take kindly to anyone who brought his wife turmoil or grief, or any type of aggravation. He didn't take kindly to anyone who acted in ways that were unkind, thoughtless, inconsiderate and just mean-spirited. And on one such occasion, he'd had enough and called to tell that someone to stop. He wasn't always known for his wise choice of words or decorum. He could have been easily taken the wrong way by someone who really didn't know him well.
The person who called police to complain is as guilty as the police are for the murder of an innocent man. She knew Randy enough. And is not blameless.
The police chief, had he ever extended a hand of friendship instead of always reacting with disdain toward Randy, might well have done it right instead of pushing for the violent action that ensued and took Randy's life away from him and everyone who loved him dearly.
Had the police chief been the consummate professional, he would have gotten to know the man behind the gestures, the words, the supposed arrogance. It was not arrogance, mr. police chief...it was recognition. Randy recognized the judgmental attitude you took toward him and returned it. That's a simple concept that most people can identify with, "you get back what you give out". When you don't like someone just because of the way they look or they don't act like you think they should, and you give out an air of antagonism...it's pretty easy for anyone to give that back. We're human. We err.
When you erred in your judgment of Randy, you allowed it go go far enough that it ultimately, senselessly, took his life. You are not without blame mr. police chief.
Randy had suffered a bad car accident four years ago which injured his brain. He had to fight to even live through his terrible injuries and their complications. And for four years since, he had to really work hard to fight against depression.
He was an extremely intelligent and well educated person who knew so much about so many things. He was articulate and interesting. And when he had a passion for something or someone, it was all the way.
He had been under continuous drs. care for those entire four years clear up to the very minute his life was taken.
Adjusting medication was tricky and difficult. And changing medications to help compensate for the injury to his brain caused by the car accident was something that happened on several occasions.
On this occasion, the medications may have added to his frustrations of the moment and caused him not to be able to reason some of his actions. But you wouldn't know that would you, mr. police chief? Because you didn't think it enough worth your while to even bother to try to know him, to find out what was really taking place, or check deeper than your own distaste for the man behind the bedroom door.
And your actions did not make our world a better safer
place. A place where we can feel safe and protected. It made it a world where anyone that's different from you, who has daily challenges, who may not quite be to your liking, can become a - target.
You are certainly not the big brave hero you may think yourself to be. For this was one of the most cowardly assaults ever witnessed by anyone anywhere. And your community all thinks this. Your children will know this as they continue to grow up in the community where their dad/s killed someone for no reason, and honestly...really? Deep down, you know this as well. It may be the reason you can't sleep well at night.
Randy was a good man.
He had so many who loved and saw all the good he had to offer in life. Like the woman who owes her life and her grandson's life to him because he saw an oncoming train speeding toward their stalled car on the railroad tracks, and with complete disregard to his own safety, leapt to pull them safely away. A fact that his own family didn't even know about until she stepped forward after his death to tell them.
Or the woman that he spent hours comforting the day that she lost her daughter to a terrible accident in her
home. Or the teacher who remembered Randy to be one of her brightest best students, who went out of his way to absorb all the knowledge she could offer. Or the many students he had tutored and helped through the years.
Or to his family. His beloved wife, who was at no time during that entire situation in danger of harm from him. From you and your cohorts maybe, when pointing loaded guns at her, but not from her Randy. The Randy who loved her deeply and forever.
It was NEVER a standoff situation. It was never a question of Randy being "out of control" or at risk to others OR himself! And he did not have a "stash of guns"! He collected a fair amount of them, as a hobby. But you didn't see him out shooting them at anyone or any thing! And people who are suicidal do not make plans. They do not renew memberships in the organizations they belong to, or buy materials to make new things with or plan out the materials to repair things around the house. Randy was not suicidal. Sometimes his medication changes would weigh him down and he may have thought about it at those times, but those were fleeting moments until medication began to take hold and... this was not one of them.
But even if he had been thinking in those terms (which he wasn't), I guess the way to "PROTECT" someone who is suicidal is to throw TWO percussion bombs (two because just one certainly would not have been enough to scare someone senseless, right?) into a quiet home, charge up the stairs with four men, and open fire and shoot them dead. That's really going to help them, isn't it?
And no amount of lame excuses on your part or that of those involved in the killing of an innocent man, will ever be sufficient enough to warrant such outrageous and unnecessary police action!
What Randy did may not have been considered right. But WORDS never hurt anyone. Unless of course, they are those of a police chief pushing urgency in a situation that would have best been relieved with calm professionalism...because then it can lead to your being killed by a swat team after you've been awakened from a sound sleep (and after four long hours of silence, we all suspected he was asleep by the time you startled him awake in this way) by loud bombs, which in anyone's
book, would make the world seem like it was crashing down on you. At the very least it would have scared an impulsive response from him, which we are certain it did...ergo the "two shots fired first" excuse that allowed four men to riddle his life away in seconds!
And you, ms. "unknown" caller that called the police to complain...and you, mr. police chief, and mr. sheriff, have an innocent man's blood on your hands. And you may well be cleared by the investigators and those in authority above you by dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's and making this sound all so necessary and all... But there is One in authority above all of you, that knows your heart.
Who knows what you did and why you did it. And in the very end, you will stand before Him with no excuses.
Randall David Kimsey (Randy) Born November 14th, 1959 brutally taken away from us: Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 Beloved Husband, Son-In-Law Brother-In-Law, Nephew and Friend We will miss you, Randy
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Graphics by Linda, made especially for
this poem. Please do not use them without prior
The Poem: TRAGEDY Is written about this story. You may read it HERE