Archive for Saturday, June 14, 2003

Letter from Tyson Goos

June 14, 2003


The following is the text of a letter from Tyson Goos to be read to the court concerning the sentencing of Damien Lewis.

I don't really know what to say about what happened last July to my grandparents. I know that what I really want to do is yell and scream and spit and swear at the man who killed my grandparents. Of course that would be disrespectful and its not allowed here. However the only amount of disrespect I will show is the refusal to call this killer by name.

I have lots of questions for this man who killed my grandparents. Our family has long since had to deal with the fact that many of these questions will forever go unanswered. That's probably best because as far as I can see there is no answer that could satisfy me as to why this man killed my grandparents. I will never be able to understand why this man didn't just push them out of his way and run out the door. Instead, he valued their lives so little that he killed them in their home.

I've read and been told that this man who killed my grandparents did not have the best childhood. It's not my place to lecture or preach and I think the situation is beyond that anyway. However, it must be said that many, many, many people work very hard every day and live very rich lives without much money. I include my family in that group, and I have absolutely no sympathy for the man who killed my grandparents. I don't see how anyone could.

I'd like to tell everyone a little about Pete Wallace and my grandma, Wyona Chandlee. Pete was not my grandpa by blood but he was my grandpa by spirit. Pete and my grandma became an "item" when I was a teenager. My grandpa Chandlee had recently passed away. I loved that man very much, and at the time I couldn't see Pete Wallace replacing my grandfather. I must give Pete lots of credit now because he never tried to replace my grandpa and over the years he became a good friend and source of guidance for me. I don't mean that he ever counseled me or directly told me what to do. I just mean that he was a generally happy person who shared his life experiences with me. Most importantly, Pete was also an incredible strength for my grandma. I would like to publicly thank and compliment Pete's family for having a fine man as a father and grandfather and for sharing Pete with me and my family.

The one thing I learned over the past year was how special my grandmother was. I think that at times I took her love for granted and I only saw her as a grandmother. I've since learned more about the charitable things that she did and that some other people will probably talk about? I gained a new respect for her as I found out about all those things. But mainly she will always hold a place in my heart as my grandma.

My last memories of her will forever be good ones since she was able to be at my wedding just about two weeks before this man decided that her life meant nothing to him. I got to share one of the happiest days of my life with her, and I got to have a dance with her. But because of this man my children will never enjoy those things. They will never be able to spend weekends at their great grandma's house. They'll never beg for Big Red chewing gum. They will never be disciplined by her for rough-housing or for playing ball in the house. They will never taste her peanut butter and fudge on the holidays. They'll never tease her and make her self-conscious because she burns the dinner rolls on those holidays. My kids will never get the joy of seeing their great grandma sitting in a law chair at their little league game. And they'll never get to hear her tell the umpire that he's blind and then see her offer him her glasses. My kids will never be able to play Go Fish or Pitch with their great grandma. They'll never have a barbecue on the patio at her house or race tricycles in her backyard. They will never know here love because they will never know their great grandma. It is all because of this murderer.

Before I finish I'd like to thank the city of Lawrence and all the people who have helped our family over the past year, including the police, all the detectives and everyone at the court.

There were a few long days in the middle of July last year when there were a lot of unknowns. Our family was very patient, and cooperative while we were investigated and interviewed. Our patience was rewarded when the man who killed by grandparents was arrested. I beg and implore the judge to please further reward us and give this man the maximum sentence allowed by law. I believe that this killer will ultimately be judged by a greater power, but I do not believe that he deserves to ever step foot on this Earth again as a free man.

Tyson Goos

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