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In the early morning hours of September, 11, 2009, David A. Flores broke into the Griffith, IN, home of sisters Kristen Kennedy (25) and Jennifer Evans (28.) Flores raped Kristen, and then stabbed both to death with a kitchen knife. He placed their bodies in a bathroom, set it on fire, shut the bathroom door and fled. The closed door caused the fire to smother out, leaving both corpses burnt and blackened.

After a day of failed attempts to communicate with his daughters via phone, their father went to the house. There, after having to force the bathroom door open, he found the charred, mutilated bodies of his daughters.

David Flores is a twice convicted rapist, who was out of jail for less than two months before deciding to savagely end the lives of these two women.

The morning of September 12, 2009, a friend called me, devastated. She knew the two women – they were neighbors. She knows the family. She knows the father.

Shortly after I hung up the phone with her, I had a moment of clarity. A thought I’d had for years finally manifested itself in its most simple form…

Justice only happens in real time.

There is nothing that can be done to bring back those two women. There is no punishment. There is no apology. They are gone forever. You cannot un-murder or un-rape anyone. You cannot erase the image of those dead daughters from their father’s memory.

The worst torture humanity could devise will never make that family whole again. In fact, the rest of us will have to pay for the incarceration, legal process, and perhaps eventual execution of this murderer. His actions will cost all of us.

Justice? There will never be justice. In such cases justice is impossible. The only way justice could have been attained is if one of those women had shot him dead at the time of the attack…because justice only happens in real time. Justice can only be had the moment a violent individual decides to prey. Once the death of an innocent occurs, it cannot be reversed.

In class I ask my students to raise their hand if they “own their own life.” I then ask them if they have families, friends, children, spouses, significant others, co-workers, partners, students, pets, bills, responsibilities… I then ask them, again, “Who owns their own life?” Not a single hand ever goes up. Yes, we are all mortgaged to the hilt.

I will be armed and dangerous till the day they drag my dead carcass off to the morgue. I have people in my life who care about me and need me here. Auto accidents happen – heart attacks – lightning strikes… But a crackhead in a parking lot with friction tape on the handle of a kitchen knife will not remove me from this Earth. I will not allow it. My father will not bury me.

I’m not suggesting vigilantism. I’m suggesting that we have a duty to protect our own lives. We need to do so for those who need us here tomorrow, and going out into the world unarmed when one has the ability and capability to do so is irresponsible.

Yes, self-defense brings with it new responsibilities. And yes, weapons are not for everyone. Self-defense also brings its own bundle of emotional, spiritual, legal and monetary problems. But one thing is certain, if we are dealing with those problems it’s because we are ALIVE. The alternative is your family crying over your coffin.

Some consider use of force to stop violence the job of the police. Some have a morality which states it is better to be murdered than to fight back against an aggressor. Some have never considered such things. Some are simply afraid. The time to confront all of it is now, not when you’re attacked.

Perhaps your conclusion will be to remain passive. If so, you can rest in peace knowing your murderer may one day be caught and incarcerated, for a little while, at least. Then again, maybe he/she won’t. Maybe they’ll go on to widow someone else’s wife and orphan someone else’s children; and maybe they’ll do it again within two months of being released.

There are consequences for everything we do, including doing nothing. We make our choices. It’s the only real justice there is. And that justice is always served.

25 Responses to Justice?

  1. Nikki April 1, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    This is such a saddening article, but one with such a deep meaning. Thank you for this – I will be passing this along to many others.

    • Frank Sharpe April 1, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      You’re welcome, Nikki.

    • Eric Lopez April 1, 2013 at 9:24 am #

      I agree Nikkei! Passing this along on too!

  2. Nikki April 1, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    Situations like this are what have led me to persue my concealed carry permit. Not so much because I grew up with a deep love of guns or anything, if nothing else I was afraid of them because I never handled them. However, after watching so many terrible things happen and seeing that it is no one elses responsibility to save me if something goes wrong – I don’t ever want my daughter to be without her mother or my husband without his wife.

    My husband has opened my eyes to advantages of protecting yourself and it has even become something that has brought us closer. We can go to the range together, practice together, shop for new gear together. Down the road I see it bringing our daughter closer to us also as we teach her how to protect herself. I agree it isn’t for everyone, but I wish people would be more open to the benefits of arming and protecting yourself.

    • Eric Lopez April 1, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      My ex girlfriend was the same way, she wasn’t really against guns, she justpersonally did not like them at first. once we got together, I helped her real I helped her realize what kind of world we live in and that firearms are great tools! So she now conceals.

  3. g April 1, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Not the typical article one might read on April 1st… and that’s a good thing. Thanks for writing it.

  4. TK April 1, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Very well said Frank, thank you.

  5. 49keith April 1, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Great job Frank. Like others have said, I will pass this on.

  6. solidus April 1, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    Not enough people will read this and it fall on so many deaf ears. Bravo, you speak the words I wish I was articulate enough to speak.

  7. John Wydra April 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Well said. If it makes some of your followers who were on the fence wake up then telling this sad story will have had the impact that was intended.

  8. Jim Phillips(former Fl. Homicide Prosecutor) April 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    2 consecutive Life sentences + 40 years hardly seems enough ,but that’s the best they could do under the circumstances…he will never get out ,if he survives the Big House and it’s form of “in House Justice)………only time will tell

    • Frank Sharpe April 1, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      …of course, that does nothing to repair the damage, and the taxpayers get to feed and house him for the rest of his life.

  9. Chris April 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this with us. It will be passed around.

  10. Paul April 1, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    I believe one day justice will be served and the family can be made whole again. Not in this life, but this murderer will face God, and have to be accountable for what he’s done.

  11. Dr. L. April 1, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Frontier justice, for sure. And more satisfying for the victims. Of which my niece, was one. She killed the bastard, before being violated. Now, she lives with the terrible burden that she took a life.

    It is a hard question to answer. We must all answer to our own consciences.
    I do not need 30 round magazines.
    I do not need semi AR’s .
    I do need my right to conceal a weapon.

    • Brandon April 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      I support your right to not need them, but my question is, are you against me owning 30 round magazines and AR-15’s?

    • Will Cushman April 5, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      Dr. L- Just how did your niece get “violated” if “She killed the bastard before being violated”?

  12. Frank Sharpe April 1, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    I mentioned the additional issues involved with self-defense. Yes, living with such a thing is not pleasent, and is nothing to be smug about. It’s something that we all need to personally address with support when someone we know is placed in that awful position. That’s what friends, family and fellow self-defense proponents share responsibility in.

    I have no idea what you do or don’t need. But I am certainly entertained those who walk the earth with such confidence!

    I will continue to own and train with self-loading, magazine-fed rifles. And my AR’s will continue to be outfitted with 30-round magazines.

  13. Scott April 2, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    Very well said Frank very well said May those girls rest in peace and hopefully someday their father will find peace.

  14. Mick April 2, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    I agree in principle with the concept of being armed when possible; one never knows when lightning will strike. That said, i live in Illinois…. ’nuff said.

  15. Rob L April 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Dr. L. Would you rather that you live with the anguish of your daughter’s death? Of course not.

  16. Christian Green April 3, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Thank you Frank.

  17. Peter April 9, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Your best article yet Frank

  18. KB Wood April 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    While on active duty in the Army, a buddy and I stepped in to stop the violent of a woman and child. In the aftermath, I choose to pass along the knowledge I had gained through days at the range, in the field, and at with my father then sharpened by military training. I initially I taught defense classes to young adults but one thing kept coming back – all I worked with wished some one had given them some training in their youth.

    Today, I specialize in teaching youth how avoid being a victim and in conjunction with martial arts teacher multiple defensive methods. If my efforts can prevent one incident like these sister, then my efforts have had value.

    Thank you for the minder of why I became an instructor.

  19. Frank Sharpe April 10, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Thank you for everything you do, KB!