Forever 16

Donna Outlaw

My first-born child, Jason, was murdered on September 21, 1992 in an alleged hunting accident. Jimmy Slater (a.k.a. Wayne Chapman) shot him as they both stood 30 yards apart on the dirt road we lived on at approximately 6:45pm, while it was still total daylight. Even if experts didn't confirm the exact time of death (they were close), we heard the shot that killed Jason, not knowing at the time that our world was going to end with it. We aren't the only ones who heard it. Everyone who lives in that area heard it. It was the 3rd day of deer season for bow hunting. Jason had his .22 rifle with him, which was legal, but Jimmy had brought his 12-gauge shotgun, which was NOT legal. After he shot Jason, Jimmy dragged his body up on the bank and hid him from view behind a pine tree and then came down to my house and had me "help him look" for Jason all through the night. Jimmy decided to "find" Jason at about 1:30am when the sheriff's dept. said they were bringing some dogs to search. My world was shattered that night. Jimmy denied it at first, but admitted it the next day. He was found guilty of felony murder a year later. I still don't know WHY, but the game warden thinks they argued. We think Jason found out something Jimmy couldn't chance him telling anyone. We found out later that Jimmy was involved in a theft-ring. Jason worked for Jimmy and had told me that Jimmy left him on the job alone for hours at a time.

So where am I now? HATING the word "homicide" listed as the cause of death... still in an abyss of never-ending pain and's all I can do not to collapse under the pain. I read other parent's stories on the web and I can hardly hold up under the weight of it all. But I have to read. I have to help keep their child's memory alive. I have to release the river of tears to relieve my body of the enormous stress of holding it in. I can only live from one day to the next because the thought of more brings me to so low a depth, I'm afraid I can't return. My 3 other kids need me and it tears me apart even more to see and feel their pain at not only losing their biggest brother and their nanny (and so closely together), but at seeing their mom in so much agony. I have always been strong and able to pull it together for their sake, but I can feel myself crumbling under the weight of sheer exhaustion and pain. My heart bleeds for all the other mom's and dad's that are suffering through the same pain and most especially the ones that are just beginning their journey into emptiness. I wish I could offer words of hope that it will not always be this way but there are no words. And I am filled with a rage that equals my pain towards the guy that pulled the trigger and destroyed so many hearts. Lives have been ruined. Instead of feeling proud of her next-biggest brother as he joined the navy 3 months ago, Kendell, my 8 year old daughter, can only wonder about, and fear that he will be shot. She was 2 weeks shy of 3 years old when it happened and it took her innocence away at that young of an age. The look on Dustin's face as he woke up the next morning after we found Jason's body - Dustin's innocent little 6 year old face asking "did you ever find Jason?" and never in a million years expecting the answer that he was dead. And Jeremy, who is 19 now, spiraled out of control from a pain he can't bear anymore than I can. And then mama died 82 days later on Dec. 12 from a savage cancer that sprang up while she was suppressing her grief to be strong for me.

How can one person devastate so many and pay such a small price? (He got life but will be up for parole in 2000) all this pain because of some worthless person that doesn't value his OWN life, much less those of others. Sure, I can laugh and enjoy my other children, but the only peace I have is knowing that Jason and his nanny (who truly adored him) and his papa (daddy died when Jason was 3) are all together in Heaven. I wish for no one this pain I live with and I grieve inconsolably with those who have it...

Jason Lee Webb March 28, 1976 - September 21, 1992 HAPPY BIRTHDAY JASON! You'd be 22 now but instead, you're forever 16.

Donna Outlaw

Donna has created a web page honoring Jason.

You can send email to Donna at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 09-21-92
date of post 03-29-98

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW