Posted by: joshjasper | May 11, 2010

You Should Have Been There

Throughout the entire evening I wished you could have been there.  I counted 74 people at Grant Park tonight participating in the vigil.  Prayers, poems, essays, and speeches were given that I can only hope would have moved you.  The mourners stood in the cold, holding one another, remembering what was taken from them.  And through all of the pain I started to see strength.  This strength I wish you could have seen.  As I listened to Carrie from the domestic violence program, I could hear the conviction in her voice.  It was clear that this tragedy did not sway her from her mission, but rather, it made it even more urgent than before.  And then Cathy spoke.  I struggled with understanding how she could even speak after experiencing such an incredible loss.  Much of what she had to say was directed to you.  “It’s too late for Betsy, but it’s not too late for anyone else.  We have to end this violence.  This can’t happen again.”  The strength that this woman displayed after losing her daughter was remarkable.  I do not believe I could have done the same.

You should have been there Andrew.  If you would have been there you would have felt the pain that you have caused for so many.  Had you been there I would have choked back the tears and anger I felt toward you and would have asked you why.  Why did you do this?  How could you choke your pregnant girlfriend to death?  I want to understand.  I want to understand in the hopes that this evil will never happen again.  Tell me what was going on in your mind.  Give me the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. 

Don’t get me wrong though, my anger toward you is only pushed to the side for a moment.  If you are looking for forgiveness, you’ve come to the wrong place.  Talk to the pastors that prayed over us tonight.  They talked of forgiveness and moving forward.  I don’t work that way Andrew Jackson.  You killed a woman and your unborn child.  Punishment for your crimes will never make amends for what you have done.

Know that Betsy’s memory will live on forever with our entire community.  You on the other hand Andrew,  have already been forgotten.



  1. Josh, Thank you for coming. Thank you for the words you shared with us. I know I was not probably making a lot of sense when I spoke, but the five year old I spoke of was Betsy’s niece, she had no other children…

    But I want to know what can I do? What can I do to keep domestic violence in the forefront on everyone’s mind? Right now I will admit to so much weakness, but I will get past that for my daughter…and I want to make a difference, I want to save other girls.

  2. Cathy-
    You are incredibly strong woman. Your words last night made perfect sense to everyone. You have already begun doing the most important work when it comes to ending domestic violence….speaking out. Your words are so very powerful. People need to know that “this” does happen here and that ANYONE can be affected by violence. Most importantly, now is the time that we as a community must band together to end violence as we know it.
    Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do for you.
    Stay in touch.



  3. Josh, my weakness is considerable, I want to help in the fight against domestic violence. I don’t know what to do . The trial and sentancing is finally over. He was given 40 years to life. I find that I am getting stronger and have a NEED to help…what do I need to do? What can I do?

  4. Cathy-You are stronger than you know. Let me know how you would like to get involved. ( I believe you would be an incredible contribution to our work. Talk soon.


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