by his mother, Judie Reynolds
Victim: Kyle Slade Reynolds, 20 years old moved from a small town to a big city to further his college education. An upstanding and hard-working young man.
Family: Kyle's parent's, Julie and Al Reynolds, were told by the District Attorney they would never live long enough to see the death penalty sentenced carried out.
Murderer: Eric Leonard, dubbed the "thrill killer", 1996 of killing 6 people in a two-week time period, is currently sitting on death row.
On the February 1991 weekend before President's Day my husband and I started home to Lakeport, having had a great time visiting our son Kyle's "new home" in Sacramento, California. Kyle had been gone from home one month and 19 days to start a new phase of his young adult life. He was 20, out on his own for the first time and so excited about his new apartment, his new school and his job. We left Kyle that Sunday afternoon feeling good that his apartment had gated security, his college wasn't a far drive and his new job at Round Table Pizza was right across the street. Tuesday, February 19th of that week at 4 o'clock in the morning came the call that changed our lives forever.
Kyle was born January 1. 1971 in the front seat of our car with the help of police officer Paul Slade and my husband. Kyle was the baby of 4 children, 2 girls, and 2 boys. From the very beginning Kyle was bright, and caring and loved by all. He was the spark plug of our family, a go-getter and didn't let the world stand still. Kyle was a very special young person. He loved everyone and always saw the good in people. In high school he played basketball and track, he water skied, he snow boarded and loved to snow ski. His first love was basketball, and he really enjoyed going to summer camps to learn more about the game and meet new people. He graduated in 1990 and went on to our local Jr. college in Lakeport and continued to work at the job he held for three years at Round Table Pizza. After Christmas he announced he wanted to go next semester to Sierra College in Sacramento. So off to Sacramento, off to Sierra College and off to a new job at Round Table Pizza.
That weekend in February was the last time we saw Kyle as Tuesday night, February 19, 1991 just before closing the Pizza Parlor was robbed and our precious Kyle with two other employees was murdered. Eric Leonard killed six people in 1991. He was dubbed the "thrill killer" as he killed 3 people one week at a convenience store on a Tuesday night and one week later on a Tuesday killed 3 others at Round Table Pizza. Yes! the nice safe one right across the street from where Kyle lived.
Leonard was captured in June of 1991 and after a LONG wait we finally went to trial in September of 1995. Those years of waiting for justice were horrible and full of agony. Once the trial began we were subjected to many delays. Since we lived 21/2 hours from Sacramento we had to leave at 4:30 a.m. to get there on time, only to be told many times upon arrival the court day had been cancelled, juror sick, attorneys had a conflict, Leonard didn't sleep well, etc. Finally, in August of 1996 Leonard was found guilty of six murders with special circumstances and was given the death penalty. As victims we were elated, only to become victims again when we found out about appeals, court-appointed attorneys he gets, certification of court documents (still not done) and the final straw was being told by the deputy district attorney that we probably wouldn't live long enough to see the sentence carried out.
To honor the memory of Kyle, we established, with the help of our community the Kyle Reynolds Basketball Memorial Scholarship that my husband and I give out every year at the basketball awards night. We started out with just one recipient that first year to giving out four this past March. Two boys and two girls get a scholarship of $250 each towards a camp of their choosing.
Even with all the positive efforts we make forward, the void of Kyle's death remains with us everyday, nothing will ever be the same. Think: Kyle came into this world with a policeman's assistance, and Kyle left this world with a policeman's assistance. He was very special!
We love you Kyle Slade Reynolds
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