Letter from Pam's mother

These past twenty-one years have been awful.  The lonesome feeling, the times we felt helpless when these executions would be put off.  We loved our daughter, Pam more than anyone could love a daughter.  We went all the way to Ecuador, South America to have her.  We did everything possible to have a daughter as we had two sons at that time.  Later in Texas we had another son. 

If you have only one daughter, what would it be like to have her murdered by a convict who was released two years from his previous rape case?  He shouldnít have been on the streets.  I had planned so much for us as a mother and daughter to take trips, and to shop and to enjoy grandchildren from her. 

John Penry has had 21 years of living, exercising, watching T.V., and enjoying himself, as Pamela did not have that chance.  There has never been a night that I didnít go to bed and cry for her pain that she bore while he beat her and stomped her.  She died from a ruptured kidney which prints were left on her back.  She was so determined to live she managed to slide to the bed and call her friend and described what had happened.  She put a shirt on her wound that was bleeding, and pressed it with her strength until the ambulance arrived.

Pam made trips with us to football games.  We followed Mark through college and on to Pro games.  Her last trip with her husband and our other 2 sons was to Atlanta to watch Mark play in Atlanta GA.  It was the last picture we had of all the family.  This was September of í79 and she was murdered October 25th of í79. 

 I envy other mothers with daughters to do things with.  I donít mean to be jealous but it is an aching feeling.

We were planning to go to Walmart when I got back from Bible study.  Then, go out to eat, the day she was murdered. 

She wanted a leather jacket for her birthday of October 2nd.  I bought her one and her first time to wear it was in her casket.  She was such a beautiful girl and loved children.  She took care of Ellen and Shelly (her nieces) so much as if they were her own.  The loved her just as much.  She taught G.A. at church on Wednesday nights and was working on decorations for her house for Halloween to allow G.A.ís to have a party there.  

These memories will always be with me and will be easier to bear if justice is done.  We know she is looking down with a smile, saying ďdonít grieve for Iím in a wonderful place, and Iíll be waiting for you.

Her Mother

Letter from Shelley Moseley May

This is very difficult for me to write.  It is still hard for me to keep from crying when I think of all that Pam went through on that fateful day.  I was twelve years old on the day this happened.  I was in school at the Junior High across from where Pam was living and where she was brutally raped and murdered.  Pam was going to school and working part-time and we would often see her coming home from some errand or such when we were out at recess.  She would always wave and honk at us. 

I remember that day so clearly.  My best friends, Amy and Audrey, even commented on the fact that we hadnít seen her.  When we came in from lunch/recess, I noticed how red-eyed all of the teachers were.  It looked like they had all been crying.  Not long after I got to my desk, someone poked their head in and said that my Mom was in the office to pick me up.  My stomach dropped because I wasnít expecting her and was worried that something was wrong.

I could tell that Mom had been crying.  She said not to worry, that she would tell me all about it after we picked up my sister from the Elementary school.  Dorsie, my Momís mother, was driving.  We went and picked up Ellen and then went back to Dorsieís.  Mom told us in the car what had happened to Pam.  They hadnít yet confirmed that she had died but knew that she was at the hospital and that Life Flight had been called.  She fought so hard to hold on, but they didnít make it in time.  When we got back to Dorsieís, Mom called and confirmed that Pam had died.  I donít think that I really believed it at the time. It was so unreal!  Pam, gone.

I went to her house a lot of afternoons after school while I waited for Mom to get off work.  I saw her and spent a lot of time with her almost every day.  Ellen and I would occasionally stay overnight with her and Bruce and their dog Megan.  I just couldnít believe that she was gone.  For years afterward, I would see someone from the back with long, dark hair and think ďSee?  There she is.  I knew it!Ē  It wasnít her of course but it was a long time before I quit looking.

I graduated from college and got married in 1990.  I was 22 years old, the same age as Pam had been when this had happened to her.  That same year Johnny Paul Penry was granted a NEW trial by the Supreme Court.  He had been tried, convicted and sentenced to death shortly after Pamís murder but 11 years later it still wasnít over for my grandparents and the rest of the family. A lot of the witnesses had passed away since the original trial and their statements had to be read in the new trial.  Regardless, Penry was AGAIN tried, convicted and sentenced to death by a new judge and jury.  Justice would finally be served.

It is now 21 years after Pamís death and we are still waiting for justice.  Penryís attorneys are trying everything they can think of to keep him from being executed.  They are now trying to get his sentence commuted to life. Due to Texas law in 1979, if his sentence were commuted, he could be back out on the streets in 2002Öless than two years from now.  He would be 46 years old.  Life?!?  He has shown no remorse for what he did.  He has only made excuses.  He had only been out of prison for three months for a previous rape conviction when he killed Pam.  I firmly believe that he WILL do this again if given the chance.

He is scheduled for execution next week, 11/16/00.  God willing, justice will finally be served.


Shelly Moseley May

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