I said, 'I send my condolences to your family, and I hope that if you feel uncomfortable around me, then don't be around me, but I'm here as a friend to you.'" Her mother emphasized that John's actions were not their fault or responsibility—or an excuse for failure."My mom always taught me and my siblings that we should never use what happened to us for a sympathy card," Taalibah says."The question that every family member gets is, 'How could you not know? (He had a long history of abusing animals.) She saw a roll of duct tape under the pillow in his truck's sleeping cab and remembers thinking that was an odd place to keep it. Taalibah, who was 9 at the time, hadn't seen her father since August 2001, when she, her brother, and her sister were retrieved from Bellingham, Washington, where they had been living with John.
It was the summer of 1995, and Keith Hunter Jesperson was on trial for the March 1995 murder of his girlfriend, Julie Ann Winningham.
On the other side of a Plexiglas wall, "he picked up the phone and the first thing he said to me was, 'Missy, my best advice is that you change your last name,'" says Moore, now 36.
"All the emotions that he feels, he knows how to shut them off," Rebecca says. I've seen it and I've experienced it in his eyes." She decided that in order to heal, she needed to sort out her feelings for her father.
Before reading Krakauer's book, she'd known only the bare outlines of the crime.
While she was reading, she says, "I couldn't breathe.
Being a mother [of three children], [I was] thinking of my little baby, thinking of Brenda wanting to protect her baby.""It was confusing for me, because I'm like, I can't feel angry at him, because that means I don't love him," continues Rebecca, a Salt Lake City-based dental assistant who has become a reiki master and a hypnotherapist dealing with traumatic memories.
"From the outside looking in as a parent—they want to protect their child. "My mother told us, 'He will always be your dad,'" says Taalibah, "'but that does not mean that everything he does you take responsibility for. Her dad, Dan Lafferty, and uncle Ron Lafferty, both members of a Mormon fundamentalist splinter group, believed that God had ordered that their 24-year-old sister-in-law, Brenda Lafferty, and 15-month-old niece, Erica, be "removed." (Brenda had angered Ron by encouraging his wife to leave him when he wanted to take a second bride.) It was July 24, 1984—Pioneer Day (when Utah residents commemorate the 1847 arrival of Brigham Young and the first Mormons in the Salt Lake Valley)—and Rebecca was 7 years old.
He's his own individual, and so are you.'" Even if other schoolkids didn't see it that way. She remembers the police pounding on the door of the Salem, Utah, home she shared with her mother, who had just separated from Dan, and four younger siblings.
"And that, to me, was his confession that it was all true.
I burst into tears because I was hoping he would say it wasn't." Jesperson, a long-distance trucker, had been divorced from Moore's mother for five years by then.
' And then we rode in a cop car to another city, where we stayed with one of my mom's girlfriends."As recounted in Jon Krakauer's 2003 book, , Ron savagely attacked Brenda (official records say both men beat her).