Letter written by Jeffrey Murphy to David Dark Horse Croft
Envelope dated 9/1/2009
But just so you know there are a lot of things that I don’t remember, and a lot of things I do recall is fuzzy weird. Sort of like being a spectator and not a participant. And lying about what I do remember because of fear and self loathing has not made these years any easier for me. You are correct – I’ve not come clean with my family and my wife. While I have discussed what led up to that night, and what has changed in me since, that night itself hasn’t been brought to the light because of fear and my lack of understanding about the events that took place. So much didn’t make sense to me and I couldn’t bring myself to be accountable and accept responsibility for such heinous acts. That night was not an accurate depiction of either of us! So why did it have to happen at all? This I’ve prayed about for 24 years, and I’ve taken just about every program, class, counseling session and study to figure it out. Although, the truth has been right before me I looked for a more “acceptable” rationale – or else I did everything in my power (except drug use) to “forget” about it and numb myself to the ever present pain that still lingers in my heart to this day. Bro, you told me that you forgive me and I can’t even begin to tell you what that means to me. When I read you letter the weight of all these years crashed down upon me yet again and I literally wept with the anguish of what I brought upon Penny, her family, you, your family, my family, and myself, All because of an accident that went horribly wrong. Although, you’ve already expressed your forgiveness I must still ask you to forgive me for getting you involved and altering the course of your life.
Bro, I was a full-blown drug addict living a secret life even you may have been unaware of. Oh, you know some of it, and even participated in a portion of it, but there was still a lot you didn’t know about because I was a selfish user – especially of the meth/speed tablets. That Memorial weekend I had run out and was experiencing withdrawals. Plus, if you recall, it was dry around for pot too! I now understand that my thinking and reasoning ability was damaged because of the chemicals I abused my brain with.
The first wound was indeed an accident Dave. Meaning I don’t recall any thought of intention. I’ve come to the conclusion that it was extremely poor judgement on my part to play with a knife even if it was only meant to scare and not injure. When my mind registered what happened, I literally freaked out! My thoughts were jumbled but I’m pretty sure I was trying to control the situation. Sort of like calling time out -only time didn’t stop and the whole situation got progressively worse because the more time that passed the less I was able to see a logical way out. Plus, I think, I was hoping that she wasn’t badly hurt and would recover. Even after years of reflection I’m not completely certain what all I was thinking.
Everything was a jumbled mess then – and in large part still is today. One thing I’m fairly certain of is that my addiction played a central theme. I didn’t want to go to jail, and I couldn’t bear the thought of giving up drugs, my “lifestyle”, and my family finding out about my drug use. I was petrified Dave! Most of what I’m telling you now has been pieced together over the years. My thinking at the time was anything but clear or thought through. You eluded in your letter that you think something went on during that time lapse. Well, since she was not sexually molested in any way, as verified by no physical evidence, and her intact virginity, I’m sure that I didn’t do anything like that. No, what it all comes down to is self – centerdness and selfishness on my part. I am so sorry that I didn’t listen to you when you urged me to rush her to the hospital. Her death would have been averted, and so many lives wouldn’t have been forever altered.
I’m not without conscience though. You were a witness as to how how freaked out and messed up I was following that night. It wasn’t supposed to happen! God as my witness the thought of killing anyone (except for my step-dad) never entered my conscious thoughts. And you may recall me telling you that I left Ohio and came to Florida because I couldn’t bring myself to kill my step-dad who in my opinion deserved it. Yet somebody died none the less and for no good reason whatsoever! Bro, I ache to the core of my being. Even in the writing of this letter I have had to stop frequently to pray for strength to go on.
As I said earlier, there are a lot of things you didn’t know about me then, and due to the growing length of this letter still won’t for the time-being. Suffice to say I was a screwed up kid because of years of abuse prior to coming to Florida. Drugs weren’t a form of rebellion for me. They were how I coped when inside I wanted to die – literally!
I’ve often wished that it had been me instead of Penny. I’m sooooooo sorry for what I did to her – and to you!