The book by best-selling, true-crime author Kathryn Casey based on our case has finally hit the shelves.
I pre-ordered it and had it on my Kindle ready to read when I woke up August 31st. Dove right in and could not put it down until I was completely finished. Wow. Kathryn sure had her work cut out for her and man, did she rise to the occasion. She was meticulous. Fully researched. Very thorough. I appreciate very much how she held Hewitt PD accountable for their egregious errors and detailed just how much they wanted this case to simply disappear un-investigated, one might guess in order to cover up those errors forever. I knew former Hewitt Police Chief Barton was more than non-helpful, but this book gets into the nitty-gritty of how absolutely profane he was in his treatment of the Dulins. That was a surprise to me. Truly appalling. I also did not know the true depth of the private/political issues former DA Segrest had with one of the Dulin’s civil attorneys, Bill Johnston. Shameful behavior. I do certainly appreciate Justice of the Peace Billy Martin’s inquest into Kari’s death and for changing the death certificate from “Suicide” to “Undetermined.” That made a HUGE difference in things moving forward. But I just don’t know that I’ll ever get past the fact that he ruled a healthy, vibrant 31-year old wife and mother’s shocking death a suicide over the phone without any inkling of a desire to see the scene and circumstances for himself. You can imagine how differently things could have been had he done so.
Enough of the dregs of this saga, let’s show our appreciation and applaud the heros in this Justice for Kari journey. Thank you Ret. Texas Ranger, Matt Cawthon! Thank you for truly listening to the Dulins early on and your discernment of the evidence coming to light and being a champion for truth and for Kari. Thank you Bill Johnston and Darren Obenoskey for your years of dedication, hard work and genius legal work! Thank you private investigators John Bennett and Mike McNamara for everything. Simply everything. Your dogged determination and relentless investigative pursuits found the evidence and witnesses that showed exactly who Matt Baker really was and the things he had done to cover his crimes. Thank you to the District Attorney’s Investigator, Abdon Rodriguez, for being a “human lie detector” and for staying strong with Vanessa Bulls and getting her confessions and testimony before the Grand Jury and at Matt’s murder trial. Thank you Assistant District Attorneys Crawford Long and Susan Shafer for….well….everything. Thank you for listening. Thank you for investigating. Thank you for staying the course. Thank you for the times it seemed to take so long because you were wanting to be doubly sure of everything and how to time things. Thank you for the times you moved quickly when things were sure-shot. Thank you for your heart. Thank you for presenting the massive amount of evidence is such a way as to secure Matt’s murder conviction from the jurors. Ultimately, thank you to the citizens of McLennan County that comprised the jury in Matt’s murder trial. Thank you for your patience, your astute attention and integrity throughout the trial and even afterwards. I so appreciate that through all above mentioned people, Matt’s deeds were uncovered and he was shown for the evil murderer he is.
Now, moving on the custody investigation and trial. Many, many more thanks and kudos to the team that secured the girls’ ultimate safety and best interests. Thank you to attorneys Darren Obenoskey from Waco and Pat Maguire from Kerrville. You guys were an amazing team….each bringing your specific focus and legal talents to the courtroom. A world of thanks to Kerrville private investigator, Gina Frenzel, for her dedication to finding the truth behind the scenes in the Baker household….past and present. The results of her investigations showed in great detail and without a doubt that the girls needed to be with the Dulins and not kept in their current arrangement with Matt’s parents. Thank you, also, to the citizens of Kerr County that sat on the jury for the custody case in Kerrville and took in all the facts and made the absolute right decision. Know that the girls are doing amazingly well….beyond all expectations. Know you did the right thing, no doubt.
Huge thanks going out to all the many, many supporters of Justice for Kari. Your prayers, your involvement, your presence (both in body and in spirit) made all the difference for everyone involved!
I did talk to Linda after we both read the book. She told me she read it….and wept. However, she says that they will not live in that place and time. While Kari will always be with them, they are focused on raising her daughters; it’s what Kari would want! They do not wish the girls to read this book at this time in their lives….wanting them to focus on growing up in the present and in living their lives to the fullest. When they are adults and the professionals believe they are ready, Jim and Linda will have copies for them. She feels that Kathryn did a wonderful job of providing a gripping story that unfolds the truth in an honest but sensitive manner. She and Jim believe that this may eventually be a book that will help their granddaughters fully understand what happened to their mother, who their father is, and how the darkness of his own growing up years may have helped make him into the man he became (without excusing what he did). In the end, the Dulins want Kensi and Grace to know they don’t have to choose between families. They want their granddaughters to know they SHOULD love their dad and the Baker family. However, healthy love is not blind love or filled with lies. The truth may be exactly what sets these precious girls free….when the time is right.
Tying this all up, there are lessons to be learned:
* Listen to your gut and your instincts!
* Hold law enforcement accountable. Do not be bullied by badges when you know something is wrong!
If after reading the book you have any questions or want to start any discussions, please feel free to comment below. I’ll see if Kathryn can stop by from time to time, too.