There have been several times in my life where I mention my last name and people look at me with pity after they ask if it was my father that was murdered. I pick up pieces here and there of other peoples’ stories about my father, I hear from several people he was a good man willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who asked, and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. I shouldn’t have to learn about my father from stories, I shouldn’t avoid telling people my last name because of the pain that it brings up! I should be able to be proud of who I am and where I came from! If it wasn’t for Mr. Palmer and his actions I would have my father here! I would know how his voice sounded, I would know his interests, I would know him as a person. I would be able to understand where I get certain traits from, that can only be explained by seeing them in my father. If it wasn’t for Mr. Palmer I would REALLY know my father, not just know OF him!
Mr. Palmer’s violent act did not only affect my family and I 23 years ago. It has affected us every single moment from that day on. He wasn’t there to watch me on my first day of school. I never got to look out into the crowd during my softball games to see my father’s supporting eyes watching me and cheering me on. He wasn’t there for my high school graduation. My daddy wasn’t there to give me away at my wedding. And it also affects me currently. Each time I look into the eyes of my three beautiful children, and know they will never get to meet the man I so deeply loved, it breaks my heart all over again. They will never get to experience a doting grandpa and eventually, when they are older, I will have to explain the circumstances of his death to them. I will never get to look on as my husband and father talk over a warm cup of coffee or work in the garage as my daddy loved to do. My husband and children will never know him, my father, my daddy.
My father deserves justice. Justice for the family that Mr. Palmer tore apart, Justice for the memories that I never got to make with him, Justice for my children, Justice for my grandfather having to repeatedly hear the details of his son’s untimely death and have to deal with the unimaginable pain of losing a child, Justice for everyone that loved and cared for him. That justice is found for my father’s friends, our family and I ,in the execution of this man.
I will receive Justice and Closure September 20th 2012 !
September 14, 2012 at 5:12 a.m.
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My name is Tiffany (Sponhaltz) Pugh, I am the youngest child of Charles Sponhaltz, one of Mr. Palmer’s victim’s. I was 5 years old at the time of my father’s murder, I was daddy’s little girl, I was with him every moment that I could possibly be with him. I was the little girl he left sitting at the house the night he went to take the chairs back to the Polish Legion of American Veterans, I was the one who sat there heart broken because I wasn’t allowed to go with him to see our friends and spend time with him. I was also the child that sat on her living room floor several hours later while family and friends hustled and bustled around the house, along with the local sheriff’s departments. I was the little girl left in the dark about what was going on and why my mommy was at the table screaming and crying. Eventually my nana and my mother sat me down, wrapped me in a blanket, and told me that my daddy wasn’t coming home and that he was in heaven. I remember screaming and crying, “Why my daddy? He is such a good daddy! I don’t want him to go to heaven. I want my daddy!” I don’t know how long I sat there and cried, but it seemed like an eternity! Then, the next thing I knew, we left our home to go to my nana and pap pap’s house, because we couldn’t stay at our own home. My father was murdered and the killer had his keys and wallet. They didn’t know who it was, so it wasn’t safe to be at our house. At this point not only did I not have my father but I didn’t even have the comfort of my own home and my own bed. The next few days were very confusing, I saw my mom cry a lot and didn’t know anything, because again I was only 5 years old at the time and they didn’t want to upset me more.
Through my childhood I can remember my Uncle Frank Sponhaltz, and my Aunt Sharon Prati visiting often and suddenly it seemed that they had disappeared from my life as well. I now know that their disappearance was due to a big controversy that happened during the trial between my family members and my grandfather, Walter Sponhaltz. My grandfather couldn’t bear to sit in court and hear how his son had been murdered! He couldn’t sit and listen to the evidence, see the pictures of what happened or anything of the sort, he couldn’t face the fact that his son was dead. So not only did Mr. Palmer take away my father he took away my Aunt and My uncle, the two people that knew the most about him, the ones that could share their stories about my father with me. Mr. Palmer not only took my father away from me with his actions on May 8, 1989 he broke my family apart!
September 14, 2012 at 5:09 a.m.
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