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My Son

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My Son

My name is Bette and my youngest son at the at of 15 was shot and killed execution style. He was walking home from the store with his older brother's friend, who was the target and my son was walking with him, they were caught 14 months later. My oldest son Joey always blamed himself for his brother's murder. He thought that he was the target and his baby brother looked like him so they mistook him for Joe. That wasn't the case at all, but he ID'd his brother that night July 13, 2007, he wouldn't let them wake me up. He was already going through a trial for a friend who robbed us and Joe saw 8 months later and he beat him up of course the ex-friend pressed charges so he was going through a trial the time his brother was executed. So after Id'ing his brother, 2 days later the man my son was walking with also died from the gunshot wounds, so now he lost a friend. Then he faced a trial, he got 1 year sentence and went to jail 3 months after we buried his brother. He suffered for 14 months thinking it was him that his brother was murdered for mistaken identity, and then the image of id'ing his brother burnt in his brain. My son suffered with drug problems for a while. But once he came home after serving time and then to a rehab was doing great.

Then the trial came, that was the end I believe. He started using heroin, never used that before. So since 2010-2011 the time of my son's murder trial, my oldest got addicted to heroin. He couldn't handle it anymore, he was lost. I tried so hard to get him help, in and out of rehabs, even called his PO and he was re-arrested, then again more rehabs. Finally when he went to a new program he was doing great. but he started using pills as a replacement. As his brothers angel day was approaching, I could see Joey slipping. He was always in so much pain, so sad, he never thought anyone cared for him, told me if I ever left he would die. I told him he was loved by so many but yet he never saw that. On the night of June 8th, him and his other brother were going to a party. But the driver never showed up because it was pouring out, they were having a good time just handing out with a few friends, playing video games. Then my other son wanted to go to bed, Joey tried to keep him down to play more of the game but he was too tired. So for some unknown reason my Joey, relapsed.

On that night after his brother went to bed, he went out and got some heroin. Using what he used to use, I suppose he thought he could handle the same dose? I'll never know. Because that night my other son came back downstairs about an hour later and found his brother unconscious in the living room still in front of the TV with the video game on. He died that night at the age of 27 years old. I can't breathe, losing 2 sons one to murder and one to accidental overdose.

I hope you don't mind the long story, but I felt the need to tell his story. He was a great guy, had a good heart, but a lot of people looked at him like a junkie, but he wasn't, he was in pain, pain he never got over from his brother's and friend's murder. Thank you for letting me tell my son's story.


This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

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Comments

1. Dorothy Brown
I hope you're getting help for yourself. Drug addiction is a family illness so everyone needs help and you my fried need help just as your son needed help.
2. LOIS
There is only so much you can do for a person with addictions. They have to do the rest for themselves.You cannot be their keeper. I do counseling with adult and teen addicts .You did your best . You sound like a great father and I am sure your son knew this. As you didnt give up on him. I am sorry that you have suffered two tremendous losses. Your story can help educate other parents about addictions. I wish you the best. Lois
3. Marius J
Sitting here in peaceful Norway and reading these stories from victims of violent street crime in America is really touching my heart. Thank you mister for sharing your story with me, and I am feeling so sad about the tragic loss of your young sons.
4. Jane
thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your tremendous loss.