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Jennifer Schuett’s Story

Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness.  Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.  Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.  ~August Wilson

This story has nothing to do with Kyle and yet has everything to do with him.  Recently, September 8, 2011 to be exact, I went to a case study lecture at Seton Hill University.  I received the invite via Facebook and upon reading the description, I was taken back.  I kinda remembering seeing this case on the news, but not really remembering or knowing the full story.

Jennifer Schuett and Aunt Heather Piper and Darby
Me with Jennifer Schuett and Darby Zerbini at Seton Hill University 9/8/11

Let me give you a very brief synopsis.  Jennifer was kidnapped at the age of eight from her Texas bedroom in the middle of the night by a stranger, raped, and had her throat sliced from ear to ear before being dumped in an overgrown field to die.  Fortunately, Jennifer was found and made a full recovery including her ability to speak, which was medically impossible.  Over the years, Jennifer worked with law enforcement officials, local news, and became proactive with online tools to help solve her case.  Nearly 20 years later, Jennifer helped to find her attacker.

As I was saying, Jennifer came to the University to share her story, and her message of hope and strength.  Now, going to this lecture definitely was a tough one, but it was something I wanted to hear.  Mostly because I thought I might hear information to help protect Kyle in one way or another, or what to do, Lord forbid there was a serious crime situation.  Jennifer’s story was very inspiring, and yes I did get what I wanted out of the lecture, but I also went away with so much more.

Jennifer Schuett at Seton Hill University
Jennifer Schuett's case study lecture

Jennifer, at the age of eight, while in the hospital with her throat slashed, not being able to speak, gave the police a full description of the attacker, his name, and a description of the car.  This was done through writing notes!  Today, that still amazes me.  How do I know this?  During Jennifer’s lecture she had a very detailed PowerPoint presentation put together containing images of the drivers license of the attacker, taken at the time of the crime, and the police sketch drawn, all based off of her written descriptions.  Same with the car!  Amazing!!  Something else that Jennifer said, which I can see, but really made me stop and take note, was how the police used her information, or I should say didn’t really use her information.  They dismissed her accounts of the attack!  They said she was in shock, being nearly on the brink of death, and she wasn’t thinking correctly to be accurate.  Plus, I’m sure they dismissed her because she was an eight-year-old girl.  What they didn’t realize was Jennifer now was on a mission that would ultimately take almost 20 years to solve, with or without their help.

Respect comes in many forms and I think listening and believing in children is one not to be taken lightly.  I know Kyle has said and done some very profound things, sometimes they are absolutely brilliant!  Children can accomplish so much, especially with the right guidance and encouragement.  Jennifer is walking testament to that.

Something else I got out of the lecture, something people are always looking for and sometimes it’s so obvious it’s right in front of our faces, and that’s a miracle.  Miracles do happen!  Not only was Jennifer a miracle because she lived to tell her story, but there was more to it that she explained.  During Jennifer’s stay in the hospital, before she could speak, she made a squeak noise.  Her and her mother heard it and immediately contacted the doctors.  They placed a camera down her throat to view her voice-box while she tried to make sounds.  Nothing!  The doctors said she will never be able to speak again.  The next morning she woke up able to talk.  It was almost as if God said, tell your story Jennifer.  I mean, she remembered EVERY detail of the crime and now she had a voice to speak out.  I know we all have a purpose in life and Jennifer has been on the right path with her activism against child crimes.  She didn’t sit back and ignore this tragedy, she accepted it and used the voice God gave her.

Please read her story, it is truly inspiring!



Published inCommon SenseEducation & LearningNewsObservation & Imagination

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