Thursday, September 17, 2015

Yet another dreadful murder case from Virginia...

Sometimes, I read the obituaries from The Daily Press, the newspaper that serves the area where I grew up.  Most of the time, I skim the entries, looking for people I know or interesting stories.  Obituaries are often interesting because they are usually written by family members who pay to have them put in the paper.  And loving family members sometimes add details about a person's life that are intriguing.

Today, I read an obituary for a 27 year old woman named Kate Freel.  I read that she was born in Pennsylvania during the spring of 1988.  I was a 15 year old sophomore in high school then.  I remember 1988 well.  It doesn't seem like that long ago.

I also read that Kate had two children named Layton and Olivia.  I think about how at 43, I missed having kids.  Kate had two and is now gone from the planet.

I started to wonder what happened to Kate.  A lot of times, people who write obituaries either don't explain what the cause of death was or they offer a vague hint in the way of charities where people can send money as a remembrance.  I noticed in Kate's obituary, there was a link to a GoFundMe page.  I clicked it and there, very starkly written, was this sentence.

Katherine ("Kate") Freel was killed by her husband on September 6, 2015.
Above that sentence was a beautiful photo of the young mother, born when I was already fifteen years old.  Yet another person killed by their spouse.

I decided to see if I could find out more about this story.  I found several news articles, including one from the UK's Daily Mail.  It always amazes me that the press in the UK picks up so many stories about murders in the United States.  I feel pretty sure the opposite is not true of American news outlets.  Anyway, I read the article, then noticed a couple of stories written by press more local to the scene of the crime.

Kate and her husband, Petty Officer First Class Mark Freel, who is a sailor assigned to Fort Eustis, had just moved to York County in Virginia three months ago.  The Freels' children, 4 year old Layton and five month old Olivia, were at home at 12:44 am on Sunday, September 6th, when their father shot and killed their mother.  The day prior, all had seemed normal, according to neighbors.

After killing his wife, Freel called 911.  He was arrested and was charged with second degree murder and use of a firearm during commission of a felony.  The children are now in the care of Kate's parents, who live in nearby James City County.  Though Olivia was sleeping during the shooting, Layton may have witnessed the attack.

There is no telling what caused this to happen.  According to news reports, the Freels were reportedly nice people and seemed to be getting along with each other.  There was a report that Mark Freel had been arguing with their neighbor, Darlene DeCosta, but it hadn't been an especially bad row and no police reports were filed.

It's so scary that this kind of thing seems to be happening more and more often lately.  Or maybe it's just me watching too much news.  I'm sending prayers to Kate's family, especially the two little children she left behind.  Meanwhile, her husband will collect full pay while he sits in jail and awaits his trial.


  1. i don
    t know what to make of it either. The Scot/Laci Peterson think hit me hard, especially because it was from my neck of the woods and because my mother was peripherally involved in a legal aspect.

    My assumptiom is that in mos cases, it is a heat of passion sort of thing, as most of us can figure ut that divorce is always an option. In some sick cases, such as the Scott/ Laci Peterson thing, divorce was ruled out for financial reasons.

    I just don't get it, whether it's a heat of passion thing or a well-planned conspiracy.

    I case I forgot t mention it, I HATE nurses. i believe I may hate every last one of them with no exceptions. i'm not going to kill any of them because I don't do that sort of thing, but I do hate their guts with an intensity usually reserved for the likes of Ted Bundy.

  2. All was not normal before he killed her. He was abusive for years. Don't report something you know nothing about!!

    1. Don't tell me what to write about on my blog!

      And where did I ever say anything about how he treated her? I mentioned "all had seemed normal according to neighbors" who wouldn't have known what was going on behind closed doors, either. That wasn't my opinion; it was theirs. I simply repeated what was in the news.


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