Friday, January 26, 2007

Aaron Karol's parents speak

Aaron Karol's parents spoke today at the sentencing of Joseph LePore and Sean Ryan, the two men who started the fire in Seton Hall University's Boland Hall on January 19, 2001 that killed 3 (including Aaron) and injured 58 others.

From the Star-Ledger, Aaron's mother:
“I can’t begin to tell you the devastation his death brought us. I have never been able to relive that day or talk about it. It’s too painful. We no longer have a son."

“I will never again see his smiling face come through the door. I will never again see him sleeping in his bed. I will never again hear him listen to his music. I will never again hold him. I will never again kiss him and tell him good night. I will never again buy him Christmas presents. I will never again hear him and his sister tell us the secrets of things they did growing up together. I will never again hear Aaron and Melissa laughing under some shared joke. I will never again see him holding hands with Melissa and kissing. There are so many never agains.”
Also from the Star-Ledger, Aaron's dad:
"Aaron was fun-loving but also a serious student. He didn't get all As but he made the honor roll most of the time . . . AK was not one-dimensional. He loved music . . . He enjoyed snow-boardng ... He was taking up tennis and he also loved video games."

"My son had a wisdom about him that transcended his age . . . I admired how he had the ablity to look at the big picture and yet he could write about something as small as a bead of sweat. . . ."

"For someone who was only 18 years and three months when he was killed, AK left a remarkable legacy."

He discussed the circumstances of the starting of the fire after the Joseph LePore and Sean Ryan were chased from the lounge by dorm counselor: "By their own admission, they both returned to the lounge and ignited the paper. This was an indication to me that this was a premeditated act."

"These two never regretted what they did . . . they were only worried about their own hides . . . Those are not the actions of pranksters. They are the actions of criminals.''

He said his son had to be identied from dental records, he was burned so badly. "We never had the chance to see him one last time. We had to have a closed casket.'' He said many of his son's friends had to go through therapy after his death.

He said he wanted to see the defenahts serve the full five years. "I promise them both I will muster up an army of victims to appear before the parole board every time they are eligible.''

He said justice will be served when the defenants face the "ultimate judge" after death. "They won't be able to have fancy lawyers represent them."

"They have displayed a total callousness and complete disregard for their victims ... The perpetrators of this hoocaust deserve no mercy whatsoever.''

"No sentence will ever bring us closure. The holes in our hearts will never heal. We will never have Aaron back."

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