Morgan, as we all did, tried so hard to carry on with her life throughout her stalking. She walked her puppy, visited with friends and went to school, that last semester when everything is just about taken care of, and you have to take only a few classes, but then you also take fun classes, pointe ballet, and jazz dance, just for the workout, and release, that was what Morgan did.
We all lived in a bubble where we thought the apprehension of the criminal would ultimately be by the Sheriff’s Department. And as I look through report after report I see a problem with the approach – it goes like this.
After four months of stalking, Keenan would have been facing these charges:
- Third degree criminal trespass – (petty offense)
- Harassment (repeated communication at inconvenient hours) – (misdemeanor)
- Stalking – (felony)
Keenan already has two priors of criminal trespass, and it did little to stop him, because here he was, right back at it again.
Others – both Garfield officers and Private Investigators have suggested different laws enacted to deal with the crimes that were being committed, using those laws would have given the investigation more teeth, seriousness, and more chances for success, specifically:
- Felony Vandalism – being championed by one of the Deputies (felony)
- Invasion of privacy for Sexual Gratification – A sex crime which can start as a misdemeanor, and escalate to a felony.
- And Felony Stalking (felony)
Laws which allow for early confrontation and quicker arrest, before the crime escalates. Read through the crime logs from any agency and I guarantee you will not see many arrests, arraignments, and high (serious) bails based on the charge of “third degree criminal trespass.” It is a joke at best. If you ever find yourself or anyone you love in a situation such as Morgan’s, ask about the laws, ask your victims rights coordinator about the laws, even research the laws yourself. If the laws that relate to what is going on are not being employed, demand to know why. Steve and I did not. We left it all in the hands of the Sheriffs and that was a big mistake. They of course did not want to see Morgan die, but they also were not prepared to protect us against the level of threat we were facing.
Once you have a suspect, I suggest you name him as the suspect that he or she is. It is important for your friends and neighbors to know, who the suspect is and how dangerous is he considered! Just so you all know I am not carelessly throwing out names, I will print a brief exchange that took place between Sheriffs concerning the suspect Keenan, and his father:
Subject of Narrative: Suspect Interview with lead Felony Stalking Sheriff’s Detective, Keenan VanGinkel
On November 16, 2011, I overheard dispatch notifying the zone one deputies to contact Wade VanGinkel reference his son being a suspect in a case. The dispatcher advised that Wade wanted to know if there was a case open against his son. I noted that Keenan, Wade’s son, is a suspect in this case.
I contacted Wade who was at the Sheriff’s office when he made the call to dispatch. I offered to Wade that I could meet him and Keenan at around 1600 hours that day. Wade told me that he had heard from his son that Keenan was being accused of stalking a girl. Furthermore, Wade said that there was somebody on facebook.com threatening him. Wade also said that he heard that there were some deputies at City Market, El Jebel, looking for Keenan.
This, of course, is the stalking that, James Harris, Brooke Harris’ father did not know was happening on the Dr. Phil episode and “wished we had told him.” Actually Brooke did not speak up to correct her father about the stalking, the stalking that Brooke had heard there was video evidence that exonerated her boyfriend Keenan. I’ve come across four instances of Keenan referring to this “video evidence that exonerated,” day when he “heard about an incident” but he was in Texas so it could not have been him.
Also, I have heard that you do not have to go out into the wild web very far to read that there are people stating now that there was never a stalking, either Morgan or me made it all up. Does this mean if I pretend hard enough that Morgan will not be murdered? Unfortunately I know all to well that this is not possible. What practical purpose in the search for truth this pretending there was not a stalking serves is beyond me. I lived through it, day by day, Morgan did her best to be brave and persevere, right up until she was killed. Morgan’s stalking and murder was every bit the nightmare I hopefully have portrayed it to be. And it obviously was very, very real. Lastly, I have been assured that NOBODY has been cleared of the crimes committed against Morgan and our family.
Meanwhile it seems now that back then everyone knew who the stalker was, James Harris named Keenan as the stalker. Brooke Harris told Steve and I in person that she “heard there was video evidence that exonerated her boyfriend Keenan.” Very poignant choice of words “exonerated”, by the way, because it specifically means you were convicted and then later found not to be guilty. This was in response to the videotaped march of an as of yet unidentified perp around our house. Unfortunately for the best laid plans of those involved, most everyone who has seen the full video agrees it is a female, and all other images of the stalker are male. Keenan names Brooke as the potential stalker. And if you remember our neighbor Elliott, he thought the stalker, at least one of them, was James Harris.
The argument referred to by Keenan’s father Wade, on facebook.com can be found on this post from December 28, 2012 excerpts from Facebook “threats” read what Keenan has to say, and you tell me if he does not give indications of knowledge and guilt, because I think that he does.
So you can see that I name names, but everyone else is also naming names. Actually everyone else seems to have a person to point fingers at, anyone but themselves. Horrors for Morgan, and after her death, casts of characters all employing their own form of protection…Internet Cyber Stalking and Trolls.
Crimes were committed, horrific crimes were committed. Situations such as Morgan and our family faced can quickly get out of hand. The two weeks surrounding her death contained so many little events. Taken together they point very strongly to a seriously increased danger for a victim in Morgan’s place. And they also point strongly to the potential for an act of desperation on the part of the perps. The lead detective even forecast it. There has been over a year, and a half on the part of Steve and I, and so many others with far more expertise to piece it all together on a timeline. It was all too real, and it is the truth, I will defend that fact under oath in any court in the land.
But that is not the real reason I’m writing this today. It is for all of the victims that might happen across this and find some good advice, or a frightening parallel. To know the true dangers of stalking, how one day we were just a happy family planning our next outing, and the next day we were victims of stalking, and a peeping tom, who turned our lives upside down. How one day our Detective warned that he thought the stalking was going to escalate, and three days later Morgan was dead. How out of control it becomes. How everything you ever planned, or dreamed of is suddenly changed forever. Steve and I will never get to give Morgan a beautiful wedding like her sister had, we will never get to play with the grandchildren she was planning on sharing with us, we will never ever get another hand squeeze that meant “I love you” from her, we will never get to hear about what her next big adventure was to be, because we no longer have Morgan with us on this earth – we will suffer her loss until the day we die.
I never want any of this to happen to another girl, another family when the resources and the knowledge exist to prevent it. As always – in Morgan’s memory, and honor – I wish for you to have the awareness and knowledge we did not to keep you all safe from such tragedy.