Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tracie Raisner: Gone Forever

This story is of a mother who really didn't "go missing" but vanished right before her son's eyes. This is a story that connects the dots between domestic violence, murder, and a child who will forever be branded as the "kid whose mother got killed."

As the trial proceeds and witness after witness describe the events, a young 13 year old boy is sharing with the jury what he saw that afternoon as he was being picked up from his father's after a custody visit. To say that the "family" had a strange living arrangement is an understatement.

Micheal Lister, Anthony Lister's father, was also Tracie Raisner's EX-boyfriend. Living in the Lister home was Micheal's wife of 25 years, his current girlfriend and 6 of his children by 3 different women. Needless to say, this doesn't sound like an "Ozzie and Harriet" type of household.
Testimony revealed what Lister's own lawyers say was an ''unusual'' living arrangement at Lister's home. Staying there were Carol Lister, his wife of 25 years; Christina Murawski, his girlfriend; and six of his children by three women.

On the evening of the shooting, Lister got a call letting him know Raisner was dropping Anthony off, Carol Lister and Rivera testified. He then had Murawski get his gun, and he holstered it and went outside, they said.

Anthony Lister saw it all. At 12 years old he watched as his father gunned down his mother on a sidewalk in front of several people begging him to stop. He is the one who ran to her and cried frantically over her lifeless body. Anthony Lister will never, ever forget what he saw that day as his mother lay dead.

Michael Lister will be found guilty of something, whether it be first, second or third degree murder, or voluntary manslaughter. He will serve jail time, but it will be Anthony, now 13 and entering the turbulent teens that will be forever serving a life sentence.

I doubt that after this trial we will hear about Anthony Lister again. As he continues on with his shattered life he could go down as many paths as the directions of shards of broken glass. Will he choose a path of destruction or will he choose to find strength to break the chains from the anger, sadness and defeat he must be feeling? He couldn't save his mother that day, no matter how hard he screamed for her to come back to him.

Anthony has joined the ranks of the thousands of children who have lost a parent to violence. We don't hear much about these kids, and probably don't wonder about them either. They tend to be "yesterday's news" as a more thrilling story comes to the media outlets. Have you ever thought about the scars these children carry? There is not much help available for the child victims of violence as they are shuttled through the system or through family members. They are expected to grieve, move on and get over it.

It just doesn't happen that way in real life.

1 comment:

Chris Crandle said...

My heart breaks for children like these. I was very moved by your post. This case is so incredibly tragic, and I hope that this guy is nailed to the wall.

I could especially identify with the effects on this child, and how he will be living a "life sentence"....and yes, what will become of him???? As you know, my dear friend, Renee Pagel, was murdered 8.5.06 ( ....her husband remains the only suspect....and their 3 children are still in his custody. They've been swept away and isolated from their friends, and from anyone who loved their mom...and I would bet my bottom dollar that they are not allowed to talk about her.

I have met other children, and are aware of several others, whose have lost a parent to murder, most of them murdered by the other parent. Their lives have FOREVER BEEN CHANGED. They are innocent victims who have been given a life sentence because of the ultimate selfish act by a parent.

I can't imagine the added destruction caused by witnessing the act, or finding a parent dead.

I'm not sure what the answer is, but my heart breaks for this growing population of children....who are a part of a club they never asked to be a member of. Certainly a population of children I will continue to pray for....

God bless this amazing group of "voices" for the voiceless who so diligently work to bring awareness to these important issues.

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