PATTEN – It’s fair to say a parent never gets over the death of a child. It’s been 11 years since a man targeted on Maine’s sex offender registry was murdered.
His mother has written a book about the events leading up to the murder of her son.
Easter Sunday, 2006. After working a part-time job, Shirley Turner got home and turned on the 11 o’clock news. That’s when she learned her son had been murdered by a vigilante. “And I didn’t believe it. It couldn’t be. You know, this was my only child. It couldn’t be my only child.” said Turner.
A 20-year-old from Nova Scotia shot and killed two men who were listed on Maine’s sex offender registry. Her 24-year-old son was one of those killed. He was on the registry because he had sex with his girlfriend, when she was a few weeks shy of the age of consent. Turner stated “He said, ‘it’s two weeks from 16th birthday.’ And I said, ‘you should wait a little while and make sure it’s all right.'”
William Elliott was a loving son, with autism. He spent four months in jail. And after his name was placed on the online sex registry, his mother said, he was constantly harassed. Turner added “It was daily that he was being harassed. If it was something in his yard or a phone call. Letters in the mail. Anything they could do to harass him.”
Today, she has a message for young men who may be dating girls under the age of consent. She stated “It’s not a good idea. I want any parents or any children to realize that it could happen to them.”
Soon, if the project gets funding, Mrs. Turner hopes the story she’s written about her son’s murder gets published. The book is called “The Destroying Angel.”
“He did public service. And all of these good things. And he destroyed my life. My son’s life. No grandchildren. Nothing. I just lost it all in one final thing. I lost my whole world.” she said.
Shirley Turner moved to Patten from Hartland after her son was murdered. She thought it would be a new start. But she continued to have nightmares, seeing her son in his coffin. Now she stated, writing this book has been an emotional outlet for her. And helped her to continue the healing the process.