A Statement from Uta’s Mother

My name is Holle von Schwedler and I am Uta von Schwedler’s mother. I will turn 80 years old and live in Germany.

The death of my oldest daughter was the most shocking and upsetting event in my life since the entire family has always been very close despite living on 3 different continents.

Uta visited me and her 3 sisters in Germany regularly, nearly every summer, in order to observe my wellbeing as well as giving her children a chance to experience the German way of life, speak the German language as well as meeting up with many of her old and extensive group of friends.

Everyone in the family was aware of the struggle she had with Johnny Wall especially in order to co-parent. It was extremely upsetting to see Uta’s distress and efforts to ensure her children having relaxing and good summer holidays as well experiencing her German background, boycotted and interrupted by Johnny during some of the times here.

It was obvious to me what Uta told me every time we spoke that Johnny did not act with the kid’s interest in mind during the last 2-3 years of Uta’s life.
The time after Uta’s death was made even more traumatic by everyone’s inability to contact the children, due to Johnny forbidding contact with the entire von Schwedler family.

It was extremely traumatic to have no ability to ensure the safety of all 4 of their children.

I was constantly worried about the mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of my grandchildren.

My family and me were relieved that Pelle took the steps (after he turned 18) to point out his father’s failings in appropriately supplying care for all of them and that Pelle was successful in removing the children from his care temporarily in 2012 and 2013.

The events that unfolded cost myself huge amount of distress, worries and in the end money.

My grandson was spending the inheritance from our family in order to keep his siblings safe and out of reach of the father’s pathological narcissism and control.
I very much felt obliged to repay Pelle for most or all of his legal fee expenses especially as to assure him the ability to finish his college degree in the future (up to now : around 80 000 US Dollar all together).

It caused further distress to see that my other daughters, especially my daughter Almut, who usually lives and works in Australia, were required to spend countless hours pursuing the investigation, doing paperwork and keeping in contact with supporting people. These efforts have had major impacts on the various family members, my other grandchildren, as well as their work commitments for all 3 of my remaining daughters.

Many trips were made to the US by Almut but also by Anna and Sophie in order to help with Estate Matters.

After Johnny’s arrest Uta’s children were given the opportunity to come to Germany and join the various families during their summer vacation.

I made money available again for this, but every family carried part of this burden.

This March I travelled to Utah to be present during some of the trial. It was difficult for me to travel due to a broken hand but I felt that it was extremely important to hear all the evidence against Johnny.

It was very traumatic for me to hear with how much violence and planning Johnny performed the act of killing my daughter. To experience that he used his medical knowledge and his ability to prescribe medication to perform the murder, is beyond belief and excuse.

I believe that he violated the trust of his children, who deserve to grow up in the loving care of their mother.

I also believe that his hatred for Uta is not likely to die but that his mental health has so far deteriorated that especially his children, but also the entire von Schwedler family as well as the Oglesby family is and will continue to be in danger, if Johnny is ever released from confinement.

I would like to ask for John Wall to spend the rest of his natural life in prison.

Holle von Schwedler

A Statement for Uta’s Sister, Anna von Schwedler

My name is Anna von Schwedler, I am Uta’s younger sister. I live in Heidelberg, Germany together with my family, my husband Peter Eickholz and my two children Simon, now 23 and Fiona, now 21 years old.

For me Uta was the older and smarter sister,

– who was trying to help with everything.

– who came to Germany during her separation and divorce time from her husband, not to be bothered by him for 4 weeks during summer with his enerving fights over questions about the children’s care.

-who wanted the children to talk German to us (and my children to listen and talk English).

– who went to our basement every year to get out the bicycles, which we kept just for her and the children and asked neighbour Leah for a bike for Ilona, to move around bicycle friendly Heidelberg.

– who tried to visit all her friends in Oberhausen, Freiburg, Hamburg, Elmau and was unhappy when she was not going anywhere, or had something to do.

– who went jogging with Peter on Sunday mornings and with me to my aerobics classes.

– who decided to cook Spätzle/ a special German pasta with vegetables in a white sauce, although I laughed out loud, because we both knew that none of her children would look at that food, or even try to eat the vegetables she cooked.

– who needed hours to pack all her camping stuff, including several mini containers with several different kinds of leftover food or at least 10 different spices/teabags/coffee/dishwasher fluid etc. in minibags/containers. But afterwards nothing was missing, not even the tomato-mozzarella salt.

– who even as a small child preferred to wear used clothes from Almut or me instead of getting new ones (and she was the oldest).

– who left my place every year with much stuff packed in big bags, where she put all the clothes and stuff she got from me and my kids to use for herself or Pelle and Malkie.

– who always liked to read, but only later condemned the TV.

– who always lived her own way and seldom wanted to move from that way.

– who always accepted it, when we were making fun of her (and laughed with us).

– who was afraid of getting older (all her friends from school turned 50 the year she died).

– who wrote me in many emails or talked about the fights she had with her ex-husband. He, who always claimed to want just the best for the children, but didn’t allow them to call Uta during his parenting time, who didn’t pay the car insurance for Pelle’s car in 2011, probably still waiting for Uta paying half of it.

She had to argue about everything, just because Johnny wanted to fight her with all his heart, because he wanted her life to be as difficult as possible, to manipulate her unreasonably as everything else. He developed from an egoist to a cruel misanthrop.

“This shows where blind hatred can lead to”, someone wrote to me in an email.

– who had to pay half of all the children’ s costs, one point they argued about very often although she earned about a third of the money that Johnny earned as a doctor.

– who never ever complained about her life or was in a bad mood (only when her fish at work died during our stay in Yellowstone and Moab in August 2011).

 

My family and I, we are so happy to have spent 12 days in August 2011 in Uta’s house in , to be part of her life there and had time for long talks. Uta was very sad about the fact, that the children were not allowed to be with us at Yellowstone Park and to the river rafting trip in Moab.

You can imagine how stressed Uta must have been, wanting the children to learn as well her “way of life”, meaning: use the bike or walk instead of car driving everywhere, get books from the library, not buying all the fancy clothes, electronic toys, pets.Taking care for the environment and sustainability. A way of life that she knew was not very attractive to children.

There is not one day that I don’t think of Uta and that I miss her so much.

Whom shall I take from the airport in summer?

And who tells me which salad and which vegetables are just growing in her garden? Who is giving me regular updates about the children’s activities?

Whom should I send boxes with marzipan and nougat? And who is sending me papers with greetings for the next year with photos of last year’s activities?

“Life is not fair” (thanks to Georg, one of Uta’s school friends)

The banner, that Amy and Pelle made for the Leopard’s Run on March, 24th 2012 and that was honorably written in German, said: “Es wird mir fehlen, das Leben” – “I’m going to miss it, the Life”. That is the title of a book by Ruth Picardie and others. My father Jochen had written the title on his address list and we printed it on the death announcement cards for his death in August 2000. I think, that the motto is even better fitting to Uta. Seeing and knowing that more than 100 people were running this 5 km run with a portrait of Uta on the T-shirt, is a proof for me that Uta’s life touched many more people than just the immediate family members.

Her joy of life and love for her children, her family, her work and her environmental principles are still unforgettable. The memory of her will still be hold up by everyone who knew her. It is still unbelievable for me that she can’t live her chosen life, can’t participate in her children’s life any more.

When the whole family and many friends met shortly after Uta’s death in Salt Lake City for the memorial in October 2011, I would never have thought about the dimension this case would take. We still had the faith, that the police will do their job (although I already had some doubt) and that the murderer, -a suicide was beyond anyone’s belief who knew Uta- , would soon be behind bars (Swedish curtains in colloquial German). But unfortunately we were definitely wrong!

Nearly every day I got new information about what happened in Salt Lake or what sadly did not happen there. The worst thing was that the police tried several times to lay the case down because they declared Uta’s death a suicide. It was unbelievable for us that Johnny was still a free man who went on threatening and abusing his children emotionally because they still lived with him unprotected.

I think, in my whole life I was never so mad and at the same time felt so helpless like in this first year after Uta’s death.

The press began to speak about the case when Uta’s 1 year memorial was held at her house, and some movement came into the case. In the meantime and out of fear of the children’s safety still living in Johnny’s house, Pelle and his lawyer Margaret got a court motion to remove the two underage children Liam and Ilona out of his house, but only until early February 2013. With the publicity’s interest in the “respectable pediatrician” murdering his ex-wife the police started the investigations again, supported by Margaret and Pelle.

I was more than reluctant when Amy informed my sister Almut and me nearly live about the arrest of Johnny in my time afternoon on April 25th 2013.

A day before Christmas 2014 I was informed by the District Attorneys Office that I was named a witness in the upcoming trial against John Wall.

My family and me flew to Salt Lake City just for the last week of the trial at March, the 9th 2015. Because being a witness I couldn’t attend the trial on Monday and Tuesday which I found very disappointing. I just heard the closing arguments on Thursday, the 12 th of March 2015 by the defending lawyer and the DA. I was astonished to listen to the details that were coming to the surface and how precise the DA tried to figure out the course of events that led to Uta’s murder. That confirmed our belief of Uta being murdered since Sept. 27th 2011. Suicide was never an option to believe for anyone who knew Uta.

I am more than relieved to know that the murderer of Uta will hopefully never be freed again and will stay in prison for the rest of his life.

I am more than relieved to know that Uta’s children are living in a caring and loving foster family with the Oglesbys now and don’t have to live in the fear of a frightening father. It will take them time to heal from that but with the help of the Oglesbys and the family and friends around the world they have a huge supporting group around.

It was a relief when all 4 children visited us in Heidelberg/Germany in July 2013, meeting the Australian family on the cruise in the Mediterranean Sea and many relatives of the extended family in Oberhausen/Germany. It was a pleasure to have Malkie and Ilona here in Heidelberg for 2 weeks during Christmas break 2014/2015.

It was a relief to see them grow up in Salt Lake City, being a part of the “ Oglesby Tribe” which included the “Germans” as well.

My way of looking into life changed forever after Uta’s death. I will always keep Uta’s sprit in mind and go on trying to keep her legacy alive.

The above written words are my reasons that I want John Wall stay in prison for the rest of his life.

 

Yours sincerely, Anna von Schwedler

Former Doctor’s Own Words Convicted him of Murder, Jurors Say

 

By Pat Reavy

KSL News

March 13, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY — When Ryan Seeborg originally cast his vote among fellow jurors on whether Johnny Brickman Wall should be found guilty of murder, his vote was not guilty.

“I went in there with the judge’s instructions of a presumption of innocence,” he said Friday. “We wanted to start with not guilty and get to guilty.”

But ultimately, it was Wall’s own words that led Seeborg to determine the pediatrician is guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Uta von Schwedler, in 2011.

The body of von Schwedler, 49, a University of Utah researcher, was discovered in an overflowing bathtub in her home at 1433 E. Harrison Ave. (1625 South). High levels of Xanax were found in her body and cuts were found on her arms and a leg. Prosecutors said she was killed by her former husband who hated her and was upset over their ongoing custody battle. Defense attorneys countered by painting a picture of von Schwedler as the one who was depressed over their fights and ultimately committed suicide.

Seeborg was one of eight jurors who listened to four weeks of testimony in the murder trial and then deliberated for seven hours before reaching a unanimous guilty verdict late Thursday.

“I would say that we came to a decision almost sooner than that. But we really wanted to make sure. We wanted to take it seriously. We went through the judge’s instructions at that point and made sure,” he said Friday.

 

<< watch the coverage & read more here >> 

Jury Finds John Wall Guilty of Murdering his Ex-Wife, Uta von Schwedler

SALT LAKE CITY — After deliberating for most of the day Thursday, a jury found John Wall guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Uta von Schwedler.

The jury began deliberating around 2 p.m. Thursday after hearing evidence in the multi-week trial, and the verdict was read at about 9:40 p.m. Former Utah pediatrician John Wall was found guilty of killing his ex-wife, who was a respected medical researcher at the University of Utah. The two had a long and bitter divorce and custody battle.

FOX 13 News’ Kelly Keiter was live at the courthouse, and she reports that Wall hung his head a little bit as the verdict was read and a small gasp sounded out in the courtroom.

The sentencing date has been scheduled for April 28 at 9 a.m.

<< click here to watch the news & read more >> 

Jury Finds Wall Guilty of Murdering Ex-Wife

By Pat Reavy and Mckenzie Romero

March 12, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY — A doctor was found guilty late Thursday of killing his ex-wife, who was found dead almost four years ago in an overflowing bathtub in her Sugar House home, a dangerous dose of Xanax in her system and a photo album at her side.

It took the five-man, three-woman jury just over seven hours to make a determination that a medical examiner in the case could not: Uta von Schwedler did not commit suicide, she was murdered by a bitter ex-husband, Johnny Brickman Wall.

Von Schwedler’s family smiled, wept and applauded as they left the courtroom at the end of the four-week trial.

Fred Metos, Wall’s attorney, said he was “extremely disappointed” in the verdict, which he said left Johnny Wall “extremely upset.”

With a large crowd of friends and family at his side, the couple’s now 21-year-old son, Pelle Wall, celebrated the verdict as long-sought justice.

“I am deeply thankful for the example of my mom’s life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and try and emulate her generosity, optimism and vigor for life,” Pelle Wall said. “She may not be here any more, but her light is not gone. It lives on inside of me, inside of all of us who knew her.”

With justice finally served, he said, it is now time to heal.

Almut von Schwedler, Uta’s younger sister, was composed as she spoke in the courthouse lobby after the verdict, addressing the dangers of domestic violence and the fears that family members had for the couple’s children as they remained in Wall’s custody after her death.

“Uta struggled with Johnny as her ex-husband and as the father of her children. … We as family all knew about Uta’s struggle to co-parent the children in view of Johnny’s quiet, pathological and hateful behavior,” Almut von Schwedler said. “Johnny never succeeded to destroy Uta’s joyful life, but he ended up taking her life.”

She thanked lawmakers for legislation passed to protect children during murder investigations, passed both in the wake of her sister’s death and the brutal 2012 murders of Charlie and Braden Powell, murdered at the hands of their father, Joshua Powell.

Prosecutors argued that on Sept. 27, 2011, Johnny Wall injected Uta von Schwedler with Xanax while she slept before sitting on her until she was unconscious and then left her body in a bathtub with the water running until she drowned.

“Johnny Wall is the one and only person on the planet with a motive to kill Uta,” Salt Lake County deputy district attorney Nicholas D’Alesandro told the jury in closing arguments.

Pelle Wall, Dr. Johnny Wall’s son, speaks to the press after the guilty verdict was read. Photo: McKenzie Romero

But Johnny Wall’s defense team told jurors it was an upset von Schwedler, 49, who took large amounts of Xanax on her own, stumbled around her bathroom in an intoxicated state before getting into her bathtub and caused self-inflicting injuries before ultimately committing suicide.

The case against Wall, a 51-year-old pediatrician who was convicted of murder, a first-degree felony, was largely circumstantial. But D’Alesandro told jurors that if they looked at the entire picture, they would find Wall guilty beyond any reasonable doubt of killing the University of Utah researcher.

“The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming,” he said.

Wall’s defense team, however, said the state’s case was filled with “wild assumptions” and a bunch of “maybes,” which weren’t nearly strong enough to meet their burden of proof.

“There is more than a reasonable doubt in this case that it was not murder,” Metos told jurors.

During closing arguments, each side painted a very different picture of Uta von Schwedler’s final days.

While both sides acknowledged Wall and von Schwedler went through a bitter divorce with ongoing issues over child custody, prosecutors described the woman as happy, positive and not suicidal. On the night of Sept. 26, 2011, she was described as “perfectly fine” by family members.

D’Alesandro noted that Wall “hated” his ex-wife and that she was an “obstacle” to him gaining custody of his children. “He just couldn’t stop talking about how much he hated her,” he said.

There was no evidence of forced entry into von von Schwedler’s home the day her body was found, nothing in the house was stolen and there was no sign of sexual assault, he said.

Wall was known for having a good memory with his patients, yet he told police the day after her death that he couldn’t remember what he was doing the day before, the prosecutor noted.

“The evidence of motive, of means, of opportunity, there is but one compelling conclusion you can come to,” he told jurors. “Uta was murdered and the defendant Johnny Brickman Wall murdered her.”

The scratch under Wall’s eye that was spotted by Wall’s children and co-workers the day von Schwedler’s body was found was made by his ex-wife during a struggle, he said.

“It was as if Uta was standing in this courtroom and pointing to the defendant as her killer,” D’Alesandro said.

But Metos countered there was no sign of any attack or struggle, and no one in the neighborhood heard any commotion coming from her house that night.

“Don’t ya think if there was this ongoing attack there would be a lot more yelling?” he asked.

Metos said prosecutors were asking jurors to jump to too many conclusions about the events of that night. He took issue with the state’s medical expert witnesses, accusing some of them of simply speculating or even making things up on the fly when questioned on the witness stand.

“The physical evidence doesn’t lie,” Metos said. “The physical evidence doesn’t misremember. The physical evidence doesn’t put someone in a better light now that that person is gone.”

The combination of the Xanax, the cutting injuries and the drowning doesn’t happen in a homicide, he said. It’s far more indicative of a suicide. He also said the only reasonable explanation for Xanax getting in von Schwedler’s system was that “she took them herself.”

The testimony from the state medical examiner only raised enough reasonable doubt because he couldn’t determine if the manner of death was homicide or suicide, he said.

But prosecutor Matthew Janzen said the defense experts completely ignored the bloody shoe prints found in von Schwedler’s kitchen. Other bloody shoe prints in the house were cleaned up, he said — something a person committing suicide wouldn’t bother to do.

Janzen ended his comments by holding the scrapbook that was found in the bathtub with von Schwedler’s body, the one that had become a major source of contention between her and her ex-husband, and said, “That book right there tells you who did it. That man right there,” he said, pointing to Johnny Wall.