By Anna von Schwedler
click here to read the German version
Today my sister Uta would be 52 years old. Nearly two and a half year have passed since her death and for nearly a year the man who we suspected from the beginning for murdering her, sits in prison. Yesterday there was the CBS show: 48 hours shown in the American TV about the “Uta case”. A son’s mission. A very American title, but it will hopefully reach a big audience.
There was a big effort in spreading the airing of the show by the email list “Friends of Uta”, the “Uta von Schwedler Memorial Page on Facebook” and the website “ Justice for Uta”. Thank you very much to everyone who helped us since Sept. 27th 2011 that the injustice which happened to Uta will not be forgotten. Special thanks to Pelle and Amy, Nils, Heidi and Jessica.
For the last 20 months the team from 48 hours was interested and working on this case. There were several visits to Salt Lake City, they talked to many people there, intruded Amy’s kitchen and filmed the family. Out of many hours of film material they put together this film and especially the short-takes of the running water in the bathtub are phenomenal. I got very emotional just by watching the preview clips on the internet.
When the whole family and many friends met shortly after Uta’s death in Salt Lake City for the memorial, 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 Almut and me nearly live about the arrest of Johnny my time afternoon on April 25th 2013.
What happened since then:
Johnny B. Wall is in prison as a suspect (not for us) for homicide and hopefully will be convicted guilty and stay there for a really long time. First there were court motions about reducing his bail, then in August the court decided to give the temporarily custody for Liam and Ilona to Amy and John Oglesby, which was also a great relief for us.
Three days in October the district attorney presented witnesses (thanks to Klaus) and crime scene photos, to prove the rightness of the prosecution against John Wall.
What a relief to know and not a big surprise that he will be charged.
At the moment there is still a motion in the court, whether one of Johnny’s lawyers will be accepted and whether his statements at his interrogation at the police may be used. This is the reason why there is no date fixed for the beginning of the trial yet.
But when the trial will begin, my family and me will be sitting in the court room and follow it. Johnny’s sister Wendy Wall claims in the 48 hours show, that Johnny is not guilty and loved his family. The latter may be right, but at least since the days when he was depressive, the love for himself was much bigger than to anyone else. Egocentricity and narcissism may be easily mistaken for love when the children are only a means to the satisfaction of his own needs.
I am against the death penalty. When Johnny will receive a life sentence, he will have much more time to think about his “pretended” love for his children. He cannot follow his children in their school life, not seeing them growing up to young adults, not going to school balls or graduations with them, not helping with choosing a college or being at their university graduation. He will never get to know the friends of them, not going to their weddings or hold a grandchild in his arms. He took all this possibilities from my sister Uta, now he won’t have them himself. That is the miserable life that he blamed Uta for before. Now he has that miserable life and the only one to blame for and who is guilty for destroying 2 lives his is himself.
This is just fair for me!!!!
Pelle, Malkie, Liam and Ilona have a great number of supporters in their lives, they have a Oma, who can support them financially, they have aunts and uncles, cousins, to whom they can talk to or fly to anytime they want. And they have a big adoptive family, who took them into their lives and hearts and just want the best for them.
Does Johnny have all that?
Together we will manage that the children will grow up to happy and content adults, even with the background of a murderer as a father.
It is Uta’s legacy to make friends and bring together so many different people. My way of looking into life changed a lot the last years.
Thank you to EVERYONE who went this long way with us and will also stand at our sides in the future.
Heidelberg, April, 13th 2014
Holle, Anna and Uta with their children, Germany 1996
Holle, Uta, Sophie, and Almut. Easter Island, March 2008