Family statements at the sentencing of David Bolough:
Statement by Stephane’s nephew, Alex Murphey-Frank, 14 ..........
My name is Alex, and I am now 14 years old. I am Stephane Murphey’s only nephew. When I was 7, my favorite aunt disappeared from my life. I was very young, but I understood very clearly how horrible this act of violence was and how it affected my family.
After my Aunt Stephane was murdered, I developed a case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I started having panic attacks and I had difficulty sleeping at night. I was afraid to go upstairs in my own house alone and for several years I had to have a parent with me at all times because I was so afraid that the “bad man” as I called him, would come and get me. I was terrified that the bad man saw my pictures in my Aunt Stephane’s house and that surely he wanted to come and hurt me too. I started to wet the bed again and I cried all of the time. It took me a long time to go back to where I was emotionally before Aunt Stephane was killed. I am still not quite the same emotionally as I was before this terrible incident. My life will never be the same again.
This hasn’t only hurt me, but it also has hurt my family’s relationship as well. My parents began to fight, they would yell at me, and most of the time my mom would sit in the bathroom sobbing. Mentally and physically my family’s lives were hurt. My parents would also yell at me for leaving the lights on all the time. I had to leave the lights on because it was my only refuge against the darkness and the fear in my mind. David Bologh permanently scarred my only childhood and destroyed the innocence that I can never regain.
I have grown since then, but the panic attacks still come and go, and I still have to keep the lights on all the time. I no longer think of death always being there, I no longer feel the bad man may come and hurt me, and I no longer have trouble sleeping at night because I know that he is in jail. The one thing I do fear however is what the bad man will do once he is freed from prison. You’re Honor, I beg of you to protect other innocent people from this kind of despair by imprisoning David Bologh for his maximum sentence of 21 years. I don’t think anyone should suffer like my family has at the hands of this person again. Please do not let this man loose on society to harm other innocent people.
Thank you for hearing me.
Statement by Stephane’s sister, Arry Murphey Frank:
Your Honor, and the court,
I would like to tell you how the murder of my little sister Stephane Murphey affected my life and that of my family so that you can understand the reality of what has been done. All too often the media and other people focus on the perpetrator of the crime but very little attention is paid to the victims of the crime and what happens to families in the aftermath. My sister was not the only victim of this crime, everyone who knew her and loved her are the victims of David Bologh as well, and he killed a part of each of us.
Sunday April 18th of 1999 started out as a normal day for me, full of promise and sunshine. We had just purchased a new property and we were excited to go and start clearing brush so that we could dream of where we were to build our new home. I was feeling very happy because the weather was lovely; it was a warm spring day with the trees bursting with green leaves and the flowers were all in bloom. That morning I had no idea that my life had already taken a drastic course in a different direction, I had no idea that by that afternoon, I would become a different person and that my life would be irrevocably changed forever.
Shortly before we were to leave for our property, a friend of my sister’s called to ask if Stephane was with us because she appeared to be missing. I wasn’t overly concerned because she traveled all of the time as a flight attendant for Continental. I subsequently received several more calls and after the police went to her home and discovered that it essentially had be ransacked, I knew that something terrible had happened to my little sister. I went to my parent’s house and we waited to find out if my sister had made her flight out to London that evening and when she did not show up, we all knew that something really bad had happened to Stephane. The next night I got a call from my mother, I have never forgotten what she said, she said “they found Stephane’s car and there is a dead body in it”. I remember that after that, I went and told my husband and I then proceeded to quietly walk around in circles for several hours, I didn’t cry then, I just think that I was in shock because I could not even speak.
From that point on, my life has never been the same. This caused so much stress to my family; my parents were not the strong people that I could rely on as a child, they were emotional shipwrecks as were my husband and child. I myself felt as if I were a piece of driftwood floating in a violent surf , not being able to land on any beach, not being able to grab a hold on even the smallest piece of tranquilly or substance.
My husband and I began to bicker, in part because he was unable to cope with his own feelings of helplessness over the murder and because I began to withdraw into my own depression. I became obsessed with solving this crime and it was to my great relief when Detective Johnson called to tell me that they had found a suspect through the CODIS System. I could not sleep and would spend my nights obsessively checking the doors and windows over and over to see if they were locked. I suffered from panic attacks as did my son; I developed several stress related illnesses including severe migraines, IBS and gastro-esophageal reflux disease for which I am still being treated to this day. This incident not only took my only sibling away but it took away my health and nearly took away my marriage.
Stephane was an international flight attendant and would send my son postcards from every country that she visited. Before the murder, taking the walk down the gravel drive to our rural mailbox was a treat for my little boy, so that he could get his postcards from his Aunt Stephane. I had to endure months of watching my little boy look in the mailbox for those postcards after she died and nearly it broke my heart. I had to see my little sensitive seven year old lie down on the ground in front of her coffin at her funeral. He later told me that it hurt so badly that he wanted to die too and be in the dirt with her. I had to watch my parents emotionally disintegrate and we all had to live with the anger and the fear. I lost the only person who shared my childhood with me, the only one who understood our family jokes and even though we sometimes disagreed, my sister and I loved each other.
My sister Stephane was a lovely person. As a child Stephane was a little sprite, she was quite petite and had a fiery spark to her being. As she grew into a woman she still had that fire burning brightly in her soul. She was kind and loving and beloved by so many people that when she died, I was contacted by people from all over the world who told me how wonderful she was and how she had touched each of their lives. Stephane was a Goddess to my then little boy. The two of them were as thick as thieves and often conspired together to have treats that were not allowed by Mom. I used to joke that my sister would always give Alex the loudest toy that required the most batteries that she could find. When she would visit my house she would always ask why Alex’s toys didn’t have the batteries in them and of course I would pretend that I didn’t know what she was talking about. Alex misses his Aunt terribly and I think that one of the hardest things for me was to see how devastated my son was after her murder. Stephane had a very wry sense of humor and could always make me laugh. I really miss that about her. Stephane was a good, kind person. She was a person who owned her own home, paid her bills, cared for her pets, went to work on time and followed society’s rules. Stephane had so much more to offer the world before her life was taken by David Bologh, a person who has contributed nothing to society but violence and grief. Because of David Bologh, I will never be an aunt and my parents will never have any other grandchildren. There was so much potential for Stephane and it is all lost, the world lost a wonderful person.
I feel that there aren’t enough years that you could give David Bologh to make up for what he did to Stephane and to all of us who loved her. She was a nice person who did not deserve to die in such a horrific manner. The night that she died was like any other night; she was home watching rented movies and folding her laundry. I can only think that on that benign Thursday night that Stephane was visited by pure evil, surely this act cannot be described as anything but evil. David Bologh does not deserve to be among the good people of the world, with his long, violent criminal record of rape, assaults and murder. He is like a dog that repeatedly bites….at the very least he should spend the rest of his time in a no kill shelter. He deserves to spend much longer paying for murdering Stephane, but of course there really is nothing that makes up for what he did. Stephane’s light no longer shines in this world but we all still feel the love that she brought into our lives. Thank you.