Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Murder of Sister Karen Klimczak

UPDATE - Mar. 10, 2007
On Wednesday, Craig M. Lynch, the murderer of Sr. Karen Klimczak was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Since her murder, I asked myself, "What does Sr. Karen think of her murderer?." Knowing her work of peace, I had a feeling she has already forgiven him. I wasn't mistaken. The Buffalo News reports:

Fifteen years before Sister Karen Klimczak was strangled by an ex-convict on Good Friday, the Buffalo nun wrote a letter of forgiveness to her killer.

She apparently had a premonition, perhaps during her prayers or a dream just before Holy Week in 1991, that her life would one day be taken violently.

Back in 1991, she wrote:

“ ‘Dear Brother, I don’t know what the circumstances are that will lead you to hurt me or destroy my physical body,’ ” Sister Jean read.
“ ‘No, I don’t want it to happen,’ ” she read softly. “ ‘I would much rather enjoy the beauties of this earth, experience the laughter, the fears and the tears of those I love so deeply!’ ”

Sister Jean continued: “ ‘. . . Now my life has changed and you, my brother, were the instrument of that change. I forgive you for what you have done and I will always watch over you, help you in whatever way I can. . . . Continue living always mindful of His Presence, His Love and His Joy as sources of life itself — then my life will have been worth being changed through you.’ ”

R.I.P Sr Karen. You were a walking angel on earth.

UPDATE - Dec. 19, 2006
The jury has reached a verdict. The Newsday reports:

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ A jury has convicted a parolee of killing a pacifist nun at the halfway house she operated in Buffalo.

Craig Lynch was found guilty late Friday in Erie County Court of manslaughter, burglary and second-degree murder for beating and strangling Sister Karen Klimczak on April 14 in her room at Bissonette House.
Lynch could face 25 years to life in prison at sentencing March 7. He is in jail without bail.


R.I.P Sr. Karen. I hope your murderer will never hurt any other person.

ORIGINAL POST - Apr. 19, 2006

On Friday, Sister Karen Klimczak from Buffalo, N.Y. went missing. On Monday, the search for her came to an unhappy ending:

Just as 600 people prayed for a miracle that a missing nun who devoted her life to nonviolence would be found alive, authorities made the devastating announcement Monday evening that her body had been recovered and that an ex-convict she tried to help was arrested in her murder.
Police said Sister Karen Klimczak, 62, who had lived and worked at Bissonette House - a halfway house on 335 Grider St. named for the Rev. A Joseph Bissonette, a priest brutally murdered in the same building in 1987 - was killed by one of the parolees staying there.


Then comes the reason behind her murder:

Sister Karen Klimczak was killed for a fake bag of crack, then buried in a deep grave in a crumbling back shed where no one could have found her, police revealed Tuesday.

Detectives who investigated the Good Friday slaying of the pacifist nun said that her alleged killer, Craig M. Lynch, 36, confessed that he was high on crack cocaine and bent on getting more when he went into Sister Karen's room at the Bissonette House halfway house.

His plan was to steal her cell phone and sell it for money to buy crack. But when she walked in, he panicked, then strangled and beat her, authorities said.


He could have asked her for money. She would have definitely helped him in one way or another. Instead, he turned to violence toward a person who advocated peace until her death.

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Blogger Don said...

I like what you wrote. I never met Sr. Karen. I have one of the "peace prints" on the rear of my car and hope that I live that way. Forgiving our enemies is a tall order and Sr. Karen is a model for the rest of us.

3/12/2007 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

Sometimes I feel bad that we never recognize the angelic people around us until they're dead.

I wish more people follow her example of peace.

3/14/2007 07:16:00 AM  

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