Part 4

By: Ceci Sullivan

It became apparent to me that I was going to have to stay personally involved if Michael was to be arrested and brought to justice. The investigators questioned why I hadn’t come forth at an earlier date. I had to admit that, because of advice given to me in the past by many church officials and leaders, I wouldn’t make a judgment that agreed with my own conscience. Even counselors that didn’t vow to silence because of priestly vows, didn’t go to the officials. 

In all the multitudes of friends and church members I spoke with over the years, no one ever suggested to give information I knew about Michael to the authorities. I began to see how terrible the church’s position on “not making a judgment” really is. In fact, Jesus said “judge righteous judgment.” Looking back on it now, and remembering all the people I spoke with who have great influence and authority over peoples’ lives and failed to see the violation of conscience Michael lived in, scares me.

How could he even think of knowing forgiveness when he failed to go to those he offended? There was a responsibility he needed to fulfill. A decency and order in taking responsibility for what he had done. I always asked the question, “What about the mothers who have lost daughters?” Shouldn’t Michael at least let them know he was an alcoholic and has stopped drinking and was sorry. No one could ever answer that, and I knew in my heart that wasn’t right. 

The truth is he loved to use women, control them, and gratify his lust regardless of who got hurt. Everyone was willing to excuse his behavior because of alcohol. The disease, was a scapegoat for sin. Looking back on our church experiences, we never met a man who had taken the log of lust from his own eye, so he could see clearly what to do with Michael. (At least no one who was willing to come clean with their own lust problem). 

What man growing up in this day and age could possibly escape life without having to deal with lust? When you excuse your own wrong behavior, you’re more than willing to excuse the wrong behavior of others, not help them face the truth, and do what’s right. I have come to love the Judgment Jesus talks about! The bible says God loves judgment and we will be saved by judgment! As Psalm 119 puts it “unless I had made God’s judgments my delight, my soul would have perished in my affliction!” Jesus judged the robbers in His Father’s house. He whipped them and threw them out! He continually judged people's problems, and by telling them, gave them the cure.

I had the feeling that the detectives would have been indignant towards my apathy had it not been for their own organizational incompetence in transferring the information I had given months earlier. I never did get an answer why there had been such a gross failure to communicate information between counties. Michael could have been arrested months earlier. 

There was a serial murderer and rapist loose in Denver during the time I found him out. When he was actually arrested, God only knows what criminal behavior he was up to in those months. I consider it a miracle I stayed with my friend’s mother. She provoked me to call and discover critical information had been withheld. This event did lead to his arrest weeks later. Who knows how long the system would have taken, or if he ever would have been apprehended and convicted without one phone call, without making a judgment and following through with it.

Hopeless and despairing, my mom had no idea what to do with me. I was on drugs for depression, and was sick and melting away from stress and lack of sleep. I was falling off the deep end of hopelessness, flipping out. My mom took me across the state to an Adult Children Of Alcoholics Clinic run by a priest she knew from her past. After I was there two weeks, they told me I needed to leave, because I was endangering the lives of others if Michael showed up. 

I packed up the kids and me in the morning and right before I left, a detective called. They wanted my help to find Michael and arrest him. They told me to make a plan to meet him somewhere, and instead of me being there, they would show up and capture him. I suggested his parent’s home. Then I called and left messages with people we knew. He called me back and I arranged to meet him. I went to the city with the kids and rented a motel room until they called me to inform me they had apprehended him.

I was nervous all night and feared Michael might recognize the car, because the motel was right off the highway. I tried to hide it the best I could. I cried with relief upon receiving a call the next day — they had broken the door down and had him in custody. They staked out the neighborhood, which I’m sure was terrifying to the whole neighborhood. I knew it was questionable how long they could hold him, or if his relatives would help him make bail. 

Everything was resting on his willingness to confess. My relief was short lived when I received a call from the authorities that he was not cooperating. When he called me from jail, I told him I didn’t have the strength to take care of the kids and me and I wasn’t going to speak to him again unless he made a full confession. He had already spent thousands of the taxpayers’ dollars with his manipulation and control. 

I started thinking, “If I had murdered and done the things he had, I would say I’m sorry and I’m worthy of death, and let the chips fall where they may.” I knew he wasn’t really sorry. He was sorry for himself, and he still didn’t care about pleasing God. I wasn’t willing to be his conscience anymore. He ended up making a full confession the next day, but only to stay in control of the kids and me. It was my requirement, and he had fulfilled it, not because of his convictions, but mine. I was seeing how truly sick our relationship was, and always had been.

Though he was locked up, I was tormented with the possibility of him making bail. The state had let him go after a psychological evaluation before his arrest. They said he showed no signs of mental or emotional disturbance. They were trying to prove him insane. They wouldn’t let him confess. They were trying to protect him and get him off the hook. It was insane! 

Friends and relatives helped with my kids. The stress was just about unbearable. Life didn’t seem worth living. How could we ever outlive the effects of the father-husband murderer? Aren’t the sins of the fathers passed onto the children? What hope would my children have? I was traumatized, and they were traumatized. I felt dead inside, and was terrified they might still let him go. 

My sister offered to take care of my baby for awhile. I thought they would all be better off without me and without the remembrance of Michael and me. Too bad they weren’t all babies and could put this nightmare behind them. Michael had terrorized our oldest daughter, and her teacher by kidnapping her from school and trying to drive her across the state line. He turned around when he realized he was being followed and couldn’t escape with her. 

I considered the power of words, the song of my heart. You see, when I was nine years old, I learned to sing and play the guitar. The first song I learned was about a railroad boy who forsook her girl. She hung herself to death. I sang the song over and over as a kid. Now, the man of my dreams had forsaken me and I’m left suicidal. The song of my childhood came true. The power and spell music has in lives can be devastating. I needed Jesus to put a new song in my heart.

Nine months later as I was returning from a Christian retreat, my car broke down. I ended up very near to where Michael was being held and sentenced for murder. I felt God’s destiny in my going to the hearing, and after what happened, I knew it was. As I sat in the courtroom, watching some of Michael’s victims come in, one girl in particular with a long scar across her neck, I didn’t think I could handle it. 

I went downstairs to a cafeteria, unable to control my tears. A young police officer addressed me, and asked if he could help me. I told him the circumstances of why I was there, and he told me what circumstances had brought him there. He was the family representative for his niece Michael had murdered. Her 13 brothers and sisters were too enraged to come. I was shocked as the realization hit me....I was standing in front of the uncle of one of Michael’s dead victims! A sobering sad reality of lost life.

He was kind as he took me back upstairs. The bailiff addressed me and told me the Judge and Michael wanted to see me. Michael was losing his nerve to confess. I realized why I was there, and I began to preach to Michael regarding confessing as the right and only thing to do, and I was indignant in my position. I told him it wasn’t right to put conditions on the consequences and he should accept them, come what may if he was truly sorry. 

Well, against the advice of his counsel, and the pressure of my being there, his attorney plead guilty. He went on to give all the reasons why Michael was a good criminal and should be rewarded for his honorable behavior. The judge then delivered a powerful, anointed address to the courtroom. He said, “Woe unto us the day we reward criminals for doing what is right and their obligation to do in merely confessing and owning up to their crimes.”

After all the sentencing was over, Michael received 150 years. He would be a free man today had he not confessed. He never has faced responsibility for many of the crimes he committed, because of the statute of limitations. Detectives from 10 counties met to discuss the possibility of solving murders Michael could be linked to. I received two phone calls saying they would give him amnesty if he would confess to the murders they thought he was responsible for. I doubt I will ever fully know the extent of the PRIVATE life he led apart from me in our time together.

I was beginning to face the multitude of bad counsel I had received from religious leaders. Michael was begging me from prison to “do things his way.” I knew in my heart, I was his umbilical cord to his God conscience, and the cord must be cut. Wasn’t divorce the unpardonable sin? The bible says “what God has joined, let no man cut in half.” The downright truth was, God never joined us together! Our sin, compromise, and selfishness joined us. God had nothing to do with it, and we had lived a life apart from Jesus. His Spirit, the Spirit Of Truth, hadn’t been a part of our union, and that’s why we could never truly be joined.  

I finally became willing to call dead something that had never lived (our relationship!)  I got the feeling from the religious circles we were in, that I was committing a sin greater than murder. The truth is, Michael had always been joined to his love of crime. The spirit of divorce was always alive and well in our relationship, long before we got a paper from the state to validate the fact. 

We had lived in a state of divorce from the day we were supposedly married. Michael was irrate, because he would lose points, and privilege with the prison board if I were to leave him. I had been taking the children to jail to see him and it was devastating them. They only knew the Dr. Jeckyl dad, not Mr. Hyde. I didn’t know what to do about taking the kids to see him. The church was telling me I needed to love him unconditionally, but I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing for my kids.

I plopped open my bible and I told God I needed Him to show me what to do. The first thing my eyes fell upon was a scripture that says, “Because of the pride of the land, no one shall go out or come in, and then they will know that I am God.”  

Pride was something Michael and I had discussed time and again. I knew he continually lied to me to present a false front. He always lied to protect his pride, and God is never mocked. What you sow....is what you will reap. Every tree will eventually bear fruit for all to see.

Watching Michael’s face on TV continually, and in the newspapers, caused great shame to come upon me. For a year and a half, I went to bed wanting to die, and woke up in the same condition. I believed we could never outlive the reproach that had come upon us. I hid in a lonely world of depression thinking no one, not even Jesus could understand. The door of my heart was wide open for destruction and despair to come in, and in they did come.

I remember watching the movie “The Never Ending Story” with the kids. The Big Nothing was destroying the land. That’s what was destroying me! I had daydreams of how much better we might be if we departed from this world. The baby was gone, she was staying with my sister, and would never remember Michael, and the horrors we were living through. 

I went to church and was pitied, and found I was feeling increasingly sorry for myself and depressed when I left. The Bible says “without vision, (understanding), the people rot from the inside out!!” It also says, “Because you don’t have faith in the operation of God, you will be destroyed, and not built up.” 

No one had any understanding to help me. I knew I could spend a lifetime with people pitying me, and it didn’t seem too appealing. I had come to realize that many times, those who pity you will end up despising you. The life of Jesus isn’t in your soul, when you bring your life to have others pity you!! Feeling sorry for myself and the kids was killing me. Focusing on me, myself and I, and my fear, was tormenting to say the least.

I was realizing I didn’t really know The Lord of my faith, and that the only kingdom I understood was man’s kingdom. My world of fear, doubt, and unbelief was crashing down on me. I remember thinking my life was one pile of.......(dung). What good could possibly come from it? I heard that still small voice in my head say, “I use ...... to make fertile ground!”

To be continued...please click here for Part Five

Special Note:  If you would like to go to the ministry website of sister Ceci, click here:  http://jumpforjesus.net/ 


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