At the age of 15, Pamela Brunskill had to put aside the usual teenage concerns and cope with the fact that her father shot and killed two people, her stepmother Ginny and her police officer lover. She spoke to Derek Mooney on The Ryan Tubridy Show about the day she found out the horrific news.
“I was up late from the homecoming game and I walked in the door… My mom met me at the door which was very strange… She just said, Pam, I need to tell you something and she had me go into the family room with her and we sat down on a couch… and she said, it’s Ginny, and I said, very confused because my mom never acknowledged my stepmom ever… I said, OK, what about her? Your dad shot her.”
Pamela’s father had come home to find Ginny and her lover in bed and killed both of them.
“The enormity was so overwhelming. There was grief, there was sadness, there was fear, there was numbness, the memory is just cold, lots and lots of cold and then shame, how is this going to impact me?”
Pamela described the events of that night which she learned about later.
“There was a gun in his house… He wanted to just scare them because he heard the sounds in the bedroom… My stepmom’s lover was an off-duty police officer who we found out after that night that he actually had his gun on the nightstand too so it very easily could have gone a different direction where my dad was the one who had died.”
Pamela’s father ended up shooting the policeman in the bedroom and then shooting her stepmother downstairs when she went to call the emergency services. Pamela actually heard the shot when the phone call was played at the trial.
“We heard him killing her. We heard the shot, one straight to the chest… The police officer’s family was there too and it was really, really hard to hear that you know it’s your dad, the one behind the trigger and sitting next to the victim’s family.”
Pamela’s dad was sentenced to 27 years to life for murder and manslaughter. She described the first time she and her sister went to visit him
“We wanted him to explain what had happened. I expected him to break down and cry and sob and apologise but he didn’t and he said, God has forgiven me, they got what they deserved and I was just sick. That’s not what I wanted him to say… What I want to believe is that the enormity of what he had done was so horrible that he couldn’t actually process what he had done.”
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