Public Editor

Does full statement of Ann Harrison’s parents paint a different picture?

Special to The Star

Here is one of those times when I think words need to speak for themselves.

I’ve heard from multiple readers this week, including radio host Dana Wright of KMBZ, who felt the excerpt from the statement from Bob and Janel Harrison used in the story on Roderick Nunley’s execution didn’t adequately express its full intention.

“They were more frank and raw than just the part you published made it sound,” said one caller.

“The first paragraph of the family statement makes it sound like the Harrison family is letting these guys off the hook,” emailed Wright, concerned that using only part of it changed its meaning.

This is a place where the limitless space of the Web makes it possible both to quote from it and to publish the full text.

The story quoted this portion:

“If this is the only form of closure we receive, then we will gladly take it,” the couple wrote. “For the last 26 years Janel and I have, on occasion, experienced a form of compassion for not only Roderick Nunley and Michael Taylor but especially their families. No one involved deserved the pain, suffering or anguish these two cowards have bestowed on this community.”

The full statement is below. Your thoughts?

Statement from Bob and Janel Harrison

For the last 26 years Janel and I have, on occasion, experienced a form of compassion for not only Roderick Nunley and Michael Taylor but especially their families. No one involved deserved the pain, suffering or anguish these two cowards have bestowed on this community. This feeling diminishes rapidly as our thoughts are uncontrollably diverted to the vision of Ann being dragged into the stolen car by her hair and stomped to the floor board in an attempt to hide her from sight as they transported her to Nunley’s home. Upon arrival at the home, she was made to crawl through the garage to an area where the true torture began, not only physical, but mental. They recounted in their confessions that while she was blindfolded they laughed as she pleaded for her life and how they stood over her and discussed that they had to kill her so she could not identify them. Ann was then lifted into the trunk of the stolen car as Nunley went to the kitchen to obtain the murder weapons. After attempting to slit her throat, only to find the kitchen knives were too dull, they elected to stab her repeatedly in the chest and back and shut the trunk lid, only to hear her sobbing and moaning in her final moments of life.

Will the execution of Roderick Nunley and Michael Taylor bring a sense of closure for us and our younger daughters?

We don’t know.

Will it put the heartbreak of reliving what they did to Ann during all the hearings, appeals and seemingly endless stalling attempts?

We certainly hope so.

If this is the only form of closure we receive, then we will gladly take it.

We want to express our deepest appreciation for all the support we have continuously received from our family, extended family, friends, Ann’s classmates, The Raytown Girls Softball League, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Governor Nixon, The Attorney General’s office, the Department of Corrections and especially to the officers and detectives of the KCPD who worked tirelessly to bring Ann’s killers to justice.

Finally, we wish to thank the many members of the media and press many of which have been at our side from the very morning Ann was taken. You have accepted the times when we were completely drained and just unable to speak to anyone. You allowed us the privacy we needed to work through the 26 years of grieving.

Thank you all,

Bob and Janel Harrison

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