ADDICTED TO HATE
By Jon Michael Bell with Joe Taschler and Steve Fry
(Note: The contents of the following document shows the time stamp of the Clerk of the District Court, Shawnee County, Kansas and shows that the document was filed at 1:05 p.m. on June 29, 1994.)
"And be sure your sin will find you out." (Num. 32:23)
A frequent quote of Pastor Fred Phelps
CAST OF CHARACTERS AND PHELPS FAMILY TREE
Reverend Fred Phelps: lawyer and Baptist minister; head of the Westboro Baptist Church; 64 years old. Disbarred.
Marge Phelps: wife of Fred; mother of his 13 children; 68 years old. WBC member.
1. Fred Phelps, Jr.: lawyer and employee at the Kansas Department of Corrections; 40 years old. Oldest son. WBC member.
Betty Phelps (Schurle): wife of Fred, Jr.; lawyer and owner-operator of a day-care home; 41 years old. WBC member.
2. ***Mark Phelps: businessman in Southern California; estranged from the family cult; 39 years old. 2nd son.
Luava Phelps (Sundgren): wife of Mark; childhood sweetheart; 36 years old.
3. ***Katherine Phelps: lawyer; suspended from the bar; living on welfare; 38 years-old; oldest daughter. Not in WBC.
4. Margie Phelps: lawyer and employee of the Kansas Department of Corrections; 37 years old; 2nd daughter. WBC member.
5. Shirley Phelps-Roper: lawyer at Phelps Chartered; 36 years old; 3rd daughter. WBC member.
Brent Roper: husband of Shirley; lawyer and businessman in Topeka; 30 years old; WBC member.
6. ***Nate Phelps: businessman in Southern California; estranged from family cult; 35 years old. 3rd son.
7. Jonathon Phelps: lawyer; 4th son; 34 years old; WBC member.
Paulette Phelps (Ossiander): wife of Jonathon; 33 years old; high school graduate; WBC member.
8. Rebekah Phelps-Davis: lawyer at Phelps Chartered; 32 years old; 4th daughter; WBC member.
Chris Davis: husband to Rebekah; 38 years old; raised from childhood in the WBC.
9. Elizabeth Phelps: lawyer at Phelps Chartered; night house manager staff at Sheltered Living, Inc. Topeka; 31 years old; 5th daughter; WBC member. Former counsel for the Shawnee County Sheriff's Department.
10. Timothy Phelps: lawyer and employee of the Shawnee County Department of Corrections; 30 years old; 5th son; WBC member.
Lee Ann Phelps (Brown): wife of Timothy; lawyer and employee of Shawnee County Sheriff's Department; 27 years old; WBC member.
11.***Dorotha Bird (Phelps): lawyer practicing independently in Topeka; 6th daughter; not a WBC member; changed her last name to avoid family's notoriety. 29 years old.
12. Rachel Phelps: lawyer at Phelps Chartered; YMCA fitness instructor; 28 years old; 7th daughter; WBC member.
13. Abigail Phelps: lawyer and employee at SRS-Youth and Adult Services, Juvenile Offender Program; 25 years old; 8th daughter; WBC member.
Fred Wade Phelps: the Rev. Phelps' father; he lived in Meridian, Mississippi. He was a railroad bull.
Catherine Idalette Phelps (Johnson): the Rev. Phelps' mother; she died when he was a small child.
Martha Jean Capron (Phelps): the Rev. Phelps' only sibling; a former missionary to Indonesia, she now lives in Pennsylvania; the brother and sister have not spoken for years.
***Denotes a Phelps child who has left the family cult.
(Note: The next portion of Exhibit A contains some handwritten notes denoting ages of the Phelps' children, some names of some of the non- Phelps WBC members (George Stutzman, Charles Hockenbarger, Jennifer Hockenbarger, and Charles Hockenbarger), names of some of the Phelps' grandchildren (Benjamin, Sharon, Sara, Libby, Jacob, Sam, and Josh), and 2 items pasted onto the document which are published documents showing the Phelps family tree and a map of the area surrounding Meridian, Mississippi.)
He rang the doorbell. It was winter, and with his thick gloves he could barely feel the button.
He waited. A cat, caught like him on this cold night outside, walked along the porch rail. Toward him.
He watched it.
In the street behind them a solitary car passed. Like urban sleigh bells, the chains on its tires chimed rhythmic into the pounded street snow.
No one was home. The cat. Was rubbing against his leg.
He set the candy down and picked it up. It purred. And purred more when he tucked it under his warm arm. Like a football. Against his thick coat.
He could see into its eyes. Up close. He liked it that way.
When he wrapped his thick fingers round its tiny neck...
Pinning its legs against his side, he slowly squeezed, watching the eyes widen in alarm. Feeling it push against him. Desperately struggle. For a long time struggle.
The lids droop slowly down. The light pass from the eyes.
He let go. Another car rattled metal links by in the snow.
Watching the light return. The animal terror that followed. Flooding the look in those helpless eyes. It pierced his soul.
A shock wave of remorse flamed hot. In all his cells he could feel it.
Or was it love. Yes, warm love for this tiny being.
I want to do it. Again. Now.
Yes, I want to know what it's like once more.
He squeezed the cat's thin neck. And when it has succumbed, he felt the same pity again warm flooding him.
And only horror at himself. As he did it once more.
And when it was over he...
But this time the cat mustered the last of its tiny animal ferocity and writhed free.
He felt...watching it streak away...he felt jarred awake somehow...as it ran from him...yes, he was awake now...
Had anyone seen him? Would they know?
In a panic he ran
Home to his father's house...