VCU professor forgives killer after losing his mother and brothe - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

VCU professor forgives killer after losing his mother and brother

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

If someone violently beat and murdered your mother, could you honestly find it in your heart to truly forgive the killer?

That's exactly what happened to a VCU professor. He lost his mother and eventually his brother to a brutal crime. He had to learn to live the message he preaches every day.

For years, Everett Worthington lectured and even wrote book after book about letting go of grudges and bitterness.

"There's great power in forgiveness," said Worthington.

His theory was put the ultimate personal test New Year's Day, 1996.

"There was blood all over the walls. There was blood on the floor." 

His 76-year-old mother, Frances Worthington, was sexually violated and murdered in Knoxville, Tennessee.

"It was a pretty horrific scene. A very gruesome and upsetting sight. One that I just will never forget."

Police believe this started as burglary, but quickly turned barbaric.

"Everything was in disarray, tore things up," said Detective Jeff day. "It was a very messy, chaotic crime scene. Especially for the son to walk in and see."

Worthington's brother, Mike, found their mother on a blood-stained carpet just outside her bedroom.

"Although he only saw her body for just an instant, he said that he just thought about it continually," said Worthington.

Five years later, in 2005, Mike Worthington committed suicide.

"He got so depressed, he would go into his room on Saturday, draw the blinds, and just not be able to come out for a full 12 hours Saturday."

Everett - a licensed psychologist- had to learn to not only forgive a killer- but to forgive himself for not being able to help his brother.

"I was so angry, I pointed to a baseball bat against the wall and I said, 'I wish whoever did that were here. I would beat his brains out.'"

All that loss from a crime that, to many, may seem unforgivable. But Worthington found a way through the anger - to practice what he preaches.

"Chains fell off, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt free. From research, I can tell you it helps with physical health, mental health, relationships, and spiritual life."

He says his mother got him through - she taught him any good virtue needs to be tested.

"That's where you find out whether you're just doing the comfortable thing or whether this is something real that's built into you."

Police in Tennessee just recently retested DNA from the crime and have new leads, possibly two potential suspects.

Worthington says he wants justice, but he's already forgiven the killer.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • School shooting may not bring change to gun-loving Texas

    School shooting may not bring change to gun-loving Texas

    Monday, May 21 2018 12:52 AM EDT2018-05-21 04:52:04 GMT
    Monday, May 21 2018 8:44 PM EDT2018-05-22 00:44:37 GMT
    (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP). A billboard is seen off of I-45 near Santa Fe, Texas, where a student shot and killed eight classmates and two teachers at Santa Fe High School.(Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP). A billboard is seen off of I-45 near Santa Fe, Texas, where a student shot and killed eight classmates and two teachers at Santa Fe High School.

    The shooting suspect, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, has been jailed on capital murder charges.

    Full Story >

    The shooting suspect, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, has been jailed on capital murder charges.

    Full Story >
  • School shooting victims killed attempting to ward off gunman

    School shooting victims killed attempting to ward off gunman

    Monday, May 21 2018 1:42 AM EDT2018-05-21 05:42:02 GMT
    Monday, May 21 2018 8:44 PM EDT2018-05-22 00:44:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. The Pakistani foreign exchange student is among tho...(AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. The Pakistani foreign exchange student is among tho...
    An outgoing and 'really funny' student who blocked the door to try to prevent the gunman from entering the classroom and an exchange student who aspired to work in civil service were among the 10 people killed at a...Full Story >
    An outgoing and 'really funny' student who blocked the door to try to prevent the gunman from entering the classroom and an exchange student who aspired to work in civil service were among the 10 people killed at a Texas high school.Full Story >
  • Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers

    Divided Supreme Court sides with businesses over workers

    Monday, May 21 2018 10:21 AM EDT2018-05-21 14:21:59 GMT
    Monday, May 21 2018 8:43 PM EDT2018-05-22 00:43:41 GMT
    The justices ruled 5-4 Monday, with the court's conservative members in the majority, that businesses can force employees to individually use arbitration to resolve disputes. (Source: Supremecourt.gov)The justices ruled 5-4 Monday, with the court's conservative members in the majority, that businesses can force employees to individually use arbitration to resolve disputes. (Source: Supremecourt.gov)

    A new Supreme Court will allow employers to prohibit workers from banding together to complain about pay and conditions in the workplace.

    Full Story >

    A new Supreme Court will allow employers to prohibit workers from banding together to complain about pay and conditions in the workplace.

    Full Story >
Powered by Frankly