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The Blounts

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Today, I received an assignment to photograph two victims of a horrific crime.

On Thanksgiving Day of 1985, Susan Blount and her son Robert, said goodbye to their husband and father, daughter and sister, nephew and cousin when a briefcase bomb tore apart their trailer in Ft. Worth, Texas.

The bomb was placed on the Blount’s porch by mistake. It was meant for someone else. Now, Michael Toney – the accused killer who is on death row in Texas – is likely to see his sentence overturned because apparently, the prosecution withheld evidence.

For 23 years Mrs. Blount has endured the heartache of her loss – today she told me she just wants some closure.

Here’s an excerpt from a story published in The Dallas Morning News in 2005:

The trial started in May 1999 in Fort Worth.

Susan Blount testified, telling her story of escaping from her burning trailer out the back door. Her son, Robert Blount, told of finding the briefcase on the front porch, and of his 15-year-old sister taking it inside.

“Angela flipped the latches and it exploded, and that’s the last I remember,” Mr. Blount testified.

The blast killed his father, sister and cousin and blew him out the front door.

“There isn’t a day that goes by,” Mr. Blount said in court, “that I don’t think about that day.”


Susan Blount, left, and her son, Robert, pose for a portrait in the dining room of their Auburn, Wash., home Nov. 21, 2008. Susan’s daughter, husband, and nephew, (L-R foreground photos) were killed by a bomb on Thanksgiving Day in 1985 in Ft. Worth. INGRID BARRENTINE Special to The Dallas Morning News

As I left the Blount’s Auburn, Wash., home today, I felt extremely lucky and sorrowful at the same time. I thought about the freak things that happen in a moment and forever change the course of our lives. For me, most of those “freak things” have turned out to be good.

When I sit down to turkey this year, I’m going to pause for a moment to say “thanks.”

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Written by barrentine

November 22, 2008 at 6:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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