Reader: Kimmyan Franklin's story taught me to love out loud

A Read-Letter Day

This is just a little note from a former Denver (Capitol Hill) resident for fifteen years. I come back to Denver every 4/20, and Westword is by far one of the best publications to ever hit the presses. I have never seen such a fulfilling mag.

Rich Pinnick
Lockport, Illinois

"Too Many Mornings," Alan Prendergast, January 3

The Damage Done

I enjoyed reading the touching article on Kimmyan Franklin. She sounds like a beautiful yet troubled soul who positively affected the lives of others while suffering through her own torment. Pain which, from all accounts, seems to result from a difficult and dysfunctional childhood.

But I wish Prendergast would have taken a bit of a different path in his piece. I realize that exposing cover-ups and unfair treatment by the authorities is de rigueur from Westword. And I am so often grateful for that in this corrupt political environment we find ourselves in, where every politician from Obama on down is solely self-serving. But here is the simple truth: Kimmyan Franklin was damaged. And while we have insight into some of the factors that made her the woman she was — alcoholic, drug user, depressed, co-dependent — the truth is that she was responsible for her own actions and, by extension, her own death. We as a society never want to point the finger at ourselves. We always want to find someone else to blame. Well, as is so often the case, we need to put at least a fair amount of the blame on Kimmyan herself. She chose to hang out with the hard-drinking, drugging, having-casual-sex subculture due to her extremely low self-worth, most likely brought on by childhood sexual abuse, abandonment and any other number of reasons. And my heart truly goes out to her — as it does to all addicts — but there comes a point where personal accountability must win the day.

Yeah, life sucks! Nothing new to report there. So pick yourself up, turn your attention toward the Father and the Savior who love every single one of you in spite of your myriad flaws, and live a life of self-worth and love for your fellow soul. I love and miss Kimmyan Franklin. I only met her once, years ago, the only time I ever set foot into the Lion's Lair. She was working the bar that day, and I only had a couple of beers before heading home, but I remember her. She was a genuinely sweet person. I only wish I would have been more attuned to her pain in that moment and informed her how very much she was loved by God and Jesus Christ. She very likely may have dismissed me as some "Bible thumper," but maybe, just maybe, she would have stopped trying to find love and acceptance from people who were only there to take from her. And maybe, just maybe, she would have begun to see, and believe, that there is an unlimited amount of love for her originating from the Almighty. I would like to believe she would be alive today. If she only knew of God's love for her, she wouldn't have been hanging out with a fellow damaged soul like Newton; she would have hopefully been somewhere safer.

Thank you, Westword. I will use this touching story of a loving woman to endeavor to never again fail when faced with the opportunity to let someone know they are truly and deeply loved.

Wade Johnson
Lakewood

 
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19 comments
justice4kimmyan
justice4kimmyan

mr 'johnson' or whoever u really r.....i doubt if any of this has sunk n 2 ur shallow being but one thing im SURE of is that u R reading EVERY WORD n making sure ur keeping pete n all of his sullys informed..im quite sure HEs n no shape 2 read seeing as how he didnt hav thr ability 2 dial 911...

sad thing is im pretty sure the day he fell off that roof n crushed his ankles he was begging 4 911 or sumbody 2 help him n unfortunely HE was allowed th medical attention he needed....i do so hope that every morning when he puts on his artificial leg that hes reminded of the excrutiating pain he endured....then again i dont believe he is capable of feeling ANY pain..physical OR emotional...hes only capableof feeling SELF WALLOWING PITY

stlsoha
stlsoha

Wade, not so sure Christ would be supportive of you opportunistic advance on the loss of a pure soul to invoke his name for the sake of your self appointed and misguided ministry. He would certainly, as I am sure most ofthe readership does, question the veracity of the parable of your trip to the Lion's Lair. This was a kind, intelligent woman,and the point of the article is a quest for justice and accountability for criminal and moral negligence on the part of the privileged. Every community has them and all know who they are. There is a direct and critical parallel between what happened in St. Louis a few years ago with August Busch III and the death of his girlfriend at his palatial estate. Even someone of his privileged immunity was ultimately held responsible for his nonaction. Please use Kimmyan's story not as fodder for saving souls for your own fuzzy feeling, but as a catalyst join the quest for truth and justice. "Being against evil does not make you good." - Hemingway, Islands in the Stream

jgarland49
jgarland49

One more thing... in answer to WJ's comment "pick yourself up". If you see someone with a broken leg would you tell them that? Remember that abbreviation WWJD? Think about it. Judgement was not included in Jesus' vocabulary.

jgarland49
jgarland49

It is sad the way law enforcement sees rape anyway. One of those "you put yourself in that situation" concepts. REALLY??? If anyone who reads this has ever been violated by a male or female please tell someone. Shame, guilt and isolating the fact is not the way to heal. There are just way too many females (and sometimes males) that are hiding in the shadows. Sometimes fear of retribution keeps people silent. It has to stop. Healing has to start somewhere. God never intended it to be this way. TELL SOMEONE!!

justice4kimmyan
justice4kimmyan

rather yuma county sheriff wants 2 admit EVERYTHING lisa pointed out IS true....what point is a 'good simaritan law' if they find it justifiable 2 TAMPER w/an OBVIOUS crime seen. i HAV been raped, brutulized n then terrorized n the same community as kimmyan by an individual responsible 4 other rapes as well....it ALL falls on deaf ears around these parts...but i will NOT stop until OUR voice is heard

lisaaflowers
lisaaflowers

Let's also bear in mind, FYI, that Pete Newton is a person who has legal custody of a six-year-old child. Very reassuring, isn't it.

lisaaflowers
lisaaflowers

I happen upon someone who has been in a car accident and is obviously badly hurt. I reach into their bloodied coat pocket, pull out their cell phone, rifle through it until I see an entry labeled 'Mom',  call that number, and say,"Your daughter won't wake up... will you come get her?'. Then I wait (while doing other things--rifling through my own phone, answering email, etc... in short, 'baling hay', by any other name) until the mother arrives  and calls 9-11, by which point at least 45 crucial minutes have elapsed.

There's not a (sane) person alive who wouldn't immediately see such behavior as criminal and deranged: full-stop and unquestioningly: utterly explanation enough unto itself. Yet, merely change the details, and that—not even speculatively, but by his own official account/admission!---is exactly what Pete Newton did. And nobody in Yuma County law enforcement seems to think there's anything more than passingly troubling or unusual about it. That, more than anything, should tell us what kind of mindset we're dealing with here. To find someone unconscious and unresponsive, to then take the time to DRESS them and prop them up against the wall, and to call their COUSIN to come pick them up while their life is draining away---without a thought of calling for medical help; without so much as an attempt to perform first aid---is an act of unabashed criminal negligence. We dont have the luxury here to hold forth about the religious and/or half-baked-Freud-templated 'larger picture' , or wistfully muse on the possibilities of salvation,  which are another subject altogether (and not one Mr Johnson has any understanding of or insight into whatsoever). People like Mr Johnson are actually classical manifestations of the 'logic' behind rape culture, etc---the blaming of the victim, the assumption that violence and death must naturally 'follow' certain lifestyles, etc. It's all a bunch of arrogant horseshit, a perversion, an unabashed display of contempt for human life in missionary's clothing.

 

jgarland49
jgarland49

It is so easy to judge a person when they no longer exist. How about we just judge the person responsible for the neglect that could have saved her LIFE. As far as I can tell he has not been made accountable. "And, yes, there does come a time when accountability must win the day". We can only pray this is true.

"Justice for Kimmyan" and every female who has been violated by someone who has (so far) escaped accountability.

justice4kimmyan
justice4kimmyan

its pathetic world when they want 2 take r guns away but yet they allow rapists n murderers 2 walk free n continue 2 brutilize women n children

zack_kopp
zack_kopp

You only met her once, but you're an expert on her likely history of childhood sexual abuse? Funny how that works.

lisaaflowers
lisaaflowers

And yes, there does come a time when 'accountability must win the day', doesn't there.

lisaaflowers
lisaaflowers

Reposted from my comment on the main board:
 A supporter of Newton's, masquerading (not very hermetically, but what else could you expect from the Stockholm Syndrome of having lived your life in a bell jar) as one Wade Johnson from Lakewood has seen fit to weigh in on this article.  His/her gentle condescension to complex human tragedy is the usual hybrid of psychobabble and religious zealotry that wouldn't be worth responding to if one came across it in its natural habitat of thrusting out pamphlets on street corners; but because we're dealing with a blatant travesty of justice in the only way we can (ie, through investigative journalism), it might be worth responding to at the below link. Some tips on persona writing, Wade: the devil, as they say, is in the details. All this nonsense (bizarrely specific and unsubstantiated) about 'child sexual abuse', etc, is just a little bit too pointed to be the neutral observation of a well-meaning messenger of love and mercy. To paraphrase Tori Amos, get off your [not Christ's] cross...we need the wood. I might also add that, had you read the story more carefully, you'd have seen that the majority of people interviewed for it (including myself) loved Kimmyan dearly, and have been engrossed...for the past seven months...in seeing that what happened to her didn't get misrepresented or laid away in good old boy 'cold case files'. That's not what I call being there 'only to take from her.' Also, by your logic, are we to assume that...say...a child murdered by a serial killer or victims of the holocaust would also be 'alive today' if they'd only accepted the Almighty into their apparently naturally sinful hearts? (FYI, in case it matters, I am a spiritual person/far from an atheist myself, so none of this is coming from denigrating your convoluted idea of Christianity; what you're essentially saying, albeit out of ignorance, is that you don't believe in evil itself). And Kimmyan wouldn't have dismissed you as bible thumper, BTW...she'd have treated you  with the utmost warmth and respect, which is the way she treated everybody who didn't give her a reason  to treat them otherwise).

http://www.westword.com/2013-01-17/news/kimmyan-franklin-feature-love-comment/

justice4kimmyan
justice4kimmyan

wade johnson rather kimmyan made her own choices or not PETE made the choice NOT 2 call 911 n @least TRY n help save her life so really ur 'love out loud' story has no bearing....and honestly y didnt YOU step up n 'save' her since u seem u think u r such an amazing God loving caring preacher man....i hope 'whoever' u were tryi g 2 impress praised u well or maybe padded ur pockets....bravo 2 u...but REGARDLESS of whatever picture ur trying 2 paint or whoever ur speaking 4 there was an undeniable INJUSTICE DONE n CRIMES committed...stupity being the least of them....

justice4kimmyan
justice4kimmyan

@stlsoha well said...many thanx 2 u 4 such a well spoken point

justice4kimmyan
justice4kimmyan

@jgarland49 thank u....u r rite Jesus did NOT judge!!!!!!@jgarland49 @jgarland49

justice4kimmyan
justice4kimmyan

@zack_kopp i thought that myself zack...funny how he seems 2b such an expert

 
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