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Girls' slayings give town new unity

By Johnny Johnson Modified: June 15, 2008 at 8:49 am •  Published: June 15, 2008
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ficers have to explain to a child leaving for summer camp why they can't run home to hug them goodbye. They are trying to convince their families — and themselves — why they're not home to protect their children when killers are on the loose.

"The guys share about their personal fears for their kids,” Grigsby said. "Their wives are getting frustrated because they are not home to help with kids or to mow the yard or maybe to go to a dinner party that has been scheduled for three weeks.

"Our people are sad and frustrated, and they don't want to disappoint their spouse, but they have no other option. They can't say, ‘OK guys, I'm going to take a three-hour break.' They can't do that and they won't do that. They will make it up to their families later. Everybody will get sleep later.”

‘No sense of despair'
Grigsby, who now serves as pastor of Church of Christ Okemah, was a teenager when he first met Okfuskee County Sheriff Jack Choate. At that time, the sheriff was a patrolman with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

"He gave me my first traffic ticket when I was 16,” Grigsby chuckled.

But the circumstances of the meeting apparently did not affect the way Grigsby saw the man, who he is glad is in charge of an investigation like this.

"He has committed his entire adult life to law enforcement, and he's still plugging along as sheriff because he's so passionate about what he does,” Grigsby said.

"Of course, everybody is tired and frustrated and wants that phone call to come in, or for that random traffic stop to produce some weapons in the back seat ... whatever it takes to make it happen and break this case,” Grigsby said.

"But I can honestly tell you that there is no sense of despair about solving this thing. There is no sense of, ‘My God, we're never gonna solve this,' or, ‘We're getting nowhere.' That's just not the feeling.”

There is an element of fear because "this person or persons are still out there,” Grigsby said. "But there's more people tucking their babies in than there were a week ago. There're more people reading bedtime stories to them than a week ago. And good will come out of this.”

Contributing: John David Sutter

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