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TERRY CAFFEY - SURVIVOR OF MURDER & ARSON

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Jan 22 09 8:45 PM

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Terry Caffey  - January 9, 2009

"It was decided to just walk in there and take care of "business." "I was offered $2,000 to help kill the Caffeys." (Charles Waid)
 
Surviving five bullets, shot in the head, shoulder, chest and twice in the back, and then crawling out of a burning house and then over 300 yards to get help, Terry Caffey qualifies as a walking miracle. I'd say he qualifies in another way as well. He's forgiven his attackers, the murderers who took his family's lives in brutal fashion.

But that's no surprise to those who know him. Family, friends, co-workers and church members all speak of a man with great faith.

Terry Caffey worked hard and had a good life. He had a loving wife and three children he loved and was proud of.  He and his wife and children were active in their church. Employed in the home health care field,  Terry delivered medical supply equipment. He was also preparing to be ordained to become a Baptist Minister and preached a few sermons for their church.

Penny worked hard as well. Penny was a substitute driver for a local charity and delivered meals to the elderly and indigent. She was a member of a gospel singing group "The Gaston Singers" that performed at area churches and was also her church's pianist. Her friends remember her as being a good cook and accomplished seamstress. "Unless she was sick, she didn't miss one service." Penny would cook food on Saturday and bring it to church for after Sunday services fellowship.

Terry and Penny tried to do the best for their children and to raise them right. Matthew 13, and Tyler 8, were well behaved boys and were enrolled in the Rains school system. Matthew played the harmonica and bass guitar and Tyler played guitar too. At 8 years old his most favorite thing was chocolate milk. Their sister Erin, at 16 was a freshman at Rains High School.

Terry, Penny, Tyler and Matthew were good people and didn't deserve what happened to them. And the catalyst, the one responsible, was Erin Caffey.

2008 - February - Terry Caffey's father passed away - one and a half weeks later horror befell the Caffey family.

2008 - March - Thursday night - Terry and Penny had been disturbed by Erin's obsession with Charles Wilkinson, age 18, for about six months. They thought the infatuation would pass but it didn't. Instead it got worse. Things were contentious around their household with Erin acting out and rebelling. It was bad enough that they took away her cell phone as a punishment. The situation hadn't gotten any better and that Thursday night, Terry and Penny made Erin and Charlie break up.

Wilkinson stated that Erin Caffey wanted her parents dead because they would not let her see Wilkinson and they even took away her cell phone. The discussion to kill Erin's parents had been ongoing for about a month." "Erin, Wilkinson and Waid had several conversations on how to kill her parents."
 

Friday night -early Saturday morning - Awakening to shots being fired Terry Caffey saw a man standing in the bedroom and recognized him as Charles Wilkinson.


Terry saw the gun and threw up his arm to shield himself and as he did hear someone else yell "Charlie!" A shot rang out and he was hit. After Charles Wilkinson fired several shots at Penny, he turned the gun on Terry and fired. He had fired several shots and then handed the gun to his buddy Charles Waid, who fired into the couple several more times.

"He fired a .22-caliber handgun at Mrs. Caffey several times, but did not kill her. He then handed the weapon to Charles Waid, who fired several more times at the man and wife." (Police report)
 
Tyler and Matthew, hearing the shots ran down the stairs from the loft bedroom. Charles Wilkinson told them to "go back to bed." The boys wanted to know what was going on. As both Waid and Wilkinson started up the stairs the boys ran back up to the loft. There, 13 year old Matthew was shot twice and 8 year old Tyler was butchered, stabbed with a sword by both Waid and Wilkinson.
 
"Mr. Wilkinson told them to return to their beds in the loft. The two men followed the children upstairs. Mr. Waid shot 13-year-old Matthew in the head or neck, records show, and both men stabbed 8-year-old Tyler with a sword."

Wilkinson and Waid robbed the house and then set it on fire.

It's likely Terry Caffey heard his son's screams and perhaps reached over to see how Penny was.
With the house in flames and the attackers gone, Terry crawled from the burning home and across 300 yards to his neighbors home to get help. He told his neighbors that his family was dead. Everyone, including Terry believed that all of his family, including Erin were dead.
911 Call audio and photos of the crime scene.

Instead, he faced an awful realization once he was well enough to be told, that his family had been wiped out at the behest of his own 16 year old daughter, Erin.

"Erin and I were in love and the only way we could be together was to kill the parents."  (Charles Wilkinson)
 
It was later determined by forensic autopsy that Penny, Tyler and Matthew were still alive when the house was burning.
After surgeries Terry Caffey has recovered his physical health. He hasn't lost his faith throughout the ordeal and when Waid and Wilkinson pled guilty instead of facing a trial and the death penalty, Terry addressed them:
             "Every birthday, every Christmas, I spend with out my family
             because you choose to take something so precious from me."

             Terry showed them a family portrait & asked them to look at it.    
 

 
 
             "Remember what you took from me. I'll never be able to see my
             boys drive their  first car, I'll never get to see them graduate 
             high school or college, I'll never get to see them walk down the

             aisle and get married, never will they be able to give me grandchildren." 
                                 
             "After taking my family, you burned down my 
home, and many of the 
              precious memories within. But, despite it all, I forgive you."
 
Terry Caffey also asked them "Do you know where you'll spend eternity when you die? If you don't, I pray that you'll face what you did and spend eternity in heaven.
 
.Rains County Attorney, Robert Vititow "he's just unbelievable.. He's just.. God has his hand on him."
                              

Terry Caffey was asked "How can you forgive the men that killed your wife and sons?

Terry responded " "I found my answer and comfort in Romans, Chapter 12 of the Bible. It says bless 
                            them who persecute you, bless and curse not." 
 
 
Terry Caffey stood with his daughter Erin and held her hand as she pled guilty to capital murder.
Below he stands with her as she receives a sentence of two life terms plus 25 years.
 

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#1 [url]

Jul 7 10 10:57 AM

                          FLESH & BLOOD TEXAS MONTHLY

An excellent article detailing the investigation, the captures, arrests,
phone records, how they broke the news to Terry Caffey about his
daughter Erin, how she manipulated her parents, tried to do so with
authorities, and so much more.

You can register for free and read the entire 5 page article.


                                  FIGHTING BACK

The oldest Caffey boy fought back by kicking.

Charles Wilkerson provides the details of his, and Charles Waid's
roles in the murders of Penny, Matthew and Tyler.

                                  TERRY CAFFEY'S SURVIVAL
 
Terry Caffey was shot five times: once in the head, twice near his right
shoulder, and two more times in the back. His face and upper body
were caked with blood. It took him nearly an hour to stumble and crawl
to his neighbors. He'd almost drowned in a creek along the way.
 
Terry Caffey suffered a broken nose, two fractured cheekbones,
and minor nerve damage in his right arm. 
 
He considered suicide several times.


                                    REMARRIAGE

Terry Caffey met and married Sonja Webb through work, and they are
raising Sonja's sons Blake and Tanner.

                                    VISITING PRISON

Once a month Terry travels to Gatesville, Texas and visits Erin in prison.
 
 
                                    VARIOUS VERSIONS
 
Erin has been telling different versions of what happened:
 
To her father: "She was planning on running away that night, but then
she changed her mind. The phone calls were to dissuade Charlie from
coming at all. It was Charlie who had wanted the family dead, and when
he came to the house, she had been powerless to stop him."
 
 
To Israel Lewis (Mental Health Counselor hired by defense to
evaluate Erin):
 
"Erin insisted that Charlie had a volatile temper; he had killed her family
after she had broken up with him and then framed her."
 
"I have worked with some good liars, but Erin was one of the best.
She seemed totally sincere and genuine, and I would have put my
license on the line to say that she was telling me the truth. She
spoke with tears in her eyes "God will save me. He knows I'm
innocent." I cried every time I left her jail cell. You could not have
paid her to say anything negative about her parents."
 
After he learns the details of the criminal investigation Lewis
realizes that Erin is being manipulative. 
 
 
                      ERIN TRIED TO GET ANOTHER BOY TO KILL FOR HER
 
Several months before Erin Caffey began dating Charles Wilkerson,
she had been seen kissing a boy at church and letting him "feel her
up."  Erin considered him her boyfriend and asked him to kill her
parents for her.
 
Charles Wilkerson found this out after the murders. His defense attorney 
broke the news to him. 
 
Charles Wilkerson "It made me question a lot of things. After months 
of pushing me and convincing me and all this, I got to thinking that
maybe all I was was just a tool." 
 
"If I was sitting on my jury, I would have stuck the needle in my arm."
It was her idea, if at any time she would have said, ËśWell, we're not going
to do it after all, it never would have happened. I would have done anything
 for her. She was very smart. Very caring. I don' t know why she wanted it
done, why it had to be like that, but she was a very nice person."

Erin had called him the day before. She was still pretty pissed off about
her parents telling us we could not see each other  Once again, she told
me that she wanted them dead. I urged her to just run away, but Erin said,
"No, kill them."
 
"I don't know what's wrong with her head. She needs to have it looked at."
 
"I ain't got no conscience. I joined the Army to do whatever needed to be
done without thinking.  As for her parents, I intended to kill them because
I thought I was in love."

After the murders "She seemed happy. She smiled and said, "I'm glad that's
over."
 
                                    CO-CONSPIRATORS VERSIONS
 
Bobbi Johnson:
"Charlie had repeatedly asked Erin to consider running away as the group had
driven around before the murders. Charlie kept saying, "Are you sure you want
to do this?" And she said, "Why are you asking me this? If you love me, you'll
do it.  
 
"I just wanted to go home, but Charlie said it was too late, that I was already
involved. He said that if anybody said anything to anyone, that person would
be taken care of. I was scared shitless.

Erin had seemed elated after the killings, and said that she was "free." In
fact, Erin had wanted to get out of the car to make sure that everyone was

dead. And it was Erin who had insisted that her brothers be killed. 
 
Charles Waid "Erin wanted her brothers killed. Erin said "The boys
picked on her, and she didn't want them to be left in foster care.
They were ridiculous reasons, not even reasons, just an excuse." 
When we pulled away from the house, she was happier than a
kid on Christmas morning."  "Erin cried out, "Holy shit, that was
awesome!"

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#2 [url]

Oct 27 10 12:29 PM

I live about 10 miles from where this occured. To say the least it was a shock to the community. Things like this were unheard of where we live. I can understand Terry Caffey's need to forgive.But at the same time, I wonder if he's not in denial about his daughter and confused with his life. Just today I went to a local school where he was giving a speech to the students. I have read the texas rangers report that can be found here :  http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/img/03-09/0308caffeyreport.pdf .    In this report all three defendants told the same story,seperatly of how Erin Caffey  wanted her family murdered.She had even asked a former boyfriend to do this.
 Today at the school he talked about falling in with the wrong crowd. Talked about how his daughter fell in with the wrong crowd . I don't think he wants to admit that his own daughter Was the wrong "crowd". Asking 2 different people to murder your family isn't  exactly somebody i would want to be friends with!  He so much said today that charles wilkerson was the one to blame. Even though the police reports state that Erin was the one wanting her family killed. They are ALL  to blame. He said he  goes to the prison to visit his daughter, and she has to be stripped search before comming to the visitation.(.(well, yes, she was the mastermind behind killing her mother and 2 brothers!) If anyone read the article mentioned about,in texas monthly, Him and his new wife were married 7  months after this occurred. So to put a timeline on this, in march his family is murdered, in october he has remarried,in december the trial began where he asked they be giving life sentences.Erin is eligible for parole when she turns 59.So, in nine months time, it all occurred. The murders,the re-marriage,the trial. When he told the defendants" Every birthday,every christmas, I spend without my family because you choose to take them away from me", he was actually already re-married,to a woman with 2 sons. In an interview with wffa dallas he was asked about a mustang he drives. His response was that was the kind of car Penny always wanted.So he bought a used one in her memory. Since this has all occured, he's wrote a book, there was a one hour show on a national tv station, and also, he said today, there is a movie being made. He also has a facebook page, but he hardly ever comments on his wall, Except once,when he asked if anyone had a dvr to record the upcomming tv show so that he could have a recording of it.Stating the time and channel. Looked  like advertizing to me. Anyone reading this long comment, don't get me wrong. This was a brutal murder and I'm glad Terry Caffey survived. But, from the happenings since this took place, with  Erin caffey still not admitting she wanted her family murdered, and terry caffey remarried so soon, a re-bound marriage, and living only a few miles from where his wife and sons are buried. Making money off this tragedy. I still believe he is in denial and confused with his life.He's doing a good thing by talking to children about this. But he needs to come to terms that  his daughter IS the reason his family was murdered.. .Nobody can get over loosing their family that soon. The Good Lord gave us a heart to forgive with.But he also gave another thing.... good commen sense.         


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#3 [url]

Oct 27 10 3:26 PM

Waylon, I certainly agree that he's either in denial or simply can't face the fact, or trying
to rationalize to his own satisfaction, that his own flesh and blood wanted him and their
family dead.


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#4 [url]

Nov 3 10 12:33 PM

Hi my church would like you to come and tell us about your story it really touched me its on 19 in edgewood tx it is called Good Hope babtist church preacher is dan short it would make me happy to see you come to our church thanks hope to see you Sha L

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