Did You Know a Crime Victim May Have Saved Your Life?

Santa, Please Bring Me the Courage to Be Like These Advocates

Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D.

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phoenix rising from the ashes, used with permission from iclipart.com

In May of 2021, 4-year-old Greyson Kessler was murdered by his father, John Stacey, who shot his son and then killed himself. It was his mother’s worst fear.

Stacey had been tormenting ex-partner Alison Kessler for years. But over the past month, his behavior (putting a tracker on her car, stalking her, sending her threatening texts and emails) had escalated in response to learning that she and her new boyfriend were expecting.

She had done what she could. She had repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to get a domestic violence restraining order against her ex for months. At the very least, she was desperate to get an injunction, which would have halted shared visitation until a hearing could be scheduled.

“Never again,” she vows. On Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2021, she got one step closer to helping other kids avoid her son’s fate. Two Florida lawmakers have taken on Kessler’s crusade and introduced Greyson’s Law to their state legislature.

Greyson’s Law

Since her son’s death, Kessler has been lobbying for a law that would allow a judge to temporarily suspend shared custody if one parent is threatening or abusing the other. The family court can then order a new custody assessment to evaluate the potential danger to the child and see if changes need to be made. Before it’s too late.

Sadly, Greyson isn’t the first child to be killed by an avenging, abusive ex. Jacqueline Franchetti lost her 2-year-old daughter, Kyra. Mary Jean Pearle lost her 6- and 9-year-old daughters. And who could forget Josh Powell’s despicable acts, murdering his two young sons right under the nose of a supervising social worker? It’s no coincidence that he acted just as the walls of justice were closing in around him after his wife disappeared.

There have been dozens of preventable murders in which a vengeful parent murdered their child in a twisted effort to punish the other parent or take the child with them in death.

Lost Ones’ Legacies

Alison Kessler is a member of a horrific “club,” a parent of a murdered child. It’s…

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Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D.

Forensic psychologist/private investigator//author of serial killer book. Passionate about victim’s rights, the psychology of true crime, and criminal justice.