The Bravest Woman in Seattle

For herself, for the woman she loved, and for justice, the survivor of the South Park attacks tells a courtroom what happened that night.

Comments

1
*tear*
2
This still haunts me today. It is such a courageous thing that she is doing. She is continuing the fight for Teresa...
3
This is the best piece I've read in a long, long time. You're right, Eli, to call her the bravest woman in Seattle.
4
This story has had me crying for about ten minutes now. When my mother-in-some-degree-of-the-law heard about 2 lesbians being sexually attacked and one killed she called us in a panic to make sure my wife and I were being extra cautious. We thought she was being overbearing and shrugged it off. As more details came out we started checking and re-checking the locks. Now all I want to do is make sure my wife knows how much I love her. I don't know if I would have the strength to be attacked so brutally, watch my lover be equally attacked, survive, watch the other half of my soul die, and still have the inner strength to retell our ordeal. This woman really is the bravest woman in Seattle.
6
terrible story, beautiful strength
7
We've never met, but I can't help but love Teresa. Her partner continues to fight, and I feel her love for Teresa and cant help but love her as well. Some humans are horrible monsters, but Teresa and her partner shine such a bright beacon that it should give everyone hope that the monsters will never win.
8
This is some amazing journalism, it's a story that has to be told. We can not just write this story off as just some ordinary crime. We need to reflect as a society, what could we have done to prevent this? What WILL we do to keep the next animal from doing something like this?
9
I spent the day in Georgetown before the murder. I came across that son of a bitch sleeping behind a warehouse with his dog by his side. My hair stood up on my arms and I ran. Seriously. I ran as if my life depended on it. I hope this man is given the electric chair. He is pure evil.
10
I am weeping at work and ready to vomit at the same time. HOw is it possible for any human to be that strong? I dont think I could do it.
11
Jesus, i haven't cried this hard in a long while. The lady is made of steel.. and her testament to love is a lesson for all of us.
12
I can barely see well enough to type through the tears. Well done Eli. Thank you.
13
Thank you so much Eli for making sure these women's story is told with such sensitivity and truth.
14
The victim here has my utmost sympathy, and I admire her courage in testifying. However, I find that Eli Sanders coverage of the case is exploitative and sensationalist. The horrific details are not necessary to realize that this was a terrible crime and a terrible thing to testify about - they attract readers. Did he get the woman's permission to do this? She has not only had to live through the assault and recount it again and again to the authorities; now she has the details being distributed throughout Seattle and the Internet. All of her friends, relatives, coworkers and acquaintances can now know exactly how and where she was violated and made to suffer. I realize that this is all part of the public record, but it's also an invasion of privacy.
15
Thank you,Eli. Sometimes life is too horrible to understand. But we cling to our humanity, anyway.
16
@14, while I myself don't like all aspects of Eli's writing style (I prefer a more fact based, dryer approach over Eli's more overly emotional one), it is not exploitative and sensationalist. In fact I'd say Eli goes rather far the other way. The violence is described pretty much as in any other true crime book. In fact Eli underplays it compared to other books/TV shows I have read.

I think it's necessary to have the details to fully appreciate the horror. In the same way that Lara Logan's statement about her attack was important to hear in detail (it literally gave me nightmares). I do wish this survivor had come forward w/her name, as I feel that makes a story more powerful, as in the Logan interview. But that is her decision.

Since the woman testified in open court I do not believe you need permission to write about what she says. That is in fact what keeps rape victims from coming forward, even if their name isn't used. So that alone means this woman's testimony is a brave step. Plus she knows her testimony will help lock this guy up.

I've had friends tell me they won't read Eli's story because they don't want to know the details. Life is ugly enough. I feel that way about other stories and choose not to read them. People that think they might be bothered shouldn't read the stories either.

17
@14: The survivor of the attacks was aware of, and comfortable with, the details that I chose to include. She also was aware that I would be omitting certain details.

Each reader of this piece will be his or her own judge of its value.

But my intent was not to be exploitative or sensationalistic. My intent was to convey my sense of the spirit of this brave woman's testimony, and to bear witness to what she said in that courtroom, what she and Teresa Butz experienced that night, and what has since been lost and endured.
18
What a wonderful article about an awful event. Thank you for writing it.
19
Seattle is so funny sometimes. Dan Savage gets 50+ comments within a half hour every time he so much as sneezes, and meanwhile this piece, which has to be the absolute pinnacle of the Stranger's potential, can't break 20 comments in a day (I know, he's syndicated, but still...).

Excellent work. Believe me, plenty of people are aware of the sociological and journalistic reasons this has to be printed and the level of attention paid to the delicacy is right there for anybody who wants to see it. Bravo, and let us never forget or gloss over any part of this...the incredible courage on the high side or the unconscionable horror on the low.
20
God bless her and Theresa. I have two words for the defendant: Kill him.
21
This isn't Eli's first piece delineating the SP attack; the previous article was even more voluminous. He has an incredible talent for writing & research; his investigation into the timeline & eventual meltdown of Kalebu's pattern of behavior was ineffable. Profound enough to block the sun. I believe him to be a highly sensitive man who tells the story in a humanitarian's dialect.Journalists who show empathy are sadly in short supply.
I live 2 blocks away from where Teresa Butz was slain. I had seen her in passing before at the County Line Cantina, she always had a vivacious, genuine smile. The morning after her death I had a sense of foreboding which I could not shake; this was before hearing the news. She must have had a very strong spirit because, as the weeks passed, I felt a sense of loss for a person I barely even knew.
Clearly, she must have been admired by many.As I attended her vigil (shortly before her killer was caught) everyone there was either in tears or flush with anger. A certain woman who approached the podium to speak said,"It always happens to the good ones." How sad and how true.
All the more tragic, Teresa died at such a happy time in her life when she had so many plans & prospects in front of her. I hope God has a special place for her soul.
Thanks so much Eli Sanders for your coverage of this nightmare. As for you,Isaiah Kalebu, there are many bad men in prison ;however,few of them parallel your depths of disgrace.Many of these individuals have mothers,daughters and sisters;
they will not smile upon your deeds and (with ample opportunity) your deeds will be returned to you sevenfold. May your bowels rot in Hell.
Take good care of him, boys.
22
@19 bam
23
Brave, yes - but also dignified in recounting the most horrifying and painful indignity imaginable. Brave, yes - but also fully present in moments of recall that most of us would have long ago blocked, shaded with brighter colors, or just wholly denied. Brave, yes. And, so much more. May this community always embrace and protect you, my friend, and hold Teresa's memory and spirit in the honorable place it deserves.

And, thank you, Eli, for showing such perception and sensitivity in your writing about this terrible, terrible act.
24
Brave, yes - but also dignified in recounting the most horrifying and painful indignity imaginable. Brave, yes - but also fully present in moments of recall that most of us would have long ago blocked, shaded with brighter colors, or just wholly denied. Brave, yes. And, so much more. May this community always embrace and protect you, my friend, and hold Teresa's memory and spirit in the honorable place it deserves.

And, thank you, Eli, for showing such perception and sensitivity in your writing about this terrible, terrible act.
25
What a horrific and shattering experience! This story gives me hope that the fragments can be pieced back together, although the gaps will always be present. Excellent telling of this couple's story, it just reminds me that I need to tell my partner that I love him.
26
Thank you for writing this article Eli, it was very well written. I can't imagine going through that and living to tell about it, she is a very brave woman.
27
@19-- Most of Dan's columns, while well-written, seem to be about superficial people with relatively trivial problems. Those are easy to banter over. A powerful story like this, though, kind of robs me of words. I'd guess it leaves a lot of folks speechless as well.
28
I wish they would've left the pencil in his gut this morning. Let that fucking piece of shit kill himself!
29
@26: I second that!

An excellent and well-written article, Eli Sanders!
My condolences to the victims! Their bravery through so horrific an ordeal is highly commendable.

@28:I agree: Here's hoping that misogynist waste of sperm kills himself!
30
It's been a long time since I have read anything that hurt this much. My heart goes out to Theresa, her partner, her family and the community.

I've honestly never believed in a purely evil person until reading about what that man did. I want him to take it back and I want him to never see the light of day again.
31
Thank you, Eli.
32
Thank you from St Louis!!! Went to DB with the Butz family, but didn't know Theresa. This story makes me conscious of just how little control we have over our own lives. Random acts of violence by some insane individual are all it takes to change the course of history for a family (Theresa and partern). I'm not a violent person, I"m not a proponent of guns, but here in Missouri we have a conceal and carry law along with the castle doctrine. I'd have much rather read the story with the ending being that Theresa or her partner reached under the mattress to take out their handgun and splattered Mr. K's brains all over the walls of their modest red house.
33
I spent last evening with some fellow sloggers making signs for Sunday's Slut Walk. One of them will say:
Never Forget Theresa
I couldn't read all of this story, but thank you Eli, it needed to be written.
34
I'm experiencing a paradox: I'm tearing up, close to vomiting... and yet I'm actually feeling gratitude. Thank you Eli for reporting this harrowing story. And thank you to the Stranger for printing it.

The survivor at the center of this tale is indeed incredibly brave. I wish her all the comfort of her family and community, and whatever healing and solace she can find with them. I am in awe of her strength and perseverance.

I'm an atheist, but stories like this make me wish there was a hell. Because no punishment short of Dante's Inferno would be "enough" for this monster. All the same, I hope he's put away for a good long time, and not allowed the opportunity to kill himself. I hope he lives long enough for his own demons to eat him alive.

Let's keep our communities safe, and do all that we can to A) prevent sexual assault and violent crime B) support the victims of those incidents we fail to prevent.

My heart goes out to Ms. Butz's partner. May she one day know peace again.
35
I cried through the entire piece. Amazing woman.
36
This is such a devastating story. I can't imagine the courage it must have taken to testify about this nightmare. What an amazing women.
38
This story is so sad. I live near where this happened and heard about the attack but never in any detail. I cried the whole article. I feel for her in so many ways. I can't imagine going through anything like that & being so strong afterward.
39
She is unimaginable. I can't even imagine how she is that brave.
40
I am glad you wrote what you did and how you did. Most of the time the word "rape" is used and people can use it as a cover up of the true horror that is involved. The fact that you spelled it out for all to see will hopefully help people to understand that there is NOTHING that can be construed as "asking for" this kind of encounter or anything similar.

This woman has courage beyond measure. The tears that are wept for this woman and her partner hopefully come from the understanding that when she ever says, "I was raped" it doesn't mean she had "uncomfortable sex one night".

Good on you for shining a very bright light on the real meaning of a word that many victims use in lieu of the true and massive violation that many would find far too horrific for polite conversation.

I hope that anyone who reads this and someone has ever confided, "I've been raped"; can now say with much more understanding, "I AM sorry."

I think we are all sorry for this crime and sorry for the existence of any who continue to perpetrate it.
41
@40: Beautifully put Melodyjane.
42
Some of the images in this - I kind of wish I hadn't read them. They'll never leave me now. But I think it's important for people to understand what pure evil is. Pure evil is using someone's love for another to manipulate and torture them, as this piece of shit did to Teresa and her partner. Evil. I can think of no other term that works. I will not dignify him by calling him an animal: no animal has that little decency. Even a termite doesn't sink this low.

I know revenge and retribution don't do anything to stop this kind of thing, and won't do anything to bring peace to Teresa's partner or justice for Teresa's death, but good gods, I fight so hard after reading this not to think about drawing and quartering, burning at the stake, flaying alive...sometimes the old ways are the best ways.
43
Simply heartbreaking and a great argument for the death penalty.
44
Eli, thank you for such a wonderful and heartbreaking account of what happened to these two brave women. I hope the scum who did this to them will be locked in a deep, black hole for the rest of his life.

She is truly the strongest woman in Seattle. I wish I could tell her how brave she is, and that all victims of violent crime thank her for being so.
46
Thank you so much for writing this, for allowing her story to be told. I hope with all my heart that she is finding moments of peace in her community, friends, family and within her self. What a powerful, incredible human being. I'm absolutely horrified at this, just beyond words...
47
Well I probably shouldn't have read this at work. Good thing work supplies kleenex.
48
Thank you for this article and for documenting the amazing strength of this woman. I am in awe of her bravery.
49
Putting this evil person to death will do nothing but allow him to escape his punishment. It will serve justice better to make him sit alone in a cell, with nothing for entertainment, no books, no music, no tv, nothing to distract him from his memories. Some day, hopefully, his mind will fully begin to understand the horror he inflicted on two loving women. As time passes, he will suffer the pain of knowing what a monster he truly is. Let him sit there, day after day, with no relief, until he dies of old age, full of hatred for his actions on these horific days. Thank you, Eli, for the fine edge of your writing, enough for us to understand the pain, but with enough reserve for us to finish reading to the end. And my embrace of love to Ms. Butz's partner, for her strength in telling this, so that we may understand the courage of these women. Hopefully you will be able to tell us the verdict that was passed down.
50
Cut to me sobbing my eyes out as I finish this- affected so much more deeply by these women then I thought possible. The details of the crime were horrible, but what broke (and still breaks) my heart were the descriptions of their love- how they were there for each other throughout, how unbelievably unfair it is that they were denied growing old together.

It is obvious that this woman is an immensely brave soul- my heart goes out to her as she learns how to live without Teresa.

How can evil like this exist. How can the police officers stand to touch him.
51
@43 It's an even better argument for putting that son of a bitch through years of extremely brutal, medically supervised torture. I'd kind of like to volunteer to help inflict agony on him. But there's no way to safely administer such justice.

I think it's the same for the death penalty.

Having a death penalty on the books means innocent people get killed by the state. And my understanding is that poorer people of colour tend to be sentenced to death more than wealthier, white people.

My understanding is, it just doesn't work.

That is not to say that the man behind this attack does not deserve any suffering that can be imagined. He certainly does. What a monstrosity this is. I'm so sorry for the victims.
52
thank you eli.
53
@42 shit serves a purpose, this waste of oxygen does not. Drawing and quartering.. well, i like the cut of your jib.
I'd like to think that in prison he would suffer as or worse then he did, so I'm a fan of keeping him alive for as long as possible. Endless torment for the whole of his days. Because that's what the survivor of his brutality will have. She lost her wife.
54
@ 28 AverageJoe. Ditto! Somebody should just END Kalebu. Why is he in that anti-suicide smock? Fuck, let him hang himself.

I'm so, so sorry that Butz's partner has to go thru the second hell of having to testify in this trial. I hope she finds peace some day.

Don't count on Kalebu "getting what he deserves" in prison. Very often, rapist are separated from the gen pop and put in their own wing. Also, he will most likely have his own cell (not have to share). Yeah, he IS a good argument for the death penalty.
55
this just goes to show that it's better to fight and die than cooperate, get horribly raped, and then die anyway.
56
And then, the criminal is not convicted because of the idiotic and wrong events that happened next. I was appalled the prosecutor could let his own feelings about race come out of his mouth, but he did. I am equally if not more appalled at the criminal community that absolutely does protect its own, regardless of guilt or morality. Appalled.

Never live in South Park, never live south of yesler. The people down there want to hurt you and will do it because of your race not being theirs, and then their idiot criminal buddies will alibi for them. I'm scared, as a 20 year capitol hill resident, stuff gets bad enough this far north. I can't imagine living in the middle of coddled criminals who would rather destroy lives than do something with their own, and with their damn useless families and friends who will always shut up than testify.

Bet he'll be a hero in prison too. Raped and murdered. Thats top of the class isnt it?
57
This was a heart-wrenching story to anyone with a scrap of humanity. Even though I read this in public, I was nauseous and on the verge of tears and I was shaken for the rest of the day. This fuck, this monster, needs to spend a life in prison studying ceaselessly the lives he destroyed.
But how sure are we that writing this was the best idea? Everyone should know what happened, everyone needs to know what this man did and to whom he did it, but Teresa's partner didn't even want her name released. I know I can't imagine the horror this woman must have gone and be going through, but I do wonder whether or not more publicity of this tragedy is in her best interest. If this happened to me, I'm sure I'd want to throw that human terror down into the darkest, smallest hole I could find and try to forget about this forever.
This is our community, Teresa's partner is a member of it. Is this much spotlight really in her best interest?
58
What #40 said. Thank you, Eli. I shared this with Nancynall.com because your writing deserves a wider audience.
59
Thank you for writing about these atrocities without being titillating or sensationalist. You've written the truth about what occurred in the courtroom without, in any way, demeaning the victims or their loved ones. I truly thank you.
60
I am a soldier. I have walked into gunfire knowing exactly what can happen to me. I have seen others do the same and more.

This woman is the bravest person I have ever heard of. I think she and her partner were lucky to have had the love they did. I wish it could have lasted much longer. I...I don't know what else to say.
61
I want to say a lot of things to this woman but I can't think of anything that could possibly help her heal and feel better other than right now I am so sorry that she and Teresa had to endure the hate of that terrible person. I need to stop crying now but I am so pissed at the senselessness of the whole tragic mess, Hang in there girl and hopefully time really does heal.
62
That scumbag rapist needs to be tortured, and Teresa's partner should have the privelege of
stabbing him to death after impaling him with
a huge log up his butt. "No lube? Too bad".
63
Eli - I was not familiar with your writing prior to finding this story, but I will be a follower of your news coverage from now on. Thank you for your compassionate and sensitive retelling of these tragic events. As difficult as the words are to read, and as I'm sure they were to hear and even more so for the victim to relive, this is a story that needs to be told as it could easily have been about any one of us. But few of us would have the grace and courage to confront the truth head-on as the surviving victim in this case has done. Eli, I commend you for the compelling manner in which you are telling her story. I have been following the media coverage of these events from early on and while it was obvious from the start that the survivor was a strong woman, it is wonderful to know that she is being publicly acknowledged as "the bravest woman" around. Both Teresa Butz and her partner sound like remarkable women and I mourn among those who knew and loved Teresa although I never knew her. I cannot believe this story has not received more of a national following. Instead, we're barraged by the stories of Casey Anthony and ex-Rep Weiner, both of whom brought their problems on themselves and do not deserve an ounce of public sympathy. The country could stand to know about how the survivor of such horrific evil can courageously recount with such stunning clarity and insight the events and emotions of that fateful day and night. Although she deserves the chance to confront the accused face-to-face, I'm relieved for her that she doesn't have to. Although the facts will speak for themselves, I am afraid the accused will never acknowledge the pain he inflicted on everyone touched by these events, and for that she has my deepest sympathies. In spite of all that she lost, it's amazing that this "bravest woman" is alive to give a voice to what occured in her house that night. Were she not so strong, it could easily have been lost with her. These days, as I listen to the powerful voices of the Angel Band Project, I hug my girlfriend just a little tighter and never pass up any opportunity to tell her what she means to me. Thanks again and God Bless everyone impacted by this.
64
I've never read anything so horrifying in my life. I hope Butz' partner and family are able to heal somehow.
65
@34 Thank you for finding the words I was searching for. I feel the exact same way.
66
OK, first this was a horrible crime and one of my worst nightmares. While you can't make yourself 100% safe there are a few simple things you can do to help avoid waking up with some scumbag looming over you. (BTW I'd like to emphasis I am not assigning any blame to the victims of this article here.)

1. Ladies (and hell everybody), install a deadbolt with a thumb latch on the inside of your bedroom door.

2. Do not leave a window open unless you're on an upper floor. Even then make sure there isn't something criminals can climb up on. (Antoine Dodson anyone?)

3. If you have a window AC make sure to screw it into the window frame with sheet metal screws.

4. Check all door and window locks before you go to bed.

5. Go read #1 again. I cannot emphasis this enough. One deadbolt could give you the time necessary to wake up and escape and/or call the police. A couple of things to note. The inside thumb latch is in case of a fire. Also, make sure to install a reinforced strike plate. If you're renting you could get by with a door security bar. They have them at hardware stores and they're cheap.

Be safe out there, kids.
67
You did right by the bravest woman in Seattle, Eli. Thank you.
68
I had the pleasure of knowing Teresa and she was a wonderful woman. It was impossible not to smile in her company. She was a warm and kind person and always met you with a smile. My heart breaks for what these two women went through.
69
that's fucked up , get a rope !
70
This is one of those horrific events that I will always remember where I was and what I was doing the night I heard about it. I remember feeling fear and that my partner and I are vulnerable as we sit in our little house in south Seattle where we see dangerous men lurk on a regular basis.

Dear Bravest Woman in Seattle, I am so so sorry that this happened to you You will always be in my thoughts.

71
When does the Lifetime movie come out?
72
Good news is the nucking fut is off the street for a time??????

Bad news is its "too late" as Def Leppard would sing it.

But a Nucking fut and not the silence of the lambs.
73
I'm a working journalist, got my degree at the U of W and studied with Roger Simpson, who literally wrote the book on covering events of this kind and on being thoughtful and sensitive when dealing with the victims of violence.

I've also sat through trials, none as horrific as this one, but mind-blowingly godawful all the same, and known there was no way to communicate to the readers what actually transpired there. Once, after a closing arguments in a case of a rape of a child, I thought we were having an earthquake until I realized I was just dizzy with shock. There is so much we see, hear and feel we can't write about, out of concern for the victims, or because some things you just can't publish in the kind of community paper for which I write.

Eli's visceral, passionate and human reporting does credit to the profession. It also and honor to the woman who survived and sought justice. It's the kind of reporting that I think should be more common, but isn't, because it requires courage from everyone, from the writer who dares to feel, from the witness who dares to speak and allows the writer to write (and it's clear Eli worked with this woman and made sure she was comfortable with what he would present) and courage from the reader to be exposed to the truth.

I grieve this woman's unbelievable loss. I believe in the love they had. I honor her as the bravest woman in Seattle.

And that's because Eli Sanders may be the best reporter in Seattle.
74
I'm a working journalist, got my degree at the U of W and studied with Roger Simpson, who literally wrote the book on covering events of this kind and on being thoughtful and sensitive when dealing with the victims of violence.

I've also sat through trials, none as horrific as this one, but mind-blowingly godawful all the same, and known there was no way to communicate to the readers what actually transpired there. Once, after a closing arguments in a case of a rape of a child, I thought we were having an earthquake until I realized I was just dizzy with shock. There is so much we see, hear and feel we can't write about, out of concern for the victims, or because some things you just can't publish in the kind of community paper for which I write.

Eli's visceral, passionate and human reporting does credit to the profession. It also and honor to the woman who survived and sought justice. It's the kind of reporting that I think should be more common, but isn't, because it requires courage from everyone, from the writer who dares to feel, from the witness who dares to speak and allows the writer to write (and it's clear Eli worked with this woman and made sure she was comfortable with what he would present) and courage from the reader to be exposed to the truth.

I grieve this woman's unbelievable loss. I believe in the love they had. I honor her as the bravest woman in Seattle.

And that's because Eli Sanders may be the best reporter in Seattle.
75
This article was extremely well-written. The details are heartbreaking. I cried through most of it. It was hard to read. I really wish that when the scum of the earth is convicted they would receive punishment in the same form as it was given. And then the death penalty. Some crimes just don't deserve just being locked up forever. Then we have to feed, clothe, and give them medical attention. The system is flawed. We treat prisoners that commit this type of crime too well.
76
Hey #66 that was some awesome advice that will really save some lives and/or prevent some shitacular crimes from happening!!! Oh wait....
77
Sanders' stern and passionate voice breaks through the ho-hum of journalism of today which often ends up sounding like it was all written by one big robot.

I hardly slept after reading the women's story as told by Sanders, and after I got over the feelings of personal uneasiness I realized that rape as a form of control and torture has a long history on our planet. Whether in war or in the personal dynamic of a socially disturbed individual, this is what women continue to suffer all over the world in many many ways.

For me the story revealed light not because of the details told or not but because it reminds us that we must fight to keep our humanity, just like Teresa did, even in the face of unspeakable horror.
78
Yes, the bravest woman in Seattle. So much love to you.
79
Yes, the bravest. Much love to you.
80
It takes real talent to convey something so horrific so beautifully. Well done, Eli.
81
I was so upset after reading this that I couldn't sleep. At first, I was angry, at Sanders for writing this. I still kind of am, to be honest. On the other, my God, what a brave woman.
82
This was horrifying to read. My god I can't comprehend that one person could inflict so much pain and suffering. On one hand I would like to go on living pretending this sort of thing doesn’t happen but thank you Eli for writing this story.

By sharing this story we are bearing witness to her pain. I hope in this way it helps her to release her burden of this terrifying ordeal. I hope that by Teresa's partner telling this story she can release all her pain and burden onto her community so we can help heal her. She is not alone, Teresa is not alone. May all the safety that is bestowed upon a close knit community, beauty, love, hope and comfort encompass Teresa and her partner. May the light of love and peace shine on her always.
83
Thank you for this honoring and truthful telling, Eli Sanders. She is the bravest woman in Seattle and beautifully stands for love and humanity at its best everywhere on this planet of ours.
84
I think everything has been said that I would say.

Except:

Teresa -
We will never meet, and I am sorry.
I love you. I love your love, I love your fight, I love your soul - and I hope you are somewhere, continuing to love your partner from beyond, that it is possible...

Teresa's Partner - I love you, even though we have never met. I love your dignity, your grace, your survival, your fortitude, your bravery. I love your bravery. I love your love for Teresa.

I fervently hope that you can find enough love in this world, to feel you are loved by the whole world. That is real. It is true.

I cannot fathom a loss of this nature, personally; but I hope that from the world or karma or whatever natural law exists, you are provided more love than the measure of this loss.

I can think of no one more deserving.
85
The almost matter of fact telling of what happened makes this even more hard to read. What incredible bravery and terrible loss.
86
This article was completly insensitive to the survivor and her family. There's a reason that in rape cases newspapers don't publish the details. It shouldn't ever happen. Most people are lavishing praise on Eli Sanders for how well this was written when the focus shouldn't be on him. This victime now has to know that the entire world knows the intimate details of the worst day of her life. This article went way too far and was in no way respectful to the victim.
87
Eli, thank you for your amazing piece. Your writing detailed an atrocious evil without sensationalizing. The horrors faced by Theresa and her partner seem too unimaginable to be true. The love shared between these two women helped ease MY pain in knowing what they suffered.

Without a doubt , the victims both have been heard and they imprinted the evil makeup of the attacker. Sometimes we need to know sorrow to experience joy. I pray, and will continue to pray that the survivor and the Butz family find the happiness, overwhelming love and support from friends and from strangers , and never again find pain .

Survivor, you are the strongest person I know. Your beauty, courage and candor - inconceivable . Thank you . I am forever in awe.
88

Teresa Butz's brother, a Tony Award winning actor, wrote and performed a song in her honor, as part of an album dedicated to her memory. Proceeds benefit the charity Voices and Faces, serving victims of sexual violence. The song is just beautiful, and very moving:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx1hiUARD…
89
Teresa Butz's brother, a Tony Award winning actor, wrote and performed a song in her honor, as part of an album dedicated to her memory. Proceeds benefit the charity Voices and Faces, serving victims of sexual violence. The song is just beautiful, and very moving:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx1hiUARD
90
as a survivor of a less significant hate crime, I refused to testify against my attacker because of the fear that he'd come find me when he got out of jail... and kill me... I was a coward... and I've regretted it ever since. Thank you for doing what I could never do. I love you unconditionally...
91

Sorry, don't know why that link didn't work. Here's a better one:
http://youtu.be/Gx1hiUARDsk
92
I've tried desperately to find news on a national level about this story. Why on earth is this not on the national level? It makes me sick. The only new information I've found about the trial is from last week after the pencil incident. What's happening now, and more importantly - what, as a community, can we do? Do we sit back and wait until KOMO-fucking-news lets us know what's going on for 18 seconds during their evening news segment? I've just never ever in my life felt as compelled as this to take action, whatever that may be. I realize that of course, there is perhaps nothing any of us can do, but...I just want to know that one other person feels the same way and cannot imagine sitting on the couch to hear the decision. I am so glad that The Stranger has kept this at the top of their page, but I fear that any paper who writes about this in the coming weeks will put it in a column on the second page of the paper. Of course, some people are harping on Eli out of concern for Teresa's partner's identity, but in some way, I just want to make her feel a little less alone, even if we never meet. I want her to know that there's an entire community who hears her. I don't want to stand back. I am proposing a call to action. Don't let this story slip under the rug. Let's do something.
93
I knew them both. They were new friends of me and my boyfriend. Teresa and my boyfriend instantly clicked, like peas in a pod, and we were looking forward to spending more time with them. My heart aches for Teresa, her partner and all those that knew and loved her. It was a horrific way to die. I hope justice is served and this person can never harm another soul.
94
This is such a sad but amazing story of love and terror. Well written and very respectful. Thank you Eli.
95
@86, Eli has talked with the surviving victim. She was aware the story was going to be published before it was actually published. If she objected, I am sure she would have stopped it from going to press.

You do not speak for her. She can speak for herself, as she has proven in that courtroom. She is a strong, courageous woman. If this story was published against her wishes and without her consent, do you really believe she would just sit back and let it happen? I don't.

(Unnamed lady, if you're reading... thank you for your courage. I keep you and Teresa in my thoughts every day.)
96
I've waited a week to comment on your piece, Eli. I started crying when I read it in the middle of the day at a pizza place and have not been able to shake it since. The courage of these women shakes me to my core and the empathy in the telling of the telling of this tragedy makes it so much more real to me. The straight-up news version of it did not move me and that's not OK. Somebody needed to TELL IT and thanks for that. I take one thing away from this- fight, go against everything in your head and fight.
97
They should have armed themselves!
98
I just read on the times site that he just tried to commit suicide and failed...they should have just let him do it.

What a terrible story, I admire Butz's partner's strength and will to testify so openly.
99
Holy shit, that was hard to read. Soul crushing. Breaks my heart to hear what these two women suffered through. It's my hope and prayer that this woman find some peace and healing in this lifetime.

As for him, as much as we'd like to forget his name and face, I hope we don't. We have to make sure he is never, ever released on the streets again. It would be a relief if he succeeded in killing himself. He's sick.
100
I lived in South Park before these two women did and just want to say that I hope the community and social services in this area have improved since this tragic event. I love South Park and now live in Georgetown.We are neighbors and friends and I pray for teresas parner and commend her for NOT being silent. I hope that your love can be felt far and wide for the lesbian and gay community. We are neighbors and friends people. If you hear something please respond with love and compassion and for Gods sake please call the police when something doesnt seem right, as usually your gift of fear is absolutely correct
101
To see Teresa's brother singing her tribute song, Youtube search for "Goodbye: Tribute to Teresa Butz".

Thank you Teresa. Thank you Teresa's partner. I am so sorry for your pain and loss. Courage like yours inspires me to focus on what really matters even more. Thank you Eli. Best piece of journalism I have ever read.
102
"Putting this evil person to death will do nothing but allow him to escape his punishment. It will serve justice better to make him sit alone in a cell, with nothing for entertainment, no books, no music, no tv, nothing to distract him from his memories. Some day, hopefully, his mind will fully begin to understand the horror he inflicted on two loving women. As time passes, he will suffer the pain of knowing what a monster he truly is. Let him sit there, day after day, with no relief, until he dies of old age, full of hatred for his actions on these horrific days." Agreed agreed agreed agreed agreed. Let the motherfucker rot and waste and despair for as long as possible. Don't turn the lights down, turn them up. Perhaps he will get stabbed and raped and beaten - save him, maybe it will happen again, save him again, over and over. Anything but death. That is way too fucking easy.
103
I heard about this story while in Seattle on a business trip. Our hearts and prayers are with you everyday. You are the bravest woman and I hope that everyone who reads this takes one thing from it: to live every moment and love those around us more than anything.