Aurora's Other Massacre Victims' 20-Year Wait for Justice


Aurora's Other Killer Awaiting Execution After Nearly 20 Years

It took three years for Dunlap to go to court and Foltz-Smith said it grew increasingly difficult to tell the story in various forms over the years. He finished high school, went to the University of Chicago and was, in all respects, moving forward when he got the call.

"I had actually already moved on with my life and gotten through it and then I got the call saying I had to come to trial and testify," he said.

When asked whether he was hoping for the death penalty for Dunlap, he says he still struggles with his feelings on execution.

"I don't like the idea of killing someone else to bring justice for the death of other people. It doesn't mean I'm opposed," he said. "I know how I felt in the courtroom when I had to testify and this guy was looking at me and it didn't feel good. It was one of the most chilling moments of my life."

"Even if you take this person's life, I guarantee I'll re-live it anyway," he said. "You never get rid of this stuff."

Foltz-Smith added that he now has two daughters, ages 7 and 9, and does not know what he would want as a parent if anything were to happen to his girls.

Despite the passing of nearly 20 years, both the Crowells and Foltz-Smith still deal with the effects of the shooting on a nearly daily basis.

How often does Foltz-Smith think about the events of December 1993?

"It may not be every day, but it's pretty close," he said. "It's not debilitating, but you just get flashes of things." He said that, for him, a pervasive thought throughout his life is, "Has my life been worth me getting out of that?"

Foltz-Smith said that over the years he has run into many people who tell him they had been thinking about him, but hadn't reached out to say so. He hopes that people in contact with victims from the movie theater shooting will let them know they're being thought of.

"I encourage people to obviously be respectful, but reach out because they're going to be hurting for a long time," he said.

As for the Crowells and their daughter Sylvia, Bob Crowell said, "I think about her every one to three days and my wife, I think, thinks about her every day. And that's not something that'll go away. I can't say that it's really gotten a whole lot easier."

When asked if he had any advice for those who are just beginning the grieving process, Crowell paused and said, "I don't know of anything that would really help other than have faith in God, pray often and pray that you can forgive the perpetrator, if that's possible."

"My wife and I have been working on forgiving Nathan Dunlap and we're most of the way there, but not quite," he added.

Outside his Aurora home on Monday, Crowell pointed to the American flag over the doorway. He said he usually doesn't put it up, but, this week, it flies at half-mast.

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