Shooting, Arson Survivor Whose Family Was Slain Forgives Daughter, Killers For Plotting Murders


"I was very angry," Caffey said of the murders. "Not only was I angry at God but I was angry at my daughter. I was angry at these two young men, the other young lady that drove the getaway car. I was just angry. I wanted them to die. I wanted them to pay, especially those two boys. I wanted them to pay for what they did."

But Caffey said God showed him another way to deal with his grief. Not only did Caffey forgive them all, including his daughter, but he asked them to be spared from the death penalty when the case went to trial. The judge agreed.

"I have met people that have gone through a lot less than what I have and they've grown into bitter, angry people, and that's not who I am, and I saw myself becoming that," Caffey said. "I knew that's not what I wanted to do. I didn't want to grow into a bitter, angry old man. I'm here. I'm still here. Now what can I do with this. And that's when I decided to -- it's time to move on. It's time to forgive. It's time to enjoy life again. Life does go on."

"When you hold on to that un-forgiveness or that bitterness, it's like that person still has a part of you," he continued. "They own you. And you relive it over and over. And it wasn't until I was able to forgive that I began to experience peace and happiness again."

Erin Caffey was convicted of three counts of capital murder and will not be eligible for parole until she is 59 years old. Her father, who now visits her in prison, will be in his 80s by the time she gets out.

"My prayer is that I'll live long enough. I want to go. I want to get Erin. I want us to walk away, arm in arm, and never look back," Caffey said.

Wilkinson and his two accomplices, Charles Wade and Bobbi Johnson, were convicted of the same charges.

Caffey said he has talked to his daughter about what happened the night of the murders and he said Erin is "very remorseful," but claims she did not initially plot to kill her family.

"She's always started that Charlie was the first one to initiate the conversation, 'We've got to take your family,' Caffey said. "And even though she didn't actually come in and commit the crime, she knows her responsibility that she could have stopped it and she didn't."

Prosecutors believe Erin plotted the crime, but her father can't bring himself to believe that. Too much has been lost already, it seems, for him to give that up as well.

Caffey broke down in tears at the thought of knowing he will never get the chance to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day or see her have children.

"You know that's any daddy's dream to walk their little girl down the aisle and hand them off and them giving you grand babies and that's hard, and that is so hard," he said.

Caffey has remarried and lives in Wills Point, Texas with his wife and two stepsons. He now travels the country preaching what he has become good at, forgiveness.

For more information about Terry Caffey, visit his website:

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