'Happy Face Killer' Daughter Speaks Out

In new book, serial killer's daughter is "bringing light into that darkness."

ByABC News via logo
October 16, 2009, 11:25 AM

Dec. 2, 2009 — -- At age 15, Melissa Moore learned that her father, Keith Jesperson, was a serial murderer. And for the next 15 years, she tried to keep that painful fact a secret.

Now 30 years old and author of the recently released book "Shattered Silence: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer's Daughter," Moore has spent the past year finally liberating herself from the guilt and shame she felt over her father's past.

"I know I'm in the perfect place at the perfect time, telling my story to those who have been searching for answers within the dark crevices of their own souls," Moore wrote. "I know that I'm bringing light into that darkness. I know that I'm literally breaking the chains of horror, secrecy and devastation."

But the light wasn't always there and signs of the darkness to come began for Moore at the age of 6 when she found a litter of kittens. She vividly recalls how her father asked to see the kittens, grabbed them and hung them on the clothesline.

"I remember saying, 'Daddy, please stop. These are my kittens. Please stop.' I kept screaming it," Moore said. "I saw that he had a smirk on his face. And that he was really enjoying what he was doing to my kittens."

Moore said she raced into the house to get her mother but it was too late: The kittens were already dead.

When Melissa was 10 her parents divorced, and five years later her mother called the whole family together for a meeting she would never forget.

"[Moore's mother] said, 'Your dad is in jail.' And she had this look that said, 'We're not going to talk about this. This is really hard.' And my brother said, 'For what?' and she said, 'For murder,'" Moore said.