Killer Mom: Sole Survivor & Remarry or Run?
A Terrible TragedyIn 1962, when Lori was 2 months old, her mother shot and killed Lori’s 10-year-old brother, Ken Jr., and 7-year-old sister, Marie, while they were asleep in bed. Lori recalls the events of the fateful night. "Marie got up at about 1:00 a.m. My natural mother sent Marie back to bed and then she got one of my dad’s guns, and loaded it, and walked into their rooms and just behind their right ear, she placed the gun, and she pulled the trigger. When she fired the gun those two times, the gun barrel got hot, so when she came in to kill me and she placed the gun against my head, it burned me, and I started screaming, and she fired, and the gun misfired and at that point, she was done," Lori explains. "She called the police and told them that she had just murdered her children. My natural mother, Adelia, was committed to a mental institution."
Lori was raised by her biological father and stepmom, who never told Lori anything about the tragedy. When Lori was 14, she discovered the truth about her past, and two years ago, more than 40 years since the shooting, Lori learned that her biological mother gave birth to another daughter, Marlinda, while in the state’s custody. Lori has been desperately searching for her sister, with no success.
Lori enlisted they help of Troy Dunn to locate her only living sibling. She tells Troy that she often thought about the killings. “Why did she do it? Was I so unlovable that she thought she had to do something like that? That was something I really struggled with,” Lori says, fighting back tears. “What was so wrong that she couldn’t love us enough?”
Lori joins Dr. Phil onstage and explains that she had suspicions when she was growing up that her family was hiding something from her. “Occasionally, there would be an overheard conversation. I would hear one of the cousins talking about a brother and a sister,” she says, adding that she would ask her mother and stepfather if she had a sibling, and they always told her no. “At one point, someone mentioned something about my mom not being my mom, that I was adopted.” She asked her parents if she was adopted and was told that she wasn’t.
“It is such a joy and a gift to me to know that I have another sister,” she says. “She’s loved and she’s treasured, and I look so forward to meeting her and getting to know her.”
“And if she has passed, you would want to know that as well?” Dr. Phil asks.
“Yes,” Lori confirms.
Lori tells Dr. Phil that she wants to find her sister for two reasons. “If she goes hunting [for information,] I don’t want her story to end at a mental hospital with a mother who was convicted of murdering her children,” she says. “I want her to know that there is grace and joy beyond that story.”
As Lori and Dr. Phil speak onstage, backstage, Troy reveals that he located Marlinda and that she is at the show. He speaks with her before they surprise Lori onstage. "Have you, in your life, struggled with any mental illness issues or any medical issues that might be hereditary?”
Marlinda reveals that she is bipolar, which has caused violent outburst, and she has suffered from severe depression.
“What are your concerns, if any, about meeting your biological sister?” Troy asks.
“One thing is her and I not getting along,” she says.
Surprise ReunionTroy joins Dr. Phil and Lori onstage and he shares with Lori the information he's learned about Marlinda.
A Horrifying VisitWhen Lori was in her 20s, she reached out to doctors to find her natural mother. “I got a call one evening that she was at the bus station and could we come get her. I felt terrified,” she remembers. “We packed up and drove down to the bus station. My husband Grant was a gun owner. We had a loaded gun in the car under the driver’s seat, because we did not know what situation we were walking into.”
Lori recalls that she saw an older, gray-haired lady sitting in the station. “I look like her!” she says. “I felt chills. How did my dad love me so much, when I look like her?”
About three years later, Lori, her husband and 22-month old son visited her biological mother, and the visit ended with a trip to the emergency room.
Deserving of Another Chance?
Mitzi and Tim married after two years of dating, but she filed for divorce only three weeks later. A year and a half has passed, and Mitzi and Tim have broken up and reunited more than eight times and are now engaged again. Mitzi says Tim is her soul mate, but she is worried she might be making another wrong decision. She says Tim sends her mean text messages when he’s drunk, and she worries he still may have feelings for his ex-wife.
"Three weeks after Tim and I were married, I found text messages on his phone from his ex-wife asking him if he wanted the house, and he’s like, ‘I want the house. I want you. I want our family back,'" she recalls. "I took the marriage certificate; I ripped it up. I filed for divorce about four days later."
Tim says he’s changed and is ready to right the wrongs of the past. "I love Mitzi with all my heart, but I was with my wife for 10 years. That relationship is certainly not anything you can throw away," he says. "I feel like I’m ready to marry Mitzi, and the problems we’ve had in the past with me and the ex-wife are behind us."
Should Mitzi believe Tim? What do Dr. Phil and Troy think?