Follow-Ups: Jo Ann

Follow-Ups: Jo Ann

When Jo Ann met Dr. Phil, she was suffering from the loss of her daughter, Laurie Ann, who had been murdered. "I was having a really bad time accepting her death. At that time, the grief was more than I could understand, and I wanted to die," she shares. "When Dr. Phil told me that I should be honoring her 18 years of life instead of her death, it was a light bulb moment. I never thought that I could address her death any other way than just devastated with life. That wasn't honoring her. I think it was making the person who murdered my daughter even more important than my daughter was. I was so overwhelmed at that moment, and to have sat there and realized what Dr. Phil had just said to me, this just totally changed how I looked at things."

Shortly after Jo Ann returned home, she received letters and phone calls from other people who were suffering her same sadness and depression. "To know that my story had helped them is an amazing thing," she says.  

Jo Ann started a non-profit organization to support homicide survivors. She named it The Laurie Ann Foundation. "If I can lift one person's heart for a second, then by all means I would do that. It honors my daughter more than anything I could ever do to honor her," Jo Ann
says as tears well in her eyes.


Cindy, Jo Ann's oldest daughter, is pregnant and will soon deliver Jo Ann's first grandchild. "Ten years ago, I didn't even want to get up out of bed, and now I'm so excited about it," Jo Ann says. "My granddaughter's going to be born exactly 20 years to the day that my daughter, Laurie Ann, was murdered."


Jo Ann shares a message with Dr. Phil. "We had just a brief moment that we met, and yet in that brief moment, you changed my life so tremendously," she says.

Dr. Phil tells Jo Ann he remembers her appearance on Oprah like it was yesterday. "Your plan had been that you were going to get that story told and then once that was done, you were going to go home and be done, end it all," he says.

"That's it. That was my intention," she says.

"We didn't know that, and you scared the bejeebers out of us when you said that, because that would have been such a tragic disservice," Dr. Phil says. "You have so much to offer to the world, and you have contributed so much to the world in these last 10 years. You've raised awareness. You've helped people who have been through the same situation, and it's made a huge, huge, difference, and I'm proud of you for that."

"Thank you," Jo Ann says.


Jo Ann's granddaughter is due in April, and Dr. Phil tells her that Bel Bambini of Beverly Hills is giving her an eco-conscious, non-toxic Cariboo bassinet filled with baby gifts for her first grandbaby.

"That is so sweet," Jo Ann says. "Thank you." In a low voice, fighting back tears, she continues. "You ar

e wonderful. Do you know what you did for me that day, what you did for my family?" she asks. "I listened to you, and what you said was right. I was not honoring my child by living that day she died, and when you pointed that out to me, that was such an epiphany for me, and I will forever be grateful to you for that day, and thanks for keeping up that work for everybody else."

"You blessed us all that day," Dr. Phil tells her.