Murder and MemoriesUPDATE: Comments are now closed on this entry. Several members of Mr Seals' family have taken it upon themselves to attack not only the deceased victims, but me as well ... mostly over the one negative thing I had to say about my prior aquaintence with Mr Seals, which is nothing more than a personality conflict, ignoring that I stated that, as I knew him, he was a good person and a fine medic.
I will not tolerate the attacks on the victims or their families. I DO NOT CARE what, if anything, they were doing that enraged Mr Seals. NOTHING they could have done, short of pointing a gun at Mr Seals themselves, is worthy of being shot dead. NOTHING.
I understand that having a family member accused of a horrendous crime is extremely painful. Having a family member murdered is a life altering event. I should know... My own brother was murdered nearly ten years ago. I also faced accusations from all sides that my brother somehow deserved his fate. In addition to the excrutiating pain of losing him, those accusations made it so much the worse.
To the friends and family of Mr Seals - I am very sorry that you all are having to deal with this. I recognize that it must be a nightmare of unthinkable proportions, and you all are not deserving of this at all. However, attacking me and Misty and Mark does nothing other than to vent your anger and frustration ... and it is directed towards the wrong person. Doug brought this all on himself, and onto you ... he is a big, grown up boy and he made his choices.
The discussion here has ended. You all remain in my prayers.
I noted with mild interest the news that two people had been killed in a neighboring city. I lived there and worked in that county for several years. The names were not yet released, but I was somewhat familiar with the location ... an apartment complex that has seen more than its fair share of trouble. When I was a paramedic there, we responded to dozens of calls there ... most of them domestic abuse or assaults.
Later in the day, the main suspect was described by a neighbor as "someone who did emergency stuff" ... at first I thought they were referring to someone who did site maintenence for the apartments. When the name and picture appeared in the newspaper's web site, I just about fell out of my chair.
CLINTON - Clinton police have charged a Heiskell man with two counts of murder in connection with the Thursday morning death of his estranged wife and a male friend.(BugMeNot login: oakridger9/oakridger)
Phillip Douglas Seals surrendered Thursday afternoon, a few hours after the shootings at the Willow Run apartment complex, said Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough.
Seals became a suspect shortly after the bodies of his estranged wife, Misty Seals, 29, and Mark Newton, 42, of Knoxville, were found in Misty Seals' apartment at Willow Run. Scarbrough said the Seals were separated and Misty Seals had been in the Willow Run apartment about 30 days.
Scarbrough said police received an anonymous call at about 10:45 a.m. He said the male caller told a dispatcher that an ambulance would be required.
"It could have come from our suspect (Doug Seals)," Scarbrough said.
Doug Seals worked at several of the same ambulance services I did. We were even partners on several shifts, together for 24 hours at a time, dependent on each other, with the total trust that is needed on an ambulance crew. He even precepted me a couple of times when I was in paramedic school, grading and reporting on my performance in the field. He was a damn good medic, one that I learned a lot from.
While I respected Doug as a medic, personally I thought he was a creep. Nothing bad, really ... just not my cup of tea. We could get along for a shift, but he wasn't tops on my list to hang out with off duty. He also had a mildly flirtatious manner with all females that made me a bit uncomfortable. He was always friendly with everyone, always smiling and quick with a joke or funny comment. About the worst I ever heard anyone say of him was he was a little too full of himself ... a cocky, over-confident, swaggering he-man type. But those types are a dime a dozen in EMS. It is not a job for the weak ego. He has one of the worst corn-pone southern accents I have ever heard, at the same time he wears gold chains and a gold stud earring. Jeff Foxworthy meets Tony Manero
Like many of the medics I know, he did have a hard edge to him. We are a unique breed ... it's said that EMS is something that is in your blood, hard-wired in your brain. It's a different sort of personality altogether. Just dealing with all the horrific crap makes us all somewhat cynical. But we still melt into puddles of goo at times ... we aren't afraid to cry. We know that life can be short, very short, so we don't waste time fucking around with mundane crap.
That is why this is so shocking. Medics often stand between life and death, playing a tug of war with the grim reaper. Sometimes we lose, sometimes we win. But whatever the outcome, we have a deep respect for life. Preserving life is our job. Taking a life ... you would think that would be unheard of.
(Heh .. note how I use the present tense, as if I was still a practicing medic. I am retired. Not former ... retired. I will always be a medic even though it is no longer my occupation)
I've been thinking a lot about Doug these past couple of days. What is he thinking, how is he feeling? What could have brought him to the point that he would kill? No one I know has ever been accused of such a horrendous crime. It is something that my mind is having a hard time reconciling. Part of that is the brother/sisterhood of EMS being what it is ... coast to coast, all around the world, EMTs and medics are one big family. We all mourn when one is lost, we celebrate the successes of each other. We are proud of the noble reputation of EMS ... and when one of us falls in disgrace, we share in the shame.
Please, pray for Misty and Mark's families, for the two children Misty and Doug recently adopted, for Doug's family, and for Doug too. The coming months and years will be a living hell for all of them.