Monday, June 15, 2009
Darryl Interviewed Today
Today was the big day. Darryl had to go to downtown Atlanta for his interview. I knew that the morning was going to be about a presentation and that the actual interview wouldn't be until the afternoon. I didn't start worrying until about 1 o'clock or so.
When he had left this morning I was so confident. I felt we had rehearsed his answers enough that they sounded natural as opposed to rehearsed. Still I was freaking out by 4 o'clock.
He called about 4:30 to tell me he was on his way home and when he got home he told me he felt he did pretty well. He had a set time for his interview but he went to the interview room five minutes early. The interviewers told him they needed a break and for him to come back in about five minutes. He did and then when he was interviewing someone knocked at the door and they told that person to give them another fifteen minutes. I felt that was a good sign. They should let him know tomorrow if he's going on to the next level, which would be a tour of the company.
Once again I should feel lucky instead of sad when we are living so frugally. There was another murder suicide that involved a couple deep in debt. This happened about a mile or two from where my sister Mary lives in Florida.
HEATHROW - The family of four killed in an apparent murder-suicide in this gated community was deep in debt and struggled for five years to get out, according to records filed in federal bankruptcy court.
John Dillon Wood, 41, and Cynthia Wood, 40, declared bankruptcy in 2004 and tried for years to pay back money they owed, including more than $100,000 in credit-card bills. As of March, documents show, the Wood family still owed $85,000 to a list of creditors.
On Monday, the Woods and their two children, Aubrey, 12, and Dillon, 10, were found dead inside their home on Trentwood Court in the Lakeside subdivision. A preliminary investigation shows John Wood shot and killed his entire family, Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger said.
"It's a huge tragedy. There's no other way to describe it," Eslinger said A cleaning lady entered the home before noon and discovered John Wood shot in the head, sheriff's Capt. Dennis Lemma said. She called authorities, who found the other bodies in the home.
Investigators said family members were last seen Friday. A black Jeep and a blue Ford Expedition parked outside the house had not moved since then, Lemma said.
No suicide note had been found as of late Monday. Deputies noted that the family had financial troubles.
Neighbor Ed Evans said John Wood had worked for the Lowe's home-improvement chain but more recently had a job with Dick's Sporting Goods in Melbourne. Employees at Dick's said they couldn't comment, and a telephone message left at the corporate office was not returned.
Cynthia Wood recently lost her job, said Evans, who described the Woods as a "nice couple."
The family wrestled with financial troubles for years before the shootings, according to papers filed in federal court. John Wood had worked more than 16 years for Lowe's, earning $183,000 as a store manager in 2003, but he and his wife filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy the following year.
The couple had racked up more than $100,000 in credit-card debt. They also owed $228,000 on two mortgages on their home and loan for their 2002 Toyota Highlander, the documents state. John Wood was listed as unemployed, but how he lost his job was not explained.
A bankruptcy trustee put the couple on a plan to repay their debt, but they failed to make payments. In December 2007, the case was converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy: liquidation of assets. A status hearing was set for August.
Although $100,000 is a lot to owe on credit cards, Orlando bankruptcy attorney Anne-Marie Bowen said such steep debt is increasingly common. Sometimes people use their credit cards to pay large medical bills, or lose their jobs and fail to reduce their living expenses. Interest and fees add up, and the debt grows out of control.
"I'll ask my clients what they bought, and most people don't have anything to show for it," Bowen said.
Debt rarely leads to violence or suicide, Bowen said, because even if people lose their home through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, once the process is finished, almost all of the debt disappears and they get a fresh start.
"For someone to do that [kill your family], you can't be in your right state of mind," Bowen said.
Despite the Woods' financial troubles, the family lived well. John Wood owned a motorcycle, and the family had a boat that got used often, neighbor Evans said.
"The kids were just wonderful," he said.
Property records show the Woods' nearly 3,000-square-foot home built in 1999 was valued at almost $330,000.
Aubrey attended Markham Woods Middle School, and Dillon went to Heathrow Elementary, according to a family friend.
Until about a year ago, they took lessons at Champion Karate.
"The kids were normal, fun, vivacious kids," said Mike Friedman, owner of the karate school. "I can't imagine what it would take for that guy to do something like that."
Sydney Boughan, 12, attended Markham Woods Middle with Aubrey, and was planning to go to her house for a sleepover. Aubrey was a freckled, dark-blond girl who always had a pencil or paper to loan to her friends.
"She was the kind of friend you could rely on," Sydney said.
Aubrey, a cheerleader, went to Shine Athletics, a Longwood cheerleading gym, and was trying to learn back handsprings, Sydney said. Each weekend, Aubrey's mother treated the girl to trips to the mall, although all the shopping annoyed Dillon.
Cynthia Wood gave Aubrey quilted Vera Bradley bags, and on special occasions, dresses from Saks Fifth Avenue.
"She always seemed, like, perfect," Sydney said.
The last time Sydney heard from Aubrey was a text message at 3:06 p.m. Friday. Aubrey wanted to talk, but Sydney was watching a movie. Sydney didn't hear from her again.
"I still can't believe it's real," she said.
As time goes by we may see more and more of these kinds of murders and that's incredibly sad.