A sister’s courtroom perspective and other thoughts

April 11, 2007 marks the beginning of this madness and the tragic end of my sister’s life. It has been a long battle to get to this courtroom. It seems inconceivable that the days have finally arrived, yet years overdue.

It has been very difficult for me to listen to a description of Michele’s final days.  I found myself having to go somewhere else in my mind to withstand the aching inside as the tragic details are unraveled.  I would hear the proceedings, but would have to, at times, take my mind back to our innocent childhood days as sisters.   I would reflect back upon some good memories I could recall like playing with our dog Daisy’s puppies, pulling wagons, riding bikes, piling on the couch with mom to watch our favorite tv shows, sucking big fresh dill pickles from the grocery store deli for a dime, getting ready for school together and so many other special times. It got me through the day to relive these warm calm happy feelings that we felt in our carefree days as children; confident that’s what Michele was feeling now.

I said a silent thank you to the witnesses that testified who came to help my sister.  The neighbors, Kristi Daniels, Angela Aguilar, and Doug Daniels who did all they could to save her.  The police officers, Ray Ormond, Joshua Motsinger and the fire chief Mark Patterson who worked effortlessly also to save her.  The ER physician, Dr. Scott Van Wagoner, who knew Michele was gone, but still did all he could to the end.  You are all heroes to me.

I have also observed Martin in court who has shown no emotion when they talk about Michele. Martin’s expression has remained the same even when he saw his own daughters testifying across the room from him.  He sat there stone faced and cold.  I would have expected nothing different from Martin.  This was not a surprise. This is precisely the Martin I have always known.

Tuesday October 9th the preliminary hearing will continue.  I want to thank all those who support us in this cause.  Michele has had a wonderful support system and friends both old and new.  One dear friend is Lorene Hernandez who has dedicated so much time to be at everything.  My two sister’s Susan and Terry from California who are here for these proceedings.  They have been a constant source of support through this entire process.  I personally also want to thank my mother who is still with us.  She painfully aches by our side at the loss of a beautiful daughter.

I know Michele is with us in this fight.  If you find your heart aching during the proceedings please go to that place in your head and heart with good memories of Michele as I have done.  She is free from pain now, perhaps pulling a wagon full of puppies or running in a meadow full of flowers.

I miss you so much and I love you.

Your sister,




  1. Elaine Levitt says:

    Dear McNeill and Somers Family,

    You all are an incredibly gutsy group of individuals. I am enormously impressed with the tenacity you have all shown to find justice for Michelle. You will get it. She raised a fantastic family and that legacy is a huge factor in this tragic situation. The bond between Michelle and her family can never be severed, not even in death. Your family will transcend this monsters actions and get to a good place. I recommend you read the book “The Other Side of Suffering” by John Ramsey. Michelle was so blessed to have all of you in her life, and she is with the Lord and you will see her again. Prayers of strength are sent to all of you.

  2. Cindy T says:

    Dear Linda,

    Though I was never super close to Michele, I do want to share your sentiment about remembering the positive things about her.

    We were neighbors with the MacNeill family for four years when we both lived in Salem.

    We met the family at Aspen Grove Family Camp. Shortly thereafter we moved to Salem from California. Our boys got along great with Damian and spent time at their home. Later, one of our sons also became good friends with Vanessa. Whenever I saw Michele, she was always smiling and friendly. Such a beautiful person inside and out. You could see how much she loved her children and other people.

    Love, Cindy Tittelfitz

  3. margaret says:

    What a lovely tribute to your beautiful sister. I look at her picture and she makes me think of a kind, thoughful ..thoughtful southern woman who adored her children. Rest in Peace lovely Michelle. Justice will be yours..

  4. Missy Rader says:

    OMGosh! I feel so sorry for you & those girls! You and the daughters are in my prayers! I can’t imagine going through this! Stay strong! God WILL give JUSTICE! Martin is scum!

  5. Shelly says:

    Im still trying to find info on Blanding 1988. I think it is archived under special sessions film #s 3-6-68. I did find this and wondered if you had contacted the other Dr. who was recruited? Good Luck. ~~ snipped from archives~~ Physician Recruitment – A discussion was held on the final negotiations for Dr. Kelly Nicholes and Dr. Martin MacNeill to come to the Blanding Clinic.
    PS this is from 1987

  6. Joan says:

    I just heard the verdict! I’m SO HAPPY for all of Michelle’s daughters and sisters! Congratulations on the good fight. I have been keeping up on this trial, and I feel that justice has been served. I hope the scum rots in jail for a very long time! I pray for you girls all of the time. I’m so sad about the loss of your dear sister. It sounded like it need not have ever happened at all. Hang in there.

  7. Erin says:

    So sorry Linda for your loss. The devil got his due. I hope you can move on now and hopefully have some closure.

  8. Marsha Miller says:


    You and Michele’s daughters are to be congratulated for your strength, perseverance and love for Michele in this lengthy fight for justice for Michele. You all showed so much dignity and grace throughout the process, from what I could see during the trial and in reading your blog. May the Lord bring you all peace, closure and healing in the days to come.


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