Transcript of He Didn't Deserve to Live ... | Happy Scribe (2024)




The last night of Jordan Rasmussen's life wasn't especially remarkable. The only reason anyone finds it memorable is because those who love him most say it perfectly encapsulates who he was. No one remembers exactly what time the 32-year-old accountant pulled into the driveway of his single-story home the night of March fourth, 1982. But they do remember it was late enough that two of his children were already asleep. Jordan was working late when he received an unexpected phone call. That call would change his plans for the following morning, and that change of plans would cost Jordan Rasmussen his life. When he walked into the house, he found a familiar scene, his eight-year-old son and his five-year-old daughter in bed, while his youngest, 16-month-old Chad, was wide awake. His wife, Deanne, wasn't home. She was playing indoor tennis with a friend, leaving the in the care of a babysitter. And as he often did, Chad was protesting bedtime. Deanne remembers it was her husband who unlocked the secret of getting Chad to sleep.


Neighbors remember seeing Jordan almost every night. Night walking Chad around the block, trying to get him to sleep.


Was he a fussy baby?


He didn't want to go to sleep. So that was their nightly ritual.


But it was already dark that night, so Jordan offered to drive the babysitter to her house, just a couple of blocks away, and he brought Chad along for the ride. But when they returned home, Jordan realized the doors were locked, and he didn't have his key.


I had no idea he had locked himself out of the house, and he was just on his own with Chad.


In the early '80s, cell phones were not an option, so Jordan had no way to communicate with his wife.


He went next door to the neighbors and across the street to see if they, by chance, had a key to our house, which they didn't. They invited him in so he could wait for me to get home. And he says, No, I just want to spend some time with Chad.


Even before sunset that night, the temperature dipped below freezing. And that made Jordan's decision to decline an invitation to wait in the warmth of a friend's house a bit surprising. But he had his reasons.


He said, There was no way we were going to get Jordan to come in the house. He was determined he wanted to spend just a long time with Chad.


So Jordan carried Chad back into their garage, and they took refuge from the cold in the family's Sedan. Exactly what happened between father and son that night will forever remain a mystery. But it's easy for Deanne to imagine it because she'd seen similar scenes hundreds of times since they'd become parents eight years earlier.


I can just picture him being in the car, just hugging and laughing and giggling and talking to him. That's the way he was.


But at some point, maybe the chill started to seep in. Maybe his weight was longer than he expected, or maybe fatigue wore them both down. Whatever the reason, Jordan finally decided they couldn't stay outside any longer.


He broke a window in our French door, just a little pain, and reached in and let himself in because I remember we had to get somebody here to fix the window the next day after the awful event had happened.


That awful event was Jordan's murder, and it would happen less than 12 hours later. From KSL podcast, I'm Amy Donaldson, and this is the Letter Season 2, Ripple Effect. In the first season of the letter, we shared a transformative story of forgiveness and healing. We had no plans for another season because, frankly, we knew what happened in season one was unique. But all of that changed when I got an email from a former prosecutor that I hadn't seen in more than 20 years. He'd been listening to season one, and he was compelled to reach out. He said he'd been part of a story that sounded similar. It involved families shattered by tragedy, a reckoning with remorse, a complicated struggle with forgiveness. And yes, there was even a letter. But once I started looking into it, I discovered just how different these stories were. And that led me to question what I thought I understood about forgiveness, who it is for, who deserves it, and why people do it. This new season explores how a very personal decision can stretch across time and impact generations, sometimes even reaching strangers in ways we could never imagine. This is episode one, He Didn't Deserve to Live.


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Why, hello there. It's your old pal, Sarah Silverman, and I'm back with a brand new season of the Sara Silverman podcast. On my podcast, I am talking about everything. Politics? Yeah, we get into it. Favorite sandwich shop in LA? I know a few spots, and I'm going to tell you about them. I'm also going to be talking to you. I will be reacting and responding to listener voicemails in real-time. Let me tell you, things can get weird, and I love every second of it. Weird is my comfort zone. The newest season of the Sarah Silverman podcast is out now wherever you get your podcasts. When Deanne Rasmussen came home from playing tennis and found out that her husband and her toddler had been stuck out in the cold, she was overwhelmed with guilt. But Jordan assured her it was no big deal. In fact, he'd treasured the solitary snuggle time with Chad. It was a gift at the end of a long, difficult day.


Jordan was the best dad. He adored his children. He would do anything in the world for them.


When Deanne and Jordan first met as teenagers working together at a dairy in Salt Lake City, she had no idea they would have three children together. She didn't give much thought to what he might be like as a father or even a boyfriend, for that matter. She was just 17, and he was the lanky 19-year-old manager already in college.


I had no romantic interest in him, but he was so nice.


On nights like this, she couldn't a life without his patience and love. She was grateful that his kindness convinced her to go on a date with him back in 1969, and even more grateful that they made the commitment to stay together through life's challenges. The first test of their commitment came in the summer of 1969 during the Vietnam War. Jordan enlisted in the Air Force Reserves, and basic training kept them apart for six months. Even daily letters and weekly calls couldn't ease their longing to be together.


We were quite serious by then. It was really hard.


Then, even before he finished basic training, Jordan faced a monumental decision, a choice between serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints or staying with Deanne in Salt Lake City. Serving a mission was almost expected of Latterday Saint Men. It was a rite of passage, and Jordan had looked forward to it his whole life, a chance to proselytize for his faith. But that also meant two more years of loving each other through letters.


My heart was very keen in his words, too. We had the discussion and decided that it would just be too hard, that we needed to be together and get married.


Within a decade, they were a family of five. They never regreted their choice. Through all their challenges and changes, Deanne said there was one constant for Jordan.


The most important thing was family, his children and me, his wife.


It was no surprise to Deanne that her husband turned the inconvenience of being locked out of the house with a toddler into a playdate. Because even though life had been tough for them in the months leading up to this night, Jordan always seemed to find a way to make his family feel loved.


We were struggling. A new family. We were behind mortgage payments. It was a hard time financially for us.


It's one of the reasons he kept a job that had grown complicated and stressful. Jordan worked as the accountant for the iconic Loghaven restaurant. Since its conversion from a wealthy family's mountain retreat to a high-end restaurant, it had become the place for weddings and receptions in the '80s. And while balancing the books was Jordan's job, the restaurant was also a special place for his family. Two of his sisters celebrated their weddings at the massive Log cabin nestled in the scenic Canyon. But in recent months, Log Haven had become a source of tension. Under that serene surface, trouble was brewing. That night, after Jordan put Chad to bed, he told his wife that he'd gotten an unexpected phone call. It had to do with the restaurant. Though Loghaven was still very popular, it had been struggling financially. The relationship between the two partners who owned it had soured and grown increasingly contentious. One partner planned to buy the other out, and the restaurant staff worried about what might happen to their jobs, including Loghaven's 25-year-old manager, Michael Moore. It was Michael who had called Jordan and asked for that early morning meeting at Loghaven. He'd said something about Sunday's receipts being off.


Deanne had met Michael several times, including a recent lunch date.


It was only a couple of weeks before where Jordan went up to Log Haven, and he had me come with him. And so we actually had lunch with Mike Moore.


So when Michael proposed the early meeting, Jordan agreed, but he was not looking forward to it. Deanne was aware of some of the issues. Just a few months earlier, Jordan had pointed out a $30,000 shortfall to one of the partners.


He was deepened to their books, noticed that there was some shady deals going on up at Log Haven, suspected that there was some embezzling of money Rumors of thefts and layoffs created distrust between owners and the staff.


One of the partners had asked Jordan to take over Michael's job as manager as soon as the buyout was finalized. But this hadn't been officially shared with the staff. Speculating conversation was rampant, and Jordan was caught in the middle. Things had been so tense. He even made an offhand comment to his wife as they got ready for bed, that if his car slid off the road in the canyon the next morning, it might not be an accident. Deanne dismissed it as a bit of dark humor. Did you ever worry about him, or did you think- No, nothing to worry about. While Jordan went to bed, Deanne stayed up and finished some typing work she'd taken on to help them pay their bills.


I had a big project, and I finished that project, so I didn't get to bed till 2:00.


So Deanne was still huddled under the covers when Jordan left the next morning.


Jordan gave me my kiss goodbye, and he said, I'll call you as soon as my meeting with Mike is over. I knew it was going to be an uncomfortable meeting.


Jordan left his silent house just as the sun was rising. An overnight snowstorm had transformed the Salt Lake Valley into a winter wonderland. Everything was covered in the snow that's made Utah world famous among skiers, but wreaks havoc on the roads. Log Haven is located in Mill Creek Canyon, which is about a 20-minute drive from Jordan, Indiana's home in Sandy, Utah. Maybe as he drove, Jordan speculated about what he planned to say to Michael Moore, or maybe he thought about what was going to happen between the two owners who were deciding the fate to the restaurant. After months of uncertainty, the split of their business assets was supposed to be finalized later that very day. In fact, after his stop at Lughaven, Jordan planned to go directly to the attorney's office where the deal was being finalized. But he would never make it to that meeting. Jordan turned onto Mill Creek Canyon Road, and almost immediately he pulled over. Fresh snow blanketed the narrow roadway and hung on the branches of the dense trees that lined the route. He wasn't sure his car could make the three-mile drive to Loghaven in these conditions. Then he saw a familiar Jeep idling on the other side of the road.


He watched as the driver swung around and pulled off the road in front of him. Jordan got out and talked to the man who threw a half-smoked cigarette out the window as they exchanged a few words. Then Jordan walked around to the passenger side, opened the door, and climbed in. Maybe he was in a hurry and just didn't notice the bullet holes that marred the side of the Jeep, one on the hood and one just in back of the front tire. Jordan was prepared for a tense conversation, but he had no way of knowing that he was driving to his death. Jordan Rasmussen's life began with great expectations. He grew up in an East Salt Lake City neighborhood, the only boy in a family with three sisters. Their father, Eldon Rasmussen, was an Air Force veteran who served in the Second World War, a high school teacher, and eventually an administrator. Their mother, Blanche, was a vibrant woman whose life revolved around raising their four children. But if you really want to understand the person Jordan Q. Rasmussen was, just ask his big sister, Leslie, about his highly anticipated but brief basketball career. Even before he was born in 1949, his father dreamed of guiding his own child to a career on the court.


Back then, sports were almost exclusively a man's world. So when Alden Rasmussen held his baby boy, he saw a bright and athletic future.


He was so excited to have a son because, oh, my golly, this is It's going to be such a golden thing.


Those dreams became a real possibility when Jordan grew to be 6'3. While his father loved sports in general, his hoop dreams included a very specific college team, Utah's Brigham Young University. In fact, Leslie remembers there was no escaping Eldon's passion for the cougars.


He would wake us up in the morning, and he would be singing, Rise and Shout to wake us up.


Rise and Shout, the Cougars are out. For those of you who don't know. Rise and Shout, the Cougars are out.


That's how we woke up. We put with it because we loved our dad.


Father and son talked about him someday playing basketball for his beloved cougars, and the first step on that path was signing up for a rec league team. It turned out there was one small problem.


Jordan would not take the ball from somebody. It was like, Okay, they've got the ball. I'm not going to go steal it. I'll let them just go down. That doesn't go very far. Here he was with all the athletic ability, all the height, but he just didn't have that dry to just destroy people.


Needless to say, he did not go on to fulfill his father's hoop dreams. But those who were close to the family knew that Jordan always occupied a special place in Eldon's heart. Jordan's older cousin, Joseph Rust, spent a lot of time at the Rasmussen home, especially when he was a college student in Salt Lake City.


That was my weekend hangout. Get a good meal, and my aunt even cut my hair for me, so we were close.


He says Jordan and Alden were inseparable. Even after Jordan became a busy father himself, they would still find time to play tennis or golf.


But he and Jordan just did everything together. This was his only son. He was, of course, pretty excited about Jordan.


It was that bond between father and son that would weigh on Joseph the morning of March fifth, 1982, when he became the first family member to find out what happened to Jordan after he got into that Jeep. Joseph Ress was working as an attorney in Salt Lake City when he found out he might have the chance to work with his younger cousin. As it turns out, Jordan's boss, one of the owners of Loghaven, was represented by Joseph's firm.


There was this possible opportunity to work together. I was looking forward to that. Jordan had made himself quite well respected in his field. I I was very pleased and proud of him, of course.


So on the morning of March fifth, 1982, Joseph was busy working at his desk and looking forward to Jordan's arrival at the downtown law office. In a conference room down the hall, one of his colleagues and the owner of Loghaven restaurant were finalized facing the legal split. Jordan was supposed to arrive any minute for that discussion about his new role as the restaurant's manager, but he never showed. Instead, one of Joseph's colleagues stepped out of the conference room and walked into his office.


Suddenly, this partner came in and says, Joseph, it appears that your cousin, Jordan, was murdered.


The attorney said that the manager, Michael Moore, had called one of the owners of Loghaven and told him that he'd found Jordan dead.


And that they were just getting sketchy details. The only information they had was from the manager himself that they were calling the sheriff. I said, Well, the The first thing I have in my mind is, Well, so we got to tell the family.


One of the attorneys made arrangements for Jordan's religious leader, a Latterday Saint Bishop, to deliver the news to his wife, Deanne. Joseph decided he should be the one to tell Jordan's father, Eldon. As he drove to East High School, where Alden was the vice principal, he struggled with how to do something that he knew would break his uncle's heart.


And he sees me, and he said, Joseph, what are you doing here? Big smile on his face and so forth. So I said, Eldon, I said, We need to go talk.


They went into the principal's office, closed the door, and Joseph told his uncle that Jordan had been found dead outside Loghaven.


Eldon was always a very quiet person. He could be a very fun guy. He did a lot of fun things, but he would not show his emotions very often, and he did not. He more or less went into a a shock.


Did he ask any questions?


He didn't. He didn't. And all I did was, I said, I've got my car here, Elden. I'm taking you home.


They drove in complete silence. Joseph said the uncle he grew up with was gone after that day, changed forever by the death of his only son. Coming up after the break, the shockwave of Jordan's murder ripples through the family. Anyone who knows me knows that one of my missions in life is finding clothing that is professional and comfortable. But when it comes to fashion, I am, shall we say, wardrobe challenged. That's why I am so excited to tell you about Quince. Quince has given those of us who've worked from home for so long, we have no idea what's actually in style anymore, help and hope. I am anxiously awaiting delivery of my black Mongolian cashmere crew neck sweater. It's just $50, and my adorable olive linen jumper. Quince makes it easy to find stylish, high-quality items, even on a journalist budget. Everything at Quince is priced 50 to 80% less than you'd find with similar luxury brands. Indulge in affordable luxury. Go to quince. Com/theletter for free shipping on your order and 365 day returns. That's quince. Com/theletter to get free shipping and 365 day returns. Quince. Com/theletter. If you enjoyed this show, please consider In the Blood, hosted by actor Ben McKenzie.


It's the chilling story of a man named Ronald Trimboley, who was convicted of a 1985 triple murder in Texas. But he insists he didn't do it. He had an alibi, no history of violence, and it seemed almost impossible to imagine that the crime could have been committed by a single person. But one thing did link Ronald Trimboley to the crime scene, his DNA. Is Ronald Trimboley a monstrous murder of three teenagers or the victim of a string of bad luck, bad judgment, and a big mouth? In the blood asks you, the listener, to sit on a jury where all of the evidence, including some never presented to real jurors, will be shared. It's a case that echoed through the decades, multiple trials, and evolving DNA science. Check out In the Blood, where you get your podcast. And don't miss the trailer at the end of this episode. Not long after Jordan left home the morning he died, Deanne Rasmussen shook off the fatigue of working into the wee hours of the morning and woke her children for the day. Around 9:00 AM, she drove her oldest son, David, to elementary school. Later, as she attended to the needs of her two younger children, she was struck by a thought.


Jordan told that he would call me as soon as the meeting was over, and it got to be 10:30. I called down to his office, and I said, No, Jordan hasn't come in yet. I got a little like, What's going on? How come he hasn't called me? Because his meeting was at 7:30.


But mom duties beckoned. She helped her daughter Lisa get dressed and took her to kindergarten.


It was time for Chad's nap, so I laid down with him to try to catch up on the sleep I'd missed. And shortly after 11:30, my doorbell rang. And I thought, Must be some kids or something. My doorbell never rings in the middle of the day. So I got up, left Chad in the bed, got up, opened the front door, and there was the bishop and the neighbor standing at the front door. And I thought, Why are they here? And I could tell just by the look on their face that something was not right. And I just knew that it was something that had happened to Jordan. They came in and they said, We have something terrible to tell you.


As the bishop began speaking, she grabbed his tie and pleaded, Don't tell me.


Don't tell Jordan was killed this morning, and I just immediately went into shock. I mean, my body protected myself, and I just went on automatic pilot. They didn't know all the details yet. This was still early. They just said something happened over at Long Haven.


Before Diane could even find her footing, she realized she'd have to tell the rest of the family. She knew her mother-in-law was at Jordan's sister Diane's house, and so the bishop called Diane and told her to wait there with her mom. He'd drive Diane to her house because there was something they needed to tell them in person. It was only a 10-minute drive, but for Diane, who went out on her porch to watch for them, the wait was agonizingly long.


When they drove up, and I had I have Mitch, my baby, in my arms, and my neighbor across the street saw this, and she happened to be watching the news. She just thought, Oh, this is bad. And she saw this, and she just came and grabbed Mitch out of my arms and just took him. Then Deanne said, Jordan's been shot. Those words, just that doesn't happen. That doesn't happen to the little family in Santa, Utah. I couldn't even comprehend it. We went in, and then I think I went into shock. I just remember being on the floor in our family room, laying on the floor, just not believing what happened. I was shaking. I don't know what happened to my mom at that time.


As the bishop drove Deanne back to her house, a good friend agreed to pick up her children early from school. She wondered how she would tell them that their father was never coming home.


I mean, obviously, your mind immediately goes, How am I going to do this? I have three little kids. How am I going to do this on my own?


Deanne was only 30. She contemplated the trips they'd never take, the milestones her husband would never see, and the challenges she'd face alone. But when they pulled into the driveway of her home, she noticed their cul-de-sac was crowded with cars.


I walked in the house and my house was full of friends, neighbors, family, because the word had spread. As soon as I walked in the house, there it was all these people that loved us. And I knew that I'd have the love and support to get me through.


But there was one thing that she alone had to do.


Bishop took me aside and said, We have to think about how you're going to tell the kids. They later told me that when they drove up to the house, they wondered why all the cars were here. So they came in the house and I greeted them, and we took Dave and Lisa into Dave's room. This is where we're sitting right now. This is David's room? This is David's room. Sat right there on Dave's single bed. He sat down next to me and I said, I have something to tell you. Your dad has been hurt really bad. He's had an accident, and he's not going to come home. He has died. And I just remembered that's when it really hit me, looking into their sweet little faces. And they adored their dad as much as he adored their dad. And that's when it really became real.


The reality of life without Jordan was almost incomprehensible to those who lived in the protection of his love. His three sisters staring into a gaping void left by the brother that, even to them, seemed almost too good to be true.


I, to this... Oh, gosh. To this day, just miss him so much because he was perfect as an older brother and through his whole life.


He just was always so kind.


He's always been so sweet and always watching for people that might not be included, too.


Very, very sensitive.


He was so intuitive. He was so understanding. He embodied charity from my earliest memory. Literally, that's probably why I miss him so, is because even now, he would be my go-to.


Even long car rides and family vacations, usually incubators for bickering, were transformed by Jordan's kindness. Leslie said he'd share everything from cookies to souvenir money.


He'd give up his money and say, You get that fuzzy bear that you want. That was just his nature. Just share, share, share.


They could rely on his generosity, even if it cost him. One night in particular stands out for Leslie. A few years before he was killed, he had a meeting in her neighborhood, and he stopped by to say hello his big sister. He was working as an accountant, but he was struggling to keep up with the expenses of a growing family.


He said, Well, I'm meeting with, I think we're about six women, older women, widows. He said, I'm going to go help them with their taxes. Whoa, that is going to be a lucrative evening for you. Six all at one time? Oh, that's great. He looked at me so surprised and he said, Leslie, they're widows. I could never take a penny from them.


They could not comprehend why anyone would take their gentle giant of a brother from them.


Then your mind goes, Well, who? How on earth Who in the world would shoot Jordan?


Jordan's family heeded the advice of friends and avoided media reports about Jordan's murder, but they did slowly really get details that made his death more troubling. Jordan had been shot three times and was found in the back of a laundry van parked outside Log Haven restaurant. The man who killed him had confessed and was in jail. And then they learned it wasn't a stranger who killed Jordan. It was someone who knew him, someone who knew his family, his children. It was the man he'd made time for that morning. It was Michael Moore.


It was, I think, surprise, just absolute surprise that we couldn't even comprehend.


There were even times Jordan took his oldest son to the restaurant with him, and Michael always went out of his way to be kind to him.


Jordan would take his son, David, up with him when he had things to do up there, and Mike would always make him milkshakes. They had a good relationship. Like, What is going on here? You're feeding his kid's milkshakes, and then all of a sudden, you've done this?


Their sister, Diane, remembered meeting Michael when she was involved in a family wedding reception at the restaurant about nine months earlier.


I remember him well, so that when I heard that it was Mike Moore that had taken Jordan's life, I knew. I could see his face. I knew exactly who it was.


Leslie said they just couldn't stop thinking, how could someone who knew Jordan be his killer?


We were shocked when we found out that someone that he worked with was going to do this. What on earth happened to that person?


The only explanation they could come up with was that he must have shot their brother in a drunken haze or drug-induced episode.


We just felt like, Oh, he's just going to be devastated of what he's done. Because when the reality sets in, whether you're on drugs or you're on alcohol, no matter what he was on, at the time, we thought, When that wears off, he is just going to realize what he's done.


When Diane Diane heard that Michael had confessed, she assumed it must have been motivated by a regret.


Jordan, just an angel. There was no one on this Earth that didn't love him. For him to be taken, I just felt sorry for Mike that he had done this.


It might seem odd to feel empathy for a man who just murdered their beloved brother. But for Diane, it was inconceivable that someone who knew Jordan could even hurt him, let alone kill him. And so in her mind, it made sense that the guilt Jordan's killer might feel would be unbearable. As she wrestled with this impossibility, she found herself having silent conversations with Michael.


I bet you are just devastated. I bet you feel horrible. What were you thinking? And I feel so sorry for you. This is horrible what you've just done. How are you even going to live with yourself?


As Jordan's sister struggled to make sense of their brother's murder, they turned almost immediately to their faith. They prayed for help, avoiding the anger and resentment they feared might consume them. They gathered every day at their brother's house. They helped plan his funeral and care for his children. They were reeling, disoriented, desperate. And then, Leslie and Diane did something completely unexpected, something they didn't even tell their family about until later.


That was when we decided. We said, We need to go down and just say, What on Earth? We feel badly for him that whatever happened. I mean, he must have been so distorted and so to do anything like this. And so we went down to the jail.


That's right. Just days after their only brother's murder, they went to the jail hoping to talk to his killer.


If you can imagine Diane and I went to the jail to tell him that we know that he could not have had any must be towards Jordan, it would be impossible.


Diane knows this sounds absurd, but she says it was the only way they could make sense of what happened. It was their way of trying to find peace, their way of moving forward in a way that honored their brother's life.


It wasn't like, I want to go and say, I forgive you. This wasn't the forgiving mode. It was just, I feel so sorry for him. What is he going to do?


Diane said the questions that tortured her could only be answered by Michael.


My biggest My concern was, when did Jordan know if he had to drive all the way up Mill Creek Canyon, knowing there's a gun at his head, that he had to worry about his wife and children this whole way? And did he have to try and flee for his life and bleed for his life?


So they got in Diane's car and drove to the old Salt Lake Metro Jail without any real plan. Only questions. Would they find the answers they were looking for? That's after the break. He would lie his way into their dreams. He was looking for James Bond girls. How fun would that be to be a Bond girl? Then twist them into a nightmare.


This guy has done this before.


He'll do it again. Until a group of women band it together to put him behind bars and keep him there. You have to participate fiercely, fiercely in what happens next. I'm Keith Morison, and this is murder in the Hollywood Hills, an all-new podcast from Dateland. Listen to murder in the Hollywood Hills for free each week, or subscribe to Dateline Premium on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or datelinepremium. Com to unlock new episodes one week early. Hi there. It's Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This, you may know me from my podcast called Wiser Than Me, where I talk to Older Women and get their wisdom from the front lines of life. After Season 1 air, I was amazed by how many people told me our show made them look forward to getting older, which is why I'm here to talk about season two of the show. Sally Field, Billy Jean King, Beverly Johnson, Aina Garten, Bonnie Ray, just to name a few, and of course, my 90-year-old mom, Judy. All hail, old women. Wiser Than Me season two is out now from Lemonada Media. Back in 1982, the Salt Lake Jail was underneath the offices of the County Sheriff and connected by a labyrinth of tunnels to the state courthouse.


Michael Moore would have been in one of the windowless concrete cells when Diane and Leslie walked into the lobby. An officer asked them what they needed. He could not possibly have expected the answer he got. Leslie said they were the sisters of Jordan Rasmussen who'd been murdered, and they wanted to talk to the man who'd confessed to the killing.


They could tell how distraught we were, of course.


Did you want answers from him?


I don't know. I think we just wanted to say, Oh, we can't believe you are just going to You're really devastated when you find out what you've done and what on earth could have caused this because it was just such a shock.


It didn't make sense. It didn't make sense. But they were about to find out making sense of what happened or finding any peace. It wouldn't be that easy. And forgiveness? No one would even consider that, as the story of their brother's murder turned out to be much more complicated and more painful than they could imagine. It began when the officer at the jail not only turned them away, he assured them of one thing. Michael Patrick Moore was not remorseful. Not one bit. They'd come to the jail with sympathy, maybe the beginning rings of forgiveness on their minds. And as bizarre as that might sound to some, this mindset was rooted in their religious faith. They believed that forgiveness was required of them and that it would help them find peace. But what they didn't expect was how the killer's complete lack of remorse would send them into a tailspin. And as Leslie and Diane walked away from the jail without speaking to their brother's killer, they were completely unmoored. Learning he felt no regret somehow made their grief heavy easier, darker.


You just think it's unbelievable. It's just unbelievable. So then, of course, after the reality that you're not remorseful, are you kidding me? You just took one of the golden boys of this world, and you're not remorseful?


Instead of sympathy, a new feeling started to take root.


Then the anger comes to the fact that how on Earth could you be self-serving that only cared about yourself and not a little wife and three little kids. And so then you become angry.


And that anger would only grow as they learned it wasn't just a matter of Michael not being sorry. He blamed Jordan for the murder. More said he and Rasmussen drove up the Canyon together on March fifth, and when they got to the restaurant, Rasmussen wanted him to sign over a check that American Express had sent to Log Haven. He described a of Jordan to police that was unrecognizable. An embezzler, a thief, a bully. More said that's when he decided this guy is such a jerk that he no longer deserves to live. Jordan's widow, Deanne, wanted to build a wall around her little family. She felt protective of her children, of Jordan's legacy in their lives. And that would only feel more urgent as Michael Moore's allegations about Jordan became front-page news.


I just think it's important that they realized the a man he was and father that he would do anything for his children.


So somewhere in the darkness that followed, Deanne Rasmussen sat down at the typewriter and wrote an account of the last night of her husband's life. When he turned down Wormth and adult conversation for a few minutes of solitary snuggle time with his tired toddler. She glued the story into a scrapbook under a picture of Jordan Rasmussen holding baby Chad in the air. She took a moment that might have fated into oblivion and made it a permanent testament to the man she loved. And ultimately, she hoped it could give her youngest son what his father no longer could. Tangible evidence of how he felt about him.


I wanted him to know how much his father loved him and still does love him. It was like he had to pour a whole lifetime of love into his little 16-month-old self.


She knew that as Chad grew up, he would have questions about his father, but she did not anticipate that he would also have questions about the man who killed him. As Diane would find out, a loss like this ripples across generations, as does the struggle to forgive. And these ripples wouldn't just roll through Jordan's family. In a house on the other side of the Salt Lake Valley, another young mother wrestled with the same heartbreak. How do you tell a toddler the father she adores is never coming home? How do you tell an infant that she was loved by a man she'll only know through stories and pictures? That's because Jordan Rasmussen was not the only young father killed at Log Haven on March fifth, 1982. Salt Lake County Sheriff, Pete Hayward, released these details earlier today. Well, what appears to happen is that we've got two individuals, both of them being shot twice in the head. That's been determined now with a large caliber weapon. That's next time on The Letter. Hi, this is producer Andrea Smarten. If you like The Letter, please take a few minutes and give us a rating and write a review.


It helps other listeners find our show. If you want to hear more and would like to support us, please consider subscribing on Apple Podcasts for access to our bonus episodes. We drop a bonus episode every week. The Letter Season 2 is written by me, Amy Donaldson, and Andreas Martin, who is also lead on production and sound design, with additional help from Nina Ernest and Erin Mason. Mixing by Trent Sell, main musical score composed by Allison Leighton-Brown. Special thanks to Becky Bruce, Kelly Ann Halverson, Ryan Meeks, Ben Keebrooke, Felix Benell, Josh Tilton, and Dave Cawley. With Lemonada Media, executive producers, Jessica Cordova-Kramer and Stephanie Wittelswax. For Workhouse Media, executive producer, Paul Anderson. And for KSL Podcasts, executive producer, Sheryl Worsley. The Letter is a production of KSL Podcasts and Lemonada Media in association with Workhouse Media. Do you ever get hit with a cringey memory of your 13-year-old self out of nowhere and suddenly you're panicked, sweating and laughing at the same time? Don't worry, don't worry. We all get that. It's because being an adolescent is one of the most visceral shared experiences we have as people, and we want to talk about it. Join me, Pen Badgley, and my two friends, Nava and Sophie, on Podcrushed, as we interview celebrity guests about the joys and horrors of being a teenager and how those moments made them who they are today.


New episodes of Podcrushed are out on April 24th, wherever you get your podcasts. Feeling decision fatigue about what to make for dinner? We get it. I'm Jane Black.


And I'm Liz Dunn. We're veteran food journalists, and as parents ourselves, we know how hard it can be to feed your family.


That's why we created Pressure Cooker, a podcast that offers practical strategies for navigating the marketing madness and cultural expectations around mealtime.


Each week, we'll check in with the experts.


From social media diet trends to baby lead weaning and AI meal planning, we have all your food-related questions covered. Listen to Pressure Cooker wherever you get your podcast.

Transcript of He Didn't Deserve to Live ... | Happy Scribe (2024)
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