Sharing is caring!Facebook1Twitter0Google+0Pinterest0A woman has befriended the man who repeatedly stabbed her in the face and murdered her best frien...
A woman has befriended the man who repeatedly stabbed her in the face and murdered her best friend after she found him through Google .
Lynette Grace, 56, has released letters she exchanged with killer Johnny Bell, who slashed her five times in the face and slaughtered her best friend Eddie Bell, his mother.
“I owe you overall above else my ‘sincerest apologies’ for the pain and suffering I have caused you.
“I cannot erase nor remove the mental or physical scars that I caused you, but if you will allow me the chance to express to you my deepest sorrow I would greatly appreciate the opportunity.”
Remarkably, Bell and Lynette have since met and are now friends.
For years after the August 12, 1991 attack, Lynette, 31 at the time of the stabbing, buried what happened to her and Eddie, who she’d viewed as a mother figure, deep in her psyche.
But in late 2011, after telling a workmate about what happened, she discovered Johnny on Google – and decided to write to him in jail.
She’s visited Bell seven times in jail, cheers him up by telling him jokes when he’s down and this year wrote to the parole board, pressing for his release.
In her letter, she described him as a great barber, who loved playing chess.
“Johnny told me that because of the nature of the crime , I was the last person he expected to visit him in prison ,” she said. “I learned something even more important during our conversation. I found out that Johnny was not the monster I thought he was.”
His next parole hearing is likely to happen in 2019, and she is adamant he should be freed.She asked him the question that has tormented her for years: “Why did you do it?”
Bell revealed that he attacked Lynette and his mother, because he’d been grounded by Eddie – and caught using the phone.
“I have come from a place of pain to one of forgiveness,” divorcee Lynette explained. “Not everyone understands. People say, ‘but you nearly died.’”
Speaking about her friend Eddie, she said
She said: “She was like a mother to me. I called her my spiritual mother because we were so close.We were in her kitchen eating her famous red velvet cake and chatting about cute guys, who were husband material, when I went upstairs for a sleep.”
At around 6am the next day, Lynette was woken by her friend screaming: “No, Johnny.”
“I went downstairs and asked Johnny, who was then 16, what the noise was,” she said. “I asked if his mother had suffered a bad dream. He said yes.”
Then, in the basement, Lynette saw something she’d never forget.
“Eddie was there, lying in a pool of blood,” she remembered. “I turned to Johnny and he stabbed me five times, in the face and body.”
Terrified, she ran from the house in to the street, frantically banging on neighbours’ doors.Taken to Grant Medical Center in Columbus, she underwent hours of surgery. Afterwards she was told her great friend had died.
“At first I didn’t believe it,” she said. “But gradually it sank in. I was so sad. I missed her. I was angry.”
Around a year later, at Franklin County Court House in Ohio, Bell pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault. Jailed for 40 years, Lynette came face-to-face with him.
“In the back of my mind I always wondered what happened to him,” she continued. “But I never pursued it.”Then, at work in 2011, she found him – via Google.I wrote to him and a month later I received a response. He’d written a page, an entire letter. He said how sorry he was.”
Their first meeting took place in Ross Jail, Ohio, a few months later.
She added: “He asked if I could forgive him. I realised in that instant that I could. It was like a burden had been lifted off me. I’d changed a life.”