Plans continue for a memorial garden at a Broken Arrow murder scene
BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (KTUL) —
The people who are trying to build a memorial garden on the site of the Bever family home, want to know if a recent fire in that house will impact their plans.
The property was the site of what may be the most brutal crime in Oklahoma history.
They believe a garden would help the first responders, the surviving family members, and neighbors forget that tragic night.
City Councilman Mike Lester is organizing the effort and he said they are pushing ahead to raise the $50,000 they need.
That price was offered by Fannie Mae, which holds the mortgage, and it's far below the original market price.
Lester said it will help people heal.
"They still see that every day," Lester said. "What those law enforcement officers went through. That instant snapshot of what the saw. They were still required to do their jobs, but that snapshot never goes away."
He also said the entire Tulsa community would benefit from the site being leveled.
Neighbors are suspicious about the cause of the fire, but Fire Marshal Stan Sprandlin said any determination of a cause will take a while, due to a lack of witnesses.
At the same time, he empathizes with the neighborhood.
Spradlin said, "They would like to see the house gone and they wish it was completely down. We can't let that happen, but I understand how they feel about it."
Broken Arrow's mayor says they hope the project can move ahead because the Bever case isn’t the kind of thing that usually happens in their city.
He said with 111,000 people, they average less than a murder a year.
Donations can be may to the Bever Family First Responders Fund at the Tulsa Community Foundation.
There's also a Go Fund Me page.
They need to raise an additional $38,000 by the April 5, but that deadline may be extended.