Monday, September 21, 2009


Brooke Wilberger will finally rest in peace.
Brooke was staying with her sister and brother-in-law in Corvallis, Oregon, when she disappeared on May 24, 2004. The efforts of law enforcement agencies from two states determined that Joel Courtney was her murderer. Courtney was already wanted for a similar abduction and murder in New Mexico. He was eventually convicted of Brooke's murder even though her body was never found. Courtney had made two unsuccessful attempts to abduct young coeds in Corvallis before Brooke went missing, and his van had been seen in the vicinity of Brooke's disappearance.

For five long years, Courtney never revealed the whereabouts of Brooke's body. Finally, after facing the death penalty in Oregon and New Mexico, Courtney agreed to a plea agreement. He would reveal Brooke's location in exchange for life in prison without parole.

Brooke's remains were located this weekend.

This is the &#@%$* who bludgeoned Brooke to death but wasn't man enough to face the death penalty himself:
Isn't it amazing how these animals can rape and kill, but become a quivering lump of manure when sentenced to death?

As to the death sentence in general, I don't have much sympathy for guys like Courtney. But I do believe it's probably cheaper to toss them in jail and throw away the key than it is for taxpayers to cough up the cost of endless court appeals.

So the mystery of Brooke's location comes to a bittersweet end. Her family can finally claim her and give her the respectful funeral she is due. But this must be like losing her all over again. The Wilberger family offered their appreciation to all who brought about the conclusion of their prolonged pain -- even thanking Courtney for at last agreeing to tell them where to find Brooke.

I can't even imagine what that family has been going through the past five years.


jrosey said...

I think I remember seeing a special on Brooke. I don't generally watch things like that, but for some reason I ended up stopping on it. I'm glad you posted this. It's good that the family will finally have some "closure"...whatever that means, I guess. Having gone through something similar in my own family I always wonder...when is there ever closure really? No matter what, it doesn't bring the person back. And with a case like this, it never really goes away...your loved one is gone, but the person who took them away is still around and every once in awhile that pops into your mind. And you're right...this has got to be bringing back all of the emotions that they first experienced. Hopefully, they can continue the rest of their lives in peace, while this guys rots in jail. I think your title to this post is perfectly fitting. Bittersweet is a good word for it. May her family continue to heal and may she rest in peace.

Oregon Equestrian said...

I have to correct my post...Courtney did not murder the girl that he abducted and raped in New Mexico. She escaped to ID him, which eventually led to his arrest and conviction for Brooke's death.

The pain in these situations is never ending. Not knowing the whereabouts of a loved one, versus knowledge of their terrifying final moments.