Every Murderer, Rapist and Misogynist pakeha should read this letter
A mum’s moving letter to her murdered daughter
By LESLEY ELLIOTT, The mother of murdered woman Sophie Elliott – as published in Sunday Star Times
You are never far from my thoughts every single day. We have had our second Christmas without you and are coming up to our second anniversary of the day you died. Will the pain ever go away? Here I am crying already as I grab the tissues again, my glasses fogged up with tears. I know you would say “Get over it Mum”, but I also know you would understand. I wish it was unreal, a nightmare, but it isn’t. I see you so much, dancing around the lounge or outside or slumped on the floor in front of the fire watching a DVD, munching on chocolate biscuits and then complaining you felt fat or would get spots, none of which ever happened. You had very eclectic taste in movies, especially liking some of the old classics. I still have the Marilyn Monroe photos on your wall where you put them. I can see you sitting at your dressing table brushing your long shiny hair, curling it or straightening it according to what your plans were for the day. You took great pride in your hair and, I might say, probably spent a small fortune on shampoos, conditioners etc. I even miss all the toiletries lined up around the bath.
Sophie Elliott was stabbed 216 times.
That reminds me of the year right on Christmas when you dyed your hair black. Dad said you could because you led him to believe we had discussed it. It was horrible and I told you you looked like a witch. To start with you defended your action but a few days later you admitted it was a big mistake!
Life seems like it was always happy. You made us laugh, but you know some days you could be damn frustrating. I still have the note you wrote me once: “For Mummsie, to apologize for being argumentative, Love from Sophie xx”. That came with a block of chocolate, our favourite Caramello.
Sophie toasts Christmas 2007, just weeks before she was murdered. Image courtesy of Elliott family, via Sunday Star Times
I hope you like the way your bedroom is; I sense you are still there. You loved that room, especially in the morning when the sun poured in like it was that last morning. I light a candle every night and sit on the floor, cry and talk to you, tell you I love you and miss you. Sometimes I read a letter or card someone has sent. So many people have reached out to us, it is humbling. I have borrowed some of your jewellery, crazy, I guess you would want me to have it but I usually put it back. Your clothes are in your wardrobe waiting… for what? The outfits you had bought for your first week at work are still hanging there. I guess the day I do give them away will be the day I really accept you are not coming back. I know you will laugh at me but I finally gave away your school blazer and kilt, can you believe it – all those years ago?
I know the house looks a bit like a shrine, so many momentoes around of you – photos, notes you wrote, things you bought or made. I have a “memory” tree that I hang the mementoes on that family and friends have given us. I don’t think a day will come when I can be at peace and put them all away.
Gil Elliott, the murder victim’s father. Photo: Sharron Bennett/ Nzh. image may be subject to copyright.
You liked flowers like I do and I keep some in your room all the time. Sophy’s Rose has got to be one of the best. I bought another bush this year because it reminds me of you, vibrant and vivacious.
I guess because it is Christmas I keep seeing things that remind me of you again, because you gave me special gifts that even more so now I will treasure. What about the little pin cushion that you made and embroidered “I love you Mum” on it. By now you would have had a sign up on your wardrobe door “keep out” because you would have gifts and wrapping paper etc in there. You were the first to put gifts around the tree.
You would have had the Advent calendar on your wall and been very disappointed in me for not carrying on your tradition. You were an expert in decorating the tree and having a theme, either in colours or decorations and topped off with lights. You got so much joy out of this time of year.
You know Dad, he would come home and you’d rush out for a hug, then in no time complain because he was fussing around. He misses you so much Soph. It is hard for him also to believe you will never come up the drive spraying shingle after you as you came to a fast stop. How we’d like that again!
Your brothers miss you so much. It’s been a tough time for them and hard for Dad and I trying to come to terms with our own grief as well as being able to be there for them without being over-protective. They have struggled also to accept your loss. More tears from me, sorry “pussy cat”. I find it hard when we are all together, there were five of us, now there are only four. How did this happen to us?
The scumbag New Zealander, Clayton Weatherston (inset), used the knife (pictured) to kill Sophie Elliott last year – Exhibit No.2 in the High Court at Christchurch. Photo: DEAN KOZANIC/The Press. Photo may be subject to copyright.
The boys gave up their lives in Australia to be here for the trial, for as long as it took. We needed to be together to share our distress and grief, and to see justice done.
Your oldest brother has a new girlfriend. You’d love her. She is like you, full of energy and “spunk”. You and her would give him a hard time.
Remember how he always complained about your talking; he used to say “Soph stop hypervocalising!” It was our joke. Don’t even know if there is such a word but it fitted you well. I had got used to your fast talking. Why did we complain – we’d love to hear your voice again!!
Your other brother has settled in Auckland. Can you believe it after all these years in Oz? He’s trying to put his life back together. You would have been sad to see him unhappy but, as I said, you would understand. This is a new start, he likes it there.
Some days there are thoughts of happy times we had, and others I think of that fateful day. I wish so much to talk to you about it, well I do talk but you don’t reply! I think about our lovely hug less than an hour before you died and then my mind turns to those few moments of sheer terror and your awful death. You didn’t deserve this and neither did we. Our lives have changed forever. So much we had to look forward to, following your life and sharing it with you. You had this caring nature, you’d always be there for us all.
The Evil Face. Top pakeha scumbag. Former Otago University tutor Clayton Robert Weatherston. Weatherston was ordered to stand trial after a depositions hearing midway through last year at which 17 witnesses gave evidence. Photo: CHRIS SULLIVAN/Fairfax. Image may be subject to copyright.
I can’t help thinking about other families who have lost loved ones this year. People that have never been down this path can only but imagine what it is like. So many will have had their first Christmas without that special person or once again be reliving their loss. My heart goes out to them; I know what it is like. I guess especially as a mother we have this nurturing gene that makes us feel like it was our fault and somehow we have let our children down. I wished I could have helped you Soph, I did try. Some parents don’t know what happen to their children and can only speculate. This I have decided is even worse as your imagination would run riot. For better or worse, I was here with you and know what happened. I know how long you were alive and know your pain, maybe you didn’t feel much, I hope not. At least you didn’t suffer for long. The beautiful daughter I had not long given a hug to was gone forever. I still find it hard to believe.
Aged 18 months, Sophie enjoys the 1986 festive seasons. Image courtesy of Elliott family, via Sunday Star Times
What more can I say, Soph. I know you would want us to live life to the full, but our energy is lagging. Dad and I will continue our legacy to you. We have had so many people reach out to us and to “Sophie’s story”. We know you would want us to make a difference so your life has not been in vain.
I could write so much but then you probably know what I would say, we shared so much.
Love you heaps. Miss you heaps.