A grieving mum has shared heartbreaking doorbell footage of her happy son, who went to school for the last time – hours before he was “shot by his own father”.
Greyson Kessler was found dead with his father John Stacey, 47, in May last year in what police believe is a murder-suicide.
Shortly after his death, his mother Ali Kessler, 41, discovered footage of her and Greyson giggling as he accidentally closed the door on her as they left the house together, and she exclaimed, “You almost punched Mom in the face.” .
CCTV shows them walking down the path together before Greyson hears “a butterfly” scream as he walks to school for the last time.
Ali decided to release butterflies at Greyson’s funeral because he loved her so much, and she held his one-year memorial last month.
Kennedy News and Media)
Digital marketer Ali says she watches Greyson’s videos every day as she lives through “everyone’s worst nightmare” and that the only thing keeping her going is her campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Ali, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said, “I found the video after he died and I was like, ‘Oh my god, he’s screaming there’s a butterfly.’ I cried.
“I watch videos of him every day. I’ve taken so many photos of him over the years.
“That’s not even the beginning of what I’m looking back on.
“I shared the video because I want him to be remembered and honored and create awareness of what is going on.
“He loved butterflies. He was the happiest little boy. He was everyone’s best friend. He was so funny he made me cry. He was fearless.
“He loved to sing and dance. He was the best and he was so smart that the teacher said he was two years ahead of all the other kids.
“It was a nightmare. Every day it’s a struggle to wake up. The only thing that keeps me going is raising awareness.
“I don’t want his death to be in vain. I not only lost my son, I lost my life. I am no longer a mother. My world revolved around Greyson 24/7, making him lunch, taking him to places.
“I have bills to pay, so if I don’t get up in the morning I’m homeless.”
Kennedy News and Media)
Ali had just tried to get a restraining order against Stacey after he texted her abusive messages and she found a tracker on her car, but her request was denied the same day Greyson was murdered.
Ali says the couple met six years ago through an app in New York and although they were together, they were never in a relationship.
She moved to Florida and found out she was pregnant, but Stacey insisted he didn’t want any part of the pregnancy, so Ali was shocked when he also moved to the same state and filed for 50% custody when Greyson was six months old was.
However, Stacey became increasingly jealous when Ali started dating someone else and began inundating her with disturbing texts.
Stacey wrote in a message, “You ruined my life you fucking piece of shit.”
And in another eerie message, he said: “Trying to get a restraining order over text messages.
“It would be devastating to my career, I hope you know the child support would evaporate and fan the flames further.
“If you don’t answer, I’ll assume it’s a yes.”
The day Ali tried to get a restraining order in court, Stacey couldn’t get Greyson to school, so she showed up at his apartment with a police escort, but there was no response.
Ali claims that officers told her there was nothing they could do because Greyson was dating a parent and she was desperate to find her son herself.
Kennedy News and Media)
She called a locksmith who came to the house at 11pm, but the next day at 5am she discovered her son had been killed.
Ali said: “We hadn’t been together very long so it wasn’t like we were in a relationship. He didn’t want any part of the pregnancy and he didn’t want to be in our lives. I had the baby and he didn’t even have it on the birth certificate. When Greyson was six months old he sued me for 50% custody and won.
“He moved here and tortured me for five years.
“During the pregnancy he sent horrible text messages saying I was a horrible person and this was no way to raise a child.
“He would humiliate me and tell me what a terrible person I am. He harassed me, he sent me 60 messages at once and I couldn’t do anything.
“The pattern was very abnormal. He made my life miserable. I tried to ignore him unless it was about Greyson directly.
“I started dating and he got very jealous, he put a tracker on my car and I could sense I was being followed so I took my car to a shop and they found a tracker.
“He sent horrific messages saying he wanted to see my head separated from my body, he wanted to see me miserable for who I was.
“In the end when I got those messages I tried to get a restraining order but it was denied the same day and that night Greyson’s father came to pick it up and I had to give it to him. The next day he was dead.”
“I called his teacher and he wasn’t at school. I asked for a police escort to go to his apartment and knock on the door but no one answered so they said there was nothing they could do because he was with a parent.
“I called the police about six times that day. I was desperate and looked for him. I was panicking all the time from 8am onwards. I thought he might have gotten him out of state.
“I contacted the owners of the apartment and a locksmith who came to the apartment at 11pm and at 5am there was a knock on my door and they were both dead with gunshot wounds from the previous day.”
Ali shares the video to raise awareness of domestic violence and she is supporting Greyson’s law, which would help protect children at risk of being hurt by their parents.
She has also set up a website called GreysonsChoice.org.
Ali said: “If someone harms another person, they should not have a child in their care.
“I never expected him to hurt Greyson. It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. I knew he was not well, nor normal, and there were red flags, but never in a million years would I have thought he would kill his own four-year-old son.
“I’ve asked for help for years. You have to play it safe. I should have had help. All I asked was to be protected.
“Every single day I get messages from someone asking for help or advice because they are in a similar situation. It’s crazy. It put me in touch with other women who have been through the exact same thing, who have lost their child, and it’s crazy how many of us there are.”
In the months leading up to his death, Stacey shared on Facebook that he had donated to the charities PAPYRUS, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the National Suicide Prevention Line.
A spokesman for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department said: “The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is investigating the deaths of an adult male and a child in what appears to be a domestic homicide. The bodies of the two were discovered around 10 p.m. on Friday, May 21. The incident occurred at 520 Southeast 5th Avenue, Apt 2308 in the city of Fort Lauderdale.
“This is a parent’s worst nightmare. We understand that the mother and family of the child victim feel immense sadness at this time. We want to assure you and our community that we will be conducting a full investigation into this incident.
“Preliminary investigations have revealed that the adult man shot and killed his four-year-old son before turning the gun on himself. Based on information gathered so far, the shooting is believed to have taken place sometime on Thursday, May 20, inside the residence.
“The identification of the child victim will not be released in accordance with Marsy’s law. The adult male has been identified as John Michael Stacey, W/M, 3/4/74.
“The Fort Lauderdale Police Department encourages anyone experiencing a mental health crisis to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).”
A spokesman for The Seventeenth Judicial Circuit said: “Judges are prohibited from commenting on court proceedings and cannot discuss the details of orders.
“As we stated at the time of the event, it cannot be stressed enough that if anyone has reason to believe a child or other person is in danger they should call law enforcement – in all cases.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/heartbroken-mum-shares-final-video-27283374 Heartbroken Mom Shares Last Video Of Son Before He Was Shot By His Dad