Double murderer recalls night that changed his life
Crime of passion smashed family, but God delivered - ex-con says
February 3, 2004
A scar which stretches from behind his left ear to the back of his neck is the only physical hint of the grisly past of a man who seriously injured his wife, killed her parents and attempted to kill himself.
Seventeen years and numerous social and other struggles later, the self-confessed ex-murderer tells the story of how God delivered him from the death penalty, healed his wife and salvaged his family life.
Lakeram, [not his real name], became rebellious at the age of 15, neglecting every good principle he had been taught by his Christian parents and pursuing a life of drug and alcohol abuse and promiscuity.
A few years passed and Lakeram's heart was captured by a beautiful 16-year-old girl who bore him a son shortly after they were married.
It was not long after the birth of the young couple's first child, that the restless Lakeram started a secret affair with another woman who subsequently became pregnant.
Somehow, Lakeram's wife got wind of his extra-marital activities and his lover's pregnancy and in a fit of rage, she packed up and returned to her parents' home with their young son.
"I really wanted them back but [my wife] wouldn't come home. At the same time, my lover began pressuring me for money and other things for herself and [the unborn child]."
The resulting frustration and confusion caused Lakeram to develop a lethal mixture of anger and desperation and the consequences of his next actions would haunt Lakeram and his family for the rest of their lives.
"One night I left work [Lakeram was a security guard at the time] with a loaded firearm and went to my in-laws' home and shot my wife and her mother and father in their heads. Then I put the gun to my head and fired... all I kept thinking was that everything was over.(
Neighbours and other family members rushed to the scene and when it was ascertained that Lakeram had survived his suicide attempt, he was beaten into a state of unconsciousness and handed over to the police.
"When I came to, I was in police custody and I learned that my [wife's parents] had died and my wife was in hospital fighting for her life."
Authorities charged Lakeram with the double murder and remanded him to prison. Two and a half years afterward, he was convicted and sentenced to serve five years for the capital offence.
However, according to him, he repented and received God's forgiveness during his incarceration and was particularly thankful that he had not been condemned to death.
"I began to read the Bible and share the word of God with other inmates, many of [whom] were hardened criminals but I managed to win some of them over," Lakeram recalls.
Life in prison was not easy and while there, Lakeram had several chilling experiences, including threats on his life by a cocaine addict who had been remanded on eight separate robbery charges.
But chief among Lakeram's prayer requests while in prison was that God would heal his wife and "preserve her from other men so she would remain faithful to me and we could be a family again."
Apparently, God heard and answered Lakeram's prayers, and his wife survived a shattered right ear drum and damage to several vital nerves in the brain where the bullet had lodged.
"Her face was totally twisted from the right side to the left but after surgical intervention [she recovered completely from her injuries]," Lakeram says.
Lakeram admits that he was at a loss for words to voice his regret at the heartache she and her family had endured after he had acted so irresponsibly.
"I didn't know what to say to her but God had spoken to her heart and she forgave me..." The young couple was forced to start over with minimal support and the stigma that comes with having served time in prison, particularly for a crime as hideous as murder.
Jobs were hard to find and those that were available were temporary and paid very little. Additionally, the couple was forced to move several times because of suspicious landlords and/or neighbours and isolation and torment plagued them almost daily.
"We take plenty blows...but we survived and my wife and I had a second son and then a little girl. I am now earning a living as a lawn maintenance worker," Lakeram declares proudly.
He says initially, his wife was not keen for him to pursue a relationship with his illegitimate son but eventually she acquiesced and he is now an integral part of their lives as a family.
"It [has been] 17 years and my entire family serves God faithfully and everywhere we go, we see people's lives and situations miraculously changed by the power of God."
Lakeram advised other persons and young people in general who may have or are pursuing a life of crime or recklessness to follow God's commandments and laws and avoid all negative societal influences.He warns that challenges are likely to be encountered and therefore urges that everyone remain alert and cautious and keep in mind that "God is merciful and forgiving - all you need to do is seek him and he'll give you a brand new start."