Paula Perrera - Michael Ross Murder Victim

I am against the death penalty. I would have rather seen Ross sit in jail. That was more mental torture for him. I believe Connecticut assisted him with his plan of suicide. It's a shame! I truly pray that he really did become a Christian. I wrote a letter to him but I don't know if he got it. Well, God is his final judge. I have no feelings of "justice has been served" or "he got what he deserved". State assisted suicide is just wrong!  
                                                                                                                            -   Barbara Emery-Willard; Paula's best friend.


 January 20, 2005

I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Barbara Emery. I was seventeen years old when you took my best friend away from me in March of 1982. Paula Perrera was a sixteen-year-old girl with an outgoing personality. The morning you picked her up hitch hiking in the village of Montgomery, NY on Route 211 changed my life forever. My friends from school and church lost a wonderful spark in our lives when Paula was found murdered on the side of the road less than seven miles from where you picked her up in your car.  

I would like to tell you that if you had simply continued driving that day or perhaps taken a different route how perhaps life would have been like for Paula. She dreamed of becoming a chef, perhaps in a restaurant in Manhattan. She also dreamed of becoming a wife, a mother and a grandmother. Paula dreamed of owning a big white farmhouse in the country surrounded by a white picket fence. She dreamed of having lots of cats, dogs, chickens and even a horse grazing in the backyard. She dreamed of having children, three of them. She wanted one boy and two girls.  

Paula loved to sing. As she walked down the hallways in school she was always singing. When we rode the bus to school and to home, we would sit in the back seats singing and laughing. She was the kind of person that everyone wanted to have as a friend. Paula was barely five-feet tall and weighed maybe 110 pounds. She had natural curly blonde hair and big, bright blue eyes that were outlined with long black eyelashes. She had a smile that could light up a room and dimples in each cheek. She loved to eat. She loved pizza and chocolate chip cookies. She would come over to my house and help my mom bake cookies just so she could be the first to get them fresh from the oven.  

You see Michael; I am not writing this letter to you to ask you why you chose to murder Paula. I am not writing this letter to condemn you for murdering Paula. I am writing this letter to let you know that there is something that you could not take away from either Paula or myself. That something is actually a someone and His name is Jesus. Paula was a terrific actress. She played the sweetest lamb in our church Christmas play, just a few short months before she met you. A few weeks after she played that lamb, we had a lock in at our church for the youth group. A lock in is also known as a sleep over. My parents were the youth leaders and Paula approached my father with lots of questions. About an hour later my father led Paula through prayer to accept Jesus into her heart. That night she was forgiven of all of her sins. Jesus paid the price for her sins when he died upon the cross. Paula, having played a lamb, now had her name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Her name was recorded in heaven that she loved Jesus and knew that He had a place ready for her in Heaven to live with him forever. I rejoice everyday knowing that Paula made that decision that night.  

Michael, I want you to know that Jesus forgives all those that have sinned, no matter how awful that sin may be. I know that Paula is not the only girl that you took from this world. There are more Paula’s that you have murdered. I have read your journals on the Internet that you have made the decision to accept Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Michael, I do pray that this is the truth and not just a tactic to get sympathy from people. Time is running out for you Michael. The Bible tells us that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  

Michael, I do pray that you have truly accepted Jesus into your heart. After all these years that I have struggled with the loss of Paula, I have learned that I too have held a sin in my heart. I felt hatred toward you for what you had done to her. I was angry with God for letting you do this to her. Then I realized I was just as much a sinner as you are. I came to the harsh reality that I must forgive you in order to receive forgiveness from God.  

Yes Michael, you changed my life and all those that loved Paula. I can tell you this; if I didn’t have Jesus to lean on, my life wouldn’t be the same. I rejoice in the Lord everyday knowing that I will someday see Paula again. I know she is in heaven now singing to the glory of the Lord.

Barbara Emery-Willard
Middletown, NY

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