The crime was so horrifying that it defied explanation. But the suicide note Jessica Edens left behind gave a clue to her disturbing state of mind.
As WSPA News reported Wednesday, on July 13, Jessica shot and killed 28-year-old Meredith Rahme in a Greenville, South Carolina, parking garage. The 36-year-old mother of two then drove seven miles to the Greenville-Pickens Speedway before killing her nine-year-old son, Hayden King, and four-year-old daughter, Harper Edens.Screenshot/WSPA News
According to Greenville Online, Jessica called her estranged husband, Ben Edens, just after shooting the two children. Ben was with Greenville police officers when Jessica reportedly told him: “Everyone you love is gone. Do you hear me? I’m about to be gone too.”
Jessica then turned the gun on herself. When deputies arrived at the scene, her car was still running. Inside were the bodies of Jessica and her two children, along with several suicide notes and her last will and testament.
One note, addressed to her parents and sister, said:
I am so sorry for the pain I am causing all of you. You’ve all always been there for me and I love you all so much. I know what I have done is selfish, but I cannot live with this pain any longer. I just cannot handle it. It is too much. It hurts too much. I will no longer be in pain and my children will no longer hurt either. I am so so sorry. I love you all.
According to WAPT News, a second note was directed to the father of her oldest child, and it read:
To Nate, I don’t know what to say. You gave me my first child. I will forever be [grateful] because of you. I never meant to cause you as much pain as this. I am sorry.
The most revealing note, however, was the one to her estranged husband:
To Ben, you have caused me more pain than I’ve ever been in my life. You have caused my children pain. I hate you. I hope you rot one day for what you have done to me and my kids. You can no longer hurt us. We are at peace. I hope you live with pain and shame and guilt for the rest of your life.
Investigators say it is clear Jessica had planned the murder-suicide in the days before the tragedy. Earlier that week, a family court appearance upset Jessica so much that she began sending messages to both Ben and Rahme, threatening, “everlasting consequences,” for her estranged husband.
Both Rahme and Ben Edens were so alarmed by the messages that they reported them to police. Ben even asked authorities to perform a welfare check on the children, but police found no evidence of danger when they visited Jessica and the children at home.
Angela Farmer, the Deputy Director at Behavioral Health Service of Pickens County, told WSPA that Jessica’s suicide notes reveal a dangerous attitude toward her children:
“In her suicide note there was a lot of anger expressed, and one of the things that was noted was the delusional thinking that her children would be better off, her children would be at peace and no longer would be hurt if she committed the murder suicide.”
Farmer added that the sentiments expressed in the note aren’t typical for a suicide: “That’s not common with just a person who is attempting suicide. That’s way more pathological.”
Creed Hashe of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office told WSPA that they hope releasing the notes will help those who have struggled to come to terms with the tragedy: “It’s just very tragic for the family and we want to try to give them the best closure we can.”