Her best friend, Angie Samota, was raped and brutally murdered in Dallas, TX in 1984. Soon after, the case went cold and Sheila Wysocki, this week’s guest on Girlfriend We Need To Talk, left the Big D.
The horrific, unsolved crime haunted Sheila for years, and two decades later, after seeing a surprising vision of her friend, she knew it was time to do something about it.
“Why would I have that moment with her if the case wasn’t supposed to be solved?”
She’d also learned of the induction of DNA testing, while watching the OJ Simpson trial on TV. That’s when she began relentlessly calling the Dallas Police Department to get their physical evidence tested. At no point were her calls well received. If anything, she was strongly encouraged to stop. They obviously didn’t know who they were dealing with.
In an act of desperation, Sheila became a private investigator, solely to help get better access to the police department. It didn’t work. She kept on calling. When a female investigator was assigned to the case, things finally changed. DNA testing occurred, and the murderer was immediately identified. He’s now on death row awaiting execution.
“He needed to be off the streets.”
As a result of this incredible story, Sheila has maintained her private investigator’s license, but that was never her intent. Families started reaching out to her about the mysterious loss of loved ones, especially after seeing coverage of Angie’s story on NBC’s Dateline.
“I’ve learned a lot, and in the end I know that through the process of Angie’s case, I can touch each and every family that I accept. I have a template on what they’re going to be told and how they’re going to be treated, which I’m hoping we change.”
Using several methods, including crowdsourcing and her own podcast, Without Warning, Sheila has been able to help solve more cases and make a much needed difference in the lives of victims’ families.
“If I don’t do it, who will? Somebody’s gotta help these people.”
Sheila can be modest about the work she does now, but she also admits to having found a purpose through her own harrowing experience of loss.
“You can talk to me about any case and I don’t tear up, but Angie’s was obviously personal. I think she would have done the same for me.”
You can hear Sheila’s interview on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE
A challenge faced
A challenge braced
A shift in word and song
Between what’s right and wrong
A broken trust
And broken heart
A fractured dream to share
And zero left to bare
And cling I try
And cling I do
To values I have worn
While tempting does
And tempting tries
To shift my thoughts to scorn
Yet as you may
And as you have
Withdrawn a promise kept
I’ll rise above
Long after souls have wept
~ Leana Delle
Sunday, September 22, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number thirty-seven of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Drew Hays
She’s a fan of larger than life goals that can’t be shaken, and if you don’t have one of your own, she’s got the know-how to get you there.
Laura Gassner Otting came on my podcast, Girlfriend, We Need To Talk, this week, serving up a hefty dose of motivation. This on the heels of my reading her book, Limitless, on how to “ignore everybody, carve your own path, and live your best life.”
Our discussion took us down some interesting and revealing paths. The first being one of purpose. Does purpose have to be larger than life? Does it have to be on scale with Mother Teresa or Ghandi? No. It only has to be on par with your own authenticity.
“I don’t want to purpose shame anyone. Everyone has a purpose, and the only person who gets a vote on whether or not yours matters, is you.”
She also hates the concept of following your passion.
“Following your passion doesn’t tell you how to get there or how to succeed. It just tells you that you’re a failure if you’re not working in it.”
And this comment delivered my biggest takeaway:
“Your passion deserves your very best, and the only way to get there is to fall down and pick yourself up and fall down and pick yourself up, because that’s how you figure out if it is, in fact, your passion.”
Instead of the usual Tell me what you’d do if you knew you would succeed, Laura prefers, Tell me what you would do if you knew for sure you were going to fail over and over and over again. In her opinion, that’s your passion.
This made SO much sense to me. I’ve asked myself many times, Why do I keep doing this? Be that podcasting, writing, or speaking, and every time, the answer’s the same: Because I can’t not.
Here’s something else to consider: When you can’t not, what’s the win?
“I think that we have one job on this planet, and that’s to uplift each other. And the way that we uplift each other is by being the very best versions of ourselves, because the more that we grow the more we have the ability to carry other people up with us. It’s really hard to push people up from below, but it’s a lot easier to pull them up when we’re on top.”
Wow. So, we’re not just limitless in our own potential; we’re limitless in our potential to inspire others. Love it.
Check out Laura’s personal message to my listeners HERE.
Also, you can listen to Laura’s interview on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.
Once upon a sunlit day
I met a wandering sage,
Her staff, it held a sign that read
Ask me about age
“It’s time,” I said, with anxious heart,
“I really want to know,
Why it disappears so fast
And where it tends to go.”
The sage, she pointed to a bench
“Come sit, for time allows.
If what you want is answers,
Rest in the here and now.”
Our eyes they met, and I did see
Her endless youth within,
Fearing what she’d see in mine
I prayed she’d just begin
“Time,” she said, “it races
To save itself from us,
It feels as though we waste it,
It sees that we’re unjust,
“It rushes through the nonsense
The things that matter least,
In search of those among us
Who truly value peace
“It’s when it finds those moments
It slows and lingers there,
The gentle touch of loved ones,
A kindness being shared
“But few and far between are those
And so it rushes on,
Which is the reason that we think
Our lives will soon be gone.”
I realized in that moment
That I had from the start,
Hoped she’d answer quickly
So I could soon depart
Reaching out, she took my hand
And whispered deep and low,
“Feel it come and sit with us,
Feel its presence grow.”
~ Leana Delle
Sunday, September 15, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number thirty-six of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Canva
“I’ve overcome a lot of things, so I know my strengths and my abilities. You have to decide who you’re going to be and tell that story versus continuing on with the story that everybody else has made you tell about yourself.”
A quote from Lisa Beth Brock and one hell of a takeaway. This woman decided who she was going to be and stuck with it, and that decision came when she was the furthest from her ideal self as you can possibly imagine. A disconnected family, an abusive stepfather, challenging diagnoses, and even drug abuse all dictated a far different outcome.
Most people who knew Lisa during her troubled youth had basically counted her out. They did not see a girl with a future; they saw a girl with a past, and no amount of convincing could sway their opinion that she’d eventually succumb to overdose. But something deep inside pulled her out of that existence.
“Decide who you want to be. Not who you are, but who you want to be, and then figure out how to get there. You’ll just start believing it more and more.”
This attitude is so consistent with the law of attraction and visualization, something Lisa and I are firm believers in. She created her vision, and the potential to get to that place skyrocketed.
“I know my heart, so I know who I am, and I don’t think at this point anybody will ever be able to take that away from me.”
Lisa’s story is an inspiring one that needs retelling. She continues to expand her vision of possibility, and she’s passionate about instilling the same in others; especially in her young daughter.
And what if people don’t like who you become or support the direction you choose?
“You’re not for everyone. You’re not going to be.”
BAM! Great quote, Lisa Beth Brock. Keep doing what you’re doing. The ones you are for, appreciate that you revised the first draft of your personal story.
You can listen to Lisa’s interview on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.