Candlelight vigil for woman stabbed in South Park
More than 200 people who gathered Thursday night to remember Teresa Butz, the woman who was stabbed to death Sunday in her South Park home.
Seattle Times staff reporter
If you want to know what heaven is like, look around you, Pastor R.J. Rivers told the more than 200 people who gathered Thursday night to remember Teresa Butz, the woman who was murdered Sunday in her South Park home.
The eclectic crowd did as Rivers said, shaking hands with — even hugging — neighbors who before had been complete strangers.
"This is what heaven is like," Rivers said. "Teresa can tell us that."
Those who spoke at the candlelight vigil remembered a woman whose fiesty attitude and chipmunk-like laugh drew so many close to her.
Softball teammates remembered the talented third baseman they called "T-Butz" who played hard at every game. Co-workers remembered the caring manager who was always late to work but always worked late.
She was the kind of woman who frolicked in the snow wearing only her pajamas, who came over with a bottle of Maker's Mark so she could get to know you, her neighbors said. She once tried to put the woman who stole her purse under citizen arrest. She named her cats Carter and Nixon.
Many friends broke down as they remembered the moment when they heard what happened, how a man broke into her house and stabbed her to death at about 3 a.m. Sunday. Butz's partner, 36, survived the attack. She did not attend the vigil.
Butz was born the ninth child in a family of 11 children and moved to Seattle from St. Louis in the late 1990s. Her brother, Norbert Leo, is co-staring in the new Broadway-bound musical "Catch Me If You Can," but previews of the show at The 5th Avenue Theatre were canceled after Butz's death. No family members spoke at the vigil.
After more than an hour of stories and songs, Rivers asked the crowd, including those who'd never met Butz, to remember one positive thing she'd done, vow to repeat her kind act for someone else and blow out their candles.
"Put it in your heart," Rivers said.
"That's how you will start to heal."
Lindsay Toler: 206-464-2463 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case
NEW - 7:51 AM
Longview man says he was tortured with hot knife
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.