Man’s Family Killed by Intoxicated Driver; Forgiver Wants World to Know the Other Is “Not a Monster”

Gary Weinstein, a jeweler in the Detroit area, recently met the man who was convicted of driving while intoxicated and killing Mr. Weinstein’s wife and two sons. The convicted man is now in a jail north of Detroit. Mr. Weinstein has asked to speak with the man’s children in the hope of bringing some healing to them. He wants to interact with the man “…so that the world will know he’s not a monster.”

Fifty-one weeks after Tom Wellinger killed Gary Weinstein’s family, the jeweler decided to accompany his attorneys to a meeting with Wellinger at the Oakland County Jail.

“They did preliminary questions, and then my attorney said, ‘You got any questions for him?’ ” Weinstein recalled. “I hadn’t really prepared.”

So he asked the only thing that mattered: “How’s your kids?”

And in that moment, they were what they were: two family men who lived within a mile of each other, whose names were on the same page in the Farmington Hills phone book, two fathers whose children attended the same schools — until Wellinger took Weinstein’s away forever.

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