I Forgave Him Then Wiped Him Off My Hands Like Dirt

Chicago Sun-Times – For Cook County Assistant Public Defender Jeanne Bishop, whose sister and brother-in-law–Nancy and Richard Langert –were slain by high school student David Biro in April 1990, forgiveness was “right away.”

But telling him personally was something else.

“I told myself I forgave him and then wiped him off my hands like dirt,” Bishop said. “I thought forgiving David for what he’d done was enough, but I never thought about communicating with him. I just wanted to separate myself from him. . . leave him in the dust.”

Several months ago, at the urging of a friend, Bishop decided to begin a reconciliation process with Biro and personally present her forgiveness.

“I wrote him a letter and he responded immediately,” she said, a 15-page handwritten letter claiming responsibility for the murders–something he had denied during his trial. He apologized to me and my family.”

Last February, they met “face to face,” she said.

“I touched the hand of the man who held the gun that killed my sister and he told me he wished he could undo it all. He was remorseful. It was profoundly moving to see this person I had mythologized. It was good to shake his hand and look him in the eye.

“Someone once told me not forgiving was like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I needed to do this for God and Nancy and me.” As for the future, Bishop says, “I’m just beginning this journey of reconciliation with David.”

Read the full story: “Forgiveness for a Killer.”

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