Petitioning Representative Eleanor Norton and 2 others

An Arsonist Left Us Homeless & Hurt-- Long After the Fire Was Out. Please help us heal!!

On August 19, 2016 my husband and I came home to find our home and belongings smoldering and destroyed. The Denton County, Texas  Fire Marshall stopped us from going inside telling us that our home was a crime scene we were not allowed to go in.

We lost everything that night. What wasnt burned got looted immediately after the fire.

We were not home during the fire but our beloved pet Rocky, a German Shepard dog, was home. He was lucky to have been saved but has suffered the trauma too.

My name is Molly and i would like to share our story with you now..

 we need your help to fix a piece of the system that misses the needs of people like us. ..

We have been through allot. I do not say that lightly. After the fire, we were forced to live in our pickup truck for nearly 9 months. We had a very quick  reality check that all our 'friends' were unable to... meet our needs .. once we lost everything.  HONESTLY We had no idea what to do with ourselves and our pain and suffering. As you can imagine,  living in the cab of a pickup truck day after day ..for months and months, with another person, no matter who it is,  24/7 .. is tough for anyone.  Coupled with the erratic emotions and obvious fatigue, we either worked together as an perfect team or butted heads. The anxiety of the unknown life we were facing was  very hard.  We were suddenly traveling through life experiences together that have been truly amazing and yet full of extreme obstacles.   

We, alone, share this new life. We are thankful to say that we have been blessed: we have had something looking out for us .. despite the evil that was done...   

We have had nobody else to vent our frustrations to at the end oh the day. THe intensity of our daily grind to survive was unreal at times .. 

 We slept at just about every Wal-Mart parking lot fromTexas to the Pacific coast.

I slept in the backseat, with my dog.  Id have to to wake my husband if i needed out of the vehicle for some reason. We wandered through unfamiliar streets.Panhandling.The shame. The fear. 

 We never lived like that before. I was a former paralegal from a family of lawyers.  My husband was a carpenter who once owned his own home remodeling company.  We had what we needed... or ways to get it. We lost it all ...just like that.... It could happen to anyone... please don't think otherwise.  

No arrest has been made on arson charges specifically.. despite a confession, witnesses evidence etc which has added insult to injury. We don't know why but there's still time and we are confident it will happen.

That has further driven our desire to be heard by the 'powers that be.'

WE CANNOT get over the events of that Friday night  NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY . We will  NEVER be able to forget how  quickly ONE NIGHT changed EVERYTHING we knew of life. .our expectations, beliefs, plans, and hopes.  Our faith in humanity and the system was all but erased .. however our faith in each other has now been solidified.

To realise That a man we hardly knew  took our *entire life* away from us with the mere flick of a lighter is a hard pill to swallow. ... WE WERE NOT THERE  It's not fair.  We had no chance to defend ourselves or protect our innocent dog from a future of his own fears and traumas.

This is not the bond we would have chosen to share as a couple to fuse together our relationship.  We love each other and even more so now respect and understand each other after this happened but still we desperately want to heal.

We NEED to heal so we can find a way through the pain and anger we now carry.  We feel how it's torn us apart head to toe .. inside and out.

THE PROBLEM IS we cannot heal or move forward in life without your help.  We need the help of outside forces greater in power than we are... to help us.

The rules and laws that govern the victims assistance programs and crime victim's compensation eligibility requirements for restitution and financial aid are missing something.  WE DESERVE THAT HELP TO REBUILD OUR ENTIRE LIVES BUT ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR HELP.  Why is this, you may ask...?

 Because in the eyes of the law, since we were not home during the fire.. since we were not literally burnt by the flames...  they have said we were not injured!!

We want to tell you that's so far from the truth.  Homelessness as a result of this crime is a horrific injury were STILL feeling to this  very day. 

WE BEG YOU NOT TO FORGET THAT WE ARE STILL HERE AND STILL BEING INJURED IN WAYS THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL NEVER SEE.

We had to start over with nothing and almost no help at all.  All the way down to not having a toothbrush or a place to shower.  Very little choices for food since we had no place to cook, no coolers even to keep food cold- ours were melted in the fire, and of course no dishes.

We had no clean clothes most of the time.  I've never ever had to live in the way we had to for months and months... we washed with water we got in cups and soap out the trucks side door.  It got so cold though over the winter that it was brutal to wash my hair.  No matter how hard  we tried we never felt or looked clean so we got treated like heathens in public places.  Refused access to restrooms.  Denied service even.  9 MONTHS OF THIS LIFE.

Meanwhile we grieved constantly.  We lost all our personal photos and sentimental belongings.  We lost heirlooms and family antiques and portraits that had been passed down that are irreplaceable and have a value carrying no conceivable dollar amount. I'm a writer and lost ALL my original writings and journals.  

We are severely traumatized.  Its taken it's toll on our health.  Its nearly destroyed our relationship many times but our love  and loyalty to to each other kept us together.

 I've been hospitalized several times since for the effects of that night.  I now have seizures i didn't have before.  

We left our home state of Texas and drove for months aimlessly lost with no destination finally settling in California.  To this day We live in a 14ft travel trailer..a far cry from a 3 bedroom home.

 We had to leave behind our  friends and family . We've been in a year long daze of devastation..reliving the trauma of it everyday. We received $400 from Red Cross and that's it.

 Texas crime victims assistance office told us we were not eligible for help because we were not home and injured in the fire.  BEING LEFT  HOMELESS AS A VICTIM OF ARSON FIRE WAS NOT CONSIDERED AN "INJURY" FOR CRIME VICTIMS COMPENSATION ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS.

 ARSON is a violent crime of intent and when it's directed at the victims home and destroys it what is left behind is extremely traumatic and difficult to overcome when starting a new life.  The victim is more than injured by the homelessness but the injury is ongoing and affects all aspects of daily life.  It takes MUCH LONGER to heal than a burn on the skin.  The effects are physical and emotional and deeply profound. ARSON Victims DESERVE THE UTMOST OF ASSISTANCE. We deserve  to be compensated for the losses and all physical and psychological injuries of the arsonist's intentional deliberate violent act against us of setting fire to a our home.  

Please consider using your power and authority to change the laws in this regard,  not just in Texas but in all 50 states across our great country.  Thank you. 

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