Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two sisters rejoice at dad's murder conviction (Murfreesboro, Tennessee)

Convicted murderer, serial child rapist and molester--dad MAC RAY MACFARLANE is an early but strong contender for Dastardly Dad of the Year.

Two sisters rejoice at father's conviction

Two ex-wives implicate husband in murder
Two witnesses testify McFarlane admitted murder

By: Lisa Marchesoni

Posted: Sunday, January 24, 2010 1:45 pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: Contents of this story may offend some readers.

Two sisters rejoiced when they witnessed their biological father convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison last Wednesday.

A Rutherford County jury convicted Mac Ray MacFarlane and sentenced him to life in prison for killing co-worker Gene Stump in 1982. During the investigation, sheriff’s Cold Case Detective Lt. Bill Sharp and Detective Sgt. Dan Goodwin discovered MacFarlane fathered the two sisters.

The sisters accused MacFarlane of raping their mothers at age 15 in 1978 in Dickson and Hickman counties. They said they were the products of the rapes, born three months apart.

The sisters accused their father of raping them respectively at age 13 and 15 in Dickson and Hickman counties. Because they were believed sex abuse victims, they will be identified only as Nichole, now 32, and Lynn, now 31. Their father was never charged with raping their mothers or them.

“His excuse for rape was to make sure he was part of my life forever – as if his DNA wasn’t enough,” Nichole said bitterly.

When Lynn asked him why, he replied, “I wanted to make you part of me forever.”
Lynn said she and Nichole attended the trial to show support for the district attorney’s office prosecuting her father and to get closure for themselves.

“He deserves to die in prison,” Lynn said. “We want people to know he was on trial for murder. Murder is just one of the many things. We’re using this for closure for the things he did to us.”

Murder investigation

As part of their investigation, Detectives Sharp and Goodwin learned about the sisters and contacted them to determine if they had any information about Stump’s murder. Instead, the detectives heard from the daughters and four other children allegations about McFarlin molesting them.

Both sisters said Goodwin listened to them and battled to get McFarlin charged with raping his daughters.

“He has been convicted of child sex crimes in New York State,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin and Sharp checked with prosecutors but learned it was too late to file charges for the sisters’ cases.

“I absolutely believe them,” Goodwin said with conviction in his voice.
Assistant District Attorney Paul Newman said McFarlin could have been prosecuted for the sex crimes only until the victims turned 19.

Luke Evans, their father’s attorney in the murder trial, said he learned about the women through the detectives’ investigation.

“To my knowledge, they are not the daughters of Mr. MacFarlane,” Evans said, calling their information an “unsubstantiated claim. Mr. MacFarlane would adamantly deny anything like that every occurred. No allegations were ever made when this supposedly took place.”

Evans suggested murder trials “tend to draw out people seeking attention for their 15 minutes of fame.”

Several people claimed MacFarlane did something to them years and years ago.

“If these people were so traumatized by him, no fresh complaints were made,” Evans noted. “That needs to be considered.”

But Lynn said a court ordered McFarlin to take a blood test after she was born showing he was the father and he admitted he was her father when she was 18. He offered to sign her birth certificate. He signed a document in 1996-97 stating he was her birth father and she was entitled to his Social Security benefits.

Early life

Lynn’s mother, who attended the trial with her, met Randy McFarlin when she was 15 and he was 18 at a community club in Dickson County. McFarlin changed his name after Stump’s murder. Lynn’s mother accused McFarlin of raping her, resulting in Lynn’s birth.

Nichole’s mother’s family knew McFarlin from church in Hickman County. When her mother was 15, she accused McFarlin of raping her, resulting in Nichole’s birth three months before Lynn.

As children, their mother and grandparents raised both Nichole and Lynn. They didn’t know the circumstances of their conception and longed to know their father.

At age 13, Lynn learned her father and his wife, Donna, had sons who played baseball. She went to the ball field and met him. She began visiting the family on weekends.

During one weekend, Lynn said her father took her to a bar and allowed her to drink. They went to the parking lot where he raped her inside his car when she was 13. A couple stopped to check on her but McFarlin told them she was drunk and they went on.

Because of the family ties, McFarlin’s mother, Reba, wanted visitation with Nichole. Her grandparents allowed her to visit as long as Donna was home. Sometimes the sisters visited together.

Nichole recalled one time when Donna wasn’t home, her father slipped drugs to them and started having sex with Lynn. Nichole tried to stop him “but I couldn’t get to her. I remember lying on the floor trying to reach her.”

“I was trying to get him off (of her),” Lynn said, adding they didn’t willingly participate in the sex acts.

Lynn didn’t tell anybody because she feared her maternal grandfather would kill him and she would lose her grandfather, who was also the only father figure she had. After age 14, Lynn never spent time with McFarlin again.

An angry Nichole described McFarlin as a “flipping con man. You wanted him to be your friend. If he didn’t, your life was a living hell.”

After McFarlin and his first wife, Donna, divorced, the sisters visited when Nichole was 14. They went to a bar and “he got smashed.” Nichole had to drive them home.

She blocked out something that happened with him and refused to go back to visit.
Later, Nichole asked her mother and grandparents what happened. They didn’t know.

“I said I never wanted to go back,” she recalled. “I’m probably better off not knowing.”

Seven years later, McFarlin called her to tell her she had a baby sister. She hung up on him.

After coming out of an abusive relationship at age 19, Nichole agreed to move in with her father and his third wife, Ellen, in May of 1998. On the surface, she was part of a perfect, welcoming family.

Later in the fall, he began using crack cocaine with her, a habit lasting for the next three years. She remembers him taking her income tax check and using the whole check to buy crack cocaine one weekend.

When Ellen was gone one weekend, he again raped her. After that, she put Ellen’s youngest son in the bed with her in hopes he would leave her alone.

“It happened numerous times after that,” Nichole said.

At age 21, she decided to move out.

The sisters lost touch with each other from about age 15 to 20.

Getting closure

Both sisters credited the jury for their ability to realize McFarlin was guilty.

Nichole said she and her family and her sister and her family, along with the Stump family, can heal – and “for all the families who have been on his path of destruction. He is finally getting what he deserves.”

When the jury gave its guilty verdict against MacFarlane, Nichole felt the weight of the world slip off her shoulders. Now she doesn’t have to worry about what her father might do to other children.

Lynn agreed.

“He deserves to die in prison,” Lynn said.

Both sisters have successful careers with good bosses who allowed them to witness the trial. Lynn is married and has one child. Nichole is divorced with one child. Because of their experiences, they have protected their daughters against sexual predators.

They realize their father is not in prison for what he did to them.

Nichole said with a life sentence, she doesn’t have to look over her shoulder to worry about him anymore. Lynn doesn’t have to worry about the chance he’ll ever meet her daughter.

“We’re good and we’re going to get better,” Lynn said.

“The path of destruction stops here,” Nichole vowed. “I won’t ever spit on his grave.”
Then she smiles briefly. “Maybe I will. I can see the healing beginning now.”