Kelsey Kathleen & Hayley Lorene Byrne
11 & 9 Years Old

February 7, 1993 & September 15,1995 to November 22, 2004

Kelsey Kathleen Byrne and Hayley Lorene Byrne were murdered by their father on November 22, 2004. Full of promise, they were poised to offer so much to the world. They were incredibly loving and extremely loved by those able to share time on earth with them. They were gifted students and loved learning, reading, and especially math. They were outgoing, generous, and friendly—their school mates and teachers still talk about the examples they set. They were two beautiful , charming girls who had great joy in living, what couldn’t they have achieved had they been allowed to live?

Both of them loved to laugh. They loved jokes and riddles, and playing tricks on people. They recognized the humor in any situation very quickly and were not afraid to laugh at themselves. They were very helpful around the house and especially in the garden. They loved it when their mother or grandfather had yard projects around the house that allowed them to get on their gloves and boots, get shovels or rakes, and dig in. Both girls loved to sing and play music with friends and relatives. They would pick up any instruments and enjoy just trying to make sounds. Hayley liked to have Kelsey teach her to play the trumpet. They especially loved to join in with their cousins and put on skits, sing songs, do hand clapping rhythms, or perform cheers.
They were different in some ways. Kelsey was a very physical girl, often described as fearless. She loved to climb everything in sight, even before she could walk. She loved to try out new things—climbing a tree, riding a horse, learning how to ice-skate and water ski, playing a lead role in school shows, fording a turbulent river—the list goes on. Her favorite sports were horseback riding and soccer and she worked hard to excel at both. Kelsey loved to laugh, to throw her head back and delight in the absurdity of life. Hayley was a very verbal and regal girl. Her favorite game as a toddler was to be a princess and ask Kelsey and her friends to serve and cater to her. She was more thoughtful and cautious, and was quite particular in her likes and dislikes. She was a perfectionist and loved to watch everything around her and then correct anything that seemed out of place. She had a great memory and could perform her first song at age three. When asked, she stood up in front of thirty or so cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends and sang the whole song right through. Also gifted with a great sense of humor, Hayley was inclined to giggle and share her wit more quietly.

More than anything else they were and are loved, and though we miss them terribly we realize how wonderful it was to share their brief lives.


Kelsey and Hayley were murdered by their father on November 22, 2004. They spent the weekend of November 19-21, 2004 with him and enjoyed a number of activities. After what seemed like a fairly normal Sunday, where other parents and friends interacted with them and reported that their father seemed good-humored and friendly, they went home and had dinner. At some point in the evening he killed the girls by administering a fatal dose of Ambien. There was evidence that suggested he may have followed up by administering Helium. It appears that they were totally unaware of his intention and suffered no pain.

At about noon on Monday, their father sent e-mails to friends and relatives trying to justify the murders and admitting that this had been planned for a long time. He stated that “the injustice of our judicial system is something I will not live with,” “I am exercising the right to determine one’s destiny,” and “I know they are better off (dead) than they would be without me.”

He then called 911 and advised the police to come to his house. When they arrived they found him dead in the back yard of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the girls dead in their beds.

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