Michael F. Spurlock
23 Years Old

August 4, 1975 to February 7, 1999

"If you should die before me, ask if you can bring a friend."
-Scott Weiland, from Still Remains

Michael was an artist. Self-taught, you can see the progress of his skill in the work he left behind. Always bold and often irreverent, he had a funky, cocky sense of humor that is reflected in many of his pieces.

His sense of humor was always quirky and off-the-wall. He would come out with comments sometimes that just reduced us to fits of hysterical laughter, always delivering those comments with a calm, off-handed tone and a grin. His eyes would shine with laughter, though.

Michael was fun. He played pool and chess very well. He liked to surf the Internet. He took road trips to different places like the Jersey shore and the Renaissance Faire. He wanted to travel, to see Florida and Las Vegas and Europe. He never got to see those places. He never got to ride an airplane.

Michael had a lot of heart. When he was a child, he was very loving and affectionate. As he got older, his affection often came through things he did for people. Blankets for an elderly neighbor whose heater was broken. Offers to let friends, six in all over the years, stay over when they had problems at home. An offer to detail his aunt's car. An airbrushed T-shirt that said, "#1 Mom" for Mother's Day that he painted himself. Letters to his mom saying how much he loves her, and how sorry he was to cause trouble sometimes.

Michael wasn't a saint. He could be thoughtless and selfish at times. He struggled with an addiction to drugs, an addition he was finally beating. He finally understood that what he did to himself affected the people who love him.

He had so much in his short life to overcome, and was winning. He had epilepsy, which before being diagnosed, left him feeling that he was a freak. He was finally properly diagnosed, and treated. His girlfriend and a few of his friends carried a dose of medication with them, just in case he forgot to take it at home. He had a family full of unhealthy, self-centered people, his father included, which made it impossible for him to have a positive relationship with any but a handful of them. He knew he could count on those few that were there for him. It still hurt him that others weren't. But he had come to terms with that, for the most part.

He was a kid. Twenty-three years old is just a kid, it's just the beginning. He should be here with his family and friends, not in a hole in the cold ground. He was just a kid. He is missed more than words can convey.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

In the early morning hours of February 7, 1999, Robert Skinner crashed his car into a utility pole while driving under the influence of alcohol. Police determined that he was traveling 117 miles per hour when he crashed. Michael was his passenger. Rob fled the scene, leaving Michael behind in the wreckage. Michael was found, still barely conscious, by passersby shortly after 5 am. He was pronounced dead at 7:04 am of a severe head injury. Rob was arrested at a hospital 20 miles away, where he attempted to conceal his involvement by claiming he had been mugged. He is in custody awaiting trial for murder, fleeing the scene of a fatal accident, homicide by vehicle, manslaughter, and driving under the influence.

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Michael Spurlock