“This is about Teresa”: Memorial for South Park stabbing victim

By Kathy Mulady
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

A big crowd filled the grass field in front of South Park Community Center Thursday night to remember Teresa Butz, killed in her home Sunday morning by an intruder.

Butz (left) was remembered for her remarkable laugh and ever-cheerful outlook. Some called her an angel, others remembered her love of baseball.

Co-workers, neighbors, friends and even those who had just heard about the tragedy, lit candles, shared stories and celebrated her life.

Beth Yockey Jones, a West Seattle woman who used to live next door to Butz, organized the event.

She asked the crowd to focus on memories of Butz, not on the violence or the neighborhood.

“This is about Teresa, it’s not about South Park,” she said.

But posters of the police sketch of the killer, posted on fences and telephone poles throughout the neighborhood (and viewable here), were reminder enough.

Police officers stood quietly on the edge of the memorial gathering. “The neighborhood has done a phenomenal job,” said Southwest Precinct Captain Joe Kessler.

Butz was a manager at Regus Executive Suites, which provides short-term office space and services.

“She was always so cheerful, she would always go to bat for you,” said co-worker Bethanie Stallman.

She was also a baseball fan, a baseball player, and apparently an impressive third-baseman. Her team put on armbands and went out to win their last game in her honor.

“We didn’t win, but we really, really tried,” said one of her teammates.

One of the tenants at Regus, Rita Szantay, said she had been planning to go to “Catch Me If You Can” tonight with Butz, whose brother stars in the production (which now isn’t beginning till next week because of this).

Many of the memorial speakers reached out to the community, asking neighbors to look out for each other, get to know each other, and stick together.

“Draw a step closer to each other,” said a speaker.

Police have tip lines set up for anyone who knows anything about Butz’s murder, which happened in an attack that also injured her partner: (206) 233-5000, or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or text TIP486 with a message to CRIMES (274637).

2 Replies to ""This is about Teresa": Memorial for South Park stabbing victim"

  • cjboffoli July 24, 2009 (10:02 am)

    Nice piece Kathy! Well done.

  • k July 24, 2009 (5:01 pm)

    RIP Teresa. You were very brave.

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