On March 19, 2003 Shawn Katrina Mason was murdered in her Manassas, VA condominium. Shawn had been attempting to move on with her life despite the violent relationship she had with her son’s father. Just days after her murder, Shawn was due in family court to finalize a custody agreement with Lucifer for their young son. Shawn never made it to court. Instead, the prime suspect in her murder (Lucifer himself) got custody of their son by default, and began to receive social security death benefits as a result of her murder. At the time of her death, Shawn’s son was only three and a half years old. For the past ten years, her murder has gone unsolved and is now what is considered a cold case.
While many of you know that Shawn’s murder is somewhat connected to my son’s death, what you might not know is how the murder of a woman I have never met has impacted my life. I never had the chance to meet Shawn, but I do believe that our lives have become somewhat intertwined. For the first several months that I lived with Luc, he had me thinking that Shawn had left her son by choice. I imagined that maybe she was a deadbeat mom or possibly had some sort of illness that rendered her hospitalized. It was the topic nobody in the house ever seemed to want to talk about.
A few months before Prince was born, I began snooping around Luc’s house. I had a feeling that something wasn’t right when Luc’s story about Shawn went from “she left” to “there was an accident” to “she lived in a bad neighborhood.” In one of my searches, I found her baby journal tucked away in one of Luc’s closets. In this journal, she wrote about how excited she was to have her son, and all about her hopes and dreams for him. Almost hauntingly, I felt as if I was reading something that I would have written about my own son.
Over the next few months, despite how I felt about Luc and my growning anxiety about the future of our relationship, I worried about Shawn’s son. What had happened to this woman and why didn’t anyone want to talk about it? The night I left Luc, I had to make a decision to save Prince, but I knew that in saving Prince I would be leaving Shawn’s son behind. I felt terrible about this, but I knew that I had no rights to the child as he wasn’t biologically mine.
As I walked out the door that night, clinging to Prince tightly in my arms, Luc’s eyes went cold as he said, “If you leave I will kill you just like I killed Shawn and I will end up with Prince anyway.”
As the weeks skipped by after I left Luc, I eventually learned what really happened to Shawn. It wasn’t an accident at all – someone went to her house intending to kill her. In fact, about six months before Shawn died, Luc had his name changed to his son’s name (making his son a Jr…or maybe making his son a Sr.?) and subsequently claimed that Shawn’s life insurance policy (that had been in her son’s name) was for himself. For the past ten years, Luc has been actively trying to get his hands on Shawn’s life insurance policy which luckily the state was smart enough to block from him.
Not a day goes by when I don’t realize that it could have been me instead of Shawn. In fact, I believed it would have been me instead of Prince. I would have wanted it to be me instead of Prince. I never imagined that Prince could have been Luc’s next financial target. Since the day I left Luc in July 2011 and began fighting for my son’s life and my own, I have felt as though history would repeat itself in some way. Since Shawn, two others associated/related to Luc have died violently and Luc has standed to gain financially from both. If we are to believe that Luc killed all three of these people (Shawn, Alma Collins (Luc’s mother), and Prince), that qualifies him as a serial killer. All three motives would have been the same – life insurance proceeds.
I have said this before, but I believe that Shawn had a hand in my son’s legacy – like maybe she sent Prince to protect her son and to protect others. I believe Shawn is an angel just like Prince. Shawn knew that it was likely police would never charge Luc for her murder, and that Luc would continue to terrorize and possibly even kill others. If I had died at the hands of Luc, and my son had been left behind, I would have sent an angel as well.
It’s been ten years since Shawn was murdered, and Luc is finally in prison where he belongs. It is troubling that it took this long, and it took something this bad happening, before he was locked up. When Prince was still alive, not a day passed when I didn’t pray police would catch Shawn’s killer and I would receive a call that he was finally in prison. I knew that if Shawn’s killer were behind bars, we would finally be safe. That prayer was never answered. Instead, I received the call I feared the most – that someone else had been killed and this time it was my little boy. Police told me not to worry, because they would get him this time. These words brought little to no comfort, because I didn’t want my son to be their this time. I wanted the police to protect us before my son got hurt, instead of promise justice after he was already gone.
All of Luc’s victims remain on edge awaiting the conviction. I understand the risk I took coming forward and fighting this monster. I was chosen to be Prince’s Mama for a reason, however, and I believe its because its not in my nature to just let this one go. I will hold fast until the bitter end. If my son had to be the one to bring Luc down, then he better stay down this time…right beside big Bubba where he belongs.
Rest in peace Shawn Katrina Mason.