March 11, 2006

Truly Stranger than Fiction

(photo taken from The Dominion Post online)

While Darrin and I lived in Morgantown, WV (Oct. 1996 - June 2003) we befriended some wonderful people. Among those people were Jim and Shelly Michael. They were our age and had four children. He had a boy and a girl from a previous marriage and so did she. Through church we got to know them quite well. They invited us over for supper, our children played together and we talked at church three times a week. They just seemed to be the perfect couple. They were the ideal blended family. We truly enjoyed spending time with them.

All that we thought we knew about them changed on November 29, 2005. Around 10:00 a.m. that morning their house was ablaze. Once the firefighters contained the fire and were able to enter the home, Jim was found dead on his bed. We, as well as many others I'm sure, were in shock. What a horrible thing to have happen to such a wonderful, Christian family. Our hearts just broke for Shelly and the children. We were so disappointed that we couldn't arrange to make the eight hour trip back to Morgantown to attend his memorial service. It was arranged so quickly there just wasn't enough time to go.

Since that fateful November morning I have lifted Shelly and children up in prayer numerous times. I've sent her cards of sympathy and hope. Then, the rumors began. I just tried to ignore them, they couldn't possibly be true. She would never even think about doing something so heinous.

Well, yesterday afternoon, I learned the truth. She was arrested on charges of first degree murder and first degree arson. That is not the Shelly I knew. What happened? Now my heart breaks even more for their four children. What has she done to them? She's robbed them of their father and now their mother as well. I will continue to lift her up in prayer. She needs it now more than ever. I also pray that the Lord will give Jim's family the strength to get through the emotional days that lay ahead. And, of course, the children. Bless their little hearts.


  1. Hi,

    I am a reporter with The Dominion Post in Morgantown and came across your blog while doing research on Michelle Michael.

    I understand you knew both her and Jim and that you were surprised when she was arrested for his murder.

    I am working on a story about the couple's relationship and would love to talk to you. You said they were a Christian family. It must have been so shocking. I pray those poor kids are OK.

    Please contact me at 304-291-9453 or

    Brandy Brubaker

  2. Anonymous1:59 PM

    My name is Ruth Michael. I am Jimmy's mother. My brother-in-law told me about your article.

    I can't begin to tell you of my heartbreak over this. My husband and our family are devastated, this is a nightmare that happens to other people, not to you.

    There is alot to this that I cannot go into.

    We pray for justice and those involved will be punished.

    What church did you go to that they attended? My e-mail is

    Ruth Michael

  3. Just an FYI:

    I went to high school with Jimmy and only recently learned about the tragedy.

    Tomorrow night, 48 Hours Mystery is interviewing family members and the convicted. It starts at 10:00pm on CBS.



Yippee! I love it when you leave me comments. Thanks a bunch. :)