Sisters strive to provide voice to women after mom's murder

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on December 17, 2011 at 12:12 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 14 at 9:13 PM

COPPELL - To really understand Linda Jag's three daughters, one must first know what happened in their childhood home back in 1988.

"My grandmother was 40 when she died. My mother was 40 when she died and I'll turn 40 in February," Kelley Whitis said wiping away tears.

It has been 23 years since their step-father, Robert Jag, murdered their mother in a suburban Dallas home.

"Our mom was working on her voice, and expressing her voice by saying she wanted to leave her husband, and her voice was killed when he shot her in the head six times," said Amanda Whitis, 35.

Jag is serving a 75-year sentence for that crime.

On Thursday, for the first time since the killing, Linda's three daughters sat down with their step-father face-to-face in a Huntsville prison.

"Looking him in the eye and really talking about it really made it a reality and to sink in and say 'It happened.' Now, it's time to move on," said Summer Harlow, 32, the youngest of the three daughters.

The sisters wouldn't reveal specifics about their conversation with Jag, saying they signed a confidentiality agreement, but the women admitted forgiveness of him remains out of reach.

Plus, they admitted their own relationships still suffer.

"If you love someone, that's going to get you killed," Harlow said. "That's the mentality we have living with someone we felt betrayed by. We've lived together ever since, just from fear of letting another person in and having trust issues."

Their journey of healing took them to Kenya recently to shoot a documentary about gender inequality.

Kelley, Amanda and Summer will plan a foundation next to help women, like their mother, find a voice.

"She wouldn't talk to her friends about it," Kelley said. "She wouldn't tell anyone she was having problems, so no one knew. No one even knew she needed help."

Linda's daughters want to change that by providing strength to prevent tragedy.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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