Sole survivor of ETX family slaying speaks before TV premiere - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Sole survivor of ETX family slaying speaks before TV premiere


On the night his story will be told on national television, an East Texas father talks about the night his family was murdered.

Wednesday night on ABC's Final Witness, you'll see the Caffey family's story. We spoke with Mr. Caffey by satellite. He shares the real life story and how it has all shaped who he is today.

On March 1, 2008, a charred crime scene of scattered rubble was crawling with investigators. The community was in disbelief. Just 24 hours earlier, there stood the home of a loving family.

"They were more than neighbors. We called them our kids," family friend Tommy Gaston said just one day after the murders.

In a plot fueled by a forbidden teenage romance, 16-year-old Erin Caffey let her boyfriend Charlie Wilkinson and his friend, Charles Waid, murder her mother, Penny, and her two little brothers, Matthew and Tyler.

Erin's father, Terry, was shot five times, but managed to crawl out of their burning home. He said he still remembers the details of that night to this day.

"I was awake and I do remember the two young men coming in to our bedroom and shooting my wife and I as we slept," said Terry.

Now, four years later, Terry has rebuilt his life and is sharing his story.

"I went through so much anger and bitterness and rage... as you can imagine. So much was taken from me. My faith in God was certainly tested," he said.

Terry said through forgiveness he has found peace.

"I wanted good to come from this tragedy. I felt God speaking to my heart about forgiveness...  that I needed to forgive, not only my daughter but these two young men," Terry said.

The teens responsible were spared the death penalty at Terry's request. To this day, he visits his daughter in prison a few times each year.

"She is remorseful for her part of it and she is trying to make the best of her life in prison by trying to help other young ladies, other girls, in prison," he said.

Erin must stay in prison for at least 26 more years. She'll be eligible for parole when she's 46. The Caffey family's story will air tonight on Final Witness, beginning at 9 p.m. central on KLTV.

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