Wednesday 17 July 2019

'As long as I'm alive I will miss her' - Kelsey Grammer opens up about sister who was brutally murdered

Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey Grammer

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Kelsey Grammer "learned to forgive" the man who brutally murdered his younger sister more than 40 years ago.

Freddie Glenn, along with accomplice Michael Corbett, abducted 18-year-old Karen Grammer from outside a Red Lobster restaurant in Colorado in 1975, after believing she had witnessed them failing to rob it.

She was brutally raped for more than four hours during the horrific ordeal, before Glenn slit her throat.

The actor was just 20 when he had to identify the body of his younger sister, and told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs he will always carry sadness in his heart over her death.

"I think you always carry it, because what you miss about them, is them in your life," the Frasier star told presenter Kirsty Young. "And as long as I'm alive I will miss her, and that's just the way it is. So you carry that.

"Have I embraced it? Probably not."

The 62-year-old also made a startling confession - he has forgiven Karen's killer.

"I've learned to forgive - I've even told the guy that is still alive that killed her that I do forgive him, although I don't advocate for his freedom, I don't think that's reasonable," he explained.

The star, who has twice helped to block attempts by Glenn to get parole, said it was important to speak up for the rights of victims’ families.

He said: "In a letter to the parole board, I said the punishment shouldn’t be worse for the family than it is for the guy that killed the person and that’s what this feels like sometimes."

Glenn was convicted of killing Karen, and two other victims, in 1976, and was given the death penalty. The Supreme Court later overturned that decision and allowed him to seek parole after 30 years.

At a parole hearing in 2009, the former Cheers star wrote a heartbreaking letter to the court, pleading with them to keep Glenn behind bars.

"She was my best friend and the best person I knew. She had so much to live for. I loved my sister, Karen. I miss her. I miss her in my bones," he wrote. "I was her big brother. I was supposed to protect her - I could not. I have never gotten over it... It very nearly destroyed me."

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