Lindsay C. Cutshall
[09/09/81 - 08/15/04]

Lindsay & Jason
Jason S. Allen
[05/16/78 - 08/15/04]

♥ "The sun is going down on the horizon, and all I see is the beams shining on the cliff face, and I know that God is awesome. I look around and see His Creation all around me." --Lindsay ♥                                                                                 ♥ "As I stir this Mac & Cheese, I think to myself, what a wonderful life. I've just spent two awesome days with my fiance, Lindsay. Can life ever be so perfect? Only with a person who is so great. God gives me this privilege in life and He has given me a wonderful woman to enjoy it with." --Jason ♥                                                                                 ♥ "Live for things in heaven, not on earth." --Lindsay ♥                                                                                 ♥ "Heaven will be a wonderful place of no suffering, hurt, loneliness; it's a great thing to look forward to." --Lindsay ♥

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Family memories...

There was an article in today's local paper. This is too good not to share:

Love of God and each other...
Family, friends of slain couple say the deaths were not in vain.

Staff writer

They loved God.

They loved nature.

They loved each other.

That's what friends and family of Jason Scott Allen and Lindsay Christine Cutshall had to say Saturday in their first public comments since Jason and Lindsay were found dead on a remote beach about 75 miles north of San Francisco.

The bodies of Jason, a 26-year-old Zeeland High School alumnus, and Lindsay, 23, of Fresno, Ohio, were found Aug. 18. Both had been shot in the head.

Poised in front of an altar at Immanuel Baptist Church in Holland encouraging worshippers to "This Do in Remembrance of Me," friends and family remembered Jason and Lindsay as a vivacious and adventurous couple who were excited about their faith and their Sept. 11 wedding.

"When he (Jason) found her (Lindsay) they were just so perfect for each other, we were so excited," said Jason's sister, Elizabeth Westra of Overisel. "He always said he was never going to get married."

Westra said her older brother lived his life to the fullest.

"He's crazy," she said with a matter-of-fact smile. "He was funny, very laid back, very open.

"He never got mad about anything, and from a brother-sister point, that's hard to say. ... He was unique, that's for sure."

Friends said Lindsay shared Jason's sense of humor and love for all things outdoors. The couple met at Appalachian Bible College in Bradley W.Va., and spent the summer working as river guides at Rock-N-Water, a Christian adventure camp located on the American River in Coloma, Calif.

Together they led youth on white water rafting trips and taught hands-on Bible studies in nature. Collages of pictures decorated the Baptist church in Holland and showed a smiling Jason hunting, fishing, crossing land with a kayak strapped to his back and battling the rapids. Several of the pictures included a smiling Lindsay.

A centerpiece of the memories was a framed collage compiled and signed by Rock-N-Water's staff. Two individual full-color pictures feature close-ups of Jason and Lindsay on a California river while two black and whites and one full-color photo captured the couple, surrounded by children, safely guiding them through the roughest of the river's waters.

A peace lily, one of a few dozen flower displays sent to the families, carried the sympathies of the Westside Baptist Church in Yakima, Wash., where Jason and Lindsay ministered in July.

Delores Allen, Jason's mother, said she was confident that the children's deaths were not in vain.

"Many people have shared stories about Jason and Lindsay's lives that have caused us to laugh and to shed tears," she said. "Their ministry through death will touch far more (people) than a lifetime of work."

Delores, her husband, Bob Allen, and Lindsay's parents, Chris and Kathy Cutshall, said they found strength in the knowledge their children were in heaven. Chris Cutshall, a minister at Fresno (Ohio) Bible Church, said rather than causing the families to question their faith, the deaths strengthened it.

"We are experiencing the wonder and power of divine peace," Chris Cutshall said. "God has and God is blessing Jason and Lindsay."

The minister added that they would stick to their Christian beliefs and not seek vengeance on the person who killed his daughter and would-be son-in-law. Rather, he said, they would leave it up to the proper, and ultimate, authorities.

"We want justice and we're looking forward to justice, but as far as revenge, we'll leave that up to God," Chris Cutshall said. "None of us are experiencing bitterness or anger."

That's just the sort of attitude that Lindsey Paulson and Eric Freckman, Jason Allen's childhood friends, said Jason would have wanted them to take.

"Jason would want us to be having fun," Paulson said through tears. "He would want us to share stories, share a laugh. He was very fun."

"We know he's in heaven," Freckman added. "We know he's happy so we're OK with that. ... He knew where he was going and how he wanted to get there."

Delores Allen said her son decided at the age of 5 that he wanted to be a missionary. He held steadfast to that goal and was involved in the Immanuel Baptist youth group. He spent the summer of 1995 in Grenada on a mission trip, Paulson and Freckman said.

Deanna Hovey, Jason's maternal aunt, said she shared a special bond with her only nephew. She added that she was glad he was waiting for her in heaven -- most likely with plans to teach her to kayak.

"He'll probably greet me at the gates with a paddle," Hovey said. "He'll say, 'Aunt Dee, it's OK, you don't have to cry anymore. And you don't have to be afraid of water anymore.'"

A family visitation was Friday night at Immanuel Baptist Church. A joint memorial service for Jason and Lindsay will be Saturday at Coshocton Nazarene Church, 1058 Orange St., Coshocton, Ohio, at 6 p.m.

Contributions in memory of Jason and Lindsay may be sent to Wyandotte Federal Credit Union, 114 S. Waverly Road, Holland, 49423. Checks should be made payable to Robert or Delores Allen and proceeds from the fund will help Rock-N-Water camp establish adventure camp ministries.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Last night's visitation...

I went to Jason's visitation last night. I was hoping that I would be able to keep myself calm and collected, but as hard as I tried, I just couldn't. Right when we walked in to Jason's church, I immediately remembered that the last time I was there... I was at his sister's wedding. And I had stood and spoken with Jason right there in that lobby. Last night, there were pictures everywhere... some from his childhood... and many more recent photos of Jason doing what he loved best... experiencing God's "great outdoors" and/or spending time with Lindsay. I was completely overwhelmed by the enormity of the loss of these two lives and I just fell apart. Once I started crying, I couldn't stop either. I just couldn't help but remember Jason when we were kids... and how back then, my whole world seemed so innocent and shatterproof. Our childhood was idyllic. I have the BEST memories of growing up with Jason and the other kids on my street and in my neighborhood. I never really realized, until recent years, how fortunate we all were. All of our families were loving families... not torn apart by divorce or anything along those lines... we were loved and we all loved each other. But what just happened to Jason and Lindsay has really shattered me. I feel like I can't ever really think of my childhood the same way again. There is a new darkness that taints it. But, I think eventually I will be able to get past this and remember my childhood in it's innocence again. Right now, things are just too raw and painful. But I am clinging to the hope that Jason's and Lindsay's parents have given us all. They continue to amaze me in their strength. It is SO undeniably clear that God has His entire presence wrapped around these people. They have just experienced such a tragic and horrific loss, but they can only see how much God has brought good from this tragedy. They were consoling me last night... not the other way around. I will never forget that. I am so moved by their faith. God is SO good. I cannot begin to imagine what this experience would be like if God wasn't a part of it. We would be left with nothing. No hope, no peace, no comfort in knowing that our loved ones are in heaven. Jason and Lindsay are in a place right now... far more beautiful than our human minds can comprehend. In that sense, they are lucky! And so are we... because we will one day join them. We WILL see them again... but in the meantime, we have to deal with the grief of losing them temporarily. Thanks be to God for this perspective.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Words from Jason & Lindsay's parents...

Below is the transcript from the families' Press Conference on Friday August 20, 2004. This captures the strength of character, integrity, and faith of Jason and Lindsay's families, SO much more than I ever could. These are truly remarkable people:

Good afternoon. My name is Chris Cutshall. Kathy and I are Lindsay’s parents and Bob and Delores Allen are Jason’s parents. Kathy and I flew to Sacramento from Columbus, OH late Tuesday night and Bob and Delores flew in from Grand Rapids, MI, Wednesday morning. Kathy and I picked up the Allens at the airport and we have been together since then.

Even though I’m doing the talking, I am speaking on behalf of both sets of parents.

The first thing that we would like to say is that as committed Christian parents we are very grateful to God for taking our children home to be with Him in heaven. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5 that for the persons who place their faith in Jesus Christ, "to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord," and we believe that with all of our hearts, so first of all "thank You, Lord."

Second, we are incredibly grateful for the amazing love and support that we have received from the staff of Rock-N-Water. They have done everything within their power to accommodate us and to help us find Jason and Lindsay. They are the best of people. Also, we are equally grateful for the many churches around the nation that have been interceding on our behalf and especially our home churches. We want to thank Pastor David Cooke and First Baptist Church of Placerville for allowing us to use their facilities today for this press conference. Pastor David and this fellowship have been a huge blessing to us in our great time of trial.

And we would like to thank the law-enforcement agencies in this county, El Dorado, and in Sonoma county for the way they have conducted the search and the consequent investigation. The El Dorado and the Sonoma Sheriffs departments have conducted themselves and continue to conduct themselves with a great deal of professionalism, integrity, class and concern for our two children and for us, their parents, and our families.

Kathy and I first received a call from a camp staff person where Jason and Lindsay had been working this summer, the call came Monday, August 16th, at approximately 11:30 EST, 8:30 PT, to ask if we knew anything about where Jason and Lindsay may be -- we didn’t, but right away our hearts were deeply troubled because Jason and Lindsay are very responsible stable people who would never just decide not to show up for work, so we knew right away that something was very wrong. We called Bob and Delores and they felt the same. We knew that they were either lost, injured, stuck or worse, and as time went on without word, we were beginning to believe what is every loving parent’s nightmare, the worst.

And even though the worst has occurred, we want all who are praying and who are concerned to know that the Lord has been answering your prayers in amazing ways, and we want you to know that we are okay. Our hearts are full of sorrow and grief, but we are experiencing God’s perfect peace through His gracious presence and power.

We understand that even as people who are dedicated to the Lord, we are not immune to the powers of darkness in this life, and what could be darker than the senseless murder of two completely innocent people?

But we believe that light always overtakes and overcomes darkness, and what appears on the surface to be a victory for darkness is in reality a victory for light, because Jason and Lindsay are eternally in the light of their Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

We know as parents that you expect us to say that our children are the best of people, but that is not simply our testimony, but the testimony of many others. Jason and Lindsay came to CA this summer to do what they love to do, work at a Christian adventure camp, and they came for one reason only, to serve the Lord by serving people, especially children and young people.

That is what these two were all about -- they were all about (and still are, by the way) the Lord Jesus Christ and helping people make it in a dark and fallen world, believing that the only way to make it is through Jesus Christ.

These two extremely beautiful young adults dedicated their lives to Christian service, and we have to tell you that Bob and Delores and Kathy and I could not be more proud and pleased with them than we are right now.

They were literally at the peak of their Christian commitment and development. They were so mature about their faith and about their relationship with God and with one another. They were morally clean, spiritually holy and high in Christian character when the Lord took them home to heaven to be with Him. In that sense, this was the best time for the Lord to take them home. And we believe that their reward for their faithfulness in this life will translate into immeasurably rich eternal service in God’s eternal kingdom.

Jason and Lindsay were to be married on Saturday, September 11, two days after her 23rd birthday, near our church, the Cutshall’s church, on a farm in the Fresno, OH area. They loved the outdoors, so we we’re planning a garden wedding with the reception in the barn with a Christian Bluegrass band, because among other styles of music they loved Bluegrass.

But as my wife Kathy pointed out to me, the celebration that occurred in heaven when they entered the gates together far surpasses any human celebration that could happen here on earth. So we are so happy for them.

We are the ones who have to bear the burden of carrying on without their presence, which is the source of our greatest pain. They are so beautiful and we love them with our entire being.

But the Word of God tells us as Christians to grieve with hope, with confident expectation, in the Lord, and that is exactly what we are doing and will continue to do. The Word also says that we as Christians "can do all things (meaning, all things that are required of us by God) through Christ who strengthens us," Philippians 4:13, which is, by the way one of Jason’s favorite Bible verses.

So we are going to return to our homes soon and grieve in community with family and church family and carry on to the glory of our heavenly Father who loved us enough to send His beloved Son to die for us because sin is so bad, including the sin in my life and in your human life as well. We are all witnesses this day of how bad and ugly and dark sin gone to seed can actually be.

We would like to thank everyone who has been praying for us -- please continue to pray. We are experiencing the power that is resulting from your prayers.

We would request that the media be careful of getting in the way of the police investigation because we want justice and believe we will get it -- if not in this life certainly in the next, but most of all we want to get a completely insane cold-blooded killer off the beaches and off the streets. Who ever did this is the exact opposite of Jason and Lindsay. He/she/they are the worst of the worse. But all they could do, the worst they could do, is kill the bodies, not the souls, which are forever preserved by God. So they didn’t win -- they never do. Darkness never does in the end. For Jason and Lindsay they are home in heaven with Jesus Christ -- for them there is no more pain. They have been found alive, and our God is glorified, and we are satisfied in Him.

We would also request that everyone respect our need for privacy to grieve for our beloved children. If you respect us we will respect you and do our best to cooperate with your desire to develop this story.

God bless Jason and Lindsay. God bless you, and we would encourage you to look up and focus on Jesus Christ. In Him and in Him alone will you find perfect peace in a world full of trouble and turmoil. Thank you very much.

I will take a few questions if you have them, but I will take none pertaining to the case. We are leaving that entirely to the law-enforcement authorities.

No news at this time...

Unfortunately, there isn't much news right now, as far as the investigation is going. But it is clear that people are very passionate about finding the one(s) who killed Jason and Lindsay. Just a simple web search brings up a lot of discussion boards in which countless people have tried to figure out the known details and the possible motive for this horrific crime. We may never actually figure out who did this though... and that fact is heartbreaking to me. There have been a number of seemingly "motive-less" murders in our country, many that never make national headlines, that have gone unsolved. But at least those of us who knew Jason and/or Lindsay have the type of closure that comes with knowing what happened to them. Now we can grieve and focus our efforts on finding the perpetrator(s).

Tonight is the visitation service(s) for Jason at his church... I will add an entry afterward to talk about how it went.

To all who have followed this case and have expressed their sorrow and condolences, THANK YOU so much for your thoughts and prayers... and for having the heart to care for two people, that you may have not even met before, who were taken from this world in such a tragic and senseless way. I, for one, am truly grateful for such support. It gives us hope for humanity, when by all accounts, our visions of humanity have been shattered in the last week. Please continue to pray... for strength and peace of mind in this very emotionally turbulent time, for justice for Jason and Lindsay, and for the police officers, detectives, and investigators who are working around the clock in their attempt to solve this crime.

Interesting article...

I thought this article was interesting and well-written, but I most certainly do not agree with all of it, specifically, the writer's comments in the last portion of the article. I can understand why people would fail to see how God is in control of everything, when such horrific crimes like these occur. But to understand why is actually quite simple... from a faith standpoint, that is. God is omniscient, all-knowing. He knows how our lives begin, what will happen to us in our lifetimes, what choices we will make, and how our lives will end. GOD DOES NOT FORCE US INTO A LIFE OF DEFINED FATE. Rather, we are all given absolute free-will... but God, since He is all-knowing, knows what we are going to choose long before we make any decisions. God is PURELY good... there is not ONE tiny aspect of God that is evil. Satan is evil. Satan's influence on this world is the reason why such tragedies occur. God takes the tragedies of the world and uses them for good. For instance, in the horrific Columbine massacre, several of the students that were murdered were devout Christians. Since their deaths, groups of speakers (many who are family members of the Columbine victims themselves) have toured the country and the world, speaking to youth groups, schools, and various open community forums, about their loved ones and the lives of faith that they led. Because of the tragedy and the efforts of their family members thereafter, COUNTLESS people have come to know the Lord. Hence, the good rising from the bad. The beauty from the ashes.

Now, you may wonder why God doesn't stop evil things from occurring because He knows they will occur. If God did such things, it would be affecting the free will of humanity. God purposefully does NOT affect anyone's free will, because He loves us enough to allow us to choose for ourselves. Often, people choose wrong. We are all fallible. But some are highly influenced by Satan/evil and they hurt and/or kill people because of it.

Posted on Wed, Aug. 25, 2004

Pair's Slaying on the Beach Particularly Troubling...

By Scott Herhold
Mercury News

Maybe the reason that the slayings of Jason Allen and Lindsay Cutshall hit us so hard is that they were such soul mates, killed just four weeks before their wedding. At their bridal shower, friends took their picture together next to a rubber raft decorated with foam that looked like the white water they loved.

Maybe the reason their deaths gnaw at us is that they came from such a different culture than California cool. Allen, 26, of Zeeland, Mich., and Cutshall, 23, of Fresno, Ohio, were devout Midwesterners trying to spread the gospel at a rafting camp 40 miles east of Sacramento.

And maybe the reason we shiver at two young people shot to death in their sleeping bags on an isolated Sonoma County beach is that their killer had to go so far out of his way to snuff out their lives. It was a crime of calculation, not convenience. No robbery, no car theft, no apparent rape.


No slaying makes sense. Yet this one seemed particularly senseless. The victims had done nothing more to offend than laying their sleeping bags on the beach near a lean-to built out of driftwood.

If they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, then so are any of us who want to enjoy a California sunset or camp beneath a famous peak.

The killings reminded me of the outrage that followed the death of Ai Toyoshima, a 16-year-old Japanese exchange student who was raped and killed near San Jose's Bagby School in 1989. That case, like this, is one that sticks in a detective's craw.

In Jenner, detectives are following at least 150 leads. They're looking at a similar twin slaying last October in Arizona. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Tuesday that they're seeking a drifter who was stopped by Fort Bragg police two days after the bodies were found.

For the rest of us, the job of understanding what happened -- and why -- is far harder. What we know is that Allen and Cutshall shared a passion for the outdoors and a yearning to spread their faith.

Allen, who grew up in a Baptist family, enjoyed giving teenagers the whitewater ride of their lives. ``He enjoyed life,'' said Felix Hart, 63, a family friend of Allen's in Holland, Mich. ``He and Lindsay just knitted together so well. They were just so vibrant.''

One theory put forward early was that Cutshall and Allen might have been slain because of their Christianity. This feels wrong. While the two young people were clearly Christians, they were not overzealous about trying to convert others.


Equally unpersuasive -- at least to me -- is an explanation put forward by Allen's pastor in Michigan, the Rev. Rick Hoppe. ``Somebody meant this for evil, but God is using this for good,'' he said in his Sunday sermon. ``God wants you, he wants me, to trust him in the midst of this difficulty. God is in control of everything.''

You can understand that a minister would try to offer guidance to a congregation in the midst of shock. You can understand, too, that good might come of knowing more about the dedication of the two victims.

I'm no theologian. But the notion of God as choreographer for all our actions -- including two killings as incomprehensible as these -- is too cut-and-dried. It understates the enormity of the crime. It ignores the freedom humans have to blunder.

We can ascribe fate to the Almighty. The ugly truth, though, is that we create our own havoc. It shouldn't insult anyone's faith to say that sometimes we don't know why tragedy stalks our lives -- or that the job of finding the person responsible is ours alone.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Song with a whole new meaning...

This has always been a song that has touched my heart. But now it has a whole new meaning. I think it is definitely worth sharing:

This is not at all
How we thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain,
The pain of losing you...
But we can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
There's a place where we'll see your face again...
And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father smile and say, "Well done."
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be...
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free...
And we can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again...
We wait with hope
And we ache with hope...
We hold on with hope...
We let go with hope...

Steven Curtis Chapman - With Hope

Reward offered...

Since Sonoma County investigators have cleared Nicholas Scarseth of any involvement in the murders of Jason and Lindsay, they have now secured a reward for the capture of those responsible/involved...

Authorities announced they had secured a $10,000 reward from Carole Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation to help break the case.

"We need to find the person or persons responsible for this heinous act and get them off the street," said Kim Petersen, the executive director of the foundation.

Police have also apologized to Nicholas Scarseth and his family for their very public accusations that he was their prime suspect or "person of interest"...

Also Wednesday, police announced they had cleared Nicholas Edward Scarseth, 21, a day after he made himself available to investigators and was described as a "person of interest."

Edmonds said Scarseth passed a polygraph test.

"He was cooperative, and was released after our interview," Edmonds said. "We presently do not view Mr. Scarseth as a suspect."

Scarseth's parents said two Sonoma detectives showed up at their house in Chippewa Falls, Wis., to apologize for naming their son in a police alert. As it turned out, the tip that led detectives to their son came from a person who reported seeing the couple after their bodies were already in the morgue, they said.

"It turned out to be a complete case of mistaken identity," Mark Scarseth said. "He is not the guy they were looking for."

Sweet tribute to Jason & Lindsay...

I just got an e-mail today from someone who knew Jason and Lindsay through the Rock-N-Water Christian Adventure Camp that they both worked at this summer. This person also sent me a really cool photo that was taken of Jason and Lindsay together, along with a group of campers, on a white-water rafting trip earlier this summer.

Tribute to Jason & Lindsay
Click on photo for larger view!

The Rock-N-Water Camp's website also has a Memorial Page dedicated to Jason and Lindsay. It is clearly evident that my friend and his beautiful bride-to-be were two amazing people who just wanted to make a positive difference in this world. I am sure they touched more lives than they ever thought possible.

Rock-N-Water Christian Adventure Camp

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Scarseth cleared of any suspicion...

I am glad Nicholas Scarseth cooperated with detectives in Jason and Lindsay's murder case... but now it looks like we're back to square one. (PDF) Please continue to pray with me for ANY leads on this case. Whoever (or whomever) is responsible for these murders MUST be removed from society!!! We won't be safe anywhere with monsters like this allowed to roam free. Good grief! I can't think of a more cowardly act than to kill innocent people and to deny responsibility. The person(s) responsible are gutless, heartless, and completely out of touch with reality.

Remembering Jason...

Jason's obituary (PDF), beautifully and eloquently written by his mother, Delores:

Jason Scott Allen, 26
Death notice

On August 15, Jason Scott Allen of Zeeland, along with his fiancee Lindsay Christine Cutshall of Fresno, Ohio was called home to live eternally with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Jason was born on May 16, 1978, in Edison, New Jersey and moved to Holland, Mich. as an infant. He attended Lakewood Elementary School and Woodside Elementary School. When he was entering the fifth grade, his family moved to Zeeland where he attended New Groningen Elementary School, Zeeland Middle School and graduated from Zeeland High School in 1996.

In 2001, he was a graduate of Appalachian Bible College in Bradley, W. Va., obtaining a bachelor's degree in Bible and a minor in Christian Camping. While at ABC, Jason took an avid interest in outdoor adventures sports. He was skilled in backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, and was a Class V river guide. Jason felt the Lord calling him to an outdoor adventure ministry where he could work with youth and young adults, using the skills and talents God gave him. He spent the past eight summers working in Christian Ministry Camps, guiding rafts and counseling young people. Some of the camps he worked at were Alpine Adventures in West Virginia, Whitewater Excitement in California, Beyond Malibu in British Columbia and most recently Rock-N-Water in California. It was while both he and Lindsay were employed with Rock-N-Water that they were chosen to enter heaven.

Jason had accepted the Lord as his Savior when he was 13 years old. He was a committed servant of God, a man of high moral character and had a heart for evangelism. Many times he gave his own Bible away to someone he had just met. He lived his life to glorify God, and to honor his church and his parents.

Jason and Lindsay were to be married on Sept. 11, 2004, in Fresno, Ohio. Lindsay shared Jason's love for outdoor adventure sports and for ministry to young people.

Jason is survived by his parents, Robert and Delores Allen of Zeeland, two sisters, Mrs. Howard Westra (Elizabeth) of Overisel and Vanessa at home, and paternal grandparents Joe and Helen Allen of Distant, Pa. His maternal grandparents are the late Lytle and Iola Scott of Belington, W. Va.

Jason was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Holland, MI. A family visitation is planned for Friday, Aug. 27 at Immanuel Baptist Church located on 22nd and Pine Ave. in Holland. Visiting hours will be 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

A joint memorial service for Jason and Lindsay will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4 at Fresno Bible Church located at 24629 State Route 93, Fresno, Ohio. This will be a service of celebration of their lives here on earth and of their entrance into heaven's gates.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Rock-N-Water Christian Camp Ministry through the Wyandotte Federal Credit Union, 114 S. Waverly Road, Holland, MI (616) 396-7047. Make checks payable to Robert or Delores Allen.

Police question "person of interest"...

Here is the latest news regarding Nicholas Edward Scarseth and his possible involvement in the murders of Jason and Lindsay. I would like to insist, however, that this person has not been proven guilty, so it is unfair for us to assume that he is. I am glad though that the police seem to have some leads. But this investigation is obviously far from over...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

More about this "person of interest"...

Below are links to some updated headlines regarding this new "person of interest" in the case of the murders of Jason and Lindsay. Nicholas Edward Scarseth was apparently stopped on Friday by police in Fort Bragg — about 100 miles north of Jenner, where Lindsay and Jason were found shot to death last week. A local sheriff lieutenant said that he did not know why Scarseth was stopped. Scarseth's mother said that her son has a "drinking problem but is not violent." But she also says that her son harbors anger toward religious people. "He brings up religion and politics to irritate people. He likes to stir people up," she said.

There is something about this kid that really creeps me out. I have no idea if he is guilty of killing my friend Jason and his fiancé, but there is something about him that leaves me feeling very uneasy.

* Local News (PDF) (Wood TV8 - West Michigan)
* Fox News (PDF)

'Person of Interest': Nicholas ScarsethPast Arrest photos: Nicholas Scarseth

UPDATE: Possible suspect!

I just read this article (PDF) on the website of one of our local TV news stations. Possible suspect! Let's hope and pray that they get this guy and that he is the perpetrator of this crime.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Words of hope...

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)

"'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)

Psalm 126:5-6 reads, "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." The NIV Life Application Bible commentary says, "God’s ability to restore life is beyond our understanding. Forests burn down and are able to grow back. Broken bones heal. Even grief is not a permanent condition. Our tears can be seeds that will grow into a harvest of joy because God is able to bring good out of tragedy. When burdened by sorrow, know that your time of grief will end and that you will find joy."

A town is shaken...

Not only has this tragedy shaken the communities in which Jason and Lindsay came from... the town in which Jason and Lindsay were murdered is now, for obvious reasons, very nervous and scared (PDF) about the killer that is in their midst. Lets just hope and pray that there is some sort of evidence left behind that will lead to the person(s) responsible for the senseless deaths of my dear friend and his fiancé.

I was thinking today about forgiveness. Right now, I cannot comprehend how any of us could forgive the one(s) responsible for killing Jason and Lindsay. I have so much anger that it makes me literally shake. I know that some day I must come to forgive the one(s) responsible for these murders... because that will be the only way I will be able to move on. But for now... I cannot do that. I can't even think about trying. I try to focus my attention on how God is bringing peace and grace to the families instead... because He truly is. The Allen's and the Cutshall's have been pillars of strength. I am moved to tears by their amazing faith. What a shining example they have been for everyone... including the media! It is really cool to see how the media is being honest in their portrayal of Lindsay and Jason, because they are not leaving anything about their spirituality and faith out of the story. Jason and Lindsay's entire lives were based on their faith in Christ... and they were incredible role models. I have to focus my efforts on thinking about this instead of the killer(s)... because that is the best way for me to cope. Please continue to pray for us. These wounds are deep...

Side note: Both Jason's and Lindsay's parents will be appearing on Good Morning America either tomorrow morning, or on Tuesday morning. (This is according to Jason's sister.) If you are able to, try to catch that interview. You will be amazed at the strength of these people. God is surrounding them with His love and grace, and it is clearly evident.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Trying to cope...

Here is an updated article (PDF) from our local newspaper about Jason and Lindsay. There isn't much news yet... but they keep adding more about what Jason and Lindsay were like, and I think these articles are well-written and worth reading.

My pastor at church today mentioned the tragedy of Jason and Lindsay's murder and it made me cry. Another friend of mine and Jason's, from our childhood, was there with me and she was crying too. This is one of those things that I'm not sure any of us will ever get over. I mean, how do you deal when a friend you've known your entire life gets murdered? Not to mention... gets murdered for NO REASON? It's almost worse that there appears to be no motive, because then it was 1000000% senseless. Not like murder ever has a real purpose. It is always an evil, senseless, cruel, crime. And there is no class on "coping with the murder of a friend" in college. It just leaves you feeling so incredibly emotionally drained. All my nerves are raw. I am on a huge emotional roller coaster. I'll be okay for a while, while I'm preoccupying myself with other things, but I'll see another report on TV and get really upset again. This is so hard... even with faith it's hard... but it's definitely easier to cope when we know that these two people loved Jesus. We know we will see them again... this is not the end. As I mentioned before... please don't take your loved ones for granted. Spend time with them and make each moment count... because you just never know when something could happen that would take their life, or yours.

Below is Jason and Lindsay's wedding invitation. I blurred out information that is not public. This was hanging on my fridge since I got it. It is tough to look at, knowing that this wedding will never take place:

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Jason & Lindsay at their wedding shower, earlier this year. I went to this shower... it was the last time I saw them. These were two amazing, loving, compassionate people. I will cherish my memories of that day always.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Beautiful article about Jason and Lindsay...

This is the best article (PDF) I've read so far... it describes Jason and Lindsay so well. They were two wonderful Christian people who truly loved God's Creation. They had a unique passion for it. They were both extremely adventurous people who loved to travel and experience more and more of God's "great outdoors." I am still reeling from the loss of Jason and Lindsay... because I just cannot comprehend how someone could take the lives of others... least of all without a motive. We are all left with so many unanswered questions. But I am so moved by the incredibly strong faith of these families. I have witnessed first-hand how God has held them together. I am more convinced, than ever before, that God is as real as the air we breathe... and that there is more to this life than life itself. Jason and Lindsay are together now in a much more beautiful Creation of God. I am so comforted by that...

Lindsay and Jason

Read another great article in our local newspaper (PDF) about my friend Jason and his beautiful fiancé Lindsay.

Autopsy results...

Thankfully, it appears as though both Jason and Lindsay died instantly (PDF) from their gunshot wounds to the head. I can still barely believe that this actually happened. It is so overwhelming and undescribable... the senselessness of it all. I just cannot grasp that they are actually gone. I wish I could just wake up and realize it was all a bad dream.

I stopped by Jason's mom and dad's house today after work. His parents are still in California, along with Lindsay's parents, but Jason's sisters and extended family are all at his parents' house. Boy, was that tough. I burst into tears the second I saw Jason's sisters. They were holding up pretty well when I saw them, but they told me that they are all cried out. However, they have an AMAZING support group surrounding them. It's awesome! They have seen God's Hand in a lot of what has happened even since they found out about the deaths of Jason and Lindsay. What inspirational people... I am in awe of their strength. They even have an enormous amount of patience in dealing with the media, whom have been bombarding them with visits and phone calls. They were even contacted by Good Morning America today! I can't believe how much attention this tragedy has gotten... but it is really good to see people demand justice for Jason and Lindsay like this.

Well, I will add more if I hear anything else. Not surprisingly, I don't feel much like posting anything else... because nothing else seems to matter right now. Please continue to pray for all of us that are affected by this tragedy... we have already felt the power of prayer in countless ways... including our new appreciation for our loved ones and our lives. God bless! Hug your loved ones tonight and tell them you love them... tell them every day...

Friday, August 20, 2004

Updated article...

The Sacramento Bee has been doing a great job keeping this story updated. This newly updated article (PDF) does a great job describing Jason and Lindsay on a more personal level.

ALSO: The murders of Jason and Lindsay have reached national attention!

  • Fox News article (PDF)
  • MSNBC article (PDF)

    I will keep updating as I hear more news...

  • Update: Jason & Lindsay were shot...

    Latest article from the Sacramento Bee...

    I can hardly wrap my mind around these deaths... I don't know what to do with the emotions I'm feeling right now...

    Thursday, August 19, 2004


    Horrific news... it was just reported that Jason and Lindsay were found murdered (PDF) yesterday afternoon on a beach in Sonoma County, California. I don't even know what to do with this information... I am numb. It appears as if they had decided to spend a night sleeping on the beach in their sleeping bags. I'm sure they had done this many times before in the mountains, because they were very adventurous, "outdoorsy" people. Both were really into kayaking, whitewater rafting, hiking, camping, etc. Both were trained in wilderness survival and were in elite physical shape. But neither one of them probably ever dreamed that they were putting themselves into such danger by sleeping on a beach near San Francisco. They were both still in their sleeping bags when their bodies were found. We don't know any details yet, just that they were definitely murdered. It's too horrific for me to actually comprehend at this point. Their families are in such grief right now. The thing is, Jason and Lindsay were engaged to be married on September 11... in a mere THREE weeks. My sister Sara just got married last week Friday! I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to find out that your sibling and his/her fiance were MURDERED only three weeks before their wedding. And what's even worse... my sister Sara is best friends with Jason's sister. Sara called me today to wish me a happy birthday, but I didn't say a thing about Jason and Lindsay, because Sara and my brother-in-law, Dave, are still on their honeymoon! This is supposed to be an idyllic vacation for them. Little do they know what kind of news they are coming home to. I'm not sure I want to be there when my sister finds out. I am so in shock right now. I still live next door to the house where Jason grew up... and I cry every time I look over there. There is a tree in the front yard that Jason and I used to climb all the time when we were kids. Jason loved climbing all the way up to the "tippy top" with me to eat our lunches up there. We were crazy kids. :) I have so many memories. I will cherish those memories forever. It's amazing how something like this can make you appreciate things, and your loved ones, so much more. I'm not sure I will ever fully get over this... but I am VERY comforted in knowing that Jason and Lindsay both loved Jesus and that they are home with Him now. Someday I WILL see them again and that is awesome. In the meantime, they will be GREATLY missed.

    (Jesus said:) "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." --John 11.25-26

    Remembering Jason:

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    [Me and Jason at 2 1/2 years old.]

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    [LEFT to RIGHT: Marianne (friend), Liz (friend), me, & Jason... at my 6th birthday party.]
    (Hard to imagine this was exactly 21 years ago from today.)

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    [LEFT to RIGHT: Jason, Sara (my sister), Elizabeth (his sister), & me... filling up the "kiddie pool."]


    P.S. Today is my 27th birthday. I'm in no mood to celebrate. Tears are pouring down my face.


    I recently found out that a life-long friend of mine is missing! He and his fiancé went hiking last week Saturday in California and never returned. Take a look at this article (PDF) featured in the Sacramento Bee. PLEASE pray for Jason and Lindsay... for their safety and for their safe return. And please pray for their families and close friends as well. This is very obviously a scary situation for all of us as we wait for any news on their whereabouts.

    Lindsay & Jason

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