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 ♥

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Five years...

(Looking at this photo breaks my heart all over again!) :(

I want to begin with a beautiful note from Jason's parents:
"We miss our kids as much as ever, but the Lord has been so good to reveal to us how He is still using this tragedy to change lives. We cannot comprehend His ways nor His timing, but just trust, in simple faith, that He will continue to work out a wonderful plan. Our desire is to give God the glory in all that He does, in joyful times and in difficult situations. We thank everyone for their words of encouragement and for your prayers. We are in California, visiting friends at Rock'n'Water and so appreciate the role they played in Jason and Lindsay's lives.
~ Bob and Delores

Today marks the 5th "anniversary" of the day that Jason & Lindsay were killed. ♥

I can't believe it's been 5 years already! Five years ago today... none of us knew yet what had happened. In the days that followed... this tragedy that is every parents' nightmare became a reality for the Allens and the Cutshalls. But their attitude and rock-solid faith in God became a testament to God's grace and presence in the midst of such a heart-wrenching and life-altering tragedy. I have learned SO MUCH from them!

What happened to Jason & Lindsay forever changed my life! At the time that it happened, I wasn't taking my faith very seriously... and I'm ashamed to say that. But when I learned of the way that Jason & Lindsay were truly living their lives for Christ... God really opened my eyes to the fact that there was another way He wanted me to be living! He wanted me to be living my life for HIM... and not for myself. That takes some real discipline because it's SO easy in this world to get trapped in the "me first" mentality! And I'm sure many of you reading this know exactly what I mean! But we are all on this planet for a reason... for a God-given purpose. No matter how we were born, who we were born to, where we came from or what we've been through... NONE of us are here by accident! We are here because God put us here. But it is up to us whether or not we choose to believe in Him and follow Him.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
~ Jeremiah 29:11

Jason and Lindsay hoped to influence young people to follow Jesus. They wanted to set an example with their lives, and they were doing so... but God allowed them to die. I don't understand all of God's reasoning behind it... but He clearly knew that many MANY people would come to know Christ through this tragedy! God has been SO good! It was evident, immediately after Jason & Lindsay's deaths, that God was never going to let this happen in vain! I will thank Him for that for eternity! God knew that this would hurt like crazy for those who knew and loved Jason & Lindsay... but He also knew that we all would be refined by it, that people would find Him through it, and that He would ultimately be glorified! And I'm SURE that Jason & Lindsay are so humbled! God loved them enough to set an example for us with their lives and their deaths. He chose them for a reason! His ways are not always our ways, but He is wiser and He is HOLY... and I am always in awe of the mysterious ways that He works.

I am praying for all of you who will read this! I hope that you are encouraged by Jason & Lindsay's story, because it is a real God story as well! God can use everything we go through, both good and bad, for our good if we let Him. He breathed life into each and every one of us... and He loves us all SO much!

I know that a lot of people wonder how a loving God could allow such suffering in the world. I don't understand it either... but I've experienced enough of God's grace, peace and presence in such powerful ways that it's changed my entire perspective on EVERYTHING! I had the blessing to go to South Africa on a mission trip a year ago... and I saw a lot of suffering there. But the beautiful people I met and worked with there who had relatively NOTHING were some of the truest Christ-following people I have ever been blessed to meet in my entire life! Because they have so little, they rely on God for everything! Their faith in Him is authentic and powerful; they expect miracles and get miracles! The same God that loves us and wants to know us, is the same God who carries them through the difficulties of poverty and disease. None of the people I met there complained once about their situation. I'm sure they know the injustice of it all, since literally just down the road, people are living in wealth and prosperity. But they see the opportunity in every difficulty... and for them, the joy of Christ far outweighs the sorrow they've experienced.

That is the same God I choose to follow! He is the same God that so many people have lived and died for! He is a loving God who wants to carry us through the suffering in our lives... because there will be suffering. None of us are exempt. But you will never have true hope if you choose to walk alone.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."
~ Deuteronomy 31:6

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
~ Matthew 11:28-30

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."
~ Psalm 42:5-6a

"But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love."
~ Psalm 33:18

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Whom He has given us."
~ Romans 5:1-5

Please pray for Jason & Lindsay's families! No doubt this 5 year mark is going to be very difficult in many ways. There is still a lot of pain... but God is always gracious. ♥ He is VERY real and VERY present in the sorrow of all who love Him.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Suspect's DNA does not match...

I guess this isn't really that big of a surprise (because it was a long shot), but part of me is disappointed that the DNA of Joseph Burgess didn't match what was found at the scene. I guess it doesn't completely rule him out, but chances are... their killer is still out there. Please pray for the truth to be revealed! Someone out there knows something! It would bring a lot of comfort and relief to everyone who knew Jason & Lindsay if their killer could finally be brought to justice! August 15 (in less than two weeks) marks the 5 year "anniversary." Pray for their families!

No Link to Jenner Slaying Found in Fugitive's DNA (PDF)

Friday, July 31, 2009


Authorities say they are unable to link a dead fugitive to the 2004 slayings of a couple on a beach near Jenner, dashing hopes of solving a case that continues to baffle investigators and torment the victims’ families.

A DNA sample taken from Joseph Henry Burgess and a bullet found among his possessions do not match evidence gathered by investigators in the Jenner case, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.

While that doesn’t rule out the 62-year-old Burgess as a person of interest in the case, the findings also fail to establish that he had anything to do with the beach slayings.

“It’s frustrating, but that’s the business we are in,” Sonoma County Sheriff’s Capt. Matt McCaffrey said Friday.

Burgess, who was wanted in connection with the 1972 slayings of a young couple on a beach in Canada, was killed July 16 in a gun battle with New Mexico sheriff’s deputies that left a deputy dead.

Sonoma County detectives traveled to New Mexico last week searching for evidence that might have implicated Burgess in the Jenner case.

Lindsay Cutshall, 22, and her fiance, 26-year-old Jason Allen, were found shot to death on Aug. 18, 2004. The couple were camped out on Fish Head Beach on what was supposed to be their final weekend in California before returning home to Ohio and marrying.

The case bears strong resemblance to the 1972 slayings of Ann Durrant, a 20-year-old Canadian, and Leif Carlsson, 19, an exchange student from Sweden, who were camping on a remote beach near Tofino, on West Vancouver Island.

Police said that after the couple went to sleep, Burgess, who was then 25 and a Vietnam-era draft dodger, snuck out from the bushes and shot each one in the head with a .22-caliber rifle.

Burgess, who was described by police as a religious fanatic, did not approve of pre-marital sex and had told a witness that the young couple’s behavior bothered him.

Cutshall and Allen had taken vows of chastity and were in separate sleeping bags when they were shot. But like Durrant and Carlsson, the couple was open about their Christian beliefs, beliefs that in theory could have made them targets to someone such as Burgess.

But no one knew the New Jersey-born man was even alive before his deadly encounter two weeks ago with two New Mexico sheriff’s deputies who were conducting a surveillance operation to nab a thief dubbed “The Cookie Bandit.”

The intruder had been breaking into cabins in New Mexico’s Jemez mountains for a decade and stealing food and other items. On this particular morning, he chose to enter the cabin where the deputies were staked out, leading to an intense fight.

Despite being handcuffed, Burgess managed to reach a .357-revolver tucked in his waistband behind his back and start firing. Both he and Sgt. Joe Harris of the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department died in the ensuing gun battle.

Authorities later determined that Burgess’ gun was registered to another man who was reported missing in 2007 after he failed to return from a camping trip in the Jemez mountains.

Sonoma County detectives took DNA samples from Burgess to compare with DNA found in saliva that was on a beer bottle recovered from the Jenner beach.

Normally, such tests can take weeks or months. But the California Department of Justice made it a priority, underscoring interest in the case and hopes that it might finally be solved.

McCaffrey said Friday that had the DNA matched, it would have been strong evidence that Burgess took part in the slayings, as it would have placed him at the beach.

A positive match on an expended .45-caliber bullet that was found among Burgess’ possessions could have been an even more definitive link.

Investigators have identified two types of rifles, both made by Marlin Firearms Co. in North Haven, Conn., that could have been used to kill Cutshall and Allen, who were each shot once in the head.

One rifle is a lever-action type known as the Model 1894. The other is the Model 45, which is semi-automatic and more commonly referred to as a “camp carbine.”

The rifles are unique in that they use ammunition that also can be used in handguns.

McCaffrey said the bullet found in New Mexico was determined to have been fired from a pistol, and not from the rifle used in the Jenner slayings. He said the spent bullet has been sent back to New Mexico.

McCaffrey said no other items possibly related to the Jenner case were found in New Mexico. He said authorities there are still searching for evidence, but that Sonoma County investigators “are not holding our breaths.”

He also spoke of the frustration of not finding a definitive resolution as the five-year anniversary of the couple’s deaths approaches this month.

“We’ve had so many times where we’ve had evidence or a suspect where we thought, ‘Boy, this looks really good,’” he said. “But we have to keep from getting too high or low on any case. You can’t get too emotionally attached.”


  • No DNA Match on Possible Killer of Holland Twp. Man and Fiancee (PDF) -- (Holland Sentinel, West Michigan)

  • DNA Doesn't Implicate Man in Jenner Killing (PDF) -- (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • Update on Evidence in the 2004 Jenner Double Murder Case (PDF) -- (Sonoma County Sheriff's Dept. Press Release)

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