January 714, 1999
A Mother's Reaction
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On a bitter November day, Dorothy Ernest is sitting in a high-backed wing chair in the dour lobby of the Holiday Inn Independence Mall. In town to present a trophy to marathon runners in honor of her daughter, Ernest is horrified to learn the nature of attorney Fred Ambrose's campaign to find the "real killer," which accompanies a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages for Herbie Haak and Richie Wise, two men arrested, and later acquitted, of Kimberly's murder. The campaign, she is told, has included stories that Kim frequented the drug scene.
Hearing this, Dorothy Ernest is visibly sickened.
"It is funny what is going through my stomach right now," she says, her ever-present composure slipping just a bit. "I actually never heard this. Now, maybe Tom [Augustine] and the detectives and [prosecutor] Judy [Rubino] wanted to protect me from this, I've never heard it."
While shocked at the allegation, Ernest is not surprised that it is being made.
"Obviously they are not going to stop. They can say anything. This is just what I am trying to tell you. It hurts me inside when someone says that about her. I know that's not true. It makes me want to cry. They beat her to death. What more do they want?"
Ernest, a psychotherapist whose specialties include treatment of bereavement, says she is "disgusted."
"I would like to just look them in the eye and say 'How dare you? She's dead and now you are trying to tarnish a dead person. Why? Stop!'"
Ernest says she is aware of the campaign against John Lambert.
The people spreading these stories "are trying to embarrass the city and the mayor's office. This is tacky, shoddy stuff."
Not surprisingly, Ernest has "no respect" for the people accusing her daughter of involvement in drugs while attempting to pin her murder on John Lambert.
"They're scumbags. I'm sorry. I can't think of a polite way of saying it."