Excerpts from the letter found in the Barton family living room
Letter purportedly written by Mark Barton as read by Henry County Police Chief Jimmy Mercer
July 30, 1999
To whom it may concern,
Leigh Ann is in the master bedroom closet under a blanket. I killed her on Tuesday night. I killed Matthew and Mychelle Wednesday night.
There may be similarities between these deaths and the death of my first wife Debra Spivey. However, I deny killing her and her mother. There is no reason for me to lie now.
It just seemed like a quiet way to kill and a relatively painless way to die. There was little pain. All of them were dead in less than five minutes. I hit them with a hammer in their sleep and then put them face down in the bathtub to make sure they did not wake up in pain -- to make sure they were dead.
I am so sorry, I wish I didn't. Words cannot tell the agony. Why did I? I have been dying since October. I wake up at night so afraid, so terrified that I couldn't be that afraid while awake.
It has taken its toll. I have come to hate this life in this system of things. I have come to have no hope. I killed the children to exchange them for five minutes of pain for a lifetime of pain. I forced myself to do it to keep them from suffering so much later. No mother, no father, no relatives.
The fears of the father are transferred to the son. It was from my father to me and from me to my son. He already had it. And now to be left alone, I had to take him with me.
I killed Leanne because she was one of the main reasons for my demise, as I plan to kill the others. I really wish I had not killed her now. She really couldn't help it and I love her so much anyway.
I know that Jehovah will take care of all of them in the next life. I'm sure the details don't matter. There is no excuse, no good reason. I am sure no one will understand. If they could, I wouldn't want them to. I just write these things to say why.
Please know that I love Leigh Ann, Matthew and Mychelle with all my heart. If Jehovah's willing I would like to see them all again in the resurrection, to have a second chance. I don't plan to live very much longer. Just long enough to kill as many of the people that greedily sought my destruction.
You should kill me if you can.
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