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The Girl Who Saw Too Much

Robin Doan was ten years old when a stranger killed her entire family. Nearly ten years later, she refuses to let the past haunt her.

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Robin Doan photographed March 12, 2014, near Palo Duro Canyon.
Darren Braun

In the fall of 2005, a young Missouri man, 23-year-old Levi King, went on a vicious and inexplicable 24-hour killing spree, first shooting an elderly man and his daughter-in-law in the rural community of Pineville, Missouri, then stealing their truck and driving to Texas, where he randomly stopped at a darkened farm house on the outskirts of the small Panhandle town of Pampa.

Dressed completely in black and toting an AK-47, King broke through the back door and immediately went to the master bedroom. He first put three bullets into the body of the home’s owner, 31-year-old Brian Conrad. He next fired two shots into Molly, the family’s dog. Then he turned his gun on Conrad’s 35-year-old pregnant wife, Michell, who was screaming. He shot her five times.

Michell’s ten-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, Robin Doan, was at the end of the hallway, crouched by her bedroom door, which was partially open. She saw King walk out of her mother and stepfather’s bedroom and head her way. She ran back to her bed and pulled the covers over her head. He stepped into her bedroom, aimed his gun at her, and pulled the trigger. The shot went wide, hitting a pillow, but Robin made a grunting noise and fell to the floor, pretending she was dead. King fell for her act. He turned around, walked into a third bedroom, and shot Robin’s fourteen-year-old brother, Zach. King then walked into the kitchen and rummaged around for food before driving away.

Robin remained in her bed for perhaps a couple of hours, listening for a sound, too terrified to move. Finally, as the sun began to come up, she went to the living room, grabbed the family’s cordless phone and ran outside to the driveway, where she called 911. What she said to the dispatcher was absolutely heartbreaking: “Ma’am, there was a shootout in my house. I don’t know who’s alive in my house.” She told the dispatcher her name, adding, “My parents are Michell Conrad and Brian Conrad. My mom is pregnant and my brother is in high school. Please, can you just send somebody out here? I think I’m the only one alive. I’m ten years old and I don’t know what to do. I’m scared. . . I so hope my mom is not dead. I want my mommy. I want my mom.”

After his rampage through the house, King had driven to El Paso, crossed the border into Mexico, and for some reason, decided to return only hours later. He was detained by U.S. Border Patrol officers who found guns in his car. After they fingerprinted him and pulled his file, they saw that he was wanted for questioning about some Missouri shootings. Within a few days, he calmly confessed to the killings in both Missouri and Pampa. He explained that he had gotten angry because his father had kicked him out of the house back in Missouri, and he had decided to go out and shoot people.

When I read the story about the Pampa farmhouse killings, I couldn’t help but think it was the Texas version of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood—except in this case, there was one survivor, a pretty little girl who, when sheriff’s deputies arrived at her home, was still standing in her driveway, wearing purple pajamas decorated with polar bears and white Nike socks with purple rings around the tops. “There were so many shots,” she told one deputy. “I heard my mommy screaming.”

How, I wondered at the time, would that child ever get over the sound of those screams? How would she ever erase the image of Levi King coming toward her? How would she be able to grow up in any normal way after living through such an experience?

Over the years, whenever I saw a newspaper story with a Pampa dateline, I would think about Robin and wonder what had happened to her. I assumed that she had been shuttled off to relatives in a new town, probably a different state, to help her escape the nightmares. Late last year, I happened to see a film version of Capote’s life, and I started thinking about her again. I called Lynn Switzer, the former district attorney in Pampa who had prosecuted King for murder, and I asked if she could put me in touch with Robin, who is now nineteen. “Of course I can,” said Switzer. “She’s still living in Pampa, you know.”

“You’re kidding,” I said.

“No, this is not a girl who wants to run away.”

A few minutes later, she called me back and gave me Robin’s phone number. I dialed the number and a cheerful voice answered, “Hi.”

“I guess you know why I’m calling,” I said, after introducing myself.

“Oh, sure,” replied Robin. “But I want you to know that I’m not going to have great stories for you. I’m just trying to be another teenager, no different than anyone else.”

When we started talking, she said she wasn’t all that interested in talking about “what happened,” as she put it. She did tell me that she moved in with her father, a surveyor, and his new wife, who lived just outside of Pampa, a town of 19,000. (Her father and Robin’s mother had divorced when Robin was a toddler). Whenever he took her somewhere, she hunkered down in his pickup truck so that people wouldn’t stare at her. Everyone knew who she was; the shootings were the biggest thing to have happened to Pampa in decades. “I stayed out of school for a couple of months, and when I went back, other kids didn’t know what to say to me,” she said. “I sort of felt like a freak. But I wasn’t going to cry.”

“Why not?”

“I guess I thought if I acted as if nothing had ever really happened, then I would be better off.”

“Robin was the kind of child who put on a very brave face in front of other people,” said Switzer. “She would say, ‘I can handle this. I’m strong.’ And I’d say, ‘Robin, I know you’re brave, honey, but you’ve been through a cataclysmic event. It’s got to be tearing you up.’ And she’d say, ‘I’m fine. Let’s talk about something else.’”

In middle school, Robin moved in with an aunt who lived in Pampa and had more time to take care of her. Switzer regularly visited with Robin, in part because she needed her to be her star witness at King’s trial. Despite Robin’s insistence that she was “just fine,” Switzer had no idea whether the young girl would be able to handle the trauma of testifying in front of a packed courtroom with Levi King sitting front and center at the defendant’s table. Switzer arranged for Robin to talk to a therapist, which turned out badly. “I told him I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and that I wanted to be left alone,” Robin said.

Switzer brought in another therapist, who, according to Robin, “wanted me to watch cheesy videos and write in a diary. I said, ‘Nope.’” She did like a third therapist whom Switzer found. But Robin always did her best to remain in complete control. “I never wanted to interact too much,” she said.

Robin went through months of therapy, but Switzer had no idea whether any of the therapy made an impact on Robin. “She was still working very hard to remain in complete control,” Switzer said. Just before King’s trial began, in 2009, she let Robin know it would be perfectly okay if she preferred to stay home. “We’ll get a conviction,” she told Robin, who was then fourteen years old. But Robin insisted that she was ready to talk.

After a week of testimony, Switzer called Robin’s name. She came into the courtroom, which was packed with Pampa residents. They leaned forward as she took the stand. No one had any idea what she would say—or if she would say anything at all.

Robin recounted the events of the night of the murder, quickly going through the details. Then Switzer asked her if she missed her mother. Seemingly caught by surprise, Robin said she wished her mother had been around this past year for some of the bigger milestones in her life, including the eighth grade dance and her first day of high school. Suddenly, she turned and stared straight at King and told him she was constantly haunted by her mother’s screams from that night and was still sometimes scared to go to sleep.

Robin began to sob. She walked out of the courtroom and went with Switzer into a small private room, where she continued sobbing. It was the first time since the shootings, Switzer told me, that Robin had “truly let out her grief.”

The specatators in the courtroom assumed that that would be the last they would hear from Robin. Switzer herself had no plans to call Robin back to the courtroom. But Robin told the prosecutor that she had one more thing to say. And so, after King was sentenced to life without parole—one of the twelve jurors refused to vote for the death penalty, which requires a unanimous vote—Robin took the stand to make a victim’s impact statement. She looked at King and told him that she forgave him, and that she hoped when the day came for him to meet God, he would ask for forgiveness too. King kept his head down, unable to look at the teenager.

“I don’t know why I said what I said,” Robin told me when I asked her about the forgiveness statement. “Maybe I just wanted him to know that I wasn’t going to let my life be ruined by him—that I wasn’t going to let him take away the best of me.”

She paused. “I wanted him to know my life was still going to turn out to be good, no matter what awful things he had done to me and my family.”

After the trial, Robin did her best to lead what she described as “a very normal teenage life.” She became a cheerleader at Pampa High School. She briefly played on the girls’ basketball team. During the summer, she worked at the local water amusement park (she once saved a little boy who was drowning). When she graduated from high school in May 2013, a group of police officers and deputies who had worked on the murder case raised $10,000 to pay for her to go to junior college in nearby Borger. (She’s a cheerleader there too.) But she acknowledges that even today, nearly ten years after the murders, everyone in Pampa still wonders if she’s alright. “I can tell how they watch me,” she said. “It’s like a game for them, waiting to see if I am going to mess up and have some breakdown because of what happened to me when I was ten years old. I mean, I once dyed my hair a different color, and the word spread that I was finally going off the deep end. But I’ve kept my head on my shoulders. I was raised better than that.”

“So, how often do you really still think about that night?”

“Well, I try not to think about it,” Robin finally said. “And I still have dreams of being shot at. I still have dreams of doing things with my mom and talking to my brother. I dream about our dog, Molly. And sometimes I lie in bed and ask myself, ‘What could I have done? What could I have done to have kept him from shooting my family?’”

I then asked if her if she ever thinks about “him,” meaning Levi King. “I don’t write him letters, if that’s what you want to know,” she said. “And I don’t waste my time sitting around hoping he rots in hell. What I’m trying to do is let go and move on and do some good.”

Robin told me she has come up with a plan for her life. Her goal is to enroll this coming fall at West Texas A&M University, in Canyon, an hour-and-a-half drive away from Pampa, and get her degree in nursing. “I want to do pediatric nursing,” she said. “I want to help kids who get hurt, who need help. I want to be the first one there.”

There was a long silence over the phone, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Robin was trying not to cry. “I just wish I could tell my mom that I’m going to be a nurse,” she said. “I think she would like that a lot.”

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  • Autumn Williams Keiser

    Great piece until the last paragraph. She clearly wants nothing more than to maintain her dignity and shield her emotions from the prying eyes of those around her. Yet you cannot resist foisting your emotional assumptions in some attempt to crack her veneer for your readers. Why?

    • allchildren1991

      The writer posits that the girl might have a normal, healthy sense of grief. The girl could overcome her grief, or she could be overwhelmed by it. Either would be understandable.

    • EGA

      I think it was well written, thoughtful, considerate, respectful. What really comes across is how brave she is, and how real she is at the same time. This is a beautiful piece of journalism, and a beautiful young woman.

    • freemon williams

      The sensation that is all……sometimes the media is worse than the murderer.

  • C.d. Gibson

    I wonder why the dog didn’t bark. I wonder why her dad didn’t have a gun to defend the family. How different things could have been for her.

    • FTS

      I imagine it’s difficult to use a gun in your sleep.

      • C.d. Gibson

        The dog didn’t bark. The house was broken in to & no one heard it? I have dogs. They hear every sound at night & if someone breaks into my house, I will know it before they get 2 feet into my house and I will react accordingly.

        • A. Branigan

          And to think this child will possibly read this and see a man placing blame on her step dad and dog for the massacre of her family. An amazingly inconsiderathe response. Victim blaming gotta love it. Never ends and never helps.

          • C.d. Gibson

            Amazingly stupid response from a man who doesn’t have a clue. I’m a woman who refuses to BE A VICTIM!!! I didn’t blame anyone. I asked a question. God forgive me. I asked as question & had a fool decide I blamed the father & dog. I COULD have said if they’d had a gun, the mother could have done more than scream. She could have saved herself & her son too.

          • s

            victim blaming, smh.

          • C.d. Gibson

            Being stupid. Yep that’s you.

          • GooeyGomer

            Good to see that being stupid is working out for you there, sister. Rock on.

          • C.d. Gibson

            Coming from someone who calls him/herself GOOEYGOMER, that means the world to me. Honest. Really. I mean it.

          • BobbyBarker

            You’ve gotten not one upvote (as of the time of this writing) for any of your bleating about the dog, a gun, and your defense of same. If Disqus hadn’t gotten rid of downvotes you’d see exactly how wrong you are here.

          • C.d. Gibson

            Well BOBBY, do you honestly believe I give a rip what you think? Whine all you want but I’m entitled to my own opinion whether you liberal fools like it or not.

          • glennisw

            What’s with the repeated “liberal” as a kneejerk insult? Nothing about this discussion has anything to do with politics. Why do you instinctively play that card?

          • Quin TheElf

            And when called out on your nonsense, you presume everyone who can disagrees with you is a “liberal,” and that if they are, being “liberal” is inherently bad.

            No one said you weren’t entitled to your opinion. But if you are insistent on showing your “opinion” in public, you must accept that people can and will call you out on your ignorance. If you can’t handle that, perhaps don’t show your behind so much.

          • WestTexan70

            Better to be a liberal fool than a plain ol’ heartless fool like yourself. Get some help.

          • Quin TheElf

            Now you’re judging the validity of statements based on someone’s online handle? I’m sorry, you are far too much. Either you’re a troll or terminally ignorant.

          • Guest

            This was a farmhouse in Texas. They probably had plenty of guns. However, not everyone who owns a gun sleeps with it under their pillow and their finger curled around the trigger, ready to quickdraw the instant they see somebody. Also, they lived on the outskirts of a tiny town of 19,000 in the middle of nowhere, where something like this had never happened before. It’s fair to assume they probably weren’t living a paranoid lifestyle with a gun constantly at arms length.

            Additionally, even if they did have a gun in the room, if someone surprise attacks you with an AK-47 and you’ve never been in a terrifying situation like that and you haven’t been trained for combat then you are probably going to be in shock for a few seconds before you can even think about how to respond. The husband never had a chance to respond because he was the first one shot. In addition to being pregnant, the wife had probably never been in a situation anything like that before and was in total shock when she was shot. Expecting her to respond like a trained warrior and instantly pull out her hand cannon and fire back is a bit unreasonable on your part.

            The simple fact is, you want to find something that these people did wrong because you want to be able to say to yourself, “I’m not going to make the mistakes that they did and therefore there’s no way this will ever happen to me.” I get it. That’s human nature. However, sometimes terrible things happen no matter how many precautions you take. If somebody walks into your house wearing a full suit of combat grade body armor, unless you’ve got armor piercing ammo and that ammo happens to already be loaded in your gun, you are at their mercy, for instance. Simply having a gun in the house doesn’t make you invincible.

          • C.d. Gibson

            I get it. I know where Pampa is. I know how big the town is. I asked why the dog didn’t bark & why the father didn’t have a gun & why no one heard the criminal break in. I’m sorry you feel I’m blaming the victim. I guess no one is allowed to ask questions anymore because it would be politically incorrect. If you have a gun & you don’t sleep with it within arm’s reach, why have one?

          • Guest

            How should any of us know why the dog didn’t bark? None of us were there, and everybody that was in the room with the dog is now dead. Maybe the dog was deaf. Maybe, being a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, they kept the backdoor unlocked and the guy simply turned the knob and walked in without making a noise. I realize you probably think anyone who leaves a door unlocked is an idiot, but plenty of country people do that because 99.99999% of the time there’s nobody nearby. Part of the benefit of living in the country is that you can live a more relaxed lifestyle.

            Also, people in the country have plenty of uses for owning guns besides self defense. Protecting livestock from coyotes and other predators, for one. Hunting, for another.

          • C.d. Gibson

            Golly gee whiz perhaps I thought when the article said the murderer BROKE IN, it meant he broke in & didn’t walk through an unlocked door. I’ve lived in the country, in a small town & NEVER went to bed without locking the doors. In this day & time, it’s not safe no matter where you are. If you own a gun, part of the reason for owning it is self defense whether you realize it or not living in mom’s basement without a care in the world.

          • Guest

            You are asking a question that nobody will ever know the answer to and I offered a couple of possible explanations and now you are ripping my head off.

            What is your overall agenda here? Are you basically trying to say this might have been avoided if the victims had been better prepared or done things differently? Hindsight is always 20/20. If the husband had been clairvoyant I’m sure he would have stayed up all night with a bazooka in his hands and blown the guy to pieces before he ever set foot in the house, but, unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

            Also, I’m not sure why you keep bringing the dog up. Not all dogs have the same temperament. Not all dogs are guard dogs who bark at anything that comes in the house. Some dogs bark at everything, and some dogs almost never bark. Some dogs are extremely friendly and assume any new human they see is also friendly because they’ve never been around bad people. We have no idea what breed this dog was or anything about it, so I’m not sure why you think the dog not barking is such a strong point in your argument.

            Also, we have no idea how big this house is or how far away from the backdoor their bedrooms were. Maybe the bedrooms were on another floor. Maybe the house was big and the bedrooms were at the opposite end. Maybe he broke in very quietly. Maybe they all slept with their bedroom doors closed and so if he broke in without making too much noise they wouldn’t have heard. Maybe they were really deep sleepers. Maybe the husband snored really loud and it covered up the noise the attacker may have made. Maybe the attacker snuck into the bedroom while they were still sleeping and the husband never had a chance to reach for a gun because he was shot in his sleep. It could have been a million different things.

            The point here is that nobody knows why the dog didn’t bark, why the family didn’t hear him breaking in, or why the husband wasn’t able to get to a gun in time. Most likely, no one will ever know the answers to those questions. There are, however, tons of different plausible ways you could explain those things that give the victims the benefit of the doubt. Instead of doing that, you’ve decided the victims must have done something wrong that lead to their deaths. That’s why people are taking issue with you. You’ve shown zero empathy towards the victims, and instead you just want to talk about what they may or may not have done wrong.

          • C.d. Gibson

            Ya know John, I asked a simple question to begin with & everyone including you jumped my butt telling me I was blaming the victims. I was not. I just didn’t understand why the dog didn’t wake them up if, as the article said, the house was broken into. I feel so sorry for Robin. I was just thinking how different her life might have been. Sorry for my compassion for her.

          • Guest

            I never said you didn’t show compassion for Robin. However, her parents were victims too. In fact, I’d argue that the ones who died were the biggest victims of all. Their deaths are the reason that man was thrown in prison for life, after all. Yet, you don’t seem to show much compassion for them.

          • C.d. Gibson

            Oh John no. Robin is the biggest victim here. She’s had to live with the knowledge that her parents and her brother are dead & she lived. She heard them die. Her people are safe in God’s arms. Robin is dealing with something that no one here has ever had to do. God bless her.

          • Guest

            I think the reason you rubbed people the wrong way is because the tone in your first couple of messages came off as accusatory. Instead of saying, “I really wish they would have done this instead”, you phrased it as “why didn’t they do this” and “why didn’t they do that”. It sounded like you were implying that the father was somehow at fault because he failed to protect his family, and the dog was somehow at fault because it failed to bark. You then went on to talk about how such a thing could never happen to you because you have barking dogs and plenty of guns, as if to say you are somehow better than them.

            I’m not sure how you expected people to respond to that.

          • GM52246

            This is a lie. Your exact words were “I wonder why the dog didn’t bark. I wonder why her dad didn’t have a gun to defend the family. How different things could have been for her.” You did not “ask a simple question,” and you weren’t just asking about the dog, though I get how you’d want to rewrite history now.

            And, as has been pointed out, the article at no point says the family didn’t own a gun, nor does it say the dog didn’t bark.

            With “how different things could have been for her” you clearly intended to imply the rest of the family would still be alive if their father owned a gun, which, as was pointed out, is nuts, as it would’ve required keeping it loaded and beside one’s bed.

            You may feel sorry for Robin, but that compassion certainly doesn’t seem to extend to the rest of the family. The rest of us accept that sometimes horrible things happen to good people who didn’t deserve them and there’s nothing anyone could’ve done differently. This can be terrifying to some people, but it’s a part of being a responsible, mature adult.

          • C.d. Gibson

            It must really suck to be so liberal that you don’t understand where anyone else in the world is coming from. Yeah it would have meant keeping it loaded & near the bed. Hello???? It’s called SELF PROTECTION and if you don’t understand that, you have your head up ovomit’s ass.

          • TrulyJulie

            C.d., I signed in just to downvote you. Your attitude is utterly uncalled for.

          • sheldondave

            I think you are posting comments on the wrong board. Your comments are well-thought-out and reasonable. And you are much too respectful of the other posters. How are you gonna get any up-votes like that? LOL.

          • Guest

            C.d., I’ll just come right out and ask since you managed to sidestep the question last time:

            Do you feel any sense of compassion or empathy for the parents at all? Or do you simply see her parents as failures who couldn’t protect their family and are therefore not worthy of respect or compassion? You’ve made it clear how much compassion you have for Robin, but you won’t give a straight answer when somebody brings up the parents.

          • Ergo Eaven

            What you don’t understand is that guns aren’t the answer to everything. People who own guns still get murdered and, in fact, a person’s chances of being killed by gunshot increases if they are kept in the house. I’m not anti-gun at all, but your assumption that a gun would have saved these people is silly. The husband was likely shot in his sleep. The wife woke in a state of panic to a gun toting maniac standing over her. There was never a chance for them to GET a gun. Who knows why the dog didn’t bark? My dog is almost 16 and hard of hearing – maybe theirs was too. Owning a gun may give you a sense of security, but not everyone feels the same way and, when you foist your assumptions on a story like this, people find it offensive.

          • C.d. Gibson

            I asked a question. God forgive me I asked a simple question & everyone acts like I committed a fucking crime. I find it offensive when a liberal tells me that guns do not save lives and that chances of being killed will increase if there are guns in the house. You need to check your statistics Cyndi. You’re full of it.

          • Ergo Eaven

            No, sweetie, you need to check YOURS.

            “Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.”

            Feel free to read the whole study: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/160/10/929.full

            Or do you only get your “facts” from Fox News?

            You can spout misinformation all you like. Facts are facts though.

          • C.d. Gibson

            No HONEY I don’t get all my facts from Fox News but you’d do well to NOT get yours from an anti-gun lobby. I have news. There are more homes WITH guns than without. YOU be a victim. I choose not to be.

          • Ergo Eaven

            Well, if you had bothered to LOOK AT THE LINK I POSTED, you would see that it was a link to the Journal of Epidemiology. It has nothing to do with the anti-gun lobby. For that matter, I believe in the right to own guns, and I love shooting. So stop making ASSumptions because it really makes you look like as ASS! (But then again, you did that long ago, in this very thread.)

            Just because I like guns doesn’t mean I have to turn a blind eye to FACTS though – or that I assume that guns are the answer to every situation. Whether you LIKE IT or not, guns DO increase the liklihood of a shooting death in the home. That’s a fact. Period. And it probably happens because of people who think that guns are the solution to every problem and that it makes them a strong person to own one.

            When you are ASLEEP and someone shoots you IN YOUR SLEEP, it is pretty damned hard to defend yourself. That is what happened in this case and you come along with your pro-gun-at-any-cost attitude and condemn the damned victims. You are spewing nonsense as though you would come out of your sleep, guns blazing, so you could have survived. Your posts have made you sound ridiculous, hate-filled, and downright mean. Not to mention the fact that you sound like a gun nut – and there’s a big difference between a responsible gun owner and a gun nut.

            I live in a home full of guns. They are safely stored, as is their ammunition. Everyone has had extensive safety training, and NO we do NOT sleep with loaded guns by our beds. Because it’s NOT SAFE TO DO SO.

            And now, I am done with you. There’s no explaining common sense to stupid.

          • C.d. Gibson

            From you it’s truly a compliment. My federal law enforcement officer husband believes in sleeping with a loaded gun beside the bed. You learn to do that when drug cartels have a price on you family’s heads. Dipshits like you would never understand it because YOU live in a nice safe little world where you have never been threatened. So why don’t you go fuck yourself because for sure no one will do it to a know it all like you.

          • Guest

            At last, we finally get to the heart of the issue. You live a lifestyle of heightened security and paranoia because your husband’s profession requires it. Your worldview and lifestyle is, therefore, atypical. Surely you must realize that normal folk don’t have to worry about drug cartels.

            The incident that this article is about was a completely freak incident that hasn’t happened in the Texas panhandle before or since. This did not happen on the border where drug cartels wipe out families on a regular basis or whatever. This is what you can’t seem to wrap your head around. You are applying your worldview and your lifestyle as someone who has to worry about drug cartels on a daily basis to a family that lived in the middle of nowhere where things like this don’t happen, and then you are judging them because they weren’t prepared for it. Do you not see how ridiculous and unfair that is? Your husband chose to be a federal officer on the Mexican border, so he chose to accept the risks that go along with that and he takes the necessary precautions that go along with those risks. This family that was murdered was just a regular family in the middle of nowhere. Judging them for not being as prepared for an attack as you are makes no sense.

          • Ergo Eaven

            LOL Sorry, but if that is supposed to make me angry, you failed miserably. All you did was show your true colors: trashy and foul-mouthed. Perhaps your “federal law enforcement officer husband” sleeps with a gun beside the bed to protect him from the viper in it. Now, really… You have a great night! Oh, by the way – my military husband and I are very happily celebrating our 15th anniversary this year. No bedside guns required. LOL Buh-bye now!

          • Quin TheElf

            Now you’re just lying. I come from a law enforcement family, and you just made it startlingly clear that you do not. Nice try, though.

          • Blanks

            I would say you are stupid but you are way beyond that. You are ignorant as they come. And that’s all there is to say about that. I’m practically still a child and it’s amazing to me how foolish you are making yourself to be.

          • Mehki_Girl

            Now we know you are paranoid. Do you take turns sleeping while the other stays up with loaded gun, finger on the trigger, gun aimed at the closed bedroom door? Be careful cop husbands have been known to sit wives in domestic disputes. Your both armed. Maybe you’ll both go in a blaze of gunfire.

          • Victoria

            Now you ergo eaven sound heartless and mad calling the family, QUOTE: Condemn the damned family: That was uncalled for! The family is NOT DAMNED! You make it sound like, that damn family! I’m sure the girl who survived wouldn’t want to see that!

          • Victoria

            I meant to say, “Condemn the damned victims”. ergo eaven, what your saying is, “Those damned victims”!!!!! RUDE! Insensitive! Poor girl.

          • Quin TheElf

            “YOU be a victim. I choose not to be.”

            So victimized people CHOOSE to be, is what you’re saying. That’s disgusting.

            Out of curiosity, if someone who owns a gun is killed, did they CHOOSE to be a victim? Do you really think your gun will protect you from incidents such as the one in this article? Because I have some really harsh reality for you.

          • Ergo Eaven

            And, by the way, you are incredibly rude and overly defensive.

          • Guest

            “I asked a question. God forgive me I asked a simple question.”
            You keep saying this over and over again, but your question was actually 2 questions, and they weren’t simple questions. They were very loaded questions and accusatory in nature. You still haven’t answered my question. Do you feel any sense of compassion or empathy for the parents at all, or do you just think they are failures who couldn’t protect their family?

          • Quin TheElf

            And you know folk’s political
            persuasions how again?

            You came into a comment section about a brutal murder and a girl’s recovery from losing her family to push your own agenda and pick a fight. Shame on you. God may forgive you your ignorance and selfishness, but I hope no one else will.

          • Victoria

            If GOD will forgive him and you hope no one else will, than GOD won’t forgive their sins or ignorance either. And for saying that quin….Being ignorant yourself, GOD WON’T forgive you either!

          • Quin TheElf

            …wow. It has now become startlingly clear what your intention with your first comment was, and it was never compassion for anyone. You were looking for a platform for your ignorant opinions. Do carry on; every post you’ve made has just made you look worse.

          • Debra Brod

            This has nothing to do with politics. It’s murder and the destruction of people’s lives. And let’s not forget Robin lost her dog that night as well.

          • Quin TheElf

            You did not ask a simple question. You asked a stupid one.

          • Quin TheElf

            Not every person owns a gun for self defense. Seriously, do you ever leave your house? You appear to be under the impression that every gun owner is the same as you, and every dog is the same as yours, and every house is the same as yours.

            Your repeated attempts at insults are doing nothing to help your case here, I hope you realize that. When folks pointed out what you were saying that was wrong, you retreated behind insults.

          • Victoria

            And you quin are no better! You come back with insults and name calling just like C.D. You keep talking and talking and you also sound like C.D. Leave it alone already! Geez Your boring already and keep saying the same thing over and over!!

          • wormhd883

            No guest he admitted that he kicked the door in , it was not unlock and he just walked in….

          • turretgunner

            You don’t get. The reason your comments are being crucifixes so much is because of what your questions imply and your refusal to understand that or to even give a damn. Questioning whether these people could have saved themselves from this sociopath is cold and callous. Frankly, what I find most disturbing is what prompted the single juror in this monster’s trial to vote against him getting the needle.

          • Debra Brod

            That bothers me as well. One juror and this guy, in my opinion, deserved the greatest penalty. Excellent point.

          • Mark Rogers

            She’s right you know, the kernel of truth is that folks who hate this much on self defense advocates are usually doing so from a liberal, purely political bent.

          • wormhd883

            C.d I thought the same thing and yes people before you say anything I live not to far from there , and my dogs would be warning me the minute you headed to the house, so his question is not stupid, and I would say we have enough guns around the house to take care of any problems. So that question it’s self also is not stupid. I don’t think you are victim blaming , they are good questions especially about the dog, most country dogs wouldn’t let any stranger close to the house without warning. And I too had to wonder how they slept through someone KICKING in a door … I guess because I hear every little noise myself .. So don’t let them down talk you all lagit questions…C.d

          • Mehki_Girl

            The question is stupid because we cannot know anymore than she. But the question was not to know the answer. It was to criticize these weak fools who got themselves murdered in their beds. I could be the president of the NRA, but I wouldn’t question why a family was randomly murdered by a maniac.

          • Mehki_Girl

            Why would you ask questions to which no-one could possibly answer? Because your aren’t.You are victim blaming and want to pat yourself on the back that it would never happen to you because if someone entered your bedroom to ambush you with an AK you would jump up guns blazing and never become a victim like these poor dumb folks who weren’t armed to the teeth, as proof positive we should all be armed to the teeth. Godforbid the dog is barking because our kid is sneaking a snack and the dog wants some and then the kid walks into the parents bedroom. No, let’s shoot first in a house with kids and ask dumb questions later. I know these comments are old, but I just saw a show about this murder and couldn’t resist responding to stupidity.

          • Kadie Stibbles

            IM sure he killed the dog

          • Quin TheElf

            You do realize that by saying that you “refuse to BE A VICTIM!” you are implying that everyone who is victimized is choosing to be so? What you are saying is wrong and disgusting and you should take some time to examine your thought processes, and why they don’t tell you when to keep your mouth shut.

          • Victoria

            You can’t keep your mouth shut either. You guys must be family! Hahahahahahaha Shut it already! You keep repeating yourself….Lame, boring!

          • Mehki_Girl

            Your shut up. Now you’re repeating yourself

          • WestTexan70

            Victim blamer.

          • Amanda

            You are a horrible human being.

          • C.d. Gibson

            Thanks. I appreciate that.

          • Victoria

            I understand what you are saying….Like a million other people are saying. Why didn’t the dog bark? But it is what it is. Nothing changes. Only GOD knows what happened before it happened. And we leave it at that.

          • Tara Nolte

            sounds like you’ve been a victim and now got your head so far up your ass you think your too good. I hope someone whoops your ass one day and you think of this comment on this story, dumb ass bitch,.

          • C.d. Gibson

            And you sound like an uneducated asshole who doesn’t know the difference in your & you’re. You look like the type who loves getting into cat fights. What a fool you are, dumb, uneducated idiot.

          • Shana Danger H

            You are an obtuse jackass, is what you are.

          • C.d. Gibson

            And you’re an ignorant asshole who has no clue about sentence structure, but thank you for the compliment.

          • dj Rogers

            Perhaps you should seek professional help.

          • PLJosh

            Grow up.

          • Charlotte

            You should take that question down, and work on your judgemental issues. Dont use this as your platform for gun rights. Unbelievable.

          • Meme

            Wow u r such a Ugly person…. And I don’t mean physically obviously

          • Mehki_Girl

            It’s a stupid question. Even if the dog barked I doubt they assumed some maniac was in there house.

        • Quin TheElf

          Have you ever met dogs other than your own dogs, or are you under the impression that every dog reacts the same as yours?

          Honestly, if your dogs truly react to “every sound at night,” I’m not sure how you ever get any sleep. And your dogs should be on Prozac.

          • JN

            What no mention of the Nazi’s? I’m suprised. I have a suggestion. Why not have gun control? Every country that has done it has a remarkably lower incidence of gun crime and gun related death. Take Australia for instance; since the Port Arthur mass shooting, after which gun control was enacted, there has not been one single incidence of mass shooting. You can argue Second Amendment and freedoms until you are blue in the face but the only people you will ever convince is yourselves. Everyone outside of the US looks at the almost daily tragedies of school shootings, then reads the red neck comments posted by your gun lobbyists and their ilk then shakes their head in despair. What happened to the US of the early 20th century? You remember right; the country that really did have a moral compass and compassion? What is the US now apart from some warmongering dysfunctional mess where money rules all? You all had a chance with Obama but sat there and allowed the right wing to scare you with stories of communism and socialism disguised as liberalism. You could have had the path to a society with values but what have you ended up with? A bunch of red neck yahoos running around the world bombing the crap out of people in the so called name of freedom while in any city in the US people beg on ever street corner.

          • Mehki_Girl

            And pissing everyone off and putting all of us in danger and then our young men are sent off to get blown up while old rich guys are safely on their yachts banking their money overseas

          • Victoria

            I think you are on prozac because you can’t keep your big mouth shut about the same things you keep repeating. Take your meds and go to bed already! hahahaha

          • Charlotte Knight

            Says the person who keeps repeating herself, and yet says absolutely nothing of substance. Gotta love the irony, though.

        • Guest

          Where is your sympathy and compassion as a human? Didn’t anyone ever teach you to NOT say or write everything that you’re thinking?!

        • Mehki_Girl

          I have two little dogs, you know the yappy kind? They don’t bark at the doorbell ringing, nor when we come in. They only bark when they see us react to the doorbell ringing. Frankly I have no idea if they would bark at a stranger coming through. I hope so. Not every dog barks at an intruder. The killer said in an interview, mom woke but dad was barely awake when he shot him.

    • r

      the dude was a farmer in Texas…we all have guns here… trust me he had guns. Unfortunately the need to sleep puts all of us on our back at some point and we are completely defenseless and equally as unfortunate that is when cowards and monsters such as king tend to prey

    • Kelly Bounds

      I bet there are a lot of I wonders……………………………… doesn’t change the outcome.

    • Danielle

      The dog was blind and deaf so it had no idea Levi king was there and brian did not have enough time to grab his gun I know this cuz I am friends with robin

      • C.d. Gibson

        Thanks Danielle. I wondered why the dog didn’t bark at all. Would have been nice if Hollandsworth (author) would have said so.

      • Ergo Eaven

        Thanks for enlightening us. I’m sending her best wishes.

      • Guest

        The dog wasn’t blind or Deaf, you clearly didn’t know Robin or her family.

    • robby

      Robin is my cousin and you, lady are an absolute and undeniable idiot!

    • Lola

      LOL TROLL^^^^

  • Kelly Bounds

    Clearly Robin is in control of her life and her choices. I agree with Autumn Williams Keiser, I guess your journalistic taste for sensationalism comes with the craft. I am sorry Robin has people requesting she relives horrific memories and monumental loss for the sake of a ” good story.” She as we all do, i surviving and thriving in spite of a terrible dealt hand. Good Luck Robin.

  • glg

    Robin is a strong, courageous girl. I live in Pampa, the example she sets is amazing. God has plans for her, big plans. By going to pediatric nursing she can use her story to help and encourage others. She will never be anonymous here, but she deals with that well and with class. God bless you always, dear girl.

    • Holly Thomas

      I have heard wonderful things about Robin:) Agreed ,God has big plans for this sweet girl.

    • TheLibertine

      Dignity in the face of tragedy: she’ll make an incredible healthcare professional.

    • Mehki_Girl

      I think God’s first plan would have to not allow her family to get slaughtered. God had nothing to do with it.

  • Paul A. Presson

    A woman in my office was on the jury that convicted King. She said in one of his statements to police, King said “I will never forget the smell of blood and gun powder”. I never thought about blood having a smell. If you’ve ever passed the turn-off to Pampa, as you’re driving west on I-40, you would realize how freak King’s decision was to turn off at that location and how freak it was that he ended up at the Conrad’s farm house. One sick emotionless individual who deserves to rot in prison.

  • Dennis Elliott

    I was the first deputy on the scene. The second deputy was right behind. He put Robin in his car and we made entry. A horrific unforgettable scene in that house. When we came out of the house, Robin asked if she could feed the animals. So as I secured the scene and waited for the rest of many units, my partner helped her fill the feed bucket and feed the critters. One very brave and inspiring young lady. My heart still and always will goes out to her,

    • Ergo Eaven

      I’m amazed and inspired by her strength. Very happy to hear that she is thriving and that this monster has not destroyed her.

  • ddhamlin

    Robin will forever be on my prayer list. God has something amazing for this girl!

  • Unknown

    I know Robin personally. Yes, she is a very strong girl but the truth to all of this is she uses it to her advantage. She always talks about how she can get away with anything because she knows all the cops because of the shooting. She likes to party, a lot. When someone says something about the party getting busted she just says “Oh the deputies won’t do anything to me. I know them, they feel bad for me because my family was killed.” I really do think that she is strong.. in fact I saw her just a few hours ago. She won’t speak to me though because she thinks shes too good for me. She takes advantage of people and sucks in all the attention she gets for it. She’s been on TV shows, newspapers, blogs, all kinds of things. She likes the attention, she likes people feeling bad for her.

    • Blanks

      Are you serious right now? Robin is the LAST to use that as an advantage to her. You’re just as ignorant as the lady above. She does LOVE getting her message out for people with similar happenings to know they aren’t alone!! She has a caring heart and took the terrible things that happened to her and is making them the best they can be. She’s strong. You on the other hand are not. I’d love to see you say this straight to her, “unknown”.

    • tiff

      This was a very uncalled for comment Robin is amazing and responsible not need to say these things bout her!!!! You have never been through what she has so you need to take a step back and not worry but what she does!!!!!!

    • Al

      This is the most ignorant and slanderous thing ive ever read. To say this about a person is absolutely horrible. I know Robin personally, I grew up with Brian as he was friends with my dad long before he ever married Michelle and I was good friends Zach. I am very close to Robin and I love her dearly and for you to say those those things about her is ludicrous. Yes, her story has been on TV and in the papers and she speaks out so that her story may be heard so that she might be able to help someone through it. Those articles and shows would be published wether she spoke in them or not. She doesn’t want anyone to feel bad for her, she wants to live her life like a normal human being. For her to be able to forgive the man who ripped her family away from her and hope that he finds the Lord is truly selfless. Why would a person like that want “attention” and want “people to feel sorry for her”. Im sorry that you feel the need to say horrible things about people that “dont speak to you”. It sounds like you have some pretty big issues of your own. You must be deeply troubled to say things like this about anyone.

  • Unknown

    I am from small town Pampa. It’s a quiet town that shuts down at 9. Nothing crazy or scary ever happens in this town. A town where everyone knows everyone. You don’t go to sleep thinking someone will break in, you don’t think that you need your gun on standby. You simply are not scared to live in this town. They went to sleep that night with no intentions of anything bad happening. If the parents would have had any chance, they would have done whatever it took to protect their family, but there was no chance for anyone to do anything! I don’t know Robin personally, but I do know her, I knew her brother. She has overcome so much, and for being as strong as she is now, and being able to share her story, to relive that night every time she tells it, says so much about her. It isn’t your place to know ever tiny detail. Think if this was to happen in your family. How would you react to all the negative comments? Leave her alone and quit trying to make sense of a horrific crime that no one will ever understand.

  • mommaknowsbest

    The sad reality about the comments below by Mr Gibson and others is that in this society we live in we see so much violence and gore on tv , movies, and the news that people are numb to the real feelings and emotions people experience in a tragedy like this one. Where is the Heart of people anymore that we would over look the fear, grief and emotion that this young lady has experienced and how she chose to not become a statistic and become someone that wants to use her tragedy to help others in similar situations that they too can emerge from their own personal Hell and become a productive person in the midst of what seems like eternal grief. To overlook what this young lady has been through and analyze the details the same way you would discuss a movie and how you think it should have happened or should have ended is narrow minded and heartless. Are you forgetting that she has and will be reading these comments? Don’t give her anymore reason to question what happened that morning or wonder anymore about the “What if’s”. Our comments should be encouraging and uplifting instead of making this your personal forum to criticize and argue over someone else’s reality! I personally Praise God for her strength for I know it is from him she has turned into such an amazing young lady and I Thank God I have been Blessed to play a small part in her life. She is a normal “kid” and to criticize her or her situation or use this forum for your own personal entertainment or to prove your “brush with greatness” is completely ridiculous. Please Consider her and her families feelings when posting and if you have a change of heart after reading this please do the human thing and delete any unnecessary comments. Sweet Girl I am proud of you and I continue to support your choices to tell your story so that others can find the fight and motivation to keep going just as you have. I know Brian Michelle and Zack are very proud of you!! And You know I am!! 😉 ~Love ya

  • Holly Thomas

    Hey Robin,
    We have some mutual friends on Facebook,I have followed you’re story.I would like to tell you you’re amazing for how you have handled this tragedy with you’re family and you’re pain as well. I know you’re Family is looking down from heaven and are so proud of you for the person you have become.
    Holly Thomas

  • Mommyfour, RN

    Robin, you will be a great peds nurse. Your persistence and positive focus will serve as an asset to your co-workers and patients alike. I wish you the best in all that you do.

  • Sean Cobb

    Praise God for Robin! She is a very special young lady with a lot of love!


    Beautiful story but sad I’M glad things are looking up for her

  • Sensabull

    Her mother must have been an amazing woman, raising an extraordinary daughter. Robin deserves the world and I hope she gets it. And hopefully King will die in his sleep and soon so that taxpayers’ money doesn’t go to feeding him and keeping him entertained in jail. Long live Robin and her beautiful outlook and spirit.

  • Mehki_Girl

    So this little girl was brave enough to save her life, face this coward, and not allow him ruin her. This grown as s coward who decided to kill people in a tantrum because daddy wouldn’t let his grown as s come back home? Is that about it?