TS Haunted by the past 04/19/2006
EUREKA -- Judging by what she scrawled in diaries and other documents, Cheri Moore was a sad woman whose life revolved around mundane household tasks and the many drugs she used to ease her pain.
“I hurt,” Moore wrote in one undated entry. “I hurt in my heart, no ache, it's a hurt. There's no Valentino for me, no Romeo, Zorro, Bobby Sherman, I think I'll stop there.”
A typical entry is the one dated Jan. 18, 2003: “I haven't done much but smoke my pot with a ton of people, and I'm overdoing it with dishes and laundry and cleaning.” A year later: “I did some speed. I washed some bathroom walls by (the) heater.”
“I've been wired for 31/2 days, turned into chaos at the end,” Moore wrote on June 5, 2003. “... I'm very unhappy lately, each day gets a lil (sic) worse.”
On a typical day, Moore noted she “smoked a lil crank” and then did various household tasks. She watched television sitcoms, played Solitaire, put puzzles together. When friends visited, they took various drugs. Occasionally Moore mentioned her appointments at the county Mental Health Department.
Police shot the 48-year-old Moore to death Friday in the Fifth and G streets apartment where she had lived four years. During a two-hour standoff she had brandished a flare gun, screamed and thrown items out her window. She reportedly had not taken medication she needed. Moore also was upset over disputes with her landlord, and Friday was the birthday of a son who killed himself several years ago.
Some of Moore's neighbors at Heuer's Apartments gave the Times-Standard two of Moore's diaries and some other personal papers they said were dumped in a trash bin. One document was a rambling complaint against her landlord Chuck Heuer, whom she believed was trying to illegally evict her. Moore was attempting to obtain a restraining order against Heuer.
Heuer declined to comment about Moore or the fatal shooting, other than to say, “I feel sorry it happened.”
Many community members have expressed shock and outrage over Moore's death, saying police acted in haste and did not have to use guns.
”We think she was done wrong,” said Jean Villneauve, an employee at Duck's Market on Harrison Avenue. Villneauve said Moore came into the store nearly every day and was always happy and smiling.
”She was very friendly, very outgoing,” Villneauve said. “Never a cross word.”
The shooting is under investigation by the Critical Incident Response Team, consisting of investigators from the District Attorney's Office, Sheriff's Department, Coroner's Office and state Department of Justice. Officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
One of Moore's personal papers is a typed document that refers to “patient Cheri Lynn Moore.'' Numerous physical ailments are listed, as well as the mental disorders “bipolar, have anxiety, panic attacks, multiple personality disorders, short term memory loss, post traumatic stress and maybe more stuff.”
But Moore at one point scrawled near that description: “Not mentally ill! No more!”
Moore's journals reveal she was haunted by the past. She considered herself an unloved child. But she had a relationship with her father and got together with him Christmas Day 2004.
”I got picked up at 2 p.m.,” she wrote. “I made sure I was loaded. I kept trying to make conversation with everyone, they weren't interested, my Dad never spoke to me at the house. ... I came home and had a better time with my cat.”
Moore's father died in his sleep the same day she was killed.
The last entry in the journals obtained by the Times-Standard was dated May 31, 2005. It was a note to Moore's granddaughter, the daughter of the son who committed suicide.
”Hi, I am your Grandma,” she wrote. “On April 14, 1979, I gave birth to Lawrence Sherman Edward Moore, your Daddy!”
Moore went on to describe what her son looked like, how he had colic as a baby. Then she said her former husband had wanted nothing to do with her or his two sons.
”This is why your Dad killed himself,” she wrote, “because your Dad did (everything) he could to get his Dad's love, but beg for it.”
Rhonda Rael For The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 04/19/2006 04:27:00 AM PDT