ABC 20/20 presents the heartbreaking story of Michelle Moore, the daughter of the “Happy Face Killer.”
ABC 20/20 brings you current news segments each week that highlight a human interest story. In tonight’s episode, viewers will listen to Michelle Moore describe what life was like growing up with her father Keith Jesperson, the Canadian rapist and serial killer who was arrested for killing eight people in the 1990s. Known for leaving smiley faces on his letters, this serial killer’s victims were spread out all over the U.S., from Nebraska, Washington, and California to Florida, Wyoming, and Oregon. He was sentenced to life in prison. Since that time, “Happy Face Killer” Keith Jesperson not only left a trail of dead bodies, he also left his own daughter to somehow come to terms and live with the stigma of what he has done. This latest ABC 20/20 episode will show how Michelle Moore has coped.
It’s a perspective that many find interesting. Typically, true-crime documentaries go in-depth about a particular serial killer or crime, but few documentaries address what the killer’s family has to go through upon learning that a husband — or a father — is a vicious murderer.
Michelle G. Moore has discussed her upbringing with Keith Hunter Jesperson in great detail in her book Shattered Silence. Many of Jesperson’s victims, however, have not been happy about reopening old wounds. Some say her book is about the happy life that she experienced with her serial killing father but fails to consider the victim’s families.
Michelle’s story is about more than detailing her happy childhood. It is about the lack of knowing what to do when you find out something so devastating. About this, Michelle makes the following comment.
“There’s no books like what to do if your dad is a serial killer. There’s no pamphlets, no support groups, and the best answer that I could find for myself was just little by little.”
She also questioned whether she deserved to be happy in her own life knowing what her father has done to destroy the lives of others.
Michelle Moore states, according to ABC News, “Being the daughter of a serial killer puts everything into question, ‘Am I worthy? Do I have a right to exist?’ When he took so much away from other people. If I’m happy is that a slap in the face to the victim’s families? I don’t want it to be.”
Lifetime Movie Network’s new show Monster in My Family brings the families of the victims face to face with family members of the killer. Lifetime Television’s 2014 movie Happy Face Killer dramatized the Keith Jesperson story. Don’t miss tonight’s ABC 20/20 at 10/9 central.
Watch ABC’s 20/20 trailer for tonight’s show.
Here’s Lifetime’s Happy Face Killer trailer from 2014.
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