Tooele Transcript Bulletin Online Edition October 25, 2001
Before murder, man penned bleak note
‘I will take you to a better place,’ dad wrote

by Jeff Schmerker
Staff Writer

Investigators delving deeper into the an unprecedented double murder-suicide Monday afternoon in the hills above Stockton have received a bleak suicide note written by the man who killed his infant son and daughter and then himself.
The letter, which hints at the Salt Lake City’s man’s state of mental health, belies what at first appeared to be the relatively calm murder scene stumbled upon by two hunters Monday afternoon.
In the letter, which was addressed to the editor of The Salt Lake Tribune and postmarked from Salt Lake City on Monday, Scott Ellison, 41, blamed his wife for abusing his children and said he was taking them to a better place. The editor turned the letter over to investigators.
“I have stewardship to protect my children,” he wrote. “No agency can help me. Our lives are unseeable when we look at the universe, yet the pain in my daughters soul is as big as the universe. Out, out brief candle. I will take you with me to a better place ... Your suffering is over” (sic).
Ellison was last seen at about 2 p.m. on Monday, when he picked up his 20-month-old daughter Emma — authorities first reported that her name was Amy — and 8-month-old son Seth, and apparently drove them to a dry hillside about a mile east of state Route 36 at Stockton Pass. Ellison then apparently shot Seth, who was still in his child restraint seat, in the head at point blank range with his 9 millimeter pistol, then carried Emma about 20 feet down a hill and shot her in the head. Ellison then apparently waited about an hour before walking behind the car and shooting himself in the head, too.
Target shooting hunters found Emma’s body at about 5:30 p.m., and thought at first she was simply a doll left in the road. They immediately ran back to SR-36 to call authorities.
Ellison, investigators discovered on Wednesday, was taking medication for anxiety and depression and had just weeks earlier separated from his wife and moved in with his parents. His family told Tooele County Sheriff Frank Scharmann that he was “very low and mentally depressed on Sunday.”
Ellison’s wife told deputies that he visited the children regularly during the separation but on Monday took the kids for the first time.
“There was no indication that anything would go wrong,” said Scharmann. “She says they were struggling financially.”
In an interview with deputies, Ellison’s family said he had purchased a weapon in the last couple of months and had apparently mentioned to a friend that the gun was “another option.” Scharmann said Ellison was afraid of losing custody of his children to the state.
“My Children are innocent,” Ellison wrote. “Today Emma, Seth and I stand in the stars. Cry not for us but for yourselfs for we are free ... God bless. I am sure this is the most benevolent choice. I lay down my life for my friends” (sic).

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