My name is Anna von Schwedler, I am Uta’s younger sister. I live in Heidelberg, Germany together with my family, my husband Peter Eickholz and my two children Simon, now 23 and Fiona, now 21 years old.
For me Uta was the older and smarter sister,
– who was trying to help with everything.
– who came to Germany during her separation and divorce time from her husband, not to be bothered by him for 4 weeks during summer with his enerving fights over questions about the children’s care.
-who wanted the children to talk German to us (and my children to listen and talk English).
– who went to our basement every year to get out the bicycles, which we kept just for her and the children and asked neighbour Leah for a bike for Ilona, to move around bicycle friendly Heidelberg.
– who tried to visit all her friends in Oberhausen, Freiburg, Hamburg, Elmau and was unhappy when she was not going anywhere, or had something to do.
– who went jogging with Peter on Sunday mornings and with me to my aerobics classes.
– who decided to cook Spätzle/ a special German pasta with vegetables in a white sauce, although I laughed out loud, because we both knew that none of her children would look at that food, or even try to eat the vegetables she cooked.
– who needed hours to pack all her camping stuff, including several mini containers with several different kinds of leftover food or at least 10 different spices/teabags/coffee/dishwasher fluid etc. in minibags/containers. But afterwards nothing was missing, not even the tomato-mozzarella salt.
– who even as a small child preferred to wear used clothes from Almut or me instead of getting new ones (and she was the oldest).
– who left my place every year with much stuff packed in big bags, where she put all the clothes and stuff she got from me and my kids to use for herself or Pelle and Malkie.
– who always liked to read, but only later condemned the TV.
– who always lived her own way and seldom wanted to move from that way.
– who always accepted it, when we were making fun of her (and laughed with us).
– who was afraid of getting older (all her friends from school turned 50 the year she died).
– who wrote me in many emails or talked about the fights she had with her ex-husband. He, who always claimed to want just the best for the children, but didn’t allow them to call Uta during his parenting time, who didn’t pay the car insurance for Pelle’s car in 2011, probably still waiting for Uta paying half of it.
She had to argue about everything, just because Johnny wanted to fight her with all his heart, because he wanted her life to be as difficult as possible, to manipulate her unreasonably as everything else. He developed from an egoist to a cruel misanthrop.
“This shows where blind hatred can lead to”, someone wrote to me in an email.
– who had to pay half of all the children’ s costs, one point they argued about very often although she earned about a third of the money that Johnny earned as a doctor.
– who never ever complained about her life or was in a bad mood (only when her fish at work died during our stay in Yellowstone and Moab in August 2011).
My family and I, we are so happy to have spent 12 days in August 2011 in Uta’s house in , to be part of her life there and had time for long talks. Uta was very sad about the fact, that the children were not allowed to be with us at Yellowstone Park and to the river rafting trip in Moab.
You can imagine how stressed Uta must have been, wanting the children to learn as well her “way of life”, meaning: use the bike or walk instead of car driving everywhere, get books from the library, not buying all the fancy clothes, electronic toys, pets.Taking care for the environment and sustainability. A way of life that she knew was not very attractive to children.
There is not one day that I don’t think of Uta and that I miss her so much.
Whom shall I take from the airport in summer?
And who tells me which salad and which vegetables are just growing in her garden? Who is giving me regular updates about the children’s activities?
Whom should I send boxes with marzipan and nougat? And who is sending me papers with greetings for the next year with photos of last year’s activities?
“Life is not fair” (thanks to Georg, one of Uta’s school friends)
The banner, that Amy and Pelle made for the Leopard’s Run on March, 24th 2012 and that was honorably written in German, said: “Es wird mir fehlen, das Leben” – “I’m going to miss it, the Life”. That is the title of a book by Ruth Picardie and others. My father Jochen had written the title on his address list and we printed it on the death announcement cards for his death in August 2000. I think, that the motto is even better fitting to Uta. Seeing and knowing that more than 100 people were running this 5 km run with a portrait of Uta on the T-shirt, is a proof for me that Uta’s life touched many more people than just the immediate family members.
Her joy of life and love for her children, her family, her work and her environmental principles are still unforgettable. The memory of her will still be hold up by everyone who knew her. It is still unbelievable for me that she can’t live her chosen life, can’t participate in her children’s life any more.
When the whole family and many friends met shortly after Uta’s death in Salt Lake City for the memorial in October 2011, I would never have thought about the dimension this case would take. We still had the faith, that the police will do their job (although I already had some doubt) and that the murderer, -a suicide was beyond anyone’s belief who knew Uta- , would soon be behind bars (Swedish curtains in colloquial German). But unfortunately we were definitely wrong!
Nearly every day I got new information about what happened in Salt Lake or what sadly did not happen there. The worst thing was that the police tried several times to lay the case down because they declared Uta’s death a suicide. It was unbelievable for us that Johnny was still a free man who went on threatening and abusing his children emotionally because they still lived with him unprotected.
I think, in my whole life I was never so mad and at the same time felt so helpless like in this first year after Uta’s death.
The press began to speak about the case when Uta’s 1 year memorial was held at her house, and some movement came into the case. In the meantime and out of fear of the children’s safety still living in Johnny’s house, Pelle and his lawyer Margaret got a court motion to remove the two underage children Liam and Ilona out of his house, but only until early February 2013. With the publicity’s interest in the “respectable pediatrician” murdering his ex-wife the police started the investigations again, supported by Margaret and Pelle.
I was more than reluctant when Amy informed my sister Almut and me nearly live about the arrest of Johnny in my time afternoon on April 25th 2013.
A day before Christmas 2014 I was informed by the District Attorneys Office that I was named a witness in the upcoming trial against John Wall.
My family and me flew to Salt Lake City just for the last week of the trial at March, the 9th 2015. Because being a witness I couldn’t attend the trial on Monday and Tuesday which I found very disappointing. I just heard the closing arguments on Thursday, the 12 th of March 2015 by the defending lawyer and the DA. I was astonished to listen to the details that were coming to the surface and how precise the DA tried to figure out the course of events that led to Uta’s murder. That confirmed our belief of Uta being murdered since Sept. 27th 2011. Suicide was never an option to believe for anyone who knew Uta.
I am more than relieved to know that the murderer of Uta will hopefully never be freed again and will stay in prison for the rest of his life.
I am more than relieved to know that Uta’s children are living in a caring and loving foster family with the Oglesbys now and don’t have to live in the fear of a frightening father. It will take them time to heal from that but with the help of the Oglesbys and the family and friends around the world they have a huge supporting group around.
It was a relief when all 4 children visited us in Heidelberg/Germany in July 2013, meeting the Australian family on the cruise in the Mediterranean Sea and many relatives of the extended family in Oberhausen/Germany. It was a pleasure to have Malkie and Ilona here in Heidelberg for 2 weeks during Christmas break 2014/2015.
It was a relief to see them grow up in Salt Lake City, being a part of the “ Oglesby Tribe” which included the “Germans” as well.
My way of looking into life changed forever after Uta’s death. I will always keep Uta’s sprit in mind and go on trying to keep her legacy alive.
The above written words are my reasons that I want John Wall stay in prison for the rest of his life.
Yours sincerely, Anna von Schwedler