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Terror by Night: The True Story of the Brutal Texas Murder That Destroyed a Family, Restored One Man’s Faith, and Shocked a Nation Paperback – July 1, 2012
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From the Back Cover
In one evening, Terry Caffey lost everything. His wife, Penny, and his sons, Matthew and Tyler, were brutally murdered; his home was burned to the ground, and his sixteen-year-old daughter, Erin, was in jail, charged with three counts of capital murder.
In one year’s time, God would restore it all.
At 3:00 a.m. on March 1, 2008, Terry Caffey awoke to find his daughter’s former boyfriend standing in the bedroom doorway with a gun. An instant later the teen opened fire, killing Terry’s wife and wounding Terry six times. As he slipped toward unconsciousness, Terry heard his son crying upstairs. More gunfire followed. When he regained consciousness, he felt the searing heat of his burning house.
Terry knew it was too late to save his family, but he had one thing to do before he died. He fought to stay awake and escaped the burning house through a bathroom window. As Terry stumbled and crawled four hundred yards through pitch darkness, he asked God to keep him alive long enough to identify the killer, and then to let him die.
God allowed Terry to identify the murderer, but He didn’t let Terry die.
What happened next is nothing short of miraculous.
Terror by Night is the emotionally gripping story of a daughter’s ultimate betrayal, a father’s unfathomable forgiveness, and a miraculous discovery that would restore one man’s faith, spare two young lives, and restore peace to a small Texas town.
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I will admit at first I was skeptical and thought that perhaps he was in full denial of his situation but in the end I discovered that my skepticism was more about me than about him.
This book is a written testimony of Terry's life and how the tragedy of the murder of his family and the fact that his daughter had something to do with it affected him and how he has been able to move forward therefore it is meant to be written as it is.
I can't say what I would do if I was put in the same circumstances I can only imagine how very devastating it has been for Mr. Caffey and to see that he is able to go on living is a true testimony of God's goodness in the midst of what seemed to be a very hopeless situation.
Mr. Caffey never did say that he didn't have moments of denial instead what he did point out is that denial is truly a part of the process of grieving and coming to terms. Anyone who has dealt with grief knows that there is a stage of denial and I think Mr. Caffey has handled that very well by working through it and continuing to work through the many different stages of grief.
His life choices are his to make and there is not one soul who can say that they could have or would have done this or that unless a person has been through what he has went through and even then no one can honestly judge this man for each of us is individuals thus how we respond to such tragedies is truly based on the individual.
This book helped me to understand a little more about God's goodness even in the most dire and hopeless situation. I have had a hard time in my life understanding God's goodness in my own circumstances. I want to believe that He is good but it is ever so hard when one is hurting so deeply. What I realize is that in order for a person to see that God is good no matter the circumstances we face it takes God's strength to do so.
God bless you Mr. Terry for sharing your story.
After the deaths of his family and the virtual loss of Erin, Terry Coffey suffers not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. As a Christ-follower, Terry struggles mightily with the question that plagues all who experience great loss: Why didn't God step in and stop this horrific occurrence? The answer, as it always is, is that we (humans) don't know. God is much, much bigger than we can even fathom. He has plans inside of plans that stretch from eternity to eternity. We can't even conceive the concept of eternity to eternity, but God sees it ALL and knows everything that ever has or ever will happen. We cannot know how the life of Terry Coffey, or the loss of Penny, Matthew, and Tyler Coffey will change the life of a total stranger who hears of it - or how it may change the lives of those intimately involved in the case. We just don't know - and that is the hardest part of understanding God's love and His grace, because we want to know why. Anyway, Terry pulls through with a great deal of faith and the unwavering support of a fantastic group of people including his in-laws, friends, and church family.
Blessed by God with a new family, Terry likens himself to Job, who lost everything in the Bible. Just like Job, Terry was restored by the growth of his faith through this horrible time. Am I saying it was "good" that Penny and the boys died? That Erin was involved in it? No, of course not. BUT, God works for good, so there is good found in many aspects of this tragedy.
This book *was* written very soon after this tragedy occurred. Even now it's only been about 3 years; hardly enough time for the ink to dry on the case files. I, too, would love to see an update from Terry in 10 years or so. I believe, though, that he will be OK, no, that he will thrive, because he has accepted that God's unending grace doesn't mean that bad (very, very bad) stuff won't happen, but it does mean that He will be with us every step of the way. You can, by the way, keep up with how he's doing via his ministry page. I don't have the address right offhand, but just Google his name and it will come up.
One thing I am not sure about - and I invite commentary about - is the true level of Erin's involvement. I think, from the record of her "total" confession conversation with Terry, that she still absolves herself of much of the blame for the attacks. In no way, however, do I believe that this girl sought out people who were possessed of entirely innocent motives and convinced them to murder her family. I think she was a frustrated, angsty teen who complained about her parents not "getting her" and "sometimes I wish they were dead" so she could live her own life. The Lord knows I complained enough about my dad who never "got" me when I was a teenager, and while I don't think I ever wished him dead, I certainly wished he would "go away" enough times! ;- I think then, her much too old boyfriend and his buddy thought they would "solve" Erin's problem and indulge themselves at the same time. I just really don't know. Did she make some really, really bad choices? Yes! Could she have stopped the whole thing at anytime by going to the cops (or even her parents)? Yes! It's awfully hard for teenagers to do that, though, so I can't really see her doing that. Probably she didn't realize until it was WAY too late that this was something that was really happening.
I recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with pain and is not seeing or understanding the purpose of their suffering.
Most recent customer reviews
In the worst of times. How hard for Terry to find forgiveness after the horrific events he went through.