What does receiving a personal letter mean to you? How does it make you feel? When we look at a return address and realize that the letter is from a friend, we feel loved. We cannot wait cherish every word in the message held inside! In today’s fast-paced world, letter writing is quickly becoming a thing of the past, yet for some, the men and women on death row, it is the only way they can communicate with the world. Since March 8, 2005, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries has strived to give the over 3,000 men and women on death row the same feeling that you have when you receive a letter; loved. Our letters carry more than just the love of every member of The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries’ team, which include the individuals (like you!) who help finance the letter writing ministry. Our letters also, and more importantly, carry the love of Jesus Christ! In each letter, we share how much Jesus loves them. He has already paid the debt of their sin, the debt of the murders for which they are convicted. We share with them that Jesus has freely paid that price, and that they are forgiven! They must only accept Jesus Christ’s forgiveness, making Him Lord of their lives! The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries works toward honoring the “Great Commission,” with our mail ministry to the men and women on death row. View our donations page to discover how you can help The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries minister to the men and women on death row.
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 11:39 am EDT
Vernon Madison is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Thursday, January 25, 2018, at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. Sixty-seven-year-old Vernon is convicted of the murder of Officer Julius Schulte on April 18, 1985, in Mobile, Alabama. Vernon has spent the last 32 years on Alabama’s death row.
On April 18, 1985, Officer Julius Schulte was dispatched to the home of Cheryl Green to investigate the disappearance of Cheryl’s 11-year-old daughter. Schulte was not in uniform or in a marked car, however, he was wearing a badge that identified him as a member of the Mobile Police Department. Upon his arrival, Cheryl’s daughter had already returned, however, neighbors has the police officer to stay until Cheryl’s ex-boyfriend, Vernon Madison left, as the two were having a domestic dispute.
Cheryl and Madison had broken up a few days before and he had returned to Cheryl’s home in order to retrieve some of his belongings. Madison was angry, believing that Cheryl had called the police on him. When Officer Schulte arrived, both Cheryl and Madison approached him in his vehicle and spoke with him. Madison left the building a short time later. Madison walked a block away to where a former girlfriend was waiting in her car.
Madison retrieved a pistol from the car and returned to the apartment building. He walked up behind Officer Schulte, who was still in his vehicle and shot him twice in the head at point-blank range. Officer Schulte died later that day. He then shot twice at Cheryl before fleeing the scene. She survived her injuries. He later admitted to an acquaintance that he had “just killed a cop.”
Madison was arrested the following day. He was convicted and sentenced to death in November of 1985. He had his sentence twice overturned and each time he was re-sentenced to death.
Madison was previously scheduled to be executed in 2016, however, his execution was stayed due to concerns over his competency. According to his attorneys, Madison has suffered multiple strokes while in prison and is unable to understand why he is being executed.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Julius Schulte. Please pray for strength for the family of Vernon Madison. Please pray that if Vernon is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided before his execution. Please pray that Vernon may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 11:35 am EST
William Earl Rayford is scheduled to be executed 6 pm CST, on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Sixty-four-year-old William is convicted of the murder of 44-year-old Carol Hall on November 16, 1999, in Dallas, Texas. William has spent the last 17 years of his life on death row in Texas.
William attended high school through the 12 grade. He worked as a laborer prior to his arrest. He had previously been arrested and served eight years of a 23 year sentence for the murder of his estranged wife in 1996.
In 1996, William Rayford moved in with Carol Hall and her two young sons. During the summer of 1999, Carol asked Rayford to move out. Carol eventually sought the help of her uncle to ultimately remove Rayford from the home. One of Carol’s sons testified that he was afraid of Rayford.
On November 16, 1999, at approximately 6:30 am, Rayford entered the home with a key, prompting and argument between him and Carol. The argument escalated, causing Carol to call for her children. When the youngest came downstairs, Rayford stabbed him in the back. Carol fled down the house attempting to reach another house. Rayford caught her before she could reach help. Rayford slung Carol over his shoulder and carried her towards a nearby creek. The son who had been stabbed was able to escape to a neighbor’s house and call the police. He survived his injuries.
A bus driver parked nearby observed a man and women exit a house, running. When the man caught the woman, he beat her in the head until she became “lifeless.” The man then dragged the woman behind a house where the bus driver could no longer see them.
When police arrived on the scene, they began searching for Rayford and Carol. Approximately one hour after they arrived, Rayford appeared in the yard, wet, cold, and complaining of knee injury. He was also covered in blood and grass. Police arrested him and took him to a hospital for treatment.
Police found Carol’s body a short time later, stuffed inside a pipe. An autopsy discovered that he had been severely beaten on her face. She had also been strangled and had numerous other injuries, including cuts and an injury caused by a sharp object. DNA evidence showed that Carol’s blood was on Rayford’s clothing and skin when he was arrested.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Carol Hall. Please pray for strength for the family of William Rayford. Please pray that if William is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason that evidence will be provided prior to his execution. Please pray that William may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 11:48 am EST
John David Battaglia is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Thursday, February 1, 2018, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Sixty-two-year-old John is convicted of murdering his two daughters nine-year-old Faith and 6-year-old Liberty, on May 2, 2001, in Dallas, Texas. John has spent the last 15 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
John had graduated from high school and worked as an accountant prior to his arrest. During his twenties, John was diagnosed as bipolar. John was married for two years to Michelle Gheddi, with whom he had one daughter. He was verbally and physically abusive towards Michelle, once striking her while she was holding their daughter, causing Michelle to drop her. After their separation, John continued to stalk and harass Michelle at her home and work.
John Battaglia and Mary Jean Pearl were married in 1991. They divorced nine years later. During their time together, Battaglia and Mary had two daughters together: Mary Faith, born in January 1992, and Liberty, born in January 1995. Throughout the marriage, Mary, like Michelle, alleged that Battaglia was verbally abusive towards her. She divorced him after he began physically assaulting her. She filed assault charges against him, and Battaglia was placed on probation, which meant he could not own a firearm. She also filed for, and was granted, a protective order.
Around Easter in 2001, Battaglia called and left a telephone message for Mary. During the message, he swore at her and called her names. When Mary reported this contact to Battaglia’s probation officer, Battaglia learned that he was being considered for probation revocation.
On May 2, 2001, Battaglia learned that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. A police officer informed him that he could make arrangements to peacefully turn himself in and that he would not be arrested in front of his children. Battaglia had plans to have dinner with his daughters that evening. Mary dropped off the children and went to a friend’s house, where she was informed that her daughters had called.
January 13, 2018
Raymond Tibbetts was scheduled to be execution at 10 am EDT, on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio. Raymond’s execution has been rescheduled to Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Sixty-year-old Raymond is convicted of murdering his wife, Judith Sue Crawford, and 67-year-old Fred Hicks on November 6, 1997, inside of Fred’s Cincinnati home, where they all lived. Raymond has spent the last 19 years of his life on Ohio’s death row.
Raymond alleged that he had a “miserable” and “horrible” childhood, as his parents were drug users, causing him to be in and out of foster care beginning at an early age. Raymond played football in high school until he suffered a knee injury. At a young age, Raymond began getting into trouble with law enforcement, eventually resulting in prison time.
Fred Hicks suffered from emphysema and had hired Judith Crawford as his live-in caretaker in his Cincinnati, Ohio home. In late September, Judith married Raymond Tibbetts who also moved into Fred’s house. Fred’s sister, Joan Landwehr would often visit with Fred to check on him.
On November 6, 1997, Joan arrived at Fred’s home for a lunch date. Upon knocking and receiving no response, Joan let herself into the house with her spare key. She also noticed that Fred’s vehicle was missing. After entering, Joan went to the second floor where she found her brother’s body slumped in a chair. Fred’s chest and stomach were bloody and the pants pocket where he normally kept his money was turned inside out. Joan immediately called the police.
Police discovered that Fred was still connected to his oxygen tank. He had two knives protruding from his chest, a third knife in his back, and a fourth knife blade broken off in his back. Fred did not have any defensive wounds and the stab wounds punctured his heart, lungs, and aorta.