Emotional testimony in the sentencing retrial of convicted killer Gary Lee Sampson continued in court Thursday, and the father of Sampson's youngest victim spoke out.
“I think we just want them to know who Jonathan is, and who Phil is,” said Jonathan Rizzo’s father Mike.
19-year-old Jonathan Rizzo and 69-year-old Philip McCloskey were remembered through emotional, at times gut-wrenching, testimony from their loved ones Thursday in the Gary Lee Sampson sentencing retrial.
Sampson admitted to brutally murdering both men after they each picked him up hitchhiking on the South Shore.
Two of McCloskey’s six children testified.
His oldest daughter Cheryl Shea held back tears as she said, "I wasn't able to have him walk me down the aisle or dance with him at my wedding."
Jonathan Rizzo’s father Mike lamented his feeling that he failed to protect his eldest son when he needed him the most.
Outside court Mike Rizzo said, “It’s terrible, yeah, it’s terrible, this stuff was a lot easier in my head this morning at 5 o’clock when I was reading it, as soon as you try to say the words out loud, something changes, just having to rethink it all and go through it all again.”
Jurors wiped away tears as Mike’s other two sons took the stand.
Eliot, who was just 12 at the time, testified that he wasn’t told right away what happed to his brother, but he witnessed his father breaking the news to his mother, saying, "you just hear this gut-wrenching scream, this blood-curdling scream of the word ‘no, no!’"
His mother Mary testified when she was told she couldn’t go to the woods to be with her son’s body, she gave officers his BC High blanket, saying "I wanted my hands on that blanket, my love to be with him."
Mike Rizzo said his family tried to not look at Sampson when they were testifying.
He said, “I can’t tell with a guy like that whether that makes him feel better that he’s caused this much pain, I don’t know.”