Thomas Wales, Through the Eyes of His Children

Amy and Tom Wales talk about their father Tom Wales, a federal prosecutor in Seattle who was killed by a gunman in 2001.

Video Transcript

Well, he liked quite a number of somewhat contradictory things. He loved really bad movies, especially action movies. He loved the outdoors, I think it’s because of how he grew up. He loved camping, hiking, mountaineering. When I was a kid, we climbed Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Shasta, several times. I think Mt. Shasta was our favorite mountain.

Well, in general, I would say the one thing I remember the most is just how much my father would encourage me to try my best and to see how far I could go. He always believed that even though I was a girl, a young girl, a young woman, that I could climb as high or even higher than Tommy. And I eventually did when I climbed Mt. Rainier and scattered his ashes in memory of our father.

He took his job extremely seriously, both in terms of the element of protecting the public and indeed helping the people who he prosecuted as well.

He viewed them as people too. He didn’t just think that his job was to put people in jail for the maximum amount of time, he believed in justice.

He is one of the few men I know who had the most integrity I’ve ever seen, exhibited in a person and toward others. He was also incredibly loyal and strong.

He also, though, was a fantastic father and parent. And if I’m half the parent that he was, then I'll have done something right.

He left such a strong impression of what was right and what was not in terms of personal behavior, interacting with other people, sort of honor, personal integrity. Even after he’s gone, he’s the voice in the back of your head saying you really need to do the right thing by this person.

He was, when it came to business, he was all business … but when it came to the rest of life, he always sort of had a smile on his face.

To anyone who has information about our father’s murder, I would just ask that they have the courage to come forward.

I would want you to know that I understand that it’s hard… that you are thinking through what to say and who to talk to. But we need you to

understand that this is important, and it’s not just a matter of life and death. It’s about integrity of the system, of justice, and also it’s about us as children thinking about our father and what he would want us to do and never give up. And we hope that you know that we hope that you never give up. But, we also understand if you are afraid. And this is when you need to have courage and do the right thing.

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