Aussie baseball star’s wife, son murdered
American pitcher Blake Bivens, who played for the Perth Heat in the most recent season of the Australian Baseball League, has detailed the moment his life was struck with unspeakable tragedy.
The 24-year-old was awaiting a flight from Tennessee to his home in Virginia last August when he signed onto social media and learned his wife, 14-month-old son and mother-in-law had been murdered.
Bivens spoke Sunday of the horrific day at the The River Church in Danville, Virginia, which was shared via Facebook.
"First headline I see is two females and a small child were gone," Bivens said. "I immediately knew that was them. I found out my family was gone over a Facebook headline. I just immediately began to scream in the middle of the airport."
Bivens' brother-in-law, Matthew Thomas Bernard, was charged with three counts of first-degree homicide. Bernard will undergo a competency review to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial.
A warrant enabled authorities to search the 18-year-old alleged killer's phone, which reportedly contained evidence indicating Bernard had "visions" and "heard from God."
"I think the hardest moment for me was when I got home and I walked in my son's bedroom for the first time and realised I was never going to see him on this Earth again," he said. "That was the worst moment in my life. Nothing ever will come to being, to feeling the way I felt at that moment. Then again, I know I will see him again one day, and it won't be long."
Since losing his wife, Emily, 25, son, Cullen, and mother-in-law, Joan Bernard, 62, Bivens has spent time with teammates and continued pitching in Australia, relying on religion - citing Bible verse John 16:33 - to help him through the devastation.
"And when I read, 'Take heart, for I have overcome the world,' it changed, it completely flipped a switch in my heart," Bivens said. "And from that moment on I knew that this was not going to beat me, this was not going to beat family. I was going to live in victory the rest of my life, and I was going to use this as a testimony to show what he has done for me, he can also do for others.
"That moment for me was one of the biggest moments where I just knew God was with me, and the only thing I knew to do was just laugh in the enemy's face, because he thought he had won. But all he's done is woken a sleeping giant and as long as I'm here on this Earth, every day I wake up, my goal is to pile-drive him right in the face every morning when I get up."
"It's unbelievable how much I can vividly remember from the day," Bivens said. "And it's kind of unbelievable to see how far things have come from that day also."
This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission
Originally published as Baseball star's wife, son murdered