By Jason Sethre
Fillmore County Journal
Madeline Kingsbury could have been anyone’s daughter, sister, mother, friend or co-worker.
Her life ended in tragedy, with her body found in rural Fillmore County, Minn., on June 7, 2023.
While it wasn’t the outcome anyone wanted to believe was possible, it provided closure for the Kingsbury family.
So many people speculated that this was the outcome, but law enforcement needed proof in order to move forward with making any arrests.
On Sunday, June 25, 2023, I listened to the live streaming memorial service in honor of Madeline Kingsbury. Numerous friends and family spoke before a packed room, talking about Madeline from the time she was a child up until her last days on this Earth. I never knew Maddi, but it brought tears to my eyes to hear about her wonderful life that was cut short.
There will be more difficult days ahead from Madeline’s family and friends.
Sadly, as the trial progresses, the Kingsbury family will have to listen to and relive everything that led up to the end of Madeline’s life. I can only imagine how painful this will before the family.
What happened to Madeline Kingsbury revealed a troubling story in which others can relate.
It brought to light what many people are contending with behind closed doors – mostly women and children. There’s a lot that we don’t know. Some people may speculate why someone doesn’t leave these unhealthy relationships sooner. Some people may wonder why someone would stay in a relationship with someone who abused them. I’ve had these conversations with many people over the years. Sometimes people stay together as a matter of convenience. Sometimes it’s for their children. Sometimes the abuser earns the person’s trust, and doesn’t reveal their abusive traits until later in the relationship – even after marriage. Victims feel hostage to the situation. Sometimes the abuser is the bread winner, and the victim feels financially dependent upon the abuser. In some cases, victims are eventually able to leave the abusive relationships with the help of family and friends. And, they do their best to move on with their new life, often still dealing with the abuser — but from afar. That’s considered a happy ending, because the victim escapes the abuser. That’s not always the case, though.
Madeline was trying to get away and start a new life, and it didn’t end well. We need to take domestic violence serious. Most likely, everyone knows someone who has been in an abusive relationship. When we see something, we need to say something. We cannot underestimate the severity of the situation.
Unfortunately, in the last chapter of Madeline Kingsbury’s life, she brought domestic violence to the forefront.
We cannot turn the other cheek.