Murder of Jacksonvile firefighter's wife featured on Dateline

Heather Crawford reports. 10/31/2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Four years ago this week Kim Dorsey, a 38-year-old University of North Florida graduate was found dead inside her Jacksonville home. She had been bound, raped and bludgeoned.
This weekend Kim's story was featured on Dateline.

For the first time since her death her husband, who was a Jacksonville firefighter at the time, is speaking to First Coast News.

“I just wanted to give a voice to Kim. I wanted to be there for her and I wanted to help them with the narrative,” said Derrick Dorsey.

Dorsey says it was surreal watching the story of his wife's murder unfold on national television.

“You can't express how horrific and how savage of a murder it was. You can only allow certain things on television.”

He had just gotten home from working a 24 hour shift as a firefighter and paramedic with Jacksonville Fire Rescue when his world was shattered. He found his wife dead on their bedroom floor.  It was October 28, 2012.

“He murdered her, zip-tied her, raped her and beat her with a pool cue and then stabbed in the neck with a knife. What type of person does that? That is not an oops I lost my cool. That is a sick twisted individual,” said Dorsey.

He would later find out the man who killed his wife was a man he and his wife knew well. It was a man who had worked for Derrick's construction business and who at one time had briefly lived with the couple in their home as they tried to help him get back on his feet.

“I never saw a mean bone in his body he came by here Christmas dinner for probably three years with Kim, my family, Thanksgiving dinner. He worked on my parent’s home,” recalled Dorsey.

It was a man they trusted.

“He would have taken a bullet for Kim,” said Dorsey.

But 10 days after her murder, her husband was on the phone with detectives when they told him Lance Kirkpatrick, or L.J. as he calls him, had been arrested for the crime.
       
“I'm going over the Dames Point Bridge. I just howled like some wounded animal caught in a trap. It was just the betrayal. I had stuck up for him. I said guys you're wasting your time and he was the one,” said Dorsey.

Kirkpatrick was convicted of first-degree murder and rape in 2015.  He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

“What I’ve learned is I've told people their loved ones are dead. I've seen traffic accidents, parents show up on scene of a horrific traffic accident and I felt shortly thereafter that if anybody could get through this I could. I had the coping mechanisms or at least I felt I did. I was very, very wrong. I was naïve,” said Dorsey.

He has since retired from Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, now runs New Hope Family Services with his new wife. They offer mental health services including grief counseling and therapy.  He says he feels it's his responsibility to helps others going through tragedies.

“Mental health is fractured. It is taken for granted. There is a stigma to it. I have no problem telling people my story and telling them don't try to do it by yourself because you are just fooling yourself.”

 

(© 2016 WTLV)


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