It's fun to look, but more fun to participate. Details Here
| Zoe Chase Case | News | Interviews | Evidence | Biographies | Press | Home |
Crime Scene Store |

Biography: Debbie Fitzgerald, Victim's Birth Mother

Deborah Jane Fitzgerald was born June 15, 1948 to Karen and Stanley Fitzgerald in Queens, New York. She was one of nine children of blue-collar workers and was given little attention or time from her parents. They often relied upon Debbie to help with the "little ones" when her mother needed a hand.

By the time Debbie was nine, she was very independent and self-reliant. By age twelve, she had learned what boys really wanted. And by age sixteen, she found herself pregnant, abandoned by the boy who claimed to love her, and facing her angry and frustrated parents. Karen and Stanley were so worried about the shame that Debbie and her pregnancy would bring to their strict Catholic family that they sent her to Nebraska to stay with her Aunt Linda until the baby was born. After a long and very difficult labor, Debbie gave birth to a 6 pound 10 ounce baby girl. She only knew it was a girl because one of the nurses told her. She was never permitted to see the baby, who was immediately adopted by a rich couple in the East.

Though her parents fully expected Debbie to return home after the birth of her baby, she decided instead to remain in Lincoln with her aunt. She never returned to school, feeling that it would do her little good in dealing with the ways of the world. The doctors said she suffered from postpartum depression or what her aunt called the "baby blues." And though her aunt and family expected Debbie to snap out of it, it seemed she never did.

For two years, Debbie worked in her aunt's dress shop, "Linda's Closet," trying to learn the trade, but she had no talent for clothing or style, always looking as if she'd slept in the clothes she was wearing. She paid no attention to her appearance, her hair or her skin. A nail biter, she abhorred the idea of manicures and things considered feminine.

In 1966, she left Lincoln, Nebraska and her aunt for parts unknown. She went to San Francisco for a while and tried being a hippie, but she had little patience for the peace and love crowd. She went to Texas and worked in various truck stops, moving on when she tired of the same tired, lonely faces. Finally, working in a ribs joint in Chicago, she met a salesman named Sam. He was kind and funny and liked her just the way she was. Having never been paid much attention by men, Debbie warmed to him and was easily swept off her feet. They married six months later.

Suddenly, everything seemed brighter. Debbie hoped to start a family, wanted to have a little girl to make up for the empty spot she felt for the little girl she gave away. But it was not to be. Sam, gone weeks at a time on the road selling, was often waylaid by women he met in his travels. Debbie tried not to notice the "evidence" that Sam made no attempt to cover up, betraying his indiscretions. After two years, Debbie packed her bags and left, again for parts unknown.

Eventually she ended up in Detroit. While working in a diner there, she heard that the Ford plant was hiring. She applied for and got a job on the assembly line. There, she met Marty Dumbrowski, a plain and overweight man who had a good heart but little else going for him.

They became friends, going out for beer and pizza and occasional bowling dates. When Marty proposed marriage after only six months, Debbie accepted feeling that it was better to have someone than to live life alone. Unlike Sam, Marty was faithful and attentive to his wife. They tried desperately to have a baby but to no avail. They even talked about adopting, but because of their ages - mid-forties- and their income, they found they would not easily qualify. The fact that the waiting list for a baby was over five years long also didn't do much to encourage them.

In 1995, Marty died in a car accident. He had gone out to get a pack of cigarettes for Debbie who had run out of her preferred brand and convinced him to go for her. As he pulled out of the parking lot of the convenience store into traffic, a drunk teenage driver ran a red light and slammed into him, killing himself and Marty on impact. It was at that point that Debbie realized life was just hard and it was never going to get any easier. She stopped worrying about how much she smoked or drank, stopped worrying about the food she ate and whether or not it would raise her cholesterol level. She just stopped caring.

Debbie just drifted through life until God answered her prayers and sent a message to her that would reunite her with the daughter she'd never known but always longed for. In July of 2000 she packed her bags, and moved to Oxford, Mississippi to finally be reunited with Zoe Chase. Life had a meaning for her once again. Sadly, just as Debbie was barely getting to know her daughter, Zoe was brutally murdered.

Debbie resides in Oxford and works second shift at Whirlpool. She has recently become involved in the St Peter's Episcopal Church program for underprivileged children.

| Zoe Chase Case | News | Interviews | Evidence | Biographies | Press | Home |
Crime Scene Store |