'I'll see you in hell,' Brand told Godfrey

Posted: Tuesday, October 01, 2002

ANCHORAGE - Sitting on a pillow in a hallway closet with a protein bar, a bottle of water and a .44 Magnum revolver lifted from the house she'd broken into, Karen Brand apparently passed the time with a Tom Clancy novel.

She was awaiting the return of Glenn and Patti Godfrey and, probably more importantly, waiting to hear their reaction to the message she left on their answering machine.

The message was about her affair with Glenn Godfrey, the retired Alaska public safety commissioner, and it hinted at her growing sense of betrayal.

The night ended in bloodshed when Brand emerged from the closet, killed Glenn Godfrey with a shot to the head and severely wounded Patti Godfrey before turning the gun on herself.

Such details were contained in police reports released last week.

The crime scene was the Godfreys' 1980s split-level Eagle River home. It was there that the couple had raised four children while Glenn rose through the ranks of the Alaska State Troopers. In June, at age 53, he retired as the state's top cop.

Brand, 33, was vice president of the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and a former legislative aide who had lived in Juneau. She also was married.

Police reports show that days before the shooting, on July 30, a person matching Brand's striking description - nearly 6 feet tall, 135 pounds, blond hair, blue eyes - cut through a nearby yard to the Godfreys' home.

Days later, when police searched Brand's 9-year-old Jeep Cherokee, they found prescription pill bottles for Patti Godfrey.

The Godfreys' son Gerad, a private security official, believes Brand entered the house that day and may have stolen the keys to Glenn Godfrey's gun case. Gerad said his father had been searching for the keys for several days. He usually kept them in the door frame above the hallway closet, Gerad said, and with the keys missing - and not wanting to break into the case - he was unarmed on Aug. 3.

Early Friday, Aug. 2, Brand had shown up at the Godfreys'. According to Patti's just-released statement to police, Godfrey told Brand they were planning to take Patti's father to the doctor that day.

The Godfreys actually planned a family outing to Seward.

On the drive south, they kept seeing Brand's car trailing them. At a turnout, Godfrey suddenly got off the road and Brand sped by, according to Patti's statement. Brand got behind them once again until they reached Girdwood.

After the shootings, Brand's car was found parked at the dead-end side of a street near the Godfreys'.

No one knows how long Brand was in the Godfreys' house. Police found a window ajar. There was a light in the hall closet, and Brand could have passed the time reading Tom Clancy's "Op-Center" thriller until the Godfreys returned around 11 p.m. Gerad found the book underneath the pillow after police finished their search. A water bottle nearby had Brand's fingerprints.

According to police, Brand left two messages on the answering machine. She talked about having put off buying a house and horse for years at Godfrey's request and suggested Godfrey not keep Patti "in the dark any longer."

She wondered whether he was leading on both women and said she was surprised he lied to her about taking his father-in-law to the doctor that day, because she had thought he never lied to her.

Patti and Glenn moved to the living room, half a flight of steps up from the hall closet, and spent more than an hour talking, she told police. "He admitted he was trying to break off with this person since like January, February."

Patti went to the bathroom. Glenn went downstairs. Patti came back to the couch. She heard two shots. Up the stairs came Brand, who sat down in Patti's pink chair.

"Hello, Patti," Brand said.

It was the first time Patti had seen her up close, she told police.

Brand had Godfrey's gun in her lap. Patti said Brand was stroking the barrel "like it was a baby or a puppy."

Still believing her husband might be alive, Patti told Brand, "'You just get out of here. Let me go get help for him, please.' She says, 'No.' She says, 'We're all going to burn in hell.' "

As Patti prayed, "she says, 'If I can't have him, nobody can have him.' I'm praying, and she says, 'Hurry up with your prayers.' "

After about a minute, Patti decided she'd had enough and rose to call for help.

"I'll see you in hell," Brand said, then started shooting, Patti recalled.

After Patti was hit with four shots, the gun stopped firing but Brand kept pulling the trigger.

Patti saw Brand reach into her shirt, then watched Brand's expression change dramatically as she picked up the phone.

"She's saying: 'No, Patti, no. No, Patti, no.' I totally ignored her."

Patti dialed 911. Brand left in panic. While Patti was talking to police, she heard more shots - several fired into her husband, and then the suicide. When police entered the house about 45 minutes later, the gun was resting on Brand's belly.

Later, during the autopsy, the medical examiner found two unspent rounds in her black sports bra and Patti's credit card in one of her loafers.

Distributed by The Associated Press.

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