It’s been nearly 50 years, but Dorothy Marcic still misses her uncle Vernie.
On March 1, 1970 LaVerne Stordock was murdered in his home in Oregon, Wisconsin just after 2 a.m. His wife Suzanne immediately confessed to shooting him and it seems the case was closed. But that chain of events never sat well for Marcic.
“This has been hanging over us for decades — not knowing what happened,” she said.
Between court documents and Suzanne’s less than one year stay in a psychiatric hospital, Marcic had her doubts that she knew the truth about what happened on that night in 1970.
So when Marcic’s cousin, and Stordock’s daughter Shannon Stordock Hecht, discovered Suzanne and her family were living in Tennessee in 2014, they knew they had to find them. For the next two and half years Marcic got her hands on every document, newspaper clipping and person she could find that was even remotely attached to Suzanne and LaVerne in hopes that she would find the truth.
It wasn’t research initially intended for a book. It began for Marcic as a thesis for her master’s degree but turned into “With One Shot: Family Murder and a Search for Justice” published last month.
Working with Marcic to uncover information about her father’s murder was both a healing and difficult process for Stordock Hecht. She is grateful that the book will be out for the public to read, but she isn’t sure when she’ll read it.
Stordock Hecht said she and her father did not have a strong relationship after LaVerne Stordock left her mother to marry Suzanne. She still feels, however, the absence of her father even all these years later.
“You never put it away,” she said. “It’s never gone. It’s not something, even after all these years, that you don’t think about everyday.”
Suzanne Stordock’s living daughter, known as “Louisa” in the book, did not respond to comment requests.
Stordock Hecht said part of what makes Marcic’s book interesting is that it offers so many perspectives on who her father was from a variety of people. She said she feels better knowing that the book will bring to light the good person that her father was in her eyes.
Marcic said it was an honor to interview people who knew her uncle. Getting all the information she could between documents, evidence and witnesses was almost “an obsession” for 2 ½ years.
“I met so many great people through this that I never would’ve had a connection with,” she said.
There will always be unanswered questions about what really happened. Suzanne Stordock died in 2017 and the only other person who was in the house at the time of the murder, David Briggs, died while Marcic was researching.
It all makes one wonder what really happened, Stordock Hecht said.