A contrast

Lisa Radtke, 22 was a senior in college and due to graduate from college in 2 weeks with a degree in urban planning. She lived at home, with her mother Sharon Radtke, 56, and her grandmother Bonita Radtke, 79. Lisa was known in the neighborhood as being active in church, and for her love of music. She is described as a "beautiful young lady, the kind of daughter any mother would want to have." They were described as having a good relationship.

Sharon Radtke was a legal secretary who had recently lost her job. She was worried about losing everything she owned, about losing her house and becoming homeless. Her family had offered to help in this financial crisis and they were going to work things out. Sharon had allegedly been somewhat withdrawn lately.

 On Fri. about 11:50 pm police got a call. A woman told them she had just shot her daughter. Police found Sharon Radtke in her doorway and found Lisa Radtke dead in her bedroom.

Allegedly, Sharon stated the reason she shot her daughter was because she didn't want her daughter to experience being "poor".


I don't understand. This girl had everything going for her. She was due to graduate from college, she would be beginning to find a job, soon would be supporting herself, and from all indications, would likely have been willing to help her mother. Also, their family was willing to step up and help the family out. I am sure things might have been hard for a while. And I am sure that it would have been difficult to accept help. But everyone experiences tough times. And this girl had her whole life in front of her. She was on her way to a career. A career in which she wouldn't have been "poor". "Poor" is one of those weird words. A billionaire whose income suddenly drops to $50,000 a year might describe themselves as "poor". But a person who lives on $25,000 would describe that as pretty well off. A true homeless person living on the street, might think that $25,000 a year was pretty well off. Radlke said she feared being homeless. But a plan was already taking place to save the home.

Radlke being noted as withdrawing into the home makes me wonder if she wasn't suffering from depression. And I also wonder about the contrasts here. A daughter whose life was just beginning and a mother who may have thought her life (or her life as she had become accustomed to) was ending.

I also wonder if the mother considered the fact that she killed her daughter over an ideal. She may have thought she was saving her daughter from being "poor". But instead, she left her daughter, at least briefly with the pain of a gunshot and the knowledge that her mother killed her.



  1. load king said,

    January 12, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    I know of the family, you can’t analize the problem because the mom was severely depressed or diagnosed incorrectly for whatever her mental illness was.
    She also didn’t have medical insurance after losing her job and abroubtly went off her medication which must have had a spiril effect and then she became delusional and somehow thought she was protecting her daughter from living on the street. This broken hearted person now knows the reality of what she wasn’t aware of at the time and only waits for her own life to be over. (thought you might want to know the rel story in this case.) It’s truly tragic for the entire extended family.

  2. January 12, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Thank you Loadking. It is true and is something that people should always remember. If on any type of psychiatric drugs, they should be withdrawn gradually and under a doctor’s supervision because abrupt withdrawal can cause a severe backlash of whatever problem they are being treated for.

  3. January 29, 2007 at 8:13 am

    Lisa was a very dear friend of mine. I can only hope that as her mother begins to realize the velocity of her crime, it consumes her. I pray that she repents to make things right. It’s the only way to make this huge wrong a right.

  4. Kim Tyler said,

    February 6, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    The drug Sharon had been taking was an antidepressant not an anti hallucinogenic. Sharon knew her daughter had her own apartment, would graduate with honors, and had a very nice job lined up. All to take place in 3 weeks from the date of her mother’s crime. She also knew her family had told her that they would be there, less than 10 hours from the time she shot Lisa, to give her the money and formulate a plan to help her with her financial needs.
    After she shot her, she calmly called the police to tell them what she did. When the police first asked her why she did it? Her quote “I didn’t want to be homeless.” Not “I didn’t want my family to be homeless.” The story changed when they arrived at the scene. When her mother asked her who she was talking to on the phone. She calmly told her mother “The police, I just shot Lisa,”
    She had been a legal secretary for years, there was 50 minutes between the time Lisa went to bed and when she shot her. Don’t you think she could have devised this plan then a cover story using her depression, loss of job and of course no medical insurance. Most clinics, and drug companies are willing to work with people in her situation to get them their drugs at cost or even no cost. The help was there she chose to ignore it.
    I too was out of work for seven months, fighting off the depression of being over 50 and trying to find a job. The depression was there and the thought to take my own life had crossed my mind, but never, never to harm another, especially a daughter like Lisa.
    The other problem with all of this? If ANYONE knew this woman was “withdrawing” to her home, they should have gotten that gun out of the house!!

  5. Somebody said,

    April 12, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Hey everybody. I am posting this anonymously because I am currently writing to Sharon in prison. Speaking as somebody who once dealt with depression and did something pretty awful (not murder, thank goodness), I think you should pray for Sharon instead of speaking so “matter-of-factly” about the situation. She wakes up every morning, comes to the realization that her only daughter is gone, and hopes that she dies soon so that she won’t have to deal with the pain anymore. She said that God doesn’t exist and that she feels that she was negligent. Lisa lived for Christ. She died because she loved her mother. Pointing fingers will not bring her back. There is a lost soul out there who needs prayer. What are you going to do???

  6. Somebody said,

    April 12, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    BTW, before anybody jumps to conclusions and tries to say that I didn’t know Lisa, you are WRONG. I knew her for 5 years. She was a great friend. She would never want what is happening to her mother right now to happen. I know that with 100% certainty.

  7. somebody2 said,

    April 12, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    I personally was on the verge of a nervous breakdown over ten years ago because I thought I was going to lose my job and become “poor” again. I can only speak for myself here – I did have thoughts of killing the POLITICAL bigshot who had made brags that I’d be out of that job soon. I had lost all self confidence in the ability to simply go look for another job as I had over 25 years of work experience with the one employer and instead of working to live, I lived to work. My heart was broken and I still suffer from post traumataic syndrome even after retiring. My retirement is twice as small as it would have been if I had not been “targeted” to be pushed out, so I do hold grudges – but the thoughts of hurting anyone have been out of my mind for a long time. This lady worked in the Legal Profession and know what I DID TOO. I understand that you can sometimes see no light at the end of a tunnel and think your life is over.

    Luckily I finally called a mental hospital for help and a psychiatrist gave me meds and got ME OFF WORK ON MEDICAL leave. I was placed on ativan and zoloft and the last ten years or so I was sent from one unit to another – I felt unwanted in every unit I was sent to. I went from being a front line supervisor to a glorified clerk and received no raises or promotions for ten years – but the meds calmed me down enough to where I knew I would just have to “survive” long enough to retire.

    My heart goes out to the mother who shot her daughter but I do beleive she could have thought it was what she needed to do and just wasn’t able to reach out for help as I did.

    Remember, but for the GRACE OF GOD, there go I?? I feel that way after realizing I could have also been in prison the rest of my life.

  8. Jessica said,

    January 19, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I miss Lisa, she was a great friend. It saddens me how she left us but I’d rather focus on the person she was and not let this event define her or linger as our last memories of her.

  9. Annomyous 1 said,

    May 26, 2010 at 4:41 am

    I was lisa’s cousin. I didnt really know her but i knew her mom. Her mom is a psycho! To kill your daughter because she didnt want to be poor. Please that is such a cop out. Lisa had everything, she was an excellent student, she was sweet and caring. It makes me sick to my stomach to know someone in my family is that screwed up. I think that her Sharon should rot in hell for what she did

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