Domestic terrorist Mark Anthony Conditt was discovered to be the culprit of the devastating bombings this week. His terror attacks killed two people and injured several more; his final blast ended his own life and left a police officer wounded. Now that he is dead, families directly affected by Conditt's attacks are wrestling with the fear and grief he caused.
Stephan House lost his life on March 2, after a package bomb exploded on his porch at 7 a.m. Sadly, his eight-year-old daughter was one of the first people to see his body torn to pieces. House’s brother, Norrell Waynewood, told The Daily Beast, “She ran to the door and saw him sprawled out and blown up, and she was only eight.”
The family has not been able to grieve the loss of House. Waynewood went on to say, “Mom never had the opportunity to grieve, and she hasn’t had the chance to seclude herself and process it. She’s holding together to make sure everyone is taken care of.”
Even with Conditt out of the picture, the family does not feel safe. House's family believes that the police are not doing enough to protect them and has shown little interest in their safety. The family also believes that Conditt could have had accomplices. House's mother and wife are also concerned that the police have told them little about the status of the investigation.
“When it first happened, we didn’t feel like police were taking our family seriously,” said Waynewood. “If there’s been an explosion or bomb, and my family was targeted, why was there no guard outside? Why are they alone? I don’t know officer protocol, but I want to believe if there was a family threatened like that, they would be protected.”
After House's death, the police immediately ruled him as a bomber suspect. “We can’t rule out that Mr. House didn’t construct this himself and accidentally detonate it,” Austin Police Department Assistant Chief Joseph Chacon said at the time.
That single statement made an already impossible situation even more difficult Waynewood said.
“Once he was painted as doing it to himself, people lost respect for him,” Waynewood said. “People stopped offering to help out at the funeral, stopped giving money, stopped helping.”
House's family is determined not to allow the police or the news media to ruin House's character and legacy.
“He was an athlete, started his own hedge-fund account from scratch,” said Waynewood. “He was an academic, the type of guy who just wants to push. To be better, to make whatever situation you have better, and his whole life was for his daughter, for making her life better. For her to be a leader, for her to be educated."
The family has created a GoFundMe page for House that has already raised more than $40,000.