Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Her whole life, Sharon McGee thought that her mother accidentally shot herself in 1987. Her mother was supposedly suicidal and threatening to kill herself when the trigger went off. That was the story her father had always told her about her late mother. However the story never sat well with Sharon, and there was just something about the story that didn’t match up.
According to her father, her mother was threatening to kill herself, she pulled out a gun and he struggled to wrestle it away from her, and that it accidentally went off by her own hand.
But late last year Sharon, finally confronted her father out of feelings something wasn’t quite right, and finally got the true story. Her mother was in a suicidal state, however, when her father wrestled the gun away he said, “Here let me show you how its done” according to court documents.
Sharon kept her fathers confession a secret for a while until finally taking the story to detectives.
According to an arrest affidavit written by Palm Beach County sheriff’s Detective Paige McCann, Verna O’Neil died on July 23, 1987, from a gunshot to her face. She was 50.
James O’Neil told investigators that night that he and his wife had been arguing over her excessive drinking and his burnt dinner. He told them she was sitting on the couch when she pulled their handgun, a .357 Magnum, from beneath the cushion. He jumped on her to try to pull the revolver away and in the ensuing struggle it went off, killing her.
Sheriff’s investigators classified her death as a suicide. It remained that way until McGee went to the sheriff’s office in February.
He told his daughter he pried back the hammer, pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger, but insisted the shooting was an accident, according to court documents. He told her to keep it a secret, sending her a text message that evening,
I’m believing that you will sleep much better tonight, Love Dad.”