Twenty-one years ago, Harold "Bill" Haupt II received a devastating phone call.
His 26-year-old daughter, Michelle Wendy Haupt -- who grew up in Greensburg, went to Hempfield High School, attended some classes at Westmoreland County Community College and then moved to Texas with a couple of her friends -- had been killed.
Ms. Haupt, who was known as Wendy, was found dead in her Carrollton, Texas, apartment on Oct. 20, 1991. She had been stabbed 18 times, strangled with stereo speaker wire and she had been robbed, according to information distributed by the Texas Attorney General's office.
A 19-year-old named Bobby L. Hines, who was living in the apartment of the complex's maintenance person and had master keys to the complex, was convicted of her murder in 1992 and sentenced to death.
"It was devastating," said Mr. Haupt, 69, who lived in Greensburg until 1990 and now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. "Anytime you lose a child, it never goes away. It's kind of like a backache, you just learn to live with it. It just never goes away.
"You can never forgive, and never forget."
Twenty-one years ago, he said he was too distraught to attend Mr. Hines' trial. He saw the man convicted of killing his daughter for the first time Wednesday night when he, along with his stepson's wife, traveled to Huntsville, Texas, to watch the execution.
Before he received a lethal dose of pentobarbital, Mr. Hines, who is now 40, apologized for his crime, and Mr. Haupt said the man winked at him. Mr. Haupt said he just stared back at him.
"There was no closure, but it was a relief," he said when reached by cell phone today. "Justice was served. It took a long time, but I decided I owed it to Wendy" to be there.
His daughter, when she left Western Pennsylvania to move to Texas, was trying to figure out what to do with her life, he said.
In phone calls, she told him that she was working at a few different jobs, that she enjoyed her friends and was excited to finally get an apartment by herself.
He said it's hard for him to say now what her life could have held.
"But you know, that's an answer I'll never know."
Associated Press contributed. Kaitlynn Riely: email@example.com or 412-263-1707. This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/