Longtime letter writer to suspect in 1983 Ogden murder feels 'deceived'

Oct 5 2012 - 8:19pm

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Gregory L. Seamons
Rebecca Lemberger
Gregory L. Seamons
Rebecca Lemberger

OGDEN -- From his cell at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, Gregory L. Seamons wrote last month to an Ogden woman about soon being paroled after being in prison for second-degree kidnapping since 2007.

The neatly penned two-page letter makes no mention that he had already been interviewed by Ogden detectives, who, through DNA evidence, were closing in on him as the prime suspect in the 1983 abduction and slaying of 11-year-old Rebecca Lemberger.

"My parole date was for July 5 but I went past that date because I had three classes to complete," Seamons wrote Sept. 18 to the woman, who has been corresponding with him for more than two decades and asked not to be identified. "I graduated (from) the last one today so I should be out in 14 days or so."

However, the Idaho Department of Correction website indicates Seamons' last parole hearing was in March and that he is scheduled to complete his sentence in December 2017.

Still, Seamons, 45, could spend the rest of his life in a Utah prison.

Last month, Ogden police obtained an arrest warrant for Seamons for the first-degree rape and aggravated murder of Lemberger. DNA from Seamons matches DNA evidence from the crime, police say.

It hasn't been determined if Seamons, who was 15 at the time of Lemberger's slaying, will waive extradition to Utah.

There is no indication Seamons has an extradition hearing scheduled, Jeff Ray, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Corrections, said in an email Friday.

The Ogden woman, who is in her 80s and has been writing to Seamons off and on in hopes of rehabilitating him, is aware he has been in and out of prison.

However, Seamons never told her his crimes may include homicide.

"There was no mention of that at all, even all through the years," she said.

"I just felt I have been deceived all these years. He was not the person he portrayed himself to be. I think he's wicked. I think he's evil."

In his most recent letter, Seamons told the woman that he's optimistic about his future after prison.

"I'm getting out with no car, no money, no food, just the clothes on my back," he wrote.

"Most of my family is dead, but what I do have is a strong desire to make it on my own and I'm not scared. I know I can and will make it if I try. I am more spiritual now than I've ever been and I feel good about that."

The woman, a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it was her religious beliefs that prompted her to begin corresponding with Seamons.

"I began writing with the idea of providing someone who was lonely with encouragement from someone old enough to be his mother," she said.

The woman met Seamons in the mid-1980s when he briefly stopped by her office. A year or so later, she encountered his father, Larry Seamons, a videographer who was working on a project for her employer.

A few months later, the woman visited Larry Seamons' home near Roy to hire him to do some video work for her family. He showed her a letter from Seamons, who at the time was incarcerated at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison.

"It (the letter) was beautifully designed on the front with artwork (drawn by Seamons)," the woman said.

After being released from the Central Utah Correctional Center, Seamons immediately began serving a prison sentence in Idaho for burglary, the woman said.

"He said he crawled into some house (to steal food) to feed his girlfriend's children," she said. "I never felt he should have done it."

Seamons joined the LDS Church following his release from prison on the burglary conviction. The woman and her daughter traveled to Boise to attend his baptismal service.

Seamons soon started attending an LDS ward in the Boise area for young, single church members.

"I thought that he was beginning to turn his life around," the woman said. "He told me he wanted to be married and wanted to have children."

The woman saw Seamons again in 1999 at her husband's funeral in Ogden. After that, Seamons occasionally asked her for money.

She loaned Seamons $165 to help him buy a car and loaned him another $200 so he could visit his family in Utah. Once, she filled his truck with gas.

"He asked me to fill his tank so that he could go home (to Idaho)," she said. "He took every drop of gas at my expense."

The woman has tried repeatedly to get him to pay her back $5 at a time without success.

"It's not for the money," she said. "It was to have him live up to his obligation."

The rift over the debt prompted the woman to throw away a scrapbook she had been making for Seamons that commemorated his LDS Church baptism.

The woman didn't hear from Seamons again for several years, until he sent her a short letter in June. Then he followed up in September with a one-minute phone call from the Idaho Correctional Institution, asking her to accept collect calls in the future.

She refused.

Seamons' most recent letter to the woman optimistically outlines his plans for life after prison.

"I know I seem down but I am actually excited to get out and cook my own favorite foods and see the mountains again," he wrote.

"Not in no rush for a woman but I am looking forward to getting a dog. As for work, I'll go back to driving a truck. I still have my commercial driver's license and a perfect driving record. With my experience it shouldn't be to hard for me to get a job."

The woman said she isn't surprised that Seamons doesn't address his crimes in the letter.

"He always puts a better light on everything," she said.

If Seamons killed Lemberger, he should admit it and face the consequences, the woman said.

"The only way to make it right will be for him to confess," she added.

However, the woman is unsure if she would attend Seamons' trial because she feels betrayed.

"I don't know if I could look him in the eye."

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