A woman complained about her handyman’s workmanship. He decided to rape and murder instead.
It was a crime described as a woman’s worst nightmare. But now, the man responsible will spend life in prison.
Last month, a Virginia judge sentenced Thomas Clark to life in prison for the rape, murder and abduction of Suzanne Fairman, according to WRIC. Fairman was an administrator at nearby Virginia Commonwealth University.
Police went to Fairman’s home in May 2019 when she failed to show up for a Mother’s Day trip, according to WTVR. She was found face down inside a bathtub with the water running. A bloody knife was visible on the counter.
Prosecutors said Fairman previously hired Clark to complete repairs on her home but had problems with the work, WTVR noted.
Clark held Fairman at knifepoint, raped and strangled her to death, according to WTVR. His DNA was found on the bloody knife and on Fairman.
It took the jury a little more than an hour to convict Clark in the case and Fairman’s son, Scott Fairman, said it was a relief.
“She was very loving, very optimistic, and she just was a beautiful person all around,” he said, according to WWBT.
Scott Fairman sat through the trial, despite the graphic nature of the killing. He told WWBT that he did it because he needed to see the evidence for himself.
“Because I have gone the last 2.5 years with vague detail... she was my mother and best friend, I just had to know,” Scott Fairman said, and WWBT reported. “There’s just something personal that I just needed to hear.”
But Scott Fairman said he wanted people to remember his mom not for how she died, but the person she was when she was still alive.
“From here, I just, I try to live my life the way she would want. I try to raise my kids in her memory, and they, they remember her. They talk about her all the time,” Scott Fairman said, according to WRIC. “And just keep her alive through them.”