Family of Shawn Grate’s surviving victim: ‘I’ll pull the switch’ - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Family of Shawn Grate’s surviving victim: ‘I’ll pull the switch’

Father of Shawn Grate's victim who called 911. (Source: WOIO) Father of Shawn Grate's victim who called 911. (Source: WOIO)
ASHLAND COUNTY, OH (WOIO) -

Family members of the woman who called 911 while being held captive by suspected serial killer Shawn Grate said they will never forgive him.

“I can’t wait to see him burn,” said the woman’s older brother, Ben. 

Cleveland 19 News spoke exclusively with the woman’s family, who we’re not naming to protect her identity. 

In the 911 call, the woman told dispatchers she’d been abducted, tied up, and taken Grate’s phone while he was sleeping to call for help.

Hearing details about the incident shocked and sickened the woman’s father, Fred.

“It’s kind of like, at the beginning of a car accident. You know you’re going to hit something and it’s going to hurt, but you don’t know how it’s going to hurt. That’s kind of the way (it felt),” he said. “There was something back there, that, maybe that is (her), but what’s the odds, right? That’s why when you guys surprised me, I was more stunned than emotional.”

Cleveland 19 News broke the story to the family that their loved one was the woman held captive by Grate at the Ashland home. 

“I’m proud of her,” Ben said. “It’s a lot better than you guys interviewing me now, saying she was one of the victims. I mean, one of the ones not breathing anymore.”

Neither Fred nor Ben have spoken to the woman since 2012. They said she became very involved in religion and moved to Ashland. 

“It goes to show how much her religion really helped her out,” Fred said. “She got to meet a nice fella like that. I’m glad she didn’t bring him home so I could’ve met him.”

In a jailhouse interview with Cleveland 19 News, Grate also brought up the woman’s beliefs.  

“She was very religious. She encouraged people… helped to see who they were,” said Grate. 

The woman’s family members said they believe Grate used religion to get close to the woman.

“If somebody wanted to be a predator, like this guy obviously was, he could just feed off that and sense that. As long as she would have somebody who would listen to that, oh, he could do whatever he wanted, manipulate however he wanted. That’s the way I pretty much believe it went down,” said Ben. 

Grate even told Cleveland 19 News the two had plans for the future.

“We were going to get married. I wasn’t going to kill (her),” he said. 

The woman’s family said they hope she doesn’t have to relive the horrifying scene over again by going through a trial.

“Putting witnesses through it again, they have to relive it again. That would be probably worse than going through it the first time. At least that first time you don’t know what’s going on,” said Ben. “If he confesses to it, I’ll at least give him a little bit of credit for that anyway, not much, but that’s the only thing I guess I can hold on to.”

Grate confessed to murdering five women, including Stacey Stanley and Elizabeth Griffin, who were found at the Ashland home the woman alerted officials to during the 911 call. Grate has also been charged with kidnapping and raping the woman who escaped.  

“It looks like the other girls’ parents, they won’t talk to their daughters again. I got a shot at it,” said Fred.

Grate told Cleveland 19 News he’d like to ask the victim’s loved ones for forgiveness. 

“That’s not going to happen. I ain’t forgiving that. Nope. Not from me,” said Ben. 

“I ain’t God. That’s his business to forgive him,” said Fred. 

Grate faces the death penalty, which he said he feels he deserves. The woman’s family agrees. 

“If they don’t have a volunteer, I’ll pull the switch. I’ll do it for nothing,” said Fred.

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