11 Year Old Hero Evicted

An 11-year-old from Wrigleyville, Illinois was hailed as a big hero two years ago after she (then 9 years of age) crawled through a window to rescue her 84-year-old landlady. The landlady fallen and lain on the floor of her apartment for an estimated 15 hours before the girl noticed there was something wrong and took action. The girl was born with a birth defect and has multiple holes in her heart. In the past 20 days the young girl missed 14 days of school due to her health problems. “Medically, it’s been one of her hardest months in many years” said her mother.

Now, it seems, the girl and her family are being evicted. The girl’s family lived in the same upstairs apartment of the two-flat for four years. According to the Chicago Sun Times, in an article entitled “Landlord’s Family Evicting Hero”:

“Missy’s family paid their rent on time, court documents show. But Slattery’s relatives said Missy’s mother, Deb Gordils, had “agitated and disturbed”

Missy doesn’t understand why all this is happening, telling her mother “But Mommy, I saved her”. Missy’s mother told her daughter that the landlady wasn’t doing this, it was being done by others.

So what’s the problem? Well it seems that the family of the old landlord is claiming that Missy’s mother has been making comments aimed at hurting the now deceased woman and her family. The family claimed that Missy’s mother violated a court order of protection by ringing the landlady’s doorbell and telling everyone who would listen that that those responsible for the aged landlady were actually responsible for the her death and they conspired to kill her with overdoses of medication.

Missy’s Mother claimed that the landlady once told her that she wasn’t happy with other people making the decisions and mentioned that she felt she was “being over-drugged”. The mother claimed she only advised the landlady to “talk to her doctor.” Missy’s Mom also said she once called the city’s Department of Aging to ask for a well-being check on Slattery after the protection order was issued.

In the wake of the landlady’s death, her relatives agreed Tuesday in court to let Missy and her family stay in the apartment until June 1, feeling that this would be adequate time to find a new place to live.

Opinions and Outrage

When reading the article, it is also important to read the replies to the article. Overall it seems that many people are making opinions which side with Missy’s family, while a few are talking against Missy’s mother. This is pretty typical.

Let’s analyze the situation in as fair of a manner to all as we can, at least until all the facts come out (and I hope the truth does come out on this matter). A very possible scenario is as follows.

In, or around, 1985 a family moves onto the 2nd floor of a private home or apartment house. The family consisted of a mother and 2 children, ages 7 and 3. 2 years later the elderly landlady takes a fall and becomes virtually helpless for around 15 hours, the oldest girl in the family on the 2nd floor notices something is wrong, probably looks into a window of the landlady’s apartment, sees the landlady lying on the floor and the girl crawls into the window and gets help for the woman. The little girl instantly becomes a ‘hero’ and the relationship between the landlady and the family grows closer than they were in the past.

The mother, being a decent woman, probably stops by the landlady’s apartment on occasion to see how the old woman is doing or maybe asks her if she needs anything at the store and such. The little girl probably gets a little friendlier with the aged landlady too. The relationship probably goes a little beyond the normal landlady/tenant relationship… maybe they begin feeling as if they are friends or family and maybe it doesn’t develop that far and they just become closer acquaintances than they would have if the saving of the landlady’s life didn’t happen.

When the mother of the family hears the old woman’s complaints and sees her declining, the mother becomes concerned. She probably said many things to the old woman, including things reported in the article. It’s not uncommon for people to misunderstand comments made or say things in ways that cause misunderstandings… and it is especially not unique for people to develop attitudes over misunderstandings or disagreements in opinion. The family and caregivers probably heard comments supposedly made by Missy’s Moms through stories related by the old lady and end up taking exception to what was being said with out thinking the old lady misunderstood the comments said them in ways that changed the intent somewhat. This may have caused the Family of the Landlady and the caregivers a basis for thinking that Missy’s Mom was saying things she didn’t actually say or intend to say. As things progressed, words were probably exchanged and the whole situation simply escalated and got out of hand. Now both sides do not want to be reasonable about it.


When reading the article and comments, I can’t help but to feel as if Missy and her family are being wronged. I sympathize with them and have the tendency to side with them, but I also know that prior to my jumping on someone for being wrong that I would like to hear more of the story. The thing is that more input is needed to find out who is right or wrong.

This scenario isn’t to say that one side or the other isn’t ‘more wrong’ or ‘more right’ than the other… it’s simply to set up a situation that led to the current situation. I am sure that things were said on all sides over the past months or years that attributed to the current situation, many of those things were probably said in the heat of the excitement and that could change how a person says something, takes what is said or hears what is said. It’s a shame, but even on message boards and blogs, where the words are clearly written, it is commonplace for people to not read what is said as it was written. Just take a look at the comments for the news article and the very first comment shows where a person claimed something was indicated that wasn’t. So if the written word can be misconstrued, what hope have we of the verbal word being understood as intended all of the time?

So I am wondering what everyone else thinks?

Special thanks to Rick D’Amico of Fox10 News Arizona for his “News of the Weird” that brought about today’s blog post.


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