Spree DeSha

Spree DeSha, 35

Died: September 12, 2008
Talking to her friends, she was someone who never had a bad word to say about anybody. Service was what she was all about.
— Jim McDonnell, LAPD Asst. Chief
The flag-draped body of DeSha, a seven-year veteran of the force, was carried past scores of uniformed LAPD officers, their faces somber and their hands clasped in front of them. DeSha had started working last month at LAPD headquarters in the department's office of operations as a writer and training officer. She took that assignment after working patrol in North Hollywood, officials said.
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84 memories of Spree

If you could have just seen her smile then you would know...... Spree, you will be greatly missed........

— Lt. Alan Hamilton. LAPD
September 14, 2008 at 3:02 a.m.

I did not personally know her....but I knew someone close to her. She was always looking out to help people & touching peoples lifes. Through difficult times, may your family find peace.....my heart goes out to you Spree & your loved ones.

— Unknown
September 14, 2008 at 9:36 a.m.

I personally didn't know her but I wish best wishes to her family and friends through this hard time.

— unknown
September 14, 2008 at 10:51 a.m.

I never knew you. I never even met you. However, I cried when I saw them remove your body from the wreckage on t.v. At the time I did not know anything about you, except that you were a police officer, for which I have deep respect and admiration. To discover that you are the same age and sex as I am resonates with me deeply. You have taught me not to take life for granted and not to be overcome with day to day concerns and pettiness. You have helped me to see the "bigger picture", if you will. I am so sorry that you passed, but I have learned a valuable lesson from you. My heart is with your family and friends. I am so sorry for their pain.

— H.
September 14, 2008 at 1:10 p.m.

This past week I shared my sit with her almost every day. She was always listening to her music. I never talked to her but I recall reading her name on her uniform's name tag. She was so young. It makes me really sad and I wish the best for her family.

— Mario Hernandez
September 14, 2008 at 1:42 p.m.

Spree was an impressive officer whose dedication to excellence was apparent in everything she did. Her compassion knew no bounds as well as evidenced by last year's cancer fundraiser known as "St. Baldrick's." This is an annual fundraiser organized by the Fire Department where money is raised by officers and firefighters by having their heads shaved (to show support for cancer victims who often lose their hair). Spree participated in St. Baldrick's and had her head shaved. I will always remember her walking around the station, head shaved going about her duties, and I admired the depth of her compassion and dedication.

God be with you and your family Spree - It was my honor to know you and I will miss you here on earth. But I imagine that St. Michael was short of field training officers, and your services were needed in Heaven.

— Lt. Maria Acosta, LAPD
September 14, 2008 at 2:05 p.m.

I was lucky enough to have worked along side and supervise Spree when she was assigned to the Wilshire Bike Unit. She was quiet, hard working and well liked by her peers. Over the year I worked alongside her, I constantly screwed up the pronunciation of her last name. She told me "Just call me Spree Sarge". When I asked her to educate me about the background of her name, she mentioned that it was given to her by her parents indicating "free spirit".

Although her spirit is now free, I am sure we could have waited a bit longer to see it leave us.

Goodbye Spree...

— Former LAPD Sgt. JJ Rivera
September 14, 2008 at 3:54 p.m.

I did not have the honor of knowing Officer Desha, but I cried as I watched her body pulled from the wreckage. As another female who would be proud to wear the police uniform, Officer Desha is someone I look up to. A life was cut WAY too short & another fine officer taken all too soon. My deepest condolences go out to her family, friends & fellow officers...

Officer Desha, your spot in the Lords Army is waiting. Thank you for your bravery here on Earth.

— Lydia
September 14, 2008 at 5:36 p.m.

I am a neighbor of Spree's parents in Tucson. The loss of their most precious daughter was beyond shock and will be hard to bear for a long time to come. What a thoughtful and loving daughter she was and very close to her mother. Reading all the accounts of her service record and what others thought of her, both as a police officer and as a friend or neighbor, is inspiring. Watching them remove her from the wreckage with such tenderness and the honor she deserved gave me a feeling of peace.
We are concerned about her beloved dogs - she would bring them here when she visited. What will become of them?
Spree, we will do all we can to support your parents when they return home. Smile down on them often and rest easy.

— Ardda Hersh
September 14, 2008 at 8:20 p.m.

Mr and Mrs Desha you raised a wonderful daughter full of life. I remember when I first meet Spree at North Hollywood, she would talk about her relationship with both of you, her family and friends. Spree, I will miss our many mentoring discussions. My deepest condolences and prayers for you and your family.

— Lt Elaine Morales, LAPD
September 14, 2008 at 9:14 p.m.

Spree and I worked together on the same bicycle unit at Wilshire Division. She was a very hard working Officer but most of all she was a very special person. I can remember times when the unit would sit down to eat all together and her close partner, Wes, would often eat off her plate. I mean, it did not matter what Spree or Wes ordered they would both share. They received alot of humersous comments about that but that was the special kind of person she was, always sharing. Spree, I will miss you. God bless you and your service to this City and our great Country.

— Gordon Helper
September 14, 2008 at 9:52 p.m.

i am an oklahoman and having a friend who is lapd having spent many hours of ride along time and off duty time with officers . i have the utmost respect for the lapd and its officers . and i want to give my respects to officer spree desha its her end of watch and heaven is a better place for it. dont worry los angeles you will mourn her loss and then remember that on your police department you are blessed to have many more wonderful officers like her
curtis franklin
tulsa county deputy (ret.)

— curtis
September 14, 2008 at 10:37 p.m.

Spree, your beautiful spirit will be missed by everyone both two legged and four. Our condolences to your family, your many friends, Laura, Kat, Dean, Chad, just to name a few...that will miss you terribly.
Rock on Spree, we'll see you up there.

— L
September 14, 2008 at 11:41 p.m.

You have served the Los Angeles Community through your work and dedication as an officer.
You have served and protect the streets of Los Angeles.

May the Lord be with you and your family.

— Leo-Los Angeles
September 14, 2008 at 11:59 p.m.

Remembering all the times we spent together growing up and how you turned my life around is memories I will hold dear to my heart. You were the best. You will be truly missed.
I will look for the brightest star in the sky as you look down on earth and your spirit will be free.
Sending all my love and prayers.

God Bless you and your family always.

— SS
September 15, 2008 at 10:11 a.m.

One more soldier in God's army! May God bless her family with peace and love.

— Claudia
September 15, 2008 at 10:13 a.m.

From the members of the Marion, Virginia Volunteer Fire Department, our thoughts and hearts are with the family and friends of Officer Spree Desha.

— The Marion Virginia Volunteer Fire Department
September 15, 2008 at 10:15 a.m.

Spree you will be missed. May you watch over your Family, Fellow Officers, and your Doggies from heaven.

— M.L.
September 15, 2008 at 10:36 a.m.


September 15, 2008 at 11:12 a.m.

I worked with Spree a number of years ago when she was hoping to be a Police officer. We that worked with her knew her dedication and commitment as well as her big heart. She is an outstanding person, a free spirit and my heart breaks to have someone so full of life gone from this world. God now has an angel that already earned her wings. Fly Spree!!! God bless you!

— Lori Larman
September 15, 2008 at 2:59 p.m.

Officer Spree died a hero. She wore her uniform on the train in case there was trouble....all citizens of Los Angeles should remember her as a hero.

— Jeff in San Pedro
September 15, 2008 at 3:34 p.m.

Spree you always did your job so well, it made mine much easier. I will miss your dedication and your smile. You left us far too soon. God Bless You- Rest in Peace

— Lt Warren Jones, LAPD
September 15, 2008 at 3:45 p.m.

I did not have the honor of knowing Officer Desha, but I cried as I watched her body be pulled from the wreckage. My deepest condolences go out to her family, friends & fellow officers... You will be missed.

— Sandra Sandoval
September 15, 2008 at 4:11 p.m.

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Ofcr. Spree when we both got promoted as training officers at North Hollywood Division. I was new at that division but felt at home by Ofcr Spree and her smile which would always light up the room. She was a young hard working street cop whom always remained positive, which seemed to pick up everyone elses spirits through tough times. She was definetly a gift from god that will be deeply missed. Take care and God bless Spree, I'll see you in heaven's roll call.

— Ofcr. Eric Martin, LAPD
September 15, 2008 at 4:52 p.m.


September 15, 2008 at 5:11 p.m.

I met Officer Spree outside a local school. She was hugging the small children. I could tell she realy cared about them. I wish I could have known her better. The world needs more people like her. She will be greatly missed.

— Russell Harris, Sanitation Truck driver
September 15, 2008 at 5:37 p.m.

Spree was an extremely hard worker and a professional. She always kept her fellow officers' safety in mind while in the field and also the safety of the public. It is not a surprise to me that she wore her uniform when riding the train home to look out for others. Spree, you and your smile will be missed by all.

— Det. John Perez, LAPD
September 15, 2008 at 7 p.m.

I got a chance to work with Spreee while assigned as a field supervisor in North Hollywood Area. My memory of Spree was meeting her at a traffic stop at 3:00 am and seeing first hand her display of professionalism, dedication, and her sincere love for the job. Spree was was one of a kind, and she will surely be missed by all of us in the LAPD family. May God bless your family and friends...heaven has gained another hero.

— Detective P. Arrue LAPD
September 15, 2008 at 8:20 p.m.

Oh what a beautiful being you are and will be so missed. You were such a wonderful part of my life. The years spent together with your loving character and your honesty will always stay in my heart. I am so happy that you were able to live your dream. I am so proud of you! Thank you for coming into my life. I will always love you Mel

— Melody McDonald
September 15, 2008 at 8:28 p.m.

I used to play football with Spree. She loved it as much as I did, and I knew she would be there every Sunday. It's been many years, but who can forget that smile? Her impression has lasted: kind, compassionate, quiet, confident, steady, sincere . . . and one hell of a quarterback, who came up with the craftiest plays. After reading the other entries, I'm proud of what she became, and not at all surprised. It makes me so sad for this to have happened to such a sweet soul. My deepest condolences to those who are grieving her loss. She was special.

— LS
September 15, 2008 at 10:25 p.m.

We love you, Spree, and will miss you always. You were a shining example of serenity, kindness and selflessness. So easy to know, so open and friendly. The world was blessed to have you, Sweetie. We will hold you forever in our hearts.

— John, Kathi, Kodie & Ty
September 15, 2008 at 10:38 p.m.

Spree was a kind, genuine and sincere person. She was also a dedicated, hard working and trusted police officer. She had a beautiful smile and a quick wit. I worked with Spree for several years at North Hollywood and always found her to be a quiet but strong soul. When Spree asked how you were doing, you could tell she meant it. To Spree's parents, Laura, family and friends, I am deeply sorry for your loss. I know there are no words to say that can quantify the feelings of sadness. Unimaginable, I am sure. Spree, its time to "walk a beat on Heaven's streets, you've done your time in Hell." Thank you Spree.

— Officer M. Beall LAPD
September 16, 2008 at 2:31 a.m.

Spree we will miss you rest in peace. Our prayers go out to her family and friends.

— Watch 3 NHWD DIV
September 16, 2008 at 4:43 a.m.

I just sat next to her last week on the train. The conductor asked her and another officer to remove a passenger from the train who was on crack. Although she was half asleep, she got up. I saw her a few times on that train and she was always with her ipod. I can't believe that I was just sitting right next to her last week and now she is gone. Who would have known. May God rest her soul.

— Jesse Orosz
September 16, 2008 at 7:43 a.m.

Spree was a dedicated police officer and a kind and caring lady. Her caring spirit was shown in her willingness to shave her head in support of children with cancer, and to raise money for childhood cancer research,at the LAFD/LAPD St. Baldricks event. Her death is a great loss to her colleagues in the Los Angeles Police Department and the people of the City of Los Angeles whom she served with such joy, courage,and dedication. We extend our deepest sympathy to Spree's family, friends, colleagues, and to all those who mourn her tragic loss.

— Joseph Kelly, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 16, 2008 at 10:21 a.m.

May God Bless Your Heart And that he gives your family the stength to move on now that you are in heaven i always wanted to become a police officer i love you for that

— Rudy Lopez
September 16, 2008 at 11:21 a.m.

I had the extreme pleasure of knowing Spree for about a year while I worked at North Hollywood as a field sergeant. Spree was a dedicated and hard working officer who was (almost) always very serious while at work. She did have a great sense of humor that she let eek out once in a while, and I enjoyed those moments when she made me laugh or cracked jokes with me. She always called me, "Ma'am" no matter how many times I told her not to that it became a running joke with us. She called me "Ma'am" and I called her "Ma'am" right back and then we would both smile.

— Sgt. Cathy Riggs, LAPD
September 16, 2008 at 1:57 p.m.

I rode the 519am train from Simi Valley with Spree for only the month or so that she had been riding it since changing jobs to downtown. I didn't know her or her name, but she had that special quality of being very noticeable not only because she wore her uniform every day, but also because she had the look of someone very serious about her job & her life, yet also the look that she was truely a kind soul. I briefly spoke to her the morning of the crash after riding the train in & waiting for the bus to take us toward PAB. I think what really saddens me is that I won't get the chance to get to know her, and again speak to her in those early mornings anymore.

— Scott Goldstein, LAPD
September 16, 2008 at 3:07 p.m.

Spree was a wonderful person always with a smile on her face. thanx for all ur help u will be miss

— mervyns Loss Prevention Sun Valley
September 16, 2008 at 3:37 p.m.

I have known Spree for many years first as my personal trainer and friend. We spent many hours discussing her hopes and dreams of becoming a police officer. My family and I were so proud of her when she made it. Our friendship continued through the years and I was completely devastated to hear of her passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, Laura and her doggies. We will miss Spree so much!

Mel, thank you for bringing Spree into our lives.

— Pam Rosenberg
September 16, 2008 at 3:58 p.m.

my condolences to her family.

— js
September 16, 2008 at 4:12 p.m.

Officer Desha was gay and open about it. A couple of media reports mentioned her "life partner," who is also an LAPD officer in the San Fernando Valley, and who responded to the scene of the accident, therefore being there when her partner's body was removed from the wreckage. Other than that, there has been no mention of this fact, except for an article on the Advocate Magazine website.

She was headed home. She was an accomplished, popular and dedicated public servant. So why is this important? It is very important and very relevant because the voters of CA are getting ready to decide whether or not gay men and lesbians get to keep the same rights as all other Californians made possible by the Supreme Court decision this spring---the right to marry and establish legally-recognized relationships like everyone else.

You see, gay people are everyone and everywhere---even, tragically, sometimes in the wrong place at the wrong time.

— LK
September 16, 2008 at 5:50 p.m.

It seems just like yesterday that I had responded to a radio call that Spree was handling. Like always, she handled it in the professional manner we expect from all our officers. At the end of the call, She told me that she was transfering to O.O. and how an admin job would be good for her career. She definitely had a bright future with the LAPD that was cut way too soon. Spree was taken from us way too early from all of us and will be sorely missed. My prayers and thoughts are with all your loved ones...

— Det/ Sgt. Adolfo Godinez, North Hollywood Area
September 16, 2008 at 7:53 p.m.

I'm so sorry for your loss. She seemed like a beautiful person, inside and out. I wish you peace in this time of sorrow.

— Beth
September 16, 2008 at 9:26 p.m.

LK, i think this is the wrong time and place to be making political statements. Thank you.

— --
September 17, 2008 at 12:08 a.m.

A luminous candle blown out too soon. May God keep your family close.

— Mia
September 17, 2008 at 8:55 a.m.

It is really sorry what happend to everybody in that trian crash but only god knows why things happen god bless you and keep you in peasce amen...

— kailah 0102
September 17, 2008 at 9:05 a.m.

I'm so grateful for having the chance to get to know you, Spree. I liked you from the first minute I met you, and I know you will be greatly missed by all of our family. God be with you, Spree.

— Terry H
September 17, 2008 at 11:37 a.m.

Sitting here...not being able to sleep the night before your laid to rest...I still can't believe you are not with us. I met your family today. My hope and love go out to all of them. I remember PT instructors yelling, "...c'mon Desha...let's go!!!", as you ran all those miles in the academy. I remember wanting to be as good a shooter as you...but not being able to catch you! I remember how maturely you looked at the job, and that GIANT smile...even at O-dark-thirty at ARTC parking lot in the rain!!! Spree, you will never, ever be EOW for me...you live on in my memory, heart and soul. It has been an honor and priviledge to be one of your first LAPD brothers, and I will be...forever and ever.

— Kane-Cat #35940, 2-01
September 17, 2008 at 11:18 p.m.

I will miss you Spree. I still can't believe we will never see you again...not until it is our time to go. ...and we truly never know when that time is. Your time was cut way too short. I pray your soul and the souls of the other deceased victims in this senseless accident are at peace. You always had a smile and a nice thing to say...even after a very long day. All our love to you and your family.

— MM, Simi Valley
September 17, 2008 at 11:22 p.m.

My heart goes out to your life partner, family, friends, and co workers. Your spirit speaks beyond the crash.

— Dot
September 17, 2008 at 11:32 p.m.

I Want You To Know

A brief moment of darkness
was all that I knew,
before Heaven's Gate
came into my view.

Loved ones and friends
I had missed for many years,
welcomed me with open arms
and many happy tears.

All the hurt, fear and pain
that I have ever known,
is gone from my life,
I am finally home.

I gazed upon the Lord's
sweet smiling face,
and for the first time in my life
I knew and felt His grace.

I know that you miss me,
but please dry your eyes.
I will always be watching and loving you
from my home in the sky.

A cool breeze on your face,
a touch of light rain,
I will send as a reminder
that we will be reunited again.

Life on earth is but one
brief moment in time,
I am finally home,
Eternity is mine.

September 18, 2008 at 5:03 a.m.

I knew her because she came into my Starbucks for coffee. She was a regular. She stopped by my drive-thru on her last visit to say it would be her last visit because she was being transferred downtown. It bugs me that I cannot remember specifically what she drank. I could tell she was serious about her job right away by her attitude and the way she carried herself. But when I recognized her and said hello, she would always break into a smile. I did not know her that well, but I will miss her. And I am not the only one at Starbucks who will. Farewell, Officer DeSha. Rest In Peace.

— Bill A.
September 18, 2008 at 10:54 a.m.

Spree, Half Decaf Espresso Con Panna :) We will all miss you. Your beautiful smile will always be remembered. Our deepest sympathy goes out to your family and loved ones.

— sbux friends
September 18, 2008 at 3:54 p.m.

I did not have the pleasure of knowing Officer DaSha. I can't help but respect her for serving on the Police Force. Spree is one of many wonderful officers who risk their lives daily to restore order & keep us all safe. Thank you.
I cried when I saw Spree's Life Partner on the news in the midst of her shock and grief. No doubt Spree was a very special woman who touched many lives.
I wish you - Her Partner,Parents,and Friends peace & comfort during this tragic time.

— KR
September 19, 2008 at 3:17 a.m.

i know exactly how you feel, my father had passed in that accident, i will pray for him and the whole family. HUGS

— Mey Chao
September 19, 2008 at 9:28 a.m.

God took His Angel home.

— Theresa
September 19, 2008 at 3:59 p.m.

Our local Bakersfield paper printed a photograph of her life partner, Officer Gerritsen touching Officer DeSha's casket. I never knew either of them, but the photograph brought tears to my eyes. My own partner and I were legally married in Bakersfield on June 17, but today, September 19, the day I saw this photograph, is the tenth anniversary of our spiritual marriage. Seeing this picture broke my heart but I'm glad her partner was recognized as her life partner. I was reminded today of how lucky I am, to have my wife, to be alive. Officer Gerritsen and all the rest of Officer DeSha's family, friends and furry ones, please know that you are in my family's thoughts and prayers.

— Karen Briefer-Gose, Bakersfield CA
September 19, 2008 at 4:44 p.m.

I had the great honor of calling Spree my friend. She would bring me customers(to the jail) She was always so professional, even when she was dealing with Adam Henrys. I will Never Forget her Beautiful Smile!!! Thank you for all your advice, I will make you proud when I hit the streets. St. Michael needed you in The Heavenly Beat. My dearest Officer Desha, rest in peace.
Laura God bless you and give you strength, We are all here for you. To her parents: you had a wonderful,caring,loving daughter who will be so missed our prayers are with you.
Will miss you but will see you in the next life. God Bless you Spree

— M.Elias
September 19, 2008 at 6 p.m.


September 19, 2008 at 10:52 p.m.

"STREET READY...NO DOUBT!!!" Always, baby!!!

— BK
September 19, 2008 at 11:35 p.m.

I also remember the day I saw you with your head shaved. I said "Who is this girl"? When I found out the reason you did it , I was touched deeply. Ever since then I had a great appreciation for how humble and special you really were. Just like others I got tired of hearing "MAM" but you always had respect for everyone and that showed in your work and personal life.You never allowed yourself to get lazy , you were and still ARE an example for all of us fellow brother and sisters in blue...we miss you. Rest in peace

— sister-in-blue
September 20, 2008 at 10:17 p.m.

What is a "Domestic Partner?"

— Michael in Korea
September 21, 2008 at 5:15 a.m.

Domestic Partner = Life long GirlFriend

— JoJo
September 21, 2008 at 12:47 p.m.

She was an amazing woman that did lots of amazing things. She shaved her head for childhood cancer awareness and donated her hair to locks of love. I hope that her family deals with her death in a good way and understands that everything happens for a reason. She was one of the nicest people i have ever met.

— Unknown
September 21, 2008 at 2:32 p.m.

I have read many nice comments about Ofcr DeSha, and regret I did not know her personally. My condolences and prayers go out to her family, coworkers, and friends. I recently graduated from the academy and have been so proud to be part of the Los Angeles Police Dept. It's really nice to hear about her professionalism and seriousness for the job. I can see why she had been promoted and well liked by others.

After learning so much about her, Ofcr DeSha gives hope and encouragement to other gay and lesbian law enforcement to be open about their lives at the workplace. In some ways, it's easier to be "in the closet", but overall, it's more difficult because you sit in silence as you hear comments from others about their husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. It's amazing that still so many people don't realize you can't tell who is gay or lesbian by one's appearance.

Thank you, Ofcr DeSha, for being a role model for so many, and may God bless you and your family as the wonderful memories live on forever.

— LAPD Ofcr
September 22, 2008 at 3:13 a.m.

I still get chills and teary-eyed thinking about the sound of the bagpipes from your funeral. You weren't even supposed to be on THAT train, yet there we all were in the church saying goodbye to you. Such a tragedy. Thank you for giving us such great memories. Surely you will be missed, Spree! A lot!

— a friend of a friend
September 22, 2008 at 5:29 p.m.

...........Off. DeSha, you were taken from this life way before your 10-7 time, I will be proud to meet you someday in heaven................

— A sister in green, OCSD Retired
September 22, 2008 at 11:43 p.m.

she was one of the best officers that i've known .r.i.p.
spree i'll miss u but ur still a homie.i miss and love u
even laura does R.I.P

— taser
September 23, 2008 at 9:18 a.m.

I was sadden to hear of the loss of Spree. I am a Desha born in Hawaii and living in Hawaii. Both my father and brother are retired police officers. I did not know of Spree and wonder if our families are related...I certainly feel connected and wish I had know this wonderful woman.

Family in Hawaii.....Aloha

— Gayle Desha
September 27, 2008 at 11:22 a.m.

Officer Spree DeSha was an amazing police officer and teacher. Sha taught me well, when I was right out of the academy.
Showing me what it meant to be an LAPD officer. She worked me hard. Because of that she will save my life one day.
Spree I Love You. What more can I say.

— officer SS
September 30, 2008 at 7:33 a.m.

Spree was one of the best! Her skills as a police officer keep my family safe.
What a loss for the citizens of L.A. One of the LAPD's best. I new you were on your way to greatness.
We just did not expect to lose you so soon. I am glad that you were on duty
at the time you were taken from us. You well deserved the funeral you received.
Good buy my Loving friend, you will be missed. Your friend and co-worker

— friend and co-worker
September 30, 2008 at 11:39 a.m.

Though we all may have lost someone who is a big part of our lives and our hearts and we are not able to replace or fill that emptyness that our love ones have taken with them when they left this world. but i hope that maybe we all can come together and allow each other to come into each others lives since i know that we all share the same pain. when my father passed in that metrolink 2008 crash my life has not been the same and its been very difficult, my father left behind his wife and 5 children and so many grand children, and we all miss and love him so much but talkin about him with my family and remembering all the good times we had with him helps us with our pain of losing him. so i just would like to let you all know i am here if you need to talk or just someone to listen to you. my email is


my hearts and prayers go out to you.

— mey chao
October 1, 2008 at 9:41 a.m.

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family as you deal with the sorrow of this tragic event. We also lost our son Christopher and every day brings new challenges in emotions. May your memories of her sustain you through this most difficult time.

— Donna & Roy Aiken
October 4, 2008 at 1:41 p.m.

Spree I miss you so much. I am trying to go on with out you, but not doing a very good job of it.
I miss you everyday, I miss your phone calls, your beautiful smile, I miss being called mom.
I am hurting so bad, My heart is broken. I will love you and miss you forever.
With all my love, MOM

— Sha, Spree's Mom
October 28, 2008 at 11:47 a.m.

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you Sha. I am one of Spree's classmates. Looking you in the eye and hugging you at the wake was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I apologize for not keeping my composure there.

Just wanted you to know that you continue to have my family's support and love while learning to live again.

God Bless you. All my love.

Brett Kane, Hollywood Div (VICE)

— Brett
November 6, 2008 at 10 p.m.


It has been two months, to the day, that your young and cherished life and our dreams, tragically ended. The day I stood by that train and waited to learn our fate was, by far, the absolute worst day of my life. That was the day I lost my spouse, partner, friend, confidant, support system, hero, hope and my whole world. Your loss has changed my life forever. I can not explain the amount of hurt and pain this has caused me and the ones who loved you. I can't imagine happiness without you and simply try to find a reason to wake everyday and breathe.

I feel like so much has been taken from me since the day I lost you, but no one can ever take the memories of the wonderful life that we shared together.

You were everything to me. You allowed me to grow in my own time and made me the person that I am today. You saw potential, when so many had given up on me. You touched so many lives in such an incredible way. The gentle manner in which you spoke and loved made others evaluate themselves and seek out their own compassion. You caused so many smiles and with a simple hug, you would envelope a persons soul and make them feel like the most important person on earth.

The time we spent together was like a dream, so pleasant, so warm, so perfect, but yet, so short lived.

I am so blessed, honored and proud to have been the most important thing in your life for the last six years. Spree, your spirit will always be with me.

I love you Sweet Pea

— Laura Gerritsen
November 12, 2008 at 10:58 p.m.

Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of knowing Spree.
However, after reading the comments from people who did, she sounds like an amazing person with a rare soul.
The postings from Laura and her mom made tears come to my eyes - as I could never imagine the pain they have endured.
She is definately a role model - and lived her life as we all should - honestly.
My condolences to her family.

— C
March 6, 2009 at 4:18 a.m.

There is a place where dreamers go way beyond the blue sky the angel never ask why there is a place where dreamers go. You wanted to be free to be all you could be and evenmore therefore you ask to soar on eagles wings we go and I carried you to heaven's door. You smiled and said thank you as you let my hand go. Fly fly fly high and I said good-bye you know they will ask why you had to die, I just sighed oh my don't you know Spree's legs are like a bird wings worth more to her than a beautiful day in spring or a wedding ring, thus when she heard the angel's sing she chose to spread her wings and fly high and say thanks for everything good-bye. Love you she likes being free thats why her name is Spree you see!

— The Dove
May 13, 2009 at 12:36 a.m.


It’s been 2 years, since I last heard your voice, smelled your smell, held you in my arms,... 2 years since I have felt the joy of having you in my life. If I could die from a broken heart, I would be with you now.

Until then, I will keep your memory in my heart, practice what you have taught me and try my best to make you proud.

Your spirit will always be with me.

Your Spouse and Soul Mate,


— Laura
September 12, 2010 at 9:34 p.m.

I miss your smile. I miss your voice. I miss your heart and your wisdom. I miss you my friend. Just know you are loved and you are so greatly missed. Nothing will replace you.

I love you...and I kept my promise.

Your friend,


— Meg
September 12, 2010 at 10:30 p.m.

What a tremendous loss to the citizens and city of LA, the LAPD and most importantly Officer Gerritsen and the DeSha family. I offer my prayers to you all.

Lt. John Randolph (Ret.)
Wilmington PD
Wilmington, DE

— John Randolph
November 9, 2010 at 11:10 a.m.

I did not know Spree. But for some reason I think about her and feel her positive energy every day. I worked in Simi Valley and I have a domestic partner that I cherish. At the time of the accident I saw a beautiful black female officer on the news that said she kept trying to call Spree on her cell phone and got no response. I do not know if that was her partner or not, and it does not matter. I just cannot forget the love I felt between these two wonderful women.... and my heart goes out to both of you.... every day. If there is any place in Spree's name that I can send a donation, I would be happy to.
Patti Allare

— Patti Allare
April 30, 2011 at 9:19 p.m.

Spree, I feel you with me every day. I miss you terribly.
I know we are one and we will meet ounce again.
It's too bad that others do not know what real loss is!
Love you always, mom

— Sha moran(Mom)
March 26, 2014 at 3:17 p.m.

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Keep in mind
  • The Times initially mispelled the name of Michael Hammersley and Beverly Mosley.
  • The coroner's office reported a 26th victim the afternoon of Sept. 15, but a few hours later said the tally was 25.

Chatsworth Metrolink Crash is the Los Angeles Times' database of fatalities from the Sept. 12, 2008, train collision.

Latest Numbers

25 dead

135 injured

About the Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers at The Times.