Every summer, a Pinellas county couple reunites with a woman they think of like a daughter.
It’s the woman who killed their son, Robby Mast, when he was 25-years-old.
Lindsay Haugen, 36, is serving a 60-year prison sentence in Montana for homicide. Our partners at Bay News 9 interviewed Mast’s parents, Dori and Gene Greeson, who have not only forgiven Haugen, but developed an extremely close, loving relationship with her.
“I often tell people we lost a son but gained a daughter,” Gene Greeson, who is Mast’s step-father, said in a clip aired on Bay News 9. The exclusive story is running in two parts -- one that is airing Thursday night and the other that will debut on Friday.
Mast had said he was depressed and wanted to die. He didn’t ask Haugen to kill him -- but after 26 days together, Haugen said she would do anything for him. She strangled him and told police it was what he wanted.
Soon after, the Greesons wrote her a letter forgiving her. She replied back. They replied again. It started a communication that went from paper to video chats to in-person prayer and bonding sessions.
“They cared enough about me to let me know how to escape hell and how to live a better life for God,” Haugen said in an interview with Bay News 9.
But some, like a detective from the police department that arrested Haugen, fear she is toying with the Greesons in an attempt to get parole.
“It’s just not the case,” Haugen said in the interview. “Their relationship means the world to me, but if I have to serve my entire term and I’m here until I’m 96 years old, that’s fine.”
Dori Greeson said it hurts her when people imply she didn’t love her son because of how close she is with his killer. She said forgiveness has given her more peace and release than holding on to anger.
The case has been featured in the first episode of Season 2 of the Netflix series I am a Killer.