Michael Todd Coffman: Mom's Letter


After nearly 10 years, Michael Todd Coffman's case has been closed for lack of evidence. I wrote a letter to the editor in Anchorage, but they didn't print it as it was "old news." So the next best thing is this web site.

May 17, 2008

Dear Editor,

Alaska, the Last Frontier! Michael Todd Coffman moved, by choice, to Anchorage, Alaska in 1981 at the age of 12 to live with his dad. Because of his choices, his dad escorted him back to Arkansas October 4, 1998, where he now is surrounded by tall mountains, blue sky, cattle and horses. Carved in stone under an Alaskan scene is his eulogy, Greater love hath no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends.

Todd loved Alaska as a young boy and as a man. He played football (his first love) his last four school years for Bartlett. At Bartlett he took classes and participated and excelled in football, body building, wrestling and track (second in State), as cited in many news articles. He left his mark. Bartlett High School Gymnasium honors him for his achievements with his name engraved on its walls as Senior Strong Man 1985-86.

He hunted bear on Kodiak Island, fished in Valdez and Russian River, viewed the Aurora Borealis, worked and played in Alaska for 17 years. By the time he was out of school, he had his own carpet cleaning business, merging into several other carpet services until it proved to be a non-profitable year-round business. He became a licensed private investigator.

Michael Todd Coffman died October 1, 1998, in his home in Wasilla, Alaska. Because of his choice to defend, he died a victim of domestic violence homicide. He had no chance to say goodbye to me, his other family, classmates, business patrons, or friends. As his mother, I feel this public goodbye is needed for closure for family and friends.

His classmates made him be the best he could be in his every endeavor; they respected, admired and liked him. Barr, Cunningham, Rose and Coffman were the “Four Guys.” Bobby Barr ended up being his best friend; he surprised me with an album in December 1999 he made of Todd’s life in Alaska. Dawn Houghtaling- Dalton created a masterpiece web site, Bartlett High School Class of 1986, with memoriams to their deceased classmates, including Todd (visit it).

The many people who patronized “The Carpet Man” and his other carpet businesses will remember his honesty, hard work and sense of humor.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to ADA Pat Gullufsen, and Bruce D. Norris, Retired Major Alaska State Trooper (working for OVR). They have both worked diligently to give me some measure of peace after nearly ten years, and through them I have found closure. But most of all, as a Christian, I am comforted by God’s words to me, “Lay aside your wrath. It is mine to avenge; I will repay".

Because Todd left us suddenly and tragically without any goodbyes or explanation of how or why he died, I, as his mother, bid you all farewell for him, and ask that you remember the good man he was. I miss him, he was a good son. After nearly 10 years, he is finally resting in peace.

Ginger Smith, mother of Michael Todd Coffman


Memorial Section

Barr's Memories
Mom's Memories
Mom's Letter
Mom's Song
Coffman Page