A former childhood friend of Susan Van Note and her husband testified to an allegedly cryptic message delivered to the couple after their attorney told them to avoid all contact with the woman charged with killing her father and girlfriend.

A former childhood friend of Susan Van Note and her husband testified to an allegedly cryptic message delivered to the couple after their attorney told them to avoid all contact with the woman charged with killing her father and girlfriend. 

“Remember September,” Stacey Dory recalled, or was it “remember this was September,” as Desre Dory recalled. The couple from Shawnee, Kan., who were arrested on Sept. 12, 2012 and charged with felony murder and forgery in their role as witnesses for a power of attorney document, said Van Note visited their house after the couple had hired an attorney who advised them to cut off contact. 

The charges against the Dorys were dropped after a year when their Columbia lawyer Milt Harper successfully proved that the document was not used to take William Van Note off life support. Van Note was given that authority based on next of kin and beneficiary status. The questionable durable power of attorney was never used. 

On Monday, a day and a half after the attacks in Sunrise Beach, Van Note called Stacey and said she needed to talk with the couple at their home. Stacey described this as “unusual” given that the two friends had fallen out since college, but did still remain friendly and very occasionally got together. 

The Dorys left their jobs around lunch time to head home and were met by Van Note shortly after who explained that her father and girlfriend Sharon Dickson had been attacked, Dickson was dead and William was on life support at University Hospital in Columbia. 

“I don’t recall her being upset,” Stacey said as she fought back tears throughout her entire testimony. “We were in shock.” 

Stacey said she asked if there was anything the couple could do to help. The Dorys testified Van Note told them her father had been in town recently and the two had been working on financial documents, but didn’t have the time to get them witnessed. Van Note asked them to be witnesses, like they had done five or six times before, for a document they didn’t question, read through, or think twice about considering the news they had been told, they said. 

The Dorys said the only page of the document they saw was the page they signed. After signing the document, Van Note told the couple she had to go see her father before he died and left for Columbia. Stacey followed her to Columbia so she wouldn’t be alone, she said. 

Stacey said the two went straight to the ICU unit upon arrival, Susan into the actual room and Stacey waiting in the lobby. Shortly after, Susan was called down to the security office to talk with investigators for roughly 30 minutes to an hour, she testified. 

“She told me they thought she was involved,” Stacey recalled. “They told her it was possible her dad shot Sharon.” 

Van Note told the nursing staff she wanted her “cousin” in the room with her at the time. “A little white lie,” Assistant Attorney General Kevin Zoellner called it. When Stacey entered the room she found Van Note “sobbing uncontrollably,” but when doctors entered the room her tone changed instantly. 

She immediately began “yelling” at the doctor, Stacey said, about what she had to do to get her father off life support and she didn’t want her dad like this — in a coma and on life support. Stacey described this behavior as “theatrical” and “over-the-top bawling” until she “snapped out” of it when the doctors came in.

The doctors refused to make any decisions regarding life support until a full team could evaluate William’s condition, despite Van Note’s insistence, she said. Susan checked into a local hotel and Stacey headed back to Kansas promising to return on Wednesday. When approaching Columbia two days later, Stacey said she received a call from Van Note who told her she didn’t have to come — she did anyway being so close— because he had been taken off life-support. 

On Oct. 19, 2010, Shawnee police visited the Dory home and said there were detectives from the Camden County Sheriff’s Office who wished to speak with them regarding the William Van Note case. Stacey said she called Van Note to see what was going on and the response was strange. Stacey testified Van Note said she couldn’t hear Stacey and kept asking who it was. Despite this, Stacey said she knew it was Van Note’s voice and Van Note knew who was calling. Eventually, Van Note told her to tell the police you’ll meet with them in the morning. 

The Dorys had two young children in bed at the time and were watching television when the police had showed up. After the conversation, the Dorys called the police station and told dispatch they couldn’t come down to the station tonight because of the kids, but would come tomorrow morning. An hour later came another knock on the door. This time original officers were accompanied by two Camden County Sheriff’s Office detectives. 

After allowing the officers into their home, the investigators began questioning the Dorys on Van Note’s background and their relationship before they produced the document Van Note had asked them to sign roughly two weeks prior. The Dorys testified that detectives told them they believed the document had been forged and was used to take William off life support. The Dorys lied to detectives, they said, they told them William was present when the document was signed. Desre lied again and said he seen William but didn’t see him put “pen to paper.” 

“I was scared shitless,” Desre said. 

The Dorys hired a local attorney the next day who told them not to have any contact with Van Note. The Dorys also told their the attorney the truth — how they lied to the detectives the night before and were false witnesses to the document they discovered to be the durable power of attorney for William Van Note. 

While at work the next day, Stacey received a call from a number she didn’t recognize and said Van Note was on the other end and needed to talk. She told Van Note she wasn’t supposed to talk to her and hung up. Stacey alerted their attorney. 

While sitting on the couch in the bottom level of their split-level home, the Dorys noticed a figure standing outside their window whom they quickly identified as Van Note. And then another knock. 

“I freaked out,” Stacey recalled of her reaction. “I don’t want to talk to her, do not want to see her. Why is she here?” 

The couple decided to type and print a short-worded letter that said in effect “please go away.” Stacey gave Desre the letter who would make the delivery to Van Note. Desre said he handed Van Note the letter but she wanted to talk instead. Desre told her to just read the letter and attempted to close the door when Van Note stuck one of her foot in as a wedge. 

She uttered something along the lines of “remember this was September,” he said.