Gabby Petito's Mother Shocks Auditorium by Forgiving Brian Laundrie, Turning on His 'Evil' Mom Roberta (2024)

Table of Contents
Truth and Accuracy Conversation

By George C. Upper IIIJune 1, 2024 at 8:28am

The mother of Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old who lost her life at the hands of confessed murderer Brian Laundrie, said at a conference Friday that she had forgiven her daughter’s killer — but not his mom.

“I speak for myself here when I say Brian, I forgive you,” Nichole Schmidt said to a crowd at CrimeCon 2024 in Nashville, according to Fox News. “I needed to release myself from the chains of anger and bitterness, and I refuse to let your despicable act define the rest of my life.”

Someone once said that harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the person you’re still mad at to die; Schmidt appears to understand that.

Advertisem*nt - story continues below

Or maybe she doesn’t. Because she’s apparently willing to let the actions of Laundrie’s mom “define the rest of [her] life.”

“You do not deserve forgiveness,” Schmidt said of Roberta Laundrie. “You deserve to be forgotten.”


Trump Defense Team Notified of Comment Found on New York Court Page Predicting Outcome of Trial

“As for you, Roberta, and I call you out individually because you are evidently the mastermind that shattered your family and mine with your evil ways, I see no empathy in your eyes,” Schmidt said, according to Fox. “No remorse in your heart and no willingness to take responsibility for your actions.”

That, of course, is not how forgiveness works — but I’ll get to that in a second.

Advertisem*nt - story continues below

I cannot for a moment blame Schmidt for her feelings of anger, resentment, sorrow and loss. I’ve never lost anyone I care about to murder, and can only imagine how overwhelming those feelings must be.

The fact that Laundrie had concerns about Schmidt’s welfare after “erratic phone calls” with her son, according to Fox, must only make that worse.

Did the Laundries know about Brian’s involvement in the murder?

Schmidt and her ex-husband, Joe Petito, settled a suit with Laundrie’s parents last year, in which they claimed that the defendants knew about Gabby Petito’s murder and helped their son escape justice for his actions.

Which, ironically, is what Schmidt went on to do herself — help Brian Laundrie escape justice. Because that’s what forgiveness is.

We can only forgive someone when they owe us something — a financial debt can be forgiven, of course, but so can a moral debt. When I wrong someone — by murdering a mother’s daughter, say, although that’s obviously an extreme example — I now owe a debt to that mother for what I did to her.

Advertisem*nt - story continues below

Only then can I be forgiven. Only when I in fact owe something. Not because I “deserve” forgiveness — forgiveness only means something if I don’t deserve it. If I owe you no debt, your forgiveness means literally nothing.

Schmidt forgave Brian Laundrie, though he didn’t deserve it — that’s how forgiveness works. Schmidt refuses to forgive Roberta Laundrie,because she doesn’t deserve it. That’snot how forgiveness works.


Tide Turns as State Supreme Court Backs GOP Governor on Removal of Soros-Backed Prosecutor

Schmidt is absolutely correct that Roberta Laundrie doesn’t deserve her forgiveness. But if she did deserve it, she wouldn’t need it.

We live in a similar tension with God Almighty. We need forgiveness, but can never deserve it. Justice, in fact, demands that we pay for our sins. That’s why Paul wrote in Romans 5:8, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Advertisem*nt - story continues below

That’s love, all right — dying for those who could never earn or deserve that death. Paying our penalty so that justice can be served — served out painfully on the body of Jesus Himself — and forgiveness purchased by His blood.

And now we’re all called to do the same — to forgive those who don’t deserve it: “Blessed are the merciful,” Jesus said, “for they shall receive mercy.”

And none of us deserve it. Not Brian Laundrie. Not his mother. Not even Nichole Schmidt. Not me. Not you. None of us.

I pray that Nichole Schmidt can find the grace — for it can only happen by God’s grace — to forgive Roberta Laundrie. Just as I pray that she will find the grace to seek God’s forgiveness for her own sins.

Advertisem*nt - story continues below

Just as I pray that I would accept God’s grace in my own life, face my sins instead of denying them or explaining them away, and seek forgiveness and mercy in Christ.

That would be a good way for Schmidt — and me, and you, my friend — to define the rest of our lives.

An Important Message from Our Staff:

In just a few months, the world is going to change forever. The 2024 election is the single most important election of our lifetime.

We here at The Western Journal are committed to covering it in a way the establishment media simply will not: We will tell the truth, and they will lie.

But Big Tech and the elites don’t want the truth out. That’s why they have cut us off from 90% of advertisers. Imagine if someone cut your monthly income by 90%. That’s what they’ve done to people like us.

As a staff, we are asking you to join us to fight this once-in-a-lifetime fight. Without you not only will The Western Journal fail, but America will fail also. As Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Will you support The Western Journal today and become a member?

A Western Journal Membership costs less than one coffee and breakfast sandwich each month, and it gets you access to ALL of our content — news, commentary, and premium articles. You’ll experience a radically reduced number of ads, and most importantly you will be vitally supporting the fight for America’s soul in 2024.

This is the time. America will live or die based on what happens this year. Please join us to get the real truth out and to fight the elites, Big Tech, and the people who want America to fail. Together, we really can save the country.

Thank you for your support!

P.S. Please stand with us!

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.


Christianity, Crime, Death, Domestic violence, Forgiveness, God, Jesus Christ, Justice, Murder, U.S. News

George C. Upper III

Contributing Editor

George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.

George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.


Foxborough, Massachusetts




Beta Gamma Sigma


B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG


North Carolina

Languages Spoken


Topics of Expertise

Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics

Legal Expert Jonathan Turley Has Bad News for the Bidens as Hunter's Trial Winds Down

Comedian George Lopez in Battle with Venue After Walking Out of Sold Out Show Early

US Consulate Left Damaged After Violent Overnight Attack

Armed Bank Robber Hides Behind Two Hostages and a Barrier - SWAT Sniper Enters the Lobby and Ends It with One Shot

House Oversight Chairman Puts Joe Biden on Notice After Issuing Criminal Referrals for Hunter and James Biden

See more...



Gabby Petito's Mother Shocks Auditorium by Forgiving Brian Laundrie, Turning on His 'Evil' Mom Roberta (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tuan Roob DDS

Last Updated:

Views: 6360

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tuan Roob DDS

Birthday: 1999-11-20

Address: Suite 592 642 Pfannerstill Island, South Keila, LA 74970-3076

Phone: +9617721773649

Job: Marketing Producer

Hobby: Skydiving, Flag Football, Knitting, Running, Lego building, Hunting, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Tuan Roob DDS, I am a friendly, good, energetic, faithful, fantastic, gentle, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.