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Neighbors: Kirkpatricks 'normal family'

Online journal entries depict Gene C. Kirkpatrick as a loving parent and grandfather, devoted to his family. And a neighbor in Oklahoma called Kirkpatrick and his wife, Sharon, a "normal, everyday family." But the arrest warrant for Kirkpatrick s...

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Online journal entries depict Gene C. Kirkpatrick as a loving parent and grandfather, devoted to his family.

And a neighbor in Oklahoma called Kirkpatrick and his wife, Sharon, a "normal, everyday family."

But the arrest warrant for Kirkpatrick shows a very different man -- one that wanted his son-in-law Philip Gattuso "gone or dead" and who was willing to pay $20,000 to make that happen.

Kirkpatrick told Fargo police he was concerned how Gattuso was raising his granddaughter, 3-year-old Kennedy, after the death of Kirkpatrick's daughter and Gattuso's wife, Valerie, in March.

Little is known about the grandfather accused of aiding in the murder of Gattuso in Fargo on Oct. 26. The Kirkpatricks have not spoken publicly about Gattuso's death.

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A search of Oklahoma court records turned up only a dispute over a speeding violation Kirkpatrick had in 1993.

According to the Oklahoma Secretary of State's Office, a "Gene C. Kirkpatrick" has been listed as an incorporator or registered agent on six businesses in the state.

Kirkpatrick is retired from the telecommunications industry, having held previous jobs at AT&T and Cox Communications.

Gene and Sharon Kirkpatrick wrote the majority of 82 journal entries on a Caring Bridge Web site dedicated to Valerie Gattuso.

The site chronicles their daughter's life between September 2007 and March 2009, when Valerie was recovering from heart surgery and complications stemming from it.

Valerie died last spring, 20 months after her heart surgery.

"I assured her she would never be alone, and there was not a single day in all of these months that Valerie ever spent without me or her father," Sharon Kirkpatrick wrote in a March 31 entry.

The online journal entries reflect the Kirkpatricks' dedication to Valerie -- repeatedly talking about the parents' time with their daughter and other family members.

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One noticeable omission from the entries is the presence of Valerie's husband, Philip Gattuso. Gattuso is mentioned in passing five times throughout the 82 entries.

The Kirkpatricks also made numerous references to Kennedy and how much they wanted Valerie home in Oklahoma with her daughter, who was being looked after by Valerie's sister, Regan Williams.

Online:

- Valerie Gattuso's journal on her CaringBridge site: www.caringbridge.org/visit/valeriegattuso/journal/printAll

- NewsOk interview with Gene C. Kirkpatrick's neighbor: http://feeds.newsok.tv/services/player/bcpid4659235001?bctid47922209001

Oklahoman reporter Robert Medley contributed to this report from Oklahoma City.

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