COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The death of a notorious metro Atlanta man who arranged for the murder of his wife nearly 30 years ago is reminding friends of his children and the pain he caused them.
Fred Tokars, a metro Atlanta lawyer, arranged for the murder of his wife, Sara Tokars, 28 years ago. Sheand her two young sons were kidnapped from their Cobb County home in 1992. The boys were in the back seat of the family car when Sara Tokars was shot in the back of the head with a shotgun.
Fred Tokars was later charged with murder for ordering the hit.
Tokars died in prison last week at age 67 after spending a decade in a wheelchair due to a neurological disease.
Channel 2′s Matt Johnson talked to a friend of the two Tokars sons, Ricky and Mike, who said the boys never had any interaction with their father again.
Brendan Flanagan was a family friend of Mike Tokars, who was 4 when he and Ricky, who was 6 at the time, saw the hitman shoot and kill their mom.
Flanagan said there was just never a good reason for Fred Tokars’ children to get to know him. While there aren’t many people grieving the death of Fred Tokars, Flanagan said it makes him sad that the boys grew up without a father.
“I’m talking about the loss of the father-son relationship,” Flanagan said. “That’s unfathomable to me.”
Mike Tokars died last month at the age of 31 from a pulmonary embolism, but not before overcoming his trauma with support from his six aunts.
“(Mike Tokars) wasn’t someone that when you saw him you thought, ‘Man, somethings wrong with him,’” Flanagan said. “You thought he had a lot of energy people wanted to gravitate toward him.”
Flanagan said the brothers never talked about reconnecting with their father.
"The idea of Fred Tokars is not something that is ready for reconciliation," Flanagan said.
One of Sara Tokars’ sisters told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Fred Tokars should have died in the electric chair 28 years ago. Instead, he was sentenced to life without parole.
Flanagan said the way that Fred Tokars died was worse than the death penalty in a lot of ways.
"That's probably worse than getting capital punishment in my eyes, just the constant suffering, knowing that you're alone, no one cares about you, especially your children," Flanagan said.
Tokars testified against several fellow inmates over the years, but his sentence was never reduced. He spent the last years of his life in secret custody in fear of getting killed.
Sara Tokars' family set up a GoFundMe to help after Mike Tokars' death. Family members wrote:
"Mike was a beloved son, brother, nephew, uncle, and friend. He was adored by so many and impacted the lives of countless people during every stage of his abbreviated time on earth. We loved Mike for immeasurable reasons; for his tenacious curiosity, compassionate heart, infectious sense of humor, and kindred spirit.
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