Ever since the day Gale was found dead behind Marion High School, speculation has run wild about how it happened. Now that we know how, that speculation seems worse. It was bad enough that the 58-year-old was dumped there by two people who he considered his “friends,” but they robbed him, stole his possessions and left his pants around his ankles. That left all sorts of unanswered questions, and cruelly affected Gale’s family and friends, not to mention Gale himself.

At the end of August, Gale’s remaining siblings and relatives had him cremated and his ashes sent to Rohnert Park, Calif., where his brother, Louie, lives. They held a funeral for him there and had him buried. Louie told me today his youngest sister, Marie Gray, 60, who lives in Glendale, Ariz., just couldn’t bring herself to come.

“She got on the plane and sat there for a minute, but she had to get off the plane,” he said. “This is has all really upset her.”

If Gwen and Eric Townsel had just taken a minute to think, it may not have kept Marie from Gale’s funeral. His death may not have taken such a toll on his only daughter, Valerie Gilkison from Washington. It may have helped soothe his ex-wife, Cathy Huggins, who still lives in the area.

I hope that, if the Townsels did what the police said they did, they pay the price so Gale and his family can finally rest in peace.