Trial Concluded: Fritz's Family Release Statement

On December 7, the trial for the murder of the American explorer Fritz W. Musser, who was stabbed while traveling through Kakheti, was concluded. 

His family was in attendance and released a statement.

“For the past two weeks, I have been in Tbilisi. I wasn’t planning on being in the Georgian capital so long but the city is just so seductive. It has been good to relax and rest and for my body to heal. And, I believe I have made some connections that will prove fruitful in the future. I shall start walking again tomorrow. For this Georgian segment, I designed and commissioned a Free Hugs button (well, it actually says “Free Hug”) that I have affixed to one of the straps of my pack. I had wanted to do the same for Azerbaijan but was advised it would not be well received. I still wish I had, if nothing else to be a conversation started. I’ve worn the button for the past few days and am yet to get a reaction or response. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.” – Fritz W. Musser

Statement of Hope from the family of Fritz W. Musser upon the conclusion of his murder trial (08/12/16):

Yesterday was a sad yet hopeful day for the many who loved Fritz W. Musser. With the conclusion of the court proceedings for the man who confessed to taking Fritz’s life, we have completed one part of our unplanned journey that began without warning on August 12.  We are grateful for the efforts of the police, the courts and others who have supported us during this part of the journey. The gaping hole in our family remains, however. It is unimaginable that we will never hear Fritz’s silly laugh, enjoy his refreshing and insightful views on life, witness his genuine caring or watch him play with his doting nieces. We take some solace in knowing he died while living an 11-year old dream to hike the Caucasus Mountains from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea.

While Fritz was walking this portion of his hike across the Caucasus without a physical companion, he was never alone. He was constantly making new friends and staying connected to old, like he had in his other adventures across over 60 countries on five continents. He derived great joy from building connections with people of all backgrounds, learning from others, and experiencing life with them. The power of these connections has showed in the wake of his death when memorials were held, candles lit and tears continue to be shed in many countries around the world.

Fritz believed in the value of each human life, the inherent goodness of humanity and that each person has the potential to change the world for the better. He was deeply interested in creating bridges of understanding, and the ones he built continue to thrive and grow in the wake of his death.

With Fritz always in our hearts and minds, it is our deepest hope to honor his beliefs and his commitment to the ideas of restorative justice as we heal from the horrible circumstances of his death. It is our wish, now that a verdict is decided and a sentence given, that the man convicted be given the opportunities Fritz wished to create for others: the necessary help to make long lasting personal changes that are life-affirming personally, familially, and globally. It is our hope that the family of the convicted not carry the burden of this misdeed, and that they will continue to have meaningful opportunities to share time with their loved one.  

As Fritz’s family, we want to move forward in peace, understanding and hope; we believe strongly in the indomitable human spirit and the power we each have to create a more just, loving, and hopeful world.We hope that the journey we now share with his family will contribute this vision.


08 December 2016 14:14