Mom writes book on her daughters’ murders

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 6:58 PM CST
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RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - In July of 2012, Aaron Schaffhausen went to his ex-wife, Jessica Peterson’s home to see his daughters. Schaffhausen then killed his three girls Amara, Sophie and Cecilia, and attempted to set the house on fire. Schaffhausen is currently serving three life sentences without the possibility of parole. Peterson is sharing her story through a new book titled, Thistles and Thorns.

“Losing the girls was definitely devastating, and a lot of what the book is about is not just losing them, but how I made them, to begin with, and where we came from and how things got to that point,” Peterson said.

In her book, Peterson wrote about her girls, their death and their impact.

“The idea of the book started right after the girls died,” Peterson said. “I did a tremendous amount of therapy and one of the things my therapist encouraged me to do is write to them, write letters to them and write down my feelings.”

Peterson said everyone has trauma and painful points in life, and even if it doesn’t make national news, it is still valid.

“I happened to encounter a woman at the playground and she’s like, ‘I want you to know that two years ago, my husband killed himself, and when that happened, I thought of you and I thought if she can survive that, I can survive this. If I can do that for even one more person, it’s completely worth it,” Peterson said.

The headstone, engraved with a poem, captures Peterson’s desire to embrace what she has left.

“If there is someone out there who needs some inspiration and needs a little light in their life, yes, it has some dark parts to it. But, in the end, it’s just about love.”

Thistles and Thorns is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the publishers website.