PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Brian Spaulding hosted a podcast, “Some Kind of Show,” with 2 of his friends. One of his favorite phrases was “Prove it!” and he peppered the podcasts with it.
On one of the podcasts, Spaulding and his friends talked off the cuff about death. They talked about ways they might die and they talked about things they would want and not want to happen after they died.
The 36-year-old said lightheartedly he thought he might die from being in the “wrong place, wrong time.”
But he also didn’t want his family to mourn.
“Just do your thing, have fun, cut loose, alright, don’t grieve forever. I’m f—ing dead now. I don’t care. Live it up, have fun. Hey, you’re still alive. Prove it!” he said, and then laughed.
“I can listen to his voice and I can hear all those stories told directly by him, which has really been a treasure,” said his sister, Kate Bostick, “since we’ll never have anymore conversations.”
Kate said Brian’s podcast “was kind of eerily similar to the way he died, which was very unexpected, tragic and potentially wrong place, wrong time.”
‘I found him and called 911’
On Monday, June 12, 2017, Brian Spaulding didn’t show up for his job as a massage therapist at a chiropractic office in Sellwood.
His parents called him, left a voice mail. As noon approached, his parents drove over to where he was living on Northeast 10th — “he was renting a room downstairs and the housemate had a room upstairs” — and they walked into the house.
George Spaulding found his son shot to death.
“I found him and called 911, and it took off from there,” George told KOIN 6 News recently. “I still miss him every day.”
For 2 years, the same questions have haunted Brian Spaulding’s family: Who killed him? Why?
The one thing they do know is that Brian would want them to keep moving forward and be happy. He’d want them to “prove it.”
His sister Kate had the phrase tattooed on her arm with a design that included a Celtic knot for family. George also got a “Prove it” tattoo with Brian’s signature. His mom, Carolyn Spaulding, wears “Prove it” on a bracelet.
They all wear it as a reminder to keep going in honor of Brian.
“Prove it” to them “means pressing on, living another day and living up to your personal standards,” George said. “He was very much a believer in personal responsibility.”
Kate said Brian knew what he wanted and wanted to start his own massage business.
“He was a small circle kind of guy. He wasn’t loud or in your face. He was pretty passive, very dependable, super caring. I mean, he would always be there for you, just the kind of friend you would want to have, the kind of brother you’d want to have, the kind of son you’d want to have. He was just a great person.”
The “Prove it” bracelet gives Carolyn strength but the loss of her son remains devastating.
“Leaves a hole that you try to fill but you never succeed in,” she said. “You learn to just carry it around or walk around it.”
George said they go to meetings for parents of murdered children.
“There are other folks who have similar situations and they survived, so that helps to keep us focused on moving forward as I think Brian would want us to be doing.”
About a year ago, the family offered a $20,000 reward for information about Brian’s murder. That reward still stands along with a Crime Stoppers reward.
“At this point the situation remains that they still have no firm motive or suspects,” George said. “I’m just kind of sad in general about it and also sad that something hasn’t got resolved.”
Answers would help bring them some peace, they said.
“Brian deserves justice,” George said. “Somebody out there knows.”
“There’s so many questions around it. I don’t, nothing will make it OK,” his sister Kate said. “But maybe I can put it to rest and then I can get back to remembering all the good times that we had and not let this moment in his life define everything. Because that’s not fair to him. His life was much greater and much longer than the moment it took to end it.”