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David Self 'could have transformed the world,' friend says

Killer in 1985 murder executed Wednesday
Posted at 10:59 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 23:24:59-04

CINCINNATI -- It's been 33 since David Self was murdered. It still feels like yesterday for Self's friend, Troy Lynch.

Robert Van Hook killed Self after picking him up in a Cincinnati bar. They went back to Self's apartment, where Van Hook fatally strangled and stabbed him.

Lynch has spent the past three decades trying to heal. Van Hook was executed Wednesday, but Lynch said he doesn't find it satisfying. He's opposed to the death penalty and doesn't like the idea of life sentences, either.

"Redemption is impossible without hope of forgiveness," he said.

Lynch said he'd like to be able to forgive Van Hook. But instead of focusing on the killer, Lynch said he's remembering his friend who was killed before he had the chance to make his dreams come true. He said he thinks of Self every day.

"He was a brilliant person," Lynch said.

Self dreamed of becoming a writer. Lynch said he's taken that on in the form of a blog that has also helped him heal as others have approached him with their own stories. 

He also said Self was artistic and "a voracious reader."

"We really missed a person who could have transformed the world," Lynch said.