Daughter of Westerly shooting victim pens musical tribute to her mother

South County

Julie Cardinal and daughter Morgan Bettencourt. (Photo courtesy Morgan Bettencourt)

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) – The daughter of a woman killed last year in a Westerly shooting is paying tribute to her mother through song.

Morgan Bettencourt posted the song, “Gypsy Soul,” to her Facebook page with the message, “To my Mother: A song that will remind me, our family, and everyone you loved, that you are always with us.”

Bettencourt’s mother, Julie Lynn Cardinal, 46, was shot and killed on December 19 at the Babcock Village housing complex where she worked. Two other women were also shot and injured. The gunman, Joseph Giachello, 66, later turned the gun on himself.

In the days after the shooting, those who knew Cardinal described her as a “beautiful soul.”

In the song dedicated to her mother Bettencourt sings, “Every time I see the light in my brother’s eyes, forever I’ll remember you… Can you hear me mama? There’s so much more I wanna say.”

The 21-year-old said she wants her family to know the song is meant to help them through their grieving process.

“All my mom wanted was for my voice, my sister’s voice, and my brother’s voice to be heard. No matter how it was heard,” she said. “She wanted the most for us, and hopefully this song will help with that.”

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