Tom Frost, whose daughter Lisa was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, breathed a sigh of relief around 15 minutes past 8 p.m. Sunday.
That's when a Patch reporter told him Osama bin Laden had been killed.
At first, the Rancho Santa Margarita man wasn't sure what to think. Is he really dead? How do they know? Did he die of kidney disease?
But when confirmation started scrolling across the bottom of his television screen, Frost felt a measure of relief.
“Well good, at least we’ve got that one closed out,” he said. “I’m glad the top dog finally got his comeuppance. He thought he was pretty well bulletproof. Good. At least there has been some justice here, that he didn’t just die on his own.
"If they had just captured him—oh my gosh ... This is so much of a better way to do it."
Still, Frost wouldn't mind a little proof, given all the Osama rumors of the past. “If there’s some DNA proof, then yeah. I wouldn’t call it great news, but at least it brings some closure to all this ... We don’t have to have a trial, won’t have to go through that dog and pony show like with his subordinates that were captured."
Lisa Frost was 22 when she boarded a Boston plane bound for Los Angeles, where she planned to meet her parents before beginning a job in San Francisco. Instead, her jet was the second to slam into the World Trade Center towers.
The death of Lisa, a salutatorian at Trabuco Hills High in Mission Viejo who had just graduated as valedictorian in hospitality administration at Boston University, devastated the Frost family.
Tom Frost became the shepherd of her legacy and often spoke of his daughter on television shows. In many ways, Lisa—as a representative of the best the future had to offer—gave a face to the tragedy.
Melanie Frost, Lisa’s mother, spiraled into a depression that still affects her today. Tom and Melanie have since divorced but remain amicable.
Tom often runs around Lake Santa Margarita and stops at Lisa’s memorial, kisses his hand and pats the marker twice, “a kiss from mom, and a kiss from dad.”