Their meeting was strained.
During a recess in the Coalville courthouse, Heidi Swapp, wife of Addam Swapp, who was on trial for the murder of Fred House, approached House's widow, Ann.Ann House had attended every day of the December trial to learn exactly what happened on Jan. 28, 1988, when her husband was fatally shot at the conclusion of a 13-day standoff with law enforcement officers at the Singer-Swapp farm in Marion, Summit County.
Heidi Swapp walked up to Ann House and apologized for the death of Corrections Officer House.
"She apologized, and I accepted that apology. But in a way, it didn't make sense," House recalls. "Heidi could have stopped the standoff at any time."
Following the apology, Heidi Swapp tersely added, "But we know what it's like being without a father," referring to the death in 1979 of John Singer.
At that point, Ann House realized that she and Heidi Swapp had nothing else to say to each other.
"Heidi was still hostile. She resents society. I don't think she can begin to understand what I feel. We live in different worlds."
A year after her husband was killed in an attempt to peacefully resolve the standoff, House and her children are spending the day remembering the good times they shared when Fred House was alive. They are struggling to lift above bitterness and to find peace in the memory of a "wonderful person and an exceptional, brave police officer."
From her son, she learns to overcome a natural urge to hate someone who has killed a loved one.
Shortly after she had attended her husband's funeral, her 8-year-old son told her: "Mommy, I'll never hate those people who shot Daddy. I don't want to live on the dark side of life - like they showed in the movie `Star Wars.' " House was moved by the boy's simple, yet profound, wisdom.
"It would be easy to hate. But I don't want the continuation of the kind of hatred that drove Addam Swapp to do what he did. Three generations after John Singer's death, their hate continues. I want my children to feel very differently," she said.
During those anguished winter days in 1988, Ann House felt as though her life had ended with her husband's death.
But the demands of caring for three children shattered those moments of "wanting to give up" and forced her to confront the loneliness, cope with the inexpressible loss and go on, she said.
Her children teach her a lot about living, forgiving and disciplining.
When her children disobey, she disciplines them immediately."I don't wait until the next day or week to discipline them. The punishment needs to immediately follow their wrong behavior," she said.
Similarly, those who break society's laws should be swiftly punished, she said.
The execution of serial killer Ted Bundy on Tuesday caused Ann House to despair for the families of Bundy's numerous victims who have suffered more than a decade before justice was served.
"Because of the suffering I have undergone during this past year, I can't even imagine how the families who lost daughters have managed to cope. It's beyond what any human being should have to endure."
In contrast to the Bundy case, the criminal justice system "worked quickly" in dealing out justice to those responsible for the death of her husband, she said.
"It's a great relief to have the federal and state trials over with. And to have it all done in a year's time is amazing."
House particularly praises 3rd District Judge Michael Murphy who presided over the state trial in Coalville.
Thursday, Murphy ruled that Addam Swapp, Jonathan Swapp and Timothy Singer must serve their homicide sentences after they have served their federal court sentences.
"To run this court's sentences concurrent with the federal sentences would require this court to disregard the death of Officer House," the judge said.
Addam Swapp, 27, and Timothy Singer, 22 - whom a jury last month found guilty of manslaughter - must begin serving a one- to 15-year sentence in the Utah State Prison upon completion of their sentences in federal prison.
Jonathan Swapp, 22, who was found guilty of negligent homicide, will begin his term of up to one year in the Salt Lake County Jail after he completes his federal sentence.
Although her grief has at times been so intense that it has caused physical illness, Ann House feels stronger now. She has vowed to become involved in supporting legislation to increase victim's rights.
With the trials behind them, the names "Singer" and "Swapp" will not be mentioned in House family's conversations.
"Now I won't have to see their faces on television or in the newspapers. I don't even want to think about them. It's over."