With holidays coming up and the changes from one season to another, I hope that co-victims everywhere will find peace in the fact that it is normal to feel like we do. Over the twenty-nine years, since the murder of my son, I have seen such anguish, anger, grief, disbelief, loss, sadness, depression, fear, rage, and a world of emotional turmoil. I have seen new members walk in to our meeting for the first time in such a painful state that I wondered if they would ever make it back to another meeting. Most new members do not even have to say a word. The sadness in their eyes says it all. Carrie Freitag, author, along with Margaret Kerouac wrote one of the finest books, “Aftermath in the Wake of Murder”, I have ever read. On our “Washington and Oregon Memorial Wall” in Oregon City at Mt. View Cemetery, we have a paragraph that they had written that is engraved on our memorial wall.

Carrie and Margaret’s writing is as follows:
“Murder devours innocent lives with a cruelty that is absent of values and absent of compassion. Murder breaks all the sacred rules, knows no fairness and can never be undone or compensated. It provokes fear and rage and temps us to battle it on its terms instead of ours. Murder drives even the most loving and compassionate people to the edge of that fine line that separates our respect for life from our violent potentials. The aftermath of murder takes us straight through hell where we stand eye to eye with the evil that hides behind human faces. The after of murder is nothing less than a full-blown emotional struggle.” Carrie Freitag
As I have said before, the best we can hope to get to is a “new normal”. Murder cannot be resolved. Yet, believe it or not, some of the kindest and most loving people in the world are co-victims of homicide. If I would need a favor, a kind word, or someone who would listen to me, I would go to a co-victim of homicide. It does not mean that we diminish the pain of losing our loved ones. It just means that life gave us others to ease the horrid loss of a loved one to homicide. Having family and friends that care are gifts that we are given on this journey to a “new normal”.


Those left behind can include: parents, children, spouses, grandparents, other relatives, significant others, friends, and those injured in a murder. Only after a co-victim has been able to start on a “new normal” can they be referred to as a “survivor”.When my son was first murdered, everyone was called “a survivor” if your loved one was murdered. I can remember that when I heard the term, I felt less understood. I was barely living. What is this “survivor” thing? Thank heaven for Debra Spungen, author, trainer, and mother of a murdered child. She taught the right people that it is a long process to get from “co-victim”, “survivor” and then to “thriver”. After going to her workshop, I started using the term “co-victim” because I felt Debra was so right. It is now accepted as the right way and after many years of people saying that we are not “co-victims”, I am so happy that their grief is being understood to at least let others know that homicide does not ever go away. We need the public to be educated on what happens after a homicide. Protecting the public from murderers, is also an important part of “Parents of Murdered Children”.

Another group that is affected by homicide is called secondary victims. They include witnesses, first responders, members of the criminal justice system and jurors. Though not included in the list that is used for trainings, I feel that the emergency room staff should also be included. What they see and hear has to stay with them as well. Some might feel that they are included as first responders, but I feel they should be recognized as a separate category. Many of the staff members are contacted by the co-victims when co-victims are in their earliest stages of shock and disbelief. Being debriefed and taught about what co-victims are going through would be an asset for all parties working in homicide cases. The hospital staff may also be who the newly bereaved call as well after the homicide to see how long their loved one suffered and how badly there were injured. The need to know what happens to your loved one is beyond words. Even if we hear the worst information we will ever hear, it is harder to not know and only imagine what happened. One only has to talk to co-victims whose cases have never been solved to know the anguish they go through not knowing the circumstances of their loved ones’ murder. The types of murders that are committed are criminally negligent homicide, vehicular homicide, complicated homicide (Included are: sexual assault, torture, dismemberment after death, mutilation, and delayed execution.), mass murder, murder associated with terrorism, and murder associated with suicide. The combination of murder and suicide can take various forms and each leave the co-victims in as much pain as any of the other forms of homicide.


Losses co-victims feel are devastating. Our world has changed forever. So many of us feel like our lives are over. It does not mean that we want to commit suicide, it just means that it is just too painful to live. Loss of memory is one of the losses that worries co-victims the most. It is caused through the efforts of the cognitive brain to protect itself. It is scary for co-victims to feel that they cannot remember things that have happened in their past or even present. The shock of what has happened to our loved one can obliterate happenings and time from our minds.

Co-victims can also suffer the loss of sensorial perception such as the ability to see, hear, feel sensation, smell or taste. These may come back in time but, sometimes they may be lost longer because they are associated with the murder itself. If their loved one was tortured or mutilated, co-victims may only remember what they looked like after the murder.

Financial losses are even more evident after a homicide. If the victim in the murder supported the family, there is less income coming in. Other co-victims may end up losing their job because of the stress of the homicide. If a victim survived for a time before dying, there may be large possible hospital expenses before the victims dies.
What also causes losses is the loss of friends and support systems. Some friends so not want to hear about the pain and loss you are suffering. Some blame the victim while others do not know what to say. Other people might even feel the fear of “contagion”. Our new world is too scary for them.


After a homicide, a co-victim may feel that their life is uncontrollable. Nothing is the same. Their routines are totally out of control. There are more things now to do. Their new world is uncertain and fearful. The trust we had is not the same. Sometimes out loved ones are murdered by people we knew and trusted. Our ability to trust in God has also been challenged. We lose our identity when a loved one is murdered as well. The history with our loved one has been taken away. They will have no connections in our future.

Loss of feeling is not uncommon for co-victims of homicide. It is hard to love again because of the unbelievable grief we are going through. We can, without knowing, build a wall around ourselves and be afraid of what would happen to us if we lost another loved one. Rose Kennedy, the mother of John F. Kennedy, was asked one time what child did she love the most. She replied, “The one who needs me the most.” When our loved one is murdered, we cannot help but be absorbed in their loss. If our case is not solved, we feel it is our duty to find the murderer and get justice for our loved one. If a trial does not convict the murderer, we anguish over the fact that, in our minds, our loved ones life is devalued.

Traumatic grief, grief after a homicide, is one of the worst forms of grief. According to the Office of Victims of Crime, OVC”, they feel this way because of the overlap of symptoms created by the co-victim’s inability to go through the grief process because of a preoccupation with the trauma itself. According to OVC: “(1) the grief associated with the loss of a loved one; and (2) wounding of the spirit created by the trauma.” are the two distinct processes co-victims go through.”
Finally, no two people grieve in the same way. Many family members will hold back their grief in order not to sadden the other family members who might be having a peaceful period. Holding back can make us ill. Being able to share and tell your story is the most important thing on our road to a “new normal”. Please call our “telephone friends” from the list in our newsletter if you want to talk to anyone or if possible, try to attend our monthly meetings. We are all here for you. Please know that we also share being co-victims and we understand that homicide cannot be resolved.

Thinking of you all, Mary Elledge


At this time, we would like to notify our members that a new sentencing trial will start the first week in October for Dayton Leroy Rogers at the Clackamas County Courthouse in downtown Oregon City, Oregon. Rogers tortured and murdered eight women. They include: Cynthia “Dee Dee” Diane DeVore, 21/ Maureen Ann Hodges, 26/ Riatha Marie Gyles, 16/ Nondace “Noni” Kae Cervantes, 26/ Lisa Marie Mock, 23/ Christine Lotus Adams, 35/ Jennifer Lisa Smith, 25/ and Tawnia Jarie Johnston, 18.

Families of two of the young women murdered are members of the Greater Portland Chapter. Maureen Hodges is the daughter of Irene James and niece of Betty and Vern Groves. Cynthia DeVore’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. DeVore. Irene has spent nearly 100 days in the courtroom already. Our hearts go out to all of the families.

This will be the fourth sentencing trial for serial killer Dayton Leroy Rogers. Rogers, dubbed the “Molalla Forest Killer”, was found guilty in 1989 of torturing and killing six women and leaving their bodies in the Mt. Hood National Forest. In 2013, another young woman’s body was identified as Tawnia Johnston. He has already been tried for the murder of Jennifer Lisa Smith in 1988.

Please call the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office for the exact dates of the trial in case of any changes, 655-8431 or the Clackamas County Victims’ Assistance Office at 503-503-655-8616.

Chinese Buffet Fund Raiser October 17th! 4-7pm
By Chef Kent Hong

$10 Adult - $6 Children 12 and Under
American Legion Hall, Post 1
1830 SE 122nd, Portland, OR
Sponsored by Robert Pfeirer and American Legion Riders
To Support:
The Greater Portland Area Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children
(501C-3 Non-Profit - Tax Deductible #31-1023437)
Proceeds will be used for an additional memorial wall.
Auction and Raffle!
Open to Public!
To Pre Order Tickets
POMC 14427 S. Forsythe Rd.
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-8039


Eighteen members from the Greater Portland Area Chapter attended the National Conference held in Las Vegas from July 29th to August 2, 2015. It was wonderful seeing our members and meeting new people across the United States. Mt only wish would be if more members would have been able to go.

The workshops were wonderful and a perfect source of support for co-victims of homicide attending.
The National POMC Staff members did a wonderful job of preparing the staff members about who we are and how they could help. In turn, the hotel staff went out of their way and did an excellent job. We will personally send thank you notes to those in charge of at the J.W. Vegas Resort and Spa in Las Vegas.

We would also like to thank the National Office and Board Members for allowing our chapter to put on the Friday evening (after the pictures of our loved ones were shown) program for celebrating the lives of our loved ones. It meant everything to us to have a “Celebration of Life” for everyone’s loved ones at the conference. The people who we hired to help us set up went out of their way. We were so appreciative. Volunteers and Board Members also assisted us when needed.

The next conference for 2016 will be held in Orlando, Florida. Please check or conference pictures out in this newsletter. I would like to thank Lesia Kennedy for sending us the pictures. I would also like to thank all of our members who attended and helped with the program we held.

A special thank you also to Kate Rohauer for delivering and making the beautiful angels for our Friday Dinner at the Conference. Each person attending was welcomed by this “beautiful angel” sitting at the table. They were a welcome addition to the memorial that evening. Kate made over 300 for the tables. Robin Hutching also helped with the angel project. We would also like to thank members who helped us finance the “Celebration of Life “ event. It takes all of us to make it happen.

Our POMC group at Dinner

More POMC members having a good time during the conference

Mary Elledge and Gayle

Pat Elmore, Laurie Williams, and Delores Cook

Dove Balloons in flight

The beautiful décor at the conference including lighted gazebo for the memorial

Teddy bears given by the Hannah, Isaiah, and Sarah in memory of Krystle Cook, their sister


With their deepest gratitude, Mary Jane and Dan McCann would like to thank all of the Greater Portland Area Chapter members who read and responded to the “The Color of Puke”, an online account of the story leading to the murder of their daughter, Annie McCann. The story can be found at htts://

The McCann family is going ahead to let it be known to the public that they are asking the Baltimore City Police Department to reopen their case. The have enlisted the help of Dr. Harry Bonnell, M.D. to respond to their medical report. Dr. Bonnell does the second opinion for the National Office of Parents of Murdered Children. His expertise is valuable to POMC members. He also volunteers his services when giving a “Second Opinion.”

The following is an opinion from Dr. Bonnell and it will give a better understanding to those who have read the online article written by the McCanns:

“Based on my training in medicine and forensic pathology, and on my review of the information provided to me and presuming that the toxicology results are accurate, it is my professional opinion that the toxicology results are accurate, it is my opinion that:

Again, we would like to thank Dr. Bonnell for reading and responding the McCann’s case. He is truly a hero to POMC members. Again, we would like to thank all of our members who have read the story and responded. We must stick together to continue to balance our justice system.

If you would like to have your thoughts on the case printed in our newsletter, please go to the back page to contact me or e-mail it to: Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


It is an honor to share thoughts and stories from members. I never stop learning and I hope others will share with us as well. I would like to thank Linda Blake and Yvonne David for their articles:


From Linda Blake: Mary, I’d be happy to have this in the newsletter. Anything that helps. One thing I thought of is “Through Field Tapping”, which you had in a newsletter (EMDR, eye movement). I have 2 websites I like. Magnus Tapping (for depression) and Dr. Ng. who does a power routine. Both are similar and the light finger tapping plus the eye movement STOPPED the brain Chatter. I was able to focus and read novels again, after almost 9 years of inability to concentrate. Please tell people to NEVER give up hope to get better. It’s been a long journey, and certainly not an easy one. However, today I can even talk about Melody without crying. It DOES get better. This is Magnus, and excellent! Note that it can only help, as there are no negative aspects. The process accesses right and left brain. Clearing the obsessive or negative thoughts and feelings. Freedom! Dr. Ng does a slightly different sequence and she is equally good.


From Yvonne David: I have a counselor that explained to me 3 waves we can be on during the time of grieving, “a high wave”, “a low wave” and “a sneaker”.

A “high wave” is when you are having a bad day. You cry, you are depressed, just can’t function. This wave can control you. It has to gradually come down to a low wave and roll onto the shore. This “high wave” can beat us as it does to a ship being tossed back and forth. In Mark 4:36-39 a storm arose and the disciples were afraid. They cried out to Jesus to save them for they thought they would perish. Jesus rebuked the wind and said unto the sea. “Peace be still”. The wind ceased and there was great calm. This is what we need to do when a “high wave” comes upon us. Ask God to still our wave.

A “low wave” is when you are having a good day. You are happy and thing are going smooth. But then WHAM—a “sneaker wave” hits you! A memory of some kind pops up unexpectedly and triggers the grieving: a date, birthday, phone call, a location you pass by etc… A “sneaker wave” can knock us off our feet. We have to get up and continue going forward. Get on that calm peaceful wave. We all want to be on the “calm wave”, but there will be days when a “sneaker” or a “high wave” will hit us.

I have shared these 3 different waves to my friends, (real simple like) so that they may help me. I can call on them when a wave hits me. Our friends always ask us, “How are you doing, or how are you today?” It is such an open question. How do you answer them? Well since they know about the waves, they can now ask, “How are your waves this week or what wave are you on today?” I encourage you to share with your friends about these waves and have peace throughout your day.


Funding for our new POMC Oregon/Washington Wall officially began this January, 2015. Members and friends of our chapter have been generous with donations and we are so thankful. Many of our new members are waiting for their loved ones names to be put on our new wall. We are listing new names that will be engraved when the wall is completed. We ask that members will call us, e-mail, or mail the information if you do not see your loved ones name on the list. The phone number is 503-656-8039, the e-mail is: or POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Road.

We are designing the wall now and hoping to build a wall that will accommodate more names than the existing wall. We want to list all of our loved ones

If any of our members work at a company or know of anyone who would like to make a donation please let us know or it is fine for you to ask for a donation yourself. We are a non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible. Please use the phone contact numbers from the first paragraph of this article. Thank you so much for your support.


Benjamin Redmond
Carol Lynne Keightley
Coulton McComb-Buehler
Craig C. Moritz Jr.
David G, Swapp Jr.
David Kuntz
Douglas Olive Benton
Glen Edward Drysda
Jayme Sue Austin
Jeffery Towers
Jessica Lynn Clark
Julio Cesar Marquev
Kathleen Lois Bauman
London McCabe
Marcos J. Castillo
Nicolette Naomi Elias
Paul W. Miller
Randall Leo Gettman
Rebecca”Becky” Selegue Johnson
William Ronald Hatch III
Dean A. Kuntz
Eleanore Baccellieri
Elizabeth Martinez Dustin Finney
Lynette Jarvis
Lori Lynn David Rothrock
Victor “Todd” Howell
Julian Desean Morrison

(Please contact us if your loved one’s name does not appear on this paper and you would like to have it added. A form will be added to our newsletter each month to be used for adding names for the wall when it is completed. Please check the spelling of your loved one’s name and let us know if it is wrong. You can e-mail us at, call 505-656-8039, or mail us at POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045.)




The Greater Portland Chapter is proud to announce that Beth Greear has created a facebook support group for POMC members. To reach it use: Beth said that there are several “admins” of the page so she is sure it will be very beneficial to anyone who would like to use it.

We cannot thank her enough for the chance to have even more support for our members. Beth is an outstanding person who is always there to reach out to help others. She even brought a delicious dessert for our December holiday meeting. We will be writing more on this next month and giving the names of other members who are helping with this project.


There could not be a better time to share the story of beautiful Annie McCann. Annie is the daughter of Mary Jane and Dan McCann. You will also find a letter in this newsletter that was written to State Attorney Marilyn Mosby about getting help for the McCann family.

Mary Jane and Dan have written an article so that you can read the entire account, “The Color of Puke”, on line. It is a compelling story that we hope you will read:

What do parents do when their child’s apparent murder goes unexplored? That’s what POMC members Mary Jane and Dan McCann are struggling with. They’ve written of their cruel ordeal. Here is an excerpt:

“Annie died under the most sinister of circumstances. She was seen by two extraordinarily reliable eyewitnesses as lively, animated, and unbruised at a pastry shop in Baltimore’s Little Italy. A few short hours later, a few blocks away, she was found soaking wet, without shoes , with blunt force trauma to both sides of her forehead, with a vicious bruise on her backside and a bloody bra, poisoned with a massively lethal amount of lidocaine in her engorged stomach, stuffed behind a dumpster by thugs, who If they didn’t kill her themselves, were likely paid to dump her.

The best objective guess on how Annie died? It tracks pretty closely to FBI Deputy Assistant and Director Campbell’s testimony to Congress. She was lured under false pretenses from her sheltered suburban home by human traffickers, and murdered with a lethal dose of lidocaine, probably in an alcoholic drink, when she resisted the unfolding plan. That is informed by speculation, based on the facts we’ve learned; in honesty and accuracy, it is light-years beyond the impossible theory, that Annie killed herself.

What’s really needed is a vigorous and open-mined police investigation. That’s all we’ve ever asked for. It’s never been done.”

You can read the entire account, “The Color of Puke” online.

During this year’s commemoration of National Crime Victims’ Week, can we engage our POMC community to help the McCanns gain justice for their daughter?


Greater Portland Area Chapter
14427 S. Forsythe Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
Fax (503) 656-4420
(503) 656-8039

February 4. 2015

Dear State’s Attorney, Marlyn Mosby:

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mary Elledge and I am Chapter Leader and President of the Greater Portland Area Chapter OF Parents Of Murdered Children In Portland, Oregon. I am writing this letter for the parents of Annie McCann, Dan and Mary Jane McCann. Annie was murdered on November 2, 2008 in Baltimore. The crime has still not been solved. The family lives in unremitting grief and the pain of there being no justice for their daughter, Annie.

Annie’s parents are two of the finest people I have met who have lost a child to homicide in the twenty-eight years I have been working with co-victims of homicide. My heart aches at the way their case has been handled and the intense grief that has compounded because of the indifference they have faced in the nearly seven years since Annie’s murder. I implore you to please look into this case to see if it can be an actively investigated cold case.

Though we live miles apart, there is no Parents Of Murdered Children And Other Survivors Of Homicide (POMC) group in Virginia. I was fortunate to meet Mary Jane McCann from a National Conference held in Minnesota in 2014. Her story is so compelling. She has since been a member of our Portland POMC Chapter. When they hear of anyone needing any assistance or support in our chapter, they are the first to offer help in anyway. If nothing else, they offer their sympathy and prayers. We are all part of the National Office of POMC in Cincinnati, Ohio with over 100,000 members.

The family began their trauma when sixteen year old Annie was found dead dumped or placed beside a dumpster. Her car had been stolen by Paul Lee, Darnell Kinlaw, Bryant Williams, Wayne Trusdale, and Tevin Williams (phonetic spelling). A young man placed at the scene of the crime was later arrested for the murder of another young woman but, he was never questioned about Annie’ murder.

Annie organs were lost by the Medical Examiner in the case, including her heart and brain. The McCann family buried their daughter without them because they were not told they had not been returned. On the death report, the police wrote that Annie died of lidocaine poisoning as a bottle of Bactine was found near her body. The police said that they called the makers of Bactine whom said that there was enough lidocaine in a bottle of Bactine to kill Annie. Bayer told the McCann family that there was not enough lidocaine in one bottle to poison anyone. Witnesses who saw Anne eight hours before her murder said that she did not have bruising on her face. Eight hours later, she was found dead, reportedly soaking wet, with a lethal amount of an obscure poison in her engorged stomach, with ante-mortem wounds to both sides of her forehead and a vicious wound to her backside. If the testimony from a top expert in forensic pathology, Dr. Michael Baden, had not been dismissed, the police would have known the lethality of Bactine. One bottle should not have poisoned her. Other experts felt that it would be impossible to swallow a large enough amount of lidocaine because of the taste.

In closing, Anne deserves justice. There is no way that she killed herself. It would be impossible for her to cause the injuries on her own body or even drink the amount of Bactine it would take to cause her death. Why would she ever want to be found by a dumpster? Also, the young men who took her car were very capable of killing a young girl. One of them even did after her murder. She also would not have loaned her parent’s car.

Finally, Anne was never given an exam to see if she had been raped. Why? Finding a young girl with signs of abuse would surely warrant an exam.

On behalf of our POMC Chapter, I again implore you to please look into the case of Annie Malinchak-McCann. Her family is devastated. Two crimes have been committed against their beloved daughter, murder and no justice. When there is no justice, our loved ones’ lives are devalued.

Thank you so much for your time. We appreciate your help and support for the McCann family. Please let us know what else we can do.

Mary Elledge, Chapter Leader/President



The Greater Portland Area Chapter would like to challenge all of the POMC Chapters to see who can get the most members to attend the 2015 POMC National Conference in Las Vegas on July 30 to August 2, 2015. National Office is offering a $150.00 gift certificate to the chapter who has the most members in attendance. This will be a perfect time for all POMC members to be able to attend because flights are less expensive flying to Las Vegas than only one other destination in the United States.

We will be staying at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort and Spa. The resort has given us a special price of $99.00 per night. The rooms are deluxe with wonderful views and tech amenities. There is only a $25.00 fee each way to the airport. If you are planning to attend, we recommend that you make reservations. The numbers at the hotel are 877-622-3140 or 800-582-2996. Please ask for group reservations for Parents Of Murdered Children. This is important because in order to get the special price for your room, you must mention POMC. If you put your reservation on your credit card, you have 24 hours before your room is available to cancel and get your deposit refunded. There will be only so many rooms available.

Registrations are $240.00 which includes meals. There will be a hospitality room and workshops that will provide outstanding presenters to provide the latest in help and information for professional and co-victims of homicide. There also will be speakers and entertainment.

Chapters will be able to reserve tables for meals so it will also be a wonderful time for the larger chapters to see members they might not have seen for years. It is an opportunity to be with people who understand and a chance to learn what other states and the justice system are doing for co-victims of homicide.

The Marriott is off the strip so it will be a peaceful place to also relax. There are shuttles for those who will like to go the Los Vegas Strip, malls, museums, Hoover Dam, and many other attractions. Of course, shopping is readily available. Your conference can also be a vacation time. We are given the special room price, $99.00, for three days before and three days after the conference.

The conference committee is working hard to make this 2015 conference a place that fits the needs and supports all who attend. It should be a positive experience for all. Look for you there…

Mary Elledge, Chapter Leader
Greater Portland Area Chapter


The Greater Portland Area Chapter would like to challenge all of the POMC Chapters to see who can get the most members to attend the 2015 POMC National Conference in Las Vegas on July 30 to August 2. National Office is offering a $150.00 gift certificate to the chapter who has the most members in attendance. With the conference in Las Vegas, flights are less expensive than most other destinations.

We will be staying at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort and Spa. The resort has given us a special price of $99.00 per night. The rooms are deluxe with wonderful views and tech amenities. There is only a $25.00 fee each way to the airport. If you are planning to attend, we recommend that you make reservations. The number at the hotel is 702-869-777. Please ask for group reservations for Parents Of Murdered Children. This is important because in order to get the special price for your room, you must mention POMC. If you put your reservation on your credit card, you have 24 hours before your room is available to cancel and get your deposit refunded. There will be only so many rooms available.

Registrations are $240.00 which includes meals. There will be a hospitality room and workshops that will provide outstanding presenters to provide the latest in help and information for professional and co-victims of homicide. There also will be speakers and entertainment.

Chapters will be able to reserve tables for meals so it will also be a wonderful time for the larger chapters to see members they might not have seen for years. It is an opportunity to be with people who understand and a chance to learn what other states and the justice system are doing for co-victims of homicide.

The Marriott is off the strip so it will be a peaceful place to also relax. There are shuttles for those who will like to go the Los Vegas Strip, malls, museums, Hoover Dam, and many other attractions. Of course, shopping is readily available. Your conference can also be a vacation time. We are given the special room price for three days before and three days after the conference.

The conference committee is working hard to make this 2015 conference a place that fits the needs and supports all who attend. It should be a positive experience for all. Look for you there……..

The Greater Portland Area Chapter is sponsoring the Memorial Night on Friday. We are hoping to do this as a team and make it a night for all to remember. We look forward for any help from members in the Portland Chapter who are planning to attend. It will be so good for all of us to be together. It is also a chance for Oregon and Washington members to meet their fellow Oregon and Washington POMC members besides all of the other chapter members. I personally have never met such wonderful members in my entire life.


Shelley Dawn Elkins, born on May 31, 1968, was a beautiful twenty year old woman who had loving parents, Nina and Don Elkins, and a devoted loving sister, Sharon Christensen. Shelley was engaged and was living in own home with her fiancé when she was murdered on May 31, 1989.

Dail Ryan Yates waited for her fiancé, his cousin, to go to work early in the morning when he decided to murder Shelley. He strangled her. He showed no remorse. In fact, six months earlier he shot and killed a man in Estacada, Oregon. He was charged with the man’s murder and kept in jail until his trial. Unfortunately, he was found not guilty. He had claimed self-defense. It was less than a month later, that he murdered Shelley. For a family, it is unbearable to think that if justice had been handed out their daughter might not have been murdered.

After the murder of Shelley, Yates was found guilty and given life with the minimum of 25 years. On February 18, 2014, he was given a parole exit hearing. He had served his twenty-five years.

Shelley’s sister, Sharon, spent hours contacting people to write letters against Dail’s release and working with Victims Specialist Attorney Rosemary Brewer to get information and evidence that Dail Yates was a risk to society if he were let out. Ms. Brewer is an excellent attorney who is well prepared to assist victims trying to keep a murderer behind bars when they are likely to commit a crime again. Again, Mr. Yates was not sorry he murdered Shelley.

The Parole Board listened to both sides and ruled that Dail Ryan Yates should serve four more years. Many letters against his release were mailed in and eleven people were there to support Shelley’s memory. Ms. Brewer proved he was a risk. Shelley’s sister Sharon spoke as well.

As a chapter, we are proud of the Elkins family and all of those who helped keep a murderer in prison longer to protect society. We also offer the Elkins’ family our deepest sympathy and support. Your daughter Shelley would be proud. Your actions are protecting society. Shelley is and will always be remembered. We would also like to thank Rosemary Brewer for an excellent job as well as the Board of Parole and Debbie Wojciechowski, Victim Specialist . Debbie is excellent in helping co-victims of homicide go through the painful experience of revisiting the murder of their loved one.

Mary Elledge


Unsolved Homicides ~ A CoVictims’ Worst Nightmare

The murder of a loved one is the most horrific thing a person can experience.  The only thing that can make it worse is a substandard initial investigation or not seeing justice in your case.  Timely collection of evidence followed by an arrest and conviction would provide a degree of comfort, but what happens to co-victims when a thorough investigation is not done, and there is no arrest?  Many of the victims' friends and acquaintances will gradually let go of their grief over time, but the closest of friends and family will remain in a state of sorrow, haunted by the injustice of investigators that may not have conformed to rules or standard operating procedures during their initial investigation.  Not only is there no relief, but the agony of the event changes their lives forever, and becomes part of their very being.  Co-victims' everyday battle becomes their effort to get a thorough investigation.

Helplessness is a gut-wrenching emotion which plagues co-victims who are not allowed to assist with the investigation and are longing for justice.  We don't want to let our loved one down; we are compelled to fight for justice no matter how long it takes.  As the process drags on, frustration grows.  Many times, due to confidentiality, important conversations between co-victims and law enforcement are avoided, and this lack of communication can cause co-victims to feel neglected and disrespected, which often manifests itself in frustration, anger, and a loss of confidence in the investigators. Regular contact and truthfulness are two of the most important things survivors need from law enforcement. We need investigators to focus on routine communication of as much information as possible with sensitivity and without being misleading. Survivors’ perception that information is not being shared with them can result in them feeling they have been secondarily victimized. As the years pass, co-victims start wondering if their unsolved homicide could be reviewed by a fresh set of eyes, and they often look into getting their case to a cold case unit, only to find out that some jurisdictions don't even have a cold case unit.   If there is a cold case unit in their jurisdiction, cases are evaluated and chosen according to a set of criteria.  Co-victims whose cases seem to be continuously passed over for review become dismayed and even angry toward law enforcement. Anger can mobilize psychological resources for corrective action, but uncontrolled anger can negatively affect personal or social well-being. 

Co-victims who put forth the effort to examine and understand the cold case process and various factors which must be dealt with during cold case investigations are able to put the process into perspective.  They must understand that cold cases are among the most difficult and frustrating cases for both co-victims and law enforcement, and not every case is chosen to be investigated.  It helps to review the following criteria checklist used by the National Sheriff’s Association, Justice Solutions and POMC: 

Complete an application for cold case review. This application includes detailed information regarding agency reports, victimology, suspects/persons of interest, timeline, coroner, lab reports, investigation documents, weapon descriptions and media releases.  

Co-victims should also be aware that closing rates can be more successful if investigators work only one or two cases at a time.  At this point, if we find out that our case doesn’t qualify for review by a cold case unit, our only hope is that a thorough re-investigation will be done by homicide investigators. 

If you have comments or questions about this article, please email: or call Pat Kuiper at 702-809-8654 to get your loved ones' name listed in our newsletter.  Feel free to contact Pat if you would like to share your story. 


Lucy Eilertson (1998)
Diana Moffitt (1987)
Donald James Brown (2007)
Kimberly Larson Reames (1983)
William (Bill) Mark Stratton (2005)


The Greater Portland Chapter is so proud of our member, Amanda Harris, for launching her official site for siblings. Amanda is offering the Website: so that sibling co-victims of homicide have a place to go where they will be understood and supported. This site will include video, chat, and telephone conference via a secure and private interface. Amanda is paying for the expenses and will be delighted to be another support for sibling co-victims. Amanda can also be reached at: or 623-866-3189.

Amanda Harris is now ready to start her web site for siblings. The Portland Chapter is excited about the support and understanding this new group will be for the many often overlooked survivors.


Please find, enclosed, $10.00 for my annual subscription (three issues) for the Survivors Newsletter.
(Please consider adding an extra subscription fee to help defray the cost for someone who cannot afford it.)

NAME: _____________________________________________________________________________

ADDRESS: __________________________________________________________________________

CITY, STATE, ZIP____________________________________________________________________


100 E. EIGHTH STREET, B-41 MONEY ORDER__________


Download form here


PRINTED NAME OF LOVED ONE_________________________________________ (This will be engraved on the wall)

LOVED ONE’S BIRTHDATE____________________________ DEATH DATE____________________________

MEMBER/FRIEND’S NAME AND ADDRESS ____________________________________________________________


MEMBER/FRIEND’S PHONE NUMBER_____________________________ Do you want a Newsletter? Yes No

ENGRAVE NAME AND SPELLING APPROVAL_________________________________________________________

Please submit one form for each loved one. Please make efforts with other family members/friends to ensure multiple requests are not received for the same name. When completed, please mail, fax, or e-mail to the following places: POMC, Mary Elledge, 14427 S. Forsythe Road, Oregon City, OR 97045 or fax 503-656-4420, or e-mail: If you have any questions, please call 503-656-8039.

Download form here

Oregon-Washington Public Memorial Garden
Remembering Those We Have Lost to Murder

Please Complete and Return to Memorial Garden,
POMC 14427 S. Forsythe Rd Oregon City, OR 97045

100% of Contributions are Tax Deductible

Name:____________________________________________ phone: __________________________



E-MAIL: ___________________________________________________

Options :

Gift in Memory of: __________________________________________________________

Anonymous gift (will not be recognized at the Memorial Garden or in published materials)

Method of Payment:

Check Enclosed

Credit Card #_________________________________________Exp Date:___________

Name on Card _________________________________________________________________

Signature _____________________________________________________________________

Pledged Payment (to be completed by December 31, 2014)
Please add notes on payment timing _________________________________________

Thank you for helping to create the Oregon-Washington Public Memorial Garden. Your generosity will never be forgotten.

Download form here


Turning pictures and home movies into a unique video you will treasure for a lifetime.

Tina Tanner 541-510-3075
Tana Tanner 541-935-2023

PO Box 343, Elmira, OR 97437

(Tana Tanner is a member of POMC. Prices are very reasonable for POMC members.)

More than Just a Name: Placing a Face on Grief

We would like to get to know your loved one and gain and understanding of their lives, achievements, accomplishments, goals, and personalities. We’d like to celebrate the LIFE of our loved ones rather than remain in the pain of their death. If you would like to share a unique story about your loved one, please submit a short (1 page) letter telling us about them. Some possible ideas to include are:

    Their favorite food, movie, book, and why
    Their most successful accomplishment
    A funny childhood story/experience
    Their most exciting vacation
    A unique talent
    Their most prized possession
    Their favorite school subject or teacher
    Their educational/professional goals
    A personal goal they planned to fulfill
    An obstacle they overcame
    A school play they may have performed in
    Their favorite season/holiday

Please include your contact information as well as their full name and birth date. Thank you.

Please also include a picture of your loved one, if possible. Please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that your photograph will be returned to you.

Please mail submissions to:
Portland Area Chapter
Parents Of Murdered Children
And Other Survivors Of Homicide Victims
14427 S. Forsythe Road
Oregon City, OR 97045

Tacoma Violent Crime Victim Services Welcomes Homicide Survivors

Peer Support Group Meeting

If someone you love has been the victim of a homicide, we invite you to attend our monthly support group meeting. You will find acceptance, compassion and support.

Place: United Way Building

Date: 3rd Wednesday of Each Month!
Time: 7:30PM – 10:00PM

The United Way Building is located in Tacoma, at 1501 Pacific Avenue. This is the same building that the VCVS office is located in. It is next to Union Station on the north side. As you pass Union Station you will see the United Way Building. Parking is on the south side of the building. Please park your vehicle in an open space and enter the building’s front entrance and take the elevator to the third floor. The conference room is Suite 312. Please call Lew Cox for more information (253) 383-5254.

Court Watch

POMC'S Court Watch Program is designed to help families maneuver through the court system. Two of the most important aspects of Court Watch are the prevention of any re-victimization to family members, and the minimizing of the emotional pain of going through hearings and trials.

If you would like support from POMC during hearings and trials or want to offer assistance, call Pat Elmore at 503-312-5681 or Allen Tremain at 503-522- 0577.

Important Notice Concerning The Newsletter:

Each month a number of newsletters are returned due to delivery problems. In addition to the initial postage, return postage is charged by the Postal Service. To minimize this expense, please write to the return address of the newsletter or contact Erin at if your address changes or you no longer wish to receive this publication.