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SEPTEMBER 2016 MESSAGE FROM MARY
LET’S ALL JOIN TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE THE NATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
ON SEPTEMBER 23, 2016—WE HONOR OUR LOVED ONES, CO-VICTIMS, AND SUPPORTERS

Over 16,000 people are murdered every year in the United States and the same amount are murdered by drunk drivers or drivers on drugs. The mission of the National Organization Of Parents Of Murdered Children Inc., (POMC) is to make a difference through sanctions, on-going emotional support, education, prevention, advocacy, and awareness. POMC’s vision is to provide support and assistance to all survivors of homicide victims while working to create a world free of murder. We know that every life we can save will make a difference. We need to start with laws that protect society and laws that have sanctions. Protection of society must be everyone’s right no matter where they live, or their race, color or creed. One of the hardest things a family can hear is that his or her loved one is murdered by someone who has murdered before and is released early from prison.

This is why we must know the best person in all phases of politics to vote for who has an interest in the protection of society. Hearing a judge say nothing to the victim’s family and then comfort the murderer and wish them a better life should never be what a co-victim should hear after a sentencing. We all wish for a murderer to turn their life around but, many times I have not heard kind words said to the co-victims left behind or the one who was murdered. For the many judges who speak kindly of the murder victim and their family, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words will be engraved forever in every co-victims’ heart.

While it is expensive to maintain prisons and jails, what is the cost of a human life worth. How many more people will be coming to our meetings to share their story of their child or loved one murdered by a drunk driver? How many people are still driving without a license or with several drunk driving convictions on their license? Reckless driving kills too. These types of murders can be prevented by adhering to laws we already have with sanctions that detour. Every precious life that is stolen by murder or a drunk or drugged driver may be the person who would have contributed to the saving of other lives. We lose people that would have made a difference in the health and welfare of others. This is just one of the reasons we do what we do at POMC. We try to educate and speak out so that we would never even need a reason to have a POMC group.

Also, POMC wants to help co-victims get to a “new normal”. Getting to a “new normal” doesn’t mean that we will ever forget our loved ones. It means that we can remember the good times we shared and their lives have made a difference. It means that we will never forget. Our loved ones have left their mark on society. We built a memorial in Oregon City to show that their names are forever engraved in our hearts and on the wall that we see at the Oregon and Washington POMC Memorial Wall at Mountain View Cemetery in Oregon City.

So many people have contributed to the building of our POMC Memorial Wall: members, businesses, organizations, unions, and supporters of POMC. It took all of us to be able to have such a beautiful place to honor those who have been so cruelly taken from us. Normally we celebrate the National Day of Remembrance on its given day, September 25. But, we will celebrate it now on Friday September 23, 2016. The fantastic crew at Mt. View Cemetery do not work on the weekends so we are holding it on Friday, September 23, 2016. The city crew works so hard to help make each day of remembrance more special than the last. The city of Oregon City gave us the most beautiful piece of property to build our POMC Memorial Wall.

This year, we will also be honoring the latest police officers who were killed in their line of duty in Oregon and Washington. We will have a special time for them as part of our service. Again, this day is to not only reflect on our loved ones, it is a time to thank and show respect for those who are here for us and who served us---and for some it meant the giving of their own life.

Each name on our wall tells a story. We as co-victims of homicide are here to see that their stories are told and they are remembered. Please mark this date on your calendar. Knowing that we are not alone, continues to help each of us and lets others know. Rosemary Brewer, Legal Director for Oregon Crime Victims Law School, will be the key note speaker. She does outstanding work for co-victims of homicide.

All of our co-victims’ names will be read out loud. After the program, we will be hosting a free barbeque. It is a wonderful time to visit with others who understand and need understanding and support as well..

All my love, Mary Elledge


September 23, 2016, National Day of Remembrance

Mark your Calendar to attend our National Day of Remembrance on Friday, at Mountain View Cemetery at 500 Hilda St., Oregon City, Oregon, 97045 at 1:00 p.m. Mt. View is the home for our beautiful POMC Memorial Wall. This is the day we celebrate and honor our loved ones so people understand how much our loved ones will always be missed and loved. It is a National Day set aside so the United States remembers the tragic loss our country suffers from murder in the United States.

We will include a speaker, music, and the names of our loved ones will be read out loud. This year we will also honor police officers in Oregon and Washington who lost their lives in line of duty. After the ceremony, we will have a barbeque and desserts for those attending. It is a wonderful time for us to visit and share with other co-victims and friends. Everyone is invited.


“The following letter was sent to David Slone, executive producer of 20/20. I do not like to complain but, the McCanns, sadly to say, were revictimized again. They have worked for nearly eight years for justice for their daughter, Annie. They have never changed their story. They just wanted the murder of their sixteen year old daughter to be acknowledged as a murder. 20/20 has always done great work. Also, to the McCanns and myself, it is the right thing to let members know that it is important that they know that their story can be interpreted differently and changed. Co-victims do not have the final say. The McCanns said that they would rather not have the story told if it was made to look as if Annie committed suicide. They were assured that the truth would come out. All the facts were not presented. The following story was written to help get all of the truth out and to help get justice for Annie.

Please feel free to send me an e-mail, (elledge1@gmail.com) or letter, Mary Elledge, 14427 S. Forsythe Road, Oregon City, OR 97045. You can see the episode on your website: 20/20 Annie McCann.

 

To David Sloan, Executive Producer of 20/20:

Dear Mr. Sloan:

I am writing this e-mail with a heavy heart. Two of our members, Mary Jane and Dan McCann, entrusted 20/20 to do a story about the murder of their beloved daughter, Annie McCann. This is not an easy thing for a family to do. Their sixteen year old daughter, Annie, was murdered on November 2, 2008. The case is still unsolved. Annie’s body was found in Baltimore alongside a dumpster. The police found the car and the two boys that were driving it were not charged. They were released with a punishment of counseling and school attendance. Another boy, an adult at the time, was placed at the scene where Annie’s body was found because of a finger print found. He was never charged. He later went on to murder his girlfriend and is in prison for that crime.

Only one fingerprint was found in the McCann’s car and it was not Annie’s. Where are the prints of Annie and the rest of her family? Why would anyone bother to wipe the prints off if they had nothing to do with the murder? It is a crime to abuse a corpse. Why didn’t the police prosecute? What if she was not dead and in a comma when she was found? What was all was done to their daughter? This plays over and over again in her parent’s minds. Co-victims of homicide relive the crime again and again because they also suffer from the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When the details or not known, they might even be imagining worse things that happened. Knowing that their daughter was sodomized, burnt with a cigarette, and physically abused is more than horrible. Homicide cannot be resolved.

Because of being involved in “Parents Of Murdered Children” for thirty years, I have known and talked with other parents whose cases were unsolved. Not knowing is worse than knowing. Your mind fills in the blanks. An unsolved crime keeps a family from getting to a “new normal”. It makes them feel as if their loved one’s life was not valued. It also leaves a murderer out there to murder again.

The medical examiner’s official ruling of Annie’ death is “undetermined and lidocaine poisoning”. The police concluded that Annie death was a suicide because they found a bottle of Bactine near the scene where the family car was found. The bottle was more than half used. The bottle cap was not even pictured with an evidence marker. The makers of Bactine provided their opinion that ingesting 5 fluid ounces of Bactine would not cause Annie’s death. Dr. Harry Bonnell, a forensic pathologist, at no charge to the parents, wrote, “There is far more lidocaine found at the autopsy of Annie than could possibly have been produced by her ingesting 5 fluid ounces of Bactine and it has a vile taste. No human could ingest it-accidentally, intentionally, or by the third-party administration-without vomiting. There were no signs of recent vomiting reported in the autopsy of Annie.” Dr. Bonnell also went on to say, “The circumstances under which the teenaged girl might have learned or acquired and ingested lidocaine must be investigated. There is a high probability of culpable adult involvement in this death. The investigation into this death was totally inadequate to reach any determination of the manner of death, much less calling it a suicide, or an accident, or ruling out homicide”.

I understand that you might want to have had another opinion. But, why did you not also want to use a doctor’s opinion who testifies across the United States on homicide cases. You were given Dr. Bonnell’s opinion and it was not used. The McCanns had been honest from the beginning that they did not want their story told if again they would be victimized by the system. They would have rather not have the story done because it only “muddies the water”. They told you, Mr. Sloan, to cancel the story. You sent the McCann’s the following e-mail, “Understand all your points Dan. I think we will deliver in a way that knocks down the suicide theory as unsupportable. Baden says as much. So does Ablow. So do the Bayer people. And Deborah in track and questions also stick a pin in it. The woman from the funeral home throws water on it too, so cumulatively, I think you will be relieved about that.” It is extremely sad in the name of justice and the truth in Annie’s story that you didn’t leave your audience with just the facts that could be proven. You wrote this e-mail because Dan was very sensitive on how you would be handling Annie’s story. They believed what you said to them that you would support their case and suicide would not be part of what could have happened. The interview of the detective not even giving a reason why he thought it was a suicide was even a little odd.

Mr. Sloan, Mary Jane and Dan are not relieved. I talk to them a lot. They are both in despair. At this time, they have not even heard from you since it was aired. The last fifteen minutes written seemed to dispute what the actual proof was. Wouldn’t it have been more informative and truthful to say the police lost the rape test and the hard drive from Annie’s computer? Worst of all they lost her heart and brain. It was not buried with her. The police also didn’t say anything about the bruising on her head and around her ankles or the cigarette burn on her forehead when they discussed Annie’s case with them. To me, it looked as if you just wanted to give the police, no matter if it were true or not, equal billing.

The mortuary reported to the McCann’s as well as you spoke to them about the fact that Annie was sodomized. Why was this not put into the story you told. A young girl cannot sodomize herself. The McCann’s have the evidence to back this statement up. This was pertinent information. It was also painful information for the family to find out from the mortuary rather than finding the police did not completely inform them of the condition of Annie’s body. Why did you not report this in your story? Mary Jane and Dan have the upmost respect for the honesty of the mortuary. The mortuary did not have to tell what they found. They only learned this information this last year. The mortuary thought they would have been told by the police. Like many of us, why is this case being treated like a suicide?

Dan and Mary Jane had told the police and gave them other writings that Annie had tossed under her bed. If the police had more writings to prove she was suicidal, why were they not shown? Even the FBI agreed that they believed Annie was not serious about suicide. The following note was written by Annie and left on her bed: “This morning I was going to kill myself, but I realized I can start over instead. I don’t want help and I’m no longer scared. If you really love me, you’ll let me go. Please don’t go looking for me.” This does not sound like a suicide!

I have talked to Mary Jane regularly and Dan for the last two years. They have never changed their story. Having to learn how they have been treated and victimized again and again breaks my heart. I am so proud of them. They only want justice for their beloved Annie. It would have been easier if Annie committed suicide rather than be tortured and murdered. Mary Jane and I have even discussed this. Dan and she are always ready to help anyone in need or help other co-victims of homicide.

Since you promised not to do what the police have been doing for over eight years, I am disappointed. Dan and Mary Jane thought this would help get justice. Instead, it caused them such a setback. It seems if you wanted the facts to be disputed, you should have stated your story that way in the beginning since many people believe the last things they have been told. There were others who discussed how the case was handled and wondered how you could even put in that Annie suffered from anorexia and depression. The McCann’s took her regularly to the doctor. One of the doctors told the McCanns that Annie could pass the “one inch pinch test”. At that age, I know of many young girls and boys who look just as thin as Annie with no ill effects. She did see doctors regularly. If Annie had been heavy, they could have said the same thing. They could have said she was depressed from being too heavy and wanted to commit suicide. Also, when Annie was found first missing, the police refused to put out an “Amber alert”. They had to wait 24 hours! Then still one was not put out.

Finally, Mr. Sloan, I also wondered why Dr. Michael Baden also ended your last fifteen minutes by saying that it could be a suicide and that Annie could have gotten poisoned by Bactine. In a letter he sent to the McCanns in 2010, he wrote: “I have reviewed the autopsy and toxicology findings. Bactine is not a drug that is used to commit suicide and there is not enough lidocaine in a single full five ounce container to cause death—no such death has been previously reported. The high level of lidocaine present would have required her to swallow many bottles of Bactine. The possibility of another cause of death, such as homicidal suffocation—considering that it is claimed she was found dead face down in the back of the car and that the autopsy describes fresh injuries to her face and head have not been excluded. It is my opinion that Annie did not commit suicide and that further investigation as to the cause and manner of her death is warranted.”

Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist, also wrote to the McCanns saying, “I have never seen nor heard of a case of someone attempting suicide by ingesting Bactine, nor have I ever become aware of a case of someone attempting to become intoxicated by ingesting Bactine. It strains the imagination beyond what is rational to believe that a person intent on dying would choose this obscure method of attempting to take her life.”

After being a co-victims of homicide for thirty years, I have seen hundreds and hundreds of cases. I also am Chapter Leader and teach at several colleges on the “aftermath of homicide”. The scenario of Annie’s murder plays over and over in her parent’s minds. Unsolved crimes are devastating to families and friends. I have seen members barely able to survive from day to day. Before this, I had the upmost respect for 20/20. We have a large chapter and I have seen many films made about stories on the murder of their loved ones. Please consider what you promised the McCanns and help rectify what has been done to them.

I hope you will take the time to reply to my e-mail. Surely, your program understands that the aftermath of homicide is like a trip to hell for the people who live with the murder of their child or someone that they love. Murder cannot be resolved. An unsolved crime is devastating.

Sincerely, Mary Elledge,
Chapter Leader


POMC IS NOW RECEIVING DONATIONS
FROM GO FUND ME
OREGON POMC MEMORIAL WALL

On behalf of the Greater Portland Area Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, I would like to express our deepest appreciation to all of the generous people who have donated to the building of our addition memorial wall. We have a beautiful POMC Memorial now and families and friends from all over Oregon and Washington come to honor the memory of their loved ones who were so brutally taken from them. Sadly to say, our wall is completely filled. We have 500 names engraved on it.

What we are planning to do when we have enough funds is to build an additional wall that will hold 1000 more names. We have so many families who are waiting to add their loved ones’ name. It means so much to them because one of our greatest fears as a co-victims of homicide is that our loved one will not be remembered. They did not get to live the life they were suppose to. Some of the names on our wall belong to little babies to any age of adult. As co-victims, we have all suffered the same loss, the loss of a loved one to homicide. Our lives were completely changed. Homicide cannot be resolved.

What is also important is that we also educate the public when people come to see our wall. Murder can happen to any family. If people see the amount of people who are murdered, they will realize how important protection of society truly is. We need a justice system that works and laws for the protection of society. At POMC, we wish that people would never need our services. Sadly to say, we are getting more calls each day.

Co-victims of homicide need the peace and tranquility we are able to achieve at our POMC Memorial Wall. We are surrounded by beautiful sequoia trees, running water from the memorial, flowers, verses engraved on the stones that stand tall by the wall and a serenity that gives them hope and a place to gather and see that they are not alone.
We again ask for your help and thank those who have been so generous to our cause. If you would like to help, please go to the website of “Go Fund Me” and look under “POMC Memorial Wall”. All donations are appreciated and tax deductible. So many of our members are waiting to add their loved one’s name to the wall. Oregon has the largest POMC Memorial in the United States. Thank you for your help.


PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN:

On September 23, 2016, we will be celebrating our “National Day of Remembrance” in Oregon City at Mt. View Cemetery. We hope that by next year the wall will be completed. We hope to have a large attendance so more people know that it is only by joining together that we can help put an end to the horror of homicide. Again, we will have a BBQ after the event. It is free for all who attend and a chance for all of us to share and visit with each other. If you know of anyone who would like to donate to helping with the barbeque, please send any donations for the BBQ or wall to POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Road, Oregon City, OR 97045. Thank you for whatever you might be able to do.


CRIME STATISTICS SPONSORED BY: THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS AND OFFICE FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME

Homicide: One person is murdered every 31 minutes.
Rape: One person is raped every 1.9 minutes.
Aggravated Assault: One person is assaulted every 36.9 seconds.
Larceny Theft: One home is victimized every 4.8 seconds.
Burglary: One home is burglarized every 18 seconds.
Domestic Violence: One woman is victimized by an intimate partner every 52 seconds.
One man is victimized every 3.5 minutes.
Child Abuse and Neglect: One child is reported abused or neglected every 34.9 seconds.
Drunk Driving: One person is killed in an alcohol related traffic crash every 40.4 minutes.
Identity Fraud: One person becomes a victim of identity theft every 4.9 seconds.
Elder Abuse: One elderly person is victimized every 4.2 minutes.
Hate crime: One hate crime is reported to the police every 69 minutes.


FUNDING FOR THE NEW MEMORIAL WALL IS NOW IN FULL FORCE

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: elledge1@gmail.com 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.

LIST OF NAMES TO BE ENGRAVED ON THE NEW MEMORIAL WALL UPON COMPLETION

Amber Rhiannon Adams
Ashley Benson
Austin Joe Hrynko
Benjamin Redmond
Braylon Michael Duguay
Charlie Peralta
Cheritee Yvone Vance
Coulton McComb-Buehler
Craig C. Moritz Jr.
Dale Archie Brown
David G. Swapp Jr.
David Rothrock
Dean A. Kuntz
Devan Chanel Schmidt
Dorothy Renee’ Fix
Douglas Oliver Benton
Glen Edward Drysdale
Harold Sloan Blanchard
Izaak Gillen
Jason Scott Williams
Jayme Sue Austin
Jeffery Ray Brown
Jeffery Towers
Jessica Lynn Clark
Jodi Marie Brewer
Julio Cesar Marquev
Kathleen Lois Bauman
Keith Ardell Benefield
Kenneth Dylan Lambert
Kyle William Peckham
Laura Jean Bohlen
London Grey McCabe
Marcos J. Castillo
Nicolas Lamont Lawson
Nicolette Naomi Elias
Paul W. Miller
Randall Leo Gettman
Rebekah “Becky” Selegue Johnson
William Roland Hatch III

(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 elledge1@gmail.com, call 505-656-8039, or mail us at POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045.)

MEMORIAL DONATIONS FOR NEW WALL

PORTLAND POLICE ASSOCIATION
TERRI P.
CARR AUTO GROUP
KEITH AND PAT E.
MICHAEL AND DIANNE M.
DIANNE AND MICHAEL K.
Carolyn M.
KEVIN F.
CHRIS AND KRISTINA B.
LES P.
FIRST GIVING


BETH GREEAR PUTS SUPPORT GROUP FOR POMC MEMBERS ON FACEBOOK

The Greater Portland Chapter is proud to announce that Beth Greear has created a facebook support group for POMC members. To reach it use: www.facebook.com/groups/POMC.Portlalnd.Vancouver/ 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.


THE GREATER PORTLAND CHAPTER WOULD LIKE TO SHARE A STORY: NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS WEEK IS THE APPROPIATE TIME.

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.

https://medium.com/@maryjaneanddanmccann/the-color-of-puke-4284f44330d5

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?


THE FAMILY OF SHELLEY DAWN
ELKINS HELPS KEEP MURDERER IN PRISON

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


LIVING WITHOUT JUSTICE

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: pat.kuiper@yahoo.com 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. 

UNSOLVED CASES

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


SIBLING SITE IS LAUNCHED

The Greater Portland Chapter is so proud of our member, Amanda Harris, for launching her official site for siblings. Amanda is offering the Website: www.unitingsiblings.com 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: Amanda@unitingsiblings.com 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.


NATIONAL POMC SURVIVORS NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION FORM

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____________________________________________________________________

MAIL TO: POMC, INC. ENCLOSED IS MY: CHECK _________________

100 E. EIGHTH STREET, B-41 MONEY ORDER__________

CINCINATTI, OH 54202

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PERMISSION FOR ENGRAVING OF NAMES FOR POMC’S OREGON/WASHINGTON MEMORIAL WALL

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

SIGNATURE FOR PERMISSION TO
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: elledge1@email.com. If you have any questions, please call 503-656-8039.

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Oregon-Washington Public Memorial Garden
Remembering Those We Have Lost to Murder
CONTRIBUTION OR PLEDGE FORM

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

100% of Contributions are Tax Deductible

Name:____________________________________________ phone: __________________________

Address:_____________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

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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
3rd FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM

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 newsletter 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 this newsletter or contact Gayle if your address changes or you no longer wish to receive this publication.