“For survivors of homicide victims, having their loved ones remembered is vital. Though survivors may individually and formally remember them on their own anniversary dates or other special occasions, it was felt that it would be appropriate and beneficial for all survivors to have a special day to remember together,” according to the National POMC office. As a longtime POMC member, I could not agree more.
POMC founders, Robert and Charlotte Hullinger, and the POMC National Board of Trustees approved an annual “POMC National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims” in April of 1999. September 25th, the anniversary date of Lisa Hullinger’s, the founders daughter, death was chosen for the annual day of remembrance.
Representative John Shadegg (R-AZ) introduced H. Res 223 to establish September 25th as a National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. It was co-sponsored by Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) and passed in May 2007.
In October 2007, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senator John Cornyn’s bipartisan resolution, S Res.327, establishing September 25th as the “National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims”. The measure was co-sponsored by Senators Jon Kyle (R-AZ, and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
POMC Chapters have been celebrating the “National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims” since 1999. The first official “National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims” was celebrated on September 27, 2007. Other co-victims of homicide support groups and victim assistance have also joined together to support victims of homicide. We at the Greater Portland Chapter have been celebrating since it was first designated in 1999.
On September 25, 2009, we celebrated for the first time at the site of our current POMC Memorial Wall in Oregon City at Mountain View Cemetery. This year, we will host another celebration on September 25, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. We are again having speakers, music, presentation of the colors, a memorial tribute and the reading of victims’ names. Lunch will be provided.
We are so honored to have had Washington State join us in our endeavor to build our wall and to share this special site. In 2013, we celebrated the completion of our Memorial Wall. We now have the only memorial wall in the Northwest for homicide victims. It is the eighth memorial in the United States. Our loved ones’ names inscribed on granite will be a tribute to their lives and the fact that we will not forget. After our latest names are added to the wall, we will have nearly 500 names listed. We are in the process of fundraising to build another wall for listing more names. It will be built close to the current wall.
Murder cannot be resolved! It is part of the mission statement of Parents of Murdered Children to provide support and assistance to all survivors of homicide and also help to reduce the murder rate.
By calling on all people to remember, we show we are not forgetting our loved ones. Since the start of Parents Of Murdered Children in 1978 in Cincinnati, Ohio, there have been over 600,000 homicides in the United States. There are 3.000 people murdered every 10 weeks in the country. The number doubles if vehicular homicide is included. Victims of crime need equal rights as defendants. They deserve to be respected, offered support, and given justice. Homicide cannot ever be made right. As a nation, we must not forget the grief that family and friends suffer when a loved one is murdered. One of my favorite quotes is, “If we forget, it will happen again.” It was written and spoken by Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor.
Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote said in an earlier statement, “There needs to be a public space where we acknowledge these senseless losses to criminal acts. In a unique and beautiful way, the Oregon/Washington Memorial Wall will provide solace to families and friends of victims, while at the same time affirming the spirit of humanity that endures and to which we dedicate ourselves.”
Before retiring, Sheriff Todd Anderson from Tillamook County said, “The Oregon/Washington Memorial Wall will bring a certain measure of healing to survivors of murder victims. Most importantly, the memorial will affirm the sacredness of the lives that have been taken and help restore faith in fellow man.”
We at the Portland POMC Chapter also want to reiterate to families and friends who have lost loved ones to vehicular homicide that we consider vehicular homicide the same as murder. We cannot say enough that the names of their loved ones belong on our memorial wall.
Everyone is invited to our “National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims on September 25th, 2014. We encourage all victim assistance people, district attorneys, politicians, and all people working in the justice system to join us as we all remember. The general public is also invited to attend. We will have a barbeque after the program. The program will be at Mt. View Cemetery, 500 Hilda Street, Oregon City, OR 97045 at 1:00 p. m.
Thank you for remembering,
Lori Walswick has generously offered her time and experience to members who need someone to talk to. Lori’s email was incorrectly published in the July edition. Instead, she can be reached at:
Lori’s son, Eric, was murdered 2 years ago. She has traveled through the justice system and has a wealth of knowledge about that process and loss itself. Lori will provide support and knowledge, and ensure your conversations are confidential. I highly recommend that you give her a call or send her an e-mail. We are so lucky that she has offered to help.
The Greater Portland Chapter is hoping to get donations of food items or money to buy food for our National Day of Remembrance on September 25, 2014. We have been having a barbeque after the event and would hope that members might be able to help. If you know of a business that would like to help or donate an item, it would be very helpful. Last year, we had nearly 750 people who attended. Please call 503-701-3600 or mail donations to POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd,. Oregon City, OR 97045
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.
September 25th is a very special day;
We will be honoring victims of homicide
whose lives were so cruelly taken away.
We will remember that violence has no
Place in our land;
We join each other when we reach out our hand.
Remembering their loved ones is all families
And friends have left;
The stealing of a life is the worst kind of theft.
We will light candles to honor
Loved ones gone;
It is remembering that enablers survivors to
Violence against even one person should
Never happen again;
It reduces our humanity and causes no one to win.
By uniting, we say that this is not the way;
If we do not, violence will forever stay.
If we forget these tragedies,
They will happen to others;
So many have lost children, fathers, friends, sisters
By remembering, we are connecting with others
In their grief;
It is in connecting with others that we can find
It is important for all of us to play a part;
Helping makes a difference
When it comes from the heart.
Please remember to mark down
The twenty-fifth day of September;
We honor homicide victims
When we remember!
There will be no September meeting as it falls on Labor Day. We will see you in October.
David Sheehan, one of our members, has shared some news. A book was recently published about his daughter, Karly, who was murdered in 2005 in Corvallis. A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder written by Oregon based author, Karen Spears Zacharias can be found at:
ANN RULE says A Silence of Mockingbirds is beautifully written by a very talented investigative journalist. But, even more, this is Karen Zacharias's own story too, one of trust betrayed. A tragic book that we should all take to heart. We cannot change the past but we can save children who are in peril now. Karen has given us Karly's legacy, that of a small, bright spirit who loved and was loved. And yet destroyed by heedless caretakers. A must read. Compelling and heartbreaking."
This is not a simple love story. It is the troubling tale of a father's love for the daughter he was unable to protect. Investigative journalist and author Karen Spears Zacharias never anticipated that she would become one of the characters involved in a high-profile murder. But when she reconnects with a young woman named Sarah, who lived in the Zacharias home at one time and was treated like family, Karen discovers that something unspeakable has happened to Sarah's daughter, Karly. Compelled to consider her own culpability in this tragic case, Karen pieces together what happened to Karly through court documents, investigators' interviews, and interviews with friends, family, law enforcement officials, and key witnesses.
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: email@example.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.
Lucy Eilertson (1998)
Diana Moffitt (1987)
Donald James Brown (2007)
Kimberly Larson Reames (1983)
William (Bill) Mark Stratton (2005)
THE GREATER PORTLAND CHAPTER IS NOW FUNDING FOR THE NEW WALL FOR OUR MEMORIAL GARDEN. WE APPRECIATE ANY AMOUNT OF HELP ANYONE CAN DO. AFTER THE NEXT NAMES ARE ADDED, WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE NEW WALL IS COMPLETED TO ADD NEW NAMES. THE NEW WALL SHOULD GIVE US MANY YEARS TO ADD ADDITIONAL NAMES. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT. WE APPRECIATE ANY HELP WE RECEIVE. DONATIONS CAN BE SENT TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS: POMC, 14427 S. FORSYTHE RD. OREGON CITY, OR 97045.
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.
We are continuing to accept donations for our Memorial Garden and are very close to reaching our goal. Thank you to all that have already donated and to those that have not, please consider making your donation today. Please send your tax deductible donations to:
Parents Of Murdered Children
14427 S. Forsythe Rd.
Oregon City, OR 97045
If you have questions, please contact Mary Elledge at (503) 656-8039.
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.)
CITY, STATE, ZIP____________________________________________________________________
MAIL TO: POMC, INC. ENCLOSED IS MY: CHECK _________________
100 E. EIGHTH STREET, B-41 MONEY ORDER__________
CINCINATTI, OH 54202
Download form here
PRINTED NAME OF LOVED ONE _________________________________________________________ (This spelling will be used)
MEMBER/FRIEND’S NAME AND ADDRESS _________________________________________________
MEMBER OR FRIEND’S PHONE NUMBER __________________________________________________
(Required to verify order)
SIGNATURE FOR PERMISSION TO ________________________________________________________
ENGRAVE NAME AND SPELLING APPROVAL
Please submit one form for each loved one. Please make efforts to confer with other family members/friends to ensure multiple requests are not received for the same loved one. When completed, please mail to:
POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045. The names will then be submitted for engraving on the Memorial Wall at the Mountain View Cemetery and Park. If you have questions, please call 503-656-8039.
Download form here
Please Complete and Return to Memorial Garden,
POMC 14427 S. Forsythe Rd Oregon City, OR 97045
100% of Contributions are Tax Deductible
Name:____________________________________________ phone: __________________________
Gift in Memory of: __________________________________________________________
Anonymous gift (will not be recognized at the Memorial Garden or in published materials)
Method of Payment:
Credit Card #_________________________________________Exp Date:___________
Name on Card _________________________________________________________________
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.)
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
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.
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.
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 Hondaerin2@aol.com if your address changes or you no longer wish to receive this publication.