It is with a great deal of pleasure that as a POMC Chapter we celebrate the “2014 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week”. It was developed by the Office for Victims of Crime in partnership with the National Center for Victims of Crime and will be celebrated this year during the week of April 8 – 12. This year marks 30 years fighting for victims of crime after passage of the Victims of Crimes Act in 1984. The theme this year is properly titled, “30 years: Restoring the Balance of Justice”.
Before this historic legislation was enacted, there was great need for support, counseling, and even shelter for victims of crime, their families, and the community as a whole. The criminal justice system did not appreciate the importance of victim cooperation and inclusion in the judicial process. Crime victim compensation programs were not consistently available and had no source of federal support. The Crimes Victims Fund, established by VOCA, is now funded with fines and penalties paid by criminal offenders in the federal justice system — not taxpayers’ dollars. Delivering these services to victims has improved, allowing access to the programs offered throughout the various stages of the criminal justice process.
In the last 30 years, we have made great strides toward helping victims of crime. We cannot rest. It is imperative that we continue to work to secure a balanced system. Unfortunately, POMC members are all too familiar with the tragedies of the criminal justice process. It will take all of us working together to restore the balance and soften the pain of enduring the criminal justice process and prosecution of offenders.
The success of our mission begins with becoming educated on crime victimization, and as POMC members, specifically homicides. The following statistics are from 2011 however are the most recent available for homicide data:
Always, Mary Elledge
The 2014 National Conference for Parents Of Murdered Children will be held on August 14-17 In Rochester, Minnesota at the Kahler Grand Hotel. The theme is “Rebuilding Shattered Lives, Renewing Hope for Tomorrow”. The cost of the conference is $240.00 and more information will be on the website soon (www.pomc.com). It is a wonderful opportunity to meet POMC members across the United States and Canada.
Numerous workshops will be offered along with a special panel to address situations and problems that result in dealing with the criminal justice system. A memorial is also planned for Friday evening. We hope many of our members will attend. It will be a great learning experience.
Please join our Memorial Day Celebration at Mountain View Cemetery on Monday, May 26, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. For over six years, the Greater Portland Area Chapter has joined with Friends of Mountain View Cemetery to honor those who have so gallantly served our country, including many of our own members. The service will include guest speakers, presentation of colors, a 21 gun salute, and refreshments. The public is invited to attend and encouraged to bring their children. It will be held at 500 Hilda Street in Oregon City, OR.
This is the first year our memorial wall has been finished for the event so it is a wonderful opportunity to honor our veterans and see our new memorial.
The Greater Portland Area Chapter would like to thank Stephanie Schendel for sharing the story she wrote for “The Chronicle” on the brutal murder of Ed and Minnie Maurin in 1985. This was a cold case that was kept alive by their devoted son, Denny Hadaller, other family members, and a determined Lewis County Detective, Bruce Kimsey. Though it was a cold case, everyone involved devoted years of their lives to seeing it solved. Delores Cook, founder of Survivors of Murder and Vehicular Homicide and POMC Co-Leader, attended the trial whenever possible. It was a case of “pure determination and love”.
We are so honored to have Ed and Minnie’s name on our Memorial Wall. Like all of our loved ones, they will never be forgotten. Justice was finally served.
By Stephanie Schendel, Reporter for The (Centralia) Chronicle
On Dec. 19, 1985, Ed and Minnie Maurin were preparing for the Christmas party they hosted every year at their house when the unimaginable happened: They were abducted from their Ethel, Wash. home, forced to withdraw $8,500 from the bank then drive out to a rural logging road where they were then shot execution-style in their backs. The bodies of the 81-year-old man and 83-year-old woman were then dumped like garbage on the side of the road.
At the approximate time of their deaths, their friends had begun arriving at their house for the party and found it empty. Within a few hours, the couple’s family called police who launched a missing persons’ investigation. By the next morning, however, authorities located the Maurins’ 1969 Chrysler Newport in a store parking lot and the missing persons’ investigation had turned into a homicide.
The car’s battery was dead, the keys were in the ignition and the front seat was soaked in blood.
For the next few days, family, friends and police searched the rural county for the elderly couple, expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. Four days after their abduction, on Christmas Eve, a passing logger found the elderly couple’s bodies on the side of the road.
From that point on, the holidays became a dark time of year for the Maurin family. For Dennis Hadaller, one of Minnie’s sons and Ed’s stepsons, that time year was often so difficult that he said he would leave the Lewis County area, where he’s lived his whole life.
Even though the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office received thousands of tips following the heinous slayings, it was not until the early ‘90s when they learned that Rick and John Riffe, two small-time drug dealers with dangerous reputations, might have been involved.
The Riffe brothers were known around east Lewis County for their heavy involvement in the drug world. Prosecutors later allege the Riffe brothers, who did not know the Maurins, targeted the elderly couple because of their wealthy family and used the $8,500 they made the couple withdraw from the bank to later buy a large quantity of cocaine.
As detectives continued their investigation into the murders and the Riffe brothers and further became convinced of their involvement, investigators ran into difficulties while pursuing the case. While investigators suspected the Riffe brothers since the early ‘90s, prosecutors did not feel the case was strong enough to withstand a trial — police can always make an arrest, but it doesn’t guarantee prosecutors will file charges.
As a result, the case grew cold, and passed from detective to detective as the years went by. Even as the years passed, Hadaller, and the rest of the Maurin family, however, never gave up hope. Hadaller hired private investigators in the early 2000s to pursue the investigation alongside the sheriff’s office, and throughout years multiple rewards were offered to anyone with information about the slayings.
In 2005, 30-year-old Lewis County Detective Bruce Kimsey was assigned the cold case. He spent the next eight years reviewing and re-interviewing witnesses and putting together a case prosecutors felt was strong enough to file charges.
In 2012, Lewis County prosecutors agreed to take the case to trial and detectives traveled up to King Salmon, Alaska, a small, rural fishing village where the Riffe brothers had moved to in the early ‘90s, and arrested Rick Riffe for the murder, kidnapping, burglary and robbery for Ed and Minnie Maurin — nearly 27 years after the slayings took place. His brother, John, had died two weeks prior.
Rick Riffe was extradited to Washington, and prosecutors began preparing for trial.
For the six-week trial, which took place in October 2013, I attended it everyday to cover it for the local newspaper, The Chronicle. On most days, I sat in the courtroom pews with the family directly behind the prosecutor’s table.
As the weeks went on, the two attorneys and lead detective looked more and more exhausted. Several family members, who had waited decades for justice and closure, came to court almost every day to hear the testimony.
Without any physical evidence, like DNA, that linked the suspected to the crime, investigators had to rely on eyewitness testimony and decades-old memory.
In the weeks leading up to the trial, as well as during the six weeks of testimony, the two attorneys prosecuting the case were in the office seven days a week, often for more than 10 hours a day.
For Will Halstead, the lead prosecutor on the case, he said during trial he often fell asleep at midnight only to wake up two hours later in order to be in the office by 3 a.m. to prepare for that day’s testimony.
The jurors sat through nearly six full weeks of testimony from nearly 100 witnesses. About 1,000 pieces of evidence were entered into the exhibits.
When the jury returned the verdicts at the end of the month and half, the courtroom was full of dozens of people including family, friends, attorneys and police. I sat a few rows behind the family, and in the minutes leading up to the reading of the verdicts, I was nervous and anxious about the result. After sitting through every day of testimony and listening to the testimony, I understood that the hard work, dedication and perseverance of all the investigators and family all came down to the moment the verdicts revealed.
As the judge read guilty verdict after guilty verdict finding Riffe responsible for the robbery, kidnapping, burglary and murders of the Maurins, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound detective began to cry, while the elected prosecutor, Jonathan Meyer, looked down at the table in an attempt to keep himself from crying.
For the two attorneys, it was months of endless preparation, little sleep, and time away from their families. For the lead detective, it was nearly eight years of relentless investigation. For the Maurin family, it was 28 years of waiting and wondering if justice would ever be served.
Even though I had no personal connection to the case, it was one of the most powerful moments I’ve witnessed as a reporter. Later, after speaking with the family and investigators involved in the case, they also said something similar — it was as if God was in the courtroom.
When the judge finished reading the verdicts, the men turned and hugged the victim’s family. The guilty verdicts brought closure to an unsolved crime that haunted the family, the sheriff’s office and the small, rural community of Lewis County for nearly three decades.
It was a case that took nearly 28 years to close and the collaboration of hundreds of people, and on Detective Kimsey’s 38th birthday, a few weeks after the guilty verdicts, Riffe was sentenced to 103 years in prison.
The Greater Portland Chapter is proud to announce that the birthday party for Krystle Cook and all members whose loved ones were victims of homicide was a success. Close to fifty people attended and the weather was just perfect. We would like to thank all of the people who attended. This party is a wonderful chance for people living in the St. Helens area to have a chance to be involved. Everyone is always invited no matter where they live. The Cook family and POMC hosts the event. Delores Cook provided balloons for everyone to send a message to their loved ones.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 fundraising for the building of our new memorial wall. We have enough names now to finish the first wall. We would appreciate any help we can get from members or organizations supporting our memorial. Any donation is appreciated. Thank you so much.
Latest Donations Received
SUSAN W. IN MEMORY OF PETRA JOHNSON
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.