Since early grade school, the Holocaust was one of the historical events I could never forget. I can remember the newsreels that played at local movie theaters. They would show mounds of dead bodies of Jews and other ethnic populations. Their bodies were severely malnourished. Though I was very young, I could not understand why no one ever did anything. It was my first experience seeing the cruelty that humans were capable.
History estimates that over 6 million Jews died. There were other nationalities that were called “undesirables” who were murdered which included Gypsies, Jehova’s Witnesses, Slavs, Soviet POW’s, Poles, Gays, the disabled, and invalids. Their deaths totaled over 5 million.
One of my heroes from this unconceivable horror was Simon Wiesenthal. Wiesenthal was a survivor of the Holocaust who wrote on the horrors of the Holocaust and a “Nazi hunter.” He wanted to ensure that what happened to his community would be remembered. He also worked on investigations into finding Nazi criminals for prosecution. For me, one of his most memorable quotes was, “If we forget, it will happen again.” It became even more memorable after my son was murdered. When co-victims of homicide across the United States make statements in courts, these quotes should be printed and displayed in every courtroom that a homicide trial took place. Our loved ones murder should not be forgotten either. Homicide is final for the victim and their loved ones.
When the Germans invaded Poland in 1941, Simon Wiesenthal was sent to a forced labor camp and later to five concentration camps. By the time he was liberated, weighing a little more than a 90-pound skeleton, by U.S. troops in 1945, 89 of his relatives had been slaughtered. After recovering his health, Wiesenthal begun collecting evidence of Nazi atrocities for the U.S. army. He and his staff were responsible for locating some 1,100 war criminals.
Wiesenthal became a conscience for the world. In one of his earliest visits to the United States, he revealed that one of the Nazi murderers of several hundred children was living in Queens, New York. It took several years, but in 1973, she was returned to Germany, tried, and jailed. Simon and other Americans confronted Americans with the facts that the United States had become a haven for thousands of Nazi criminals. In 1970, The Department of Justice established a special office to help identify and deal with Nazi War Criminals.
Even with the evidence of the horrors of the Holocaust, we still see the hate present-day Nazi supporters shout and chant as they march in protest in our American cities. We see POMC families who- after many years- are still spending countless hours and many thousands of their own dollars looking for justice for their loved one or ones who were murdered if their case is unsolved. Wiesenthal was asked why he worked so hard to track down Nazis all of his life. He would say, “I will be able to say… ‘I did not forget you when he meets up with his loved ones’. POMC members say, “I want justice for my loved one, the truth to be known, and the guilty be kept from murdering others.” Who understands Simon’s dedication more than the families in our own POMC Chapters? Unsolved homicides should be a priority of our current justice system. Our fellow POMC friends and their loved ones deserve justice and to be remembered.
Tragically, each year there are over 16, 238 murders per year in the United States; this averages out to be around 44 murders per day. This is why we celebrate our “Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.” POMC’s vision is to provide support and assistance to all survivors of homicide victims while working to create a world free of murder.
September 25th is the National Day of Remembrance for murder victims. POMC believes that honoring
the memory of victims who have been killed by violence and acknowledging the resulting long-term trauma for families, communities, and the Nation, is an important way of promoting public awareness of the impact of violent crimes and remembering our loved ones. POMC Chapters and other organizations will be holding events around the Nation to commemorate the “Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.”
We hope as many of you as possible can attend our “Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims” this September 25 at Mt. View Cemetery. It is a special day to celebrate their lives and remember them.
Looking forward to seeing you, Mary Elledge
(The following article is from Pamela Brewer. I would like to thank her for her courage and love for fellow co-victims of homicide. Pamela’s letter is enthralling. She tells the truth in order to help others. Thank you, Pamela.)
August 15, 2017 marks the 14th anniversary of the murder of my daughter, Jodi Marie Brewer. There was 10 years that I throw my life away. Jodi was killed in 2003 at the age of 19. My husband, Jodi’s father, died 3 years later, 2006. I believed my life was over. I was 43 years old at that time.
My second daughter, Jacqueline, went into foster care. After attempting suicide, I lost the job I had for 17 years. I felt I had nothing left to live for. I had a mental breakdown. I did a role reversal after Jodi’s death. I got into IV drug use, prostitution, and became homeless.
Before my losses, I was use to making $50,000. a year in the casino industry. After that, I lost my identity. I had been an employee, wife, and mother. When that was gone, along with my mind, there was really nothing left for me. I can remember thinking how this killer had taken my daughter’s life and how he was not going to get me too. Nevertheless, he did!
Luckily, I always had a mustard seed of faith instilled when I was young by my favorite Aunt Hazel when I stubbornly started to step out of my darkness. I felt like my life had not only turned upside down but it also felt like a mountain had fallen on it.
I finally saw a ray of light one day and decided to climb one-step at a time in that direction. It turned out to be Jesus with his arms stretched out welcoming we back home. Oh prodigal one!
It has been 14 years and I am going to be a grandma for Christmas. Life goes on. My daughter, Jacqueline, has emerged from her drug addiction as I did. Finally, we are both happy. A special thanks, Pamela Brewer
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look
fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
The serial killer, Neal Falls, was killed, ironically, by his own gun. He died on July 22, 2015 by a prostitute named Heather. She was fighting for her own life. The police found a list of six more women he planned to kill. Thank God. This particular case of madness is over. It is important to have your case solved.
Tragically, each year there are 16,238 murders per year in the United States; this averages out to around 44 murders per day. The mission of The National Organization Of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc. ( POMC) is to make a difference through 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.
September 25th is the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. This commemorative day was established as a National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims as a result of unanimously passed resolutions by the U.S. Senate on October 16, 2007 (S. Res. 326) and the U.S. House of Representatives on May 14, 2007 (H. Res. 223).
POMC believes that honoring the memory of victims who have been killed by violence and acknowledging the resulting long-term trauma for families, communities, and the Nation, is an important way of promoting public awareness of the impact of violent crime and remembering our loved ones. POMC Chapters and other organizations will be holding events around the Nation to commemorate the Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.
September 25th is significant because on that date in 1978, nineteen year old Lisa Hullinger was murdered while studying in Germany. Lisa’s parents, Robert and Charlotte Hullinger, founded Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc. POMC provides nationwide assistance to anyone who has lost a loved one to murder and hats over 60 chapters and 100 contact people throughout the United States.
The Portland Chapter would like to ask members to please send a short note or card to Lois and Lewis Hess in memory of the murder of their second child, Carol Ann Hess, on 12/17/2016. Their son, Stuart Hess was murdered in 1975. Lois and Lewis are eighty-nine and ninety-two years old. It is beyond comprehension to lose more than one child and even harder when we become senior citizens. To make matters worse, their daughter was murdered by her adopted son.
Their address is Lois and Lewis Hess, 800 A, Southerly Rd., Apt. 1021, Towson, MD 21286-8436. Thank you, for your kindness. The Hess family lives so far from us. We appreciate your help.
The Greater Portland Area Chapter is proud to announce that will we be offering beautiful ornaments, our theme song recorded, and holiday angels for sale at our “Day of Remembrance “on September 25, 2017. The special ornament was handmade from porcelain by the Peace House. There is a poem written about it as well in our program. Our theme song is recorded on a disc for sale and gorgeous colorful angels that are handmade by Lesia Kennedy to be taken home and put on your holiday tree or hung in memory of your loved one in your home all year. All of the profits from these items will be donated to our memorial wall.
We are so grateful to all of the people who have worked so hard to make them for us. This money will help us finish our wall. Thank you all so much.
Every minute, about 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, according to the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” The month of October is the month that has been set aside to draw attention to the plight of the many victims left behind. The U.S. Department of Justice also indicates that women are twice as likely to be murdered by their domestic partners as men.
Adult domestic violence is one of the most serious health and criminal justice issues facing women today. Most victims of domestic violence are women. Between 91-95% of all documented violence cases are women being abused by male partners. About 1-2 % is physical abuse of men by their female partners and 3-8% of the total number of reported domestic violence cases involve same-sex relationship abuse.
Every woman is at risk for becoming a victim of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse has no regard for socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, religion, employment status, physical ability, age, education, marital status or sexual orientation according to the Suny Downtown Medical Center.
Batters use emotional, psychological, economic, and physical abuse as ways of controlling their victims. From the same report, abuse is not cause by stress, anger, or alcohol or other drug involvement. It is hard for people to understand why people batter their partners. We all have heard the excuses like, “he had a bad day”, “she or he lost their temper,” or “he was drunk and out of control.” However, battering has more to do with the batter’s attitudes, beliefs, and relationships to others than it has to do with the common excuses we hear. Some men believe that they have the right to control their spouses. They believe that women need to be disciplined. These beliefs and society’s tolerance of domestic violence makes it one of the most difficult problems for our society to overcome.
Children in families where there is domestic violence suffer negative consequences even if they are not targets of the abuse. They often have health problems, sleeping difficulties, acting out behaviors, and feelings of guilt, anger, fear, and powerlessness. It has also been found that boys who witness abuse of their mothers often grew up to be abusers themselves. Even though the vast majority of victims of domestic violence are women, males are becoming increasingly the victims of domestic violence. The California Department of Justice states that the arrest for female perpetrators of domestic violence doubled between the years 1991 and 1996. Research also indicates that women who are assaulted by their male partners are 9 times more likely to tell the police or other persons than men are who are assaulted by their wives.
There is no question that we, as a country, must put more resources together so that we can eliminate domestic violence. Our justice system needs more sanctions to protect those who are victims of abuse. We also need safe houses and more support for families when there is evidence of domestic abuse.
For our “Holiday Memorial on December 5th, if we do not have a picture of your loved one already, please mail or e-mail it to: Pat Schwiebert at 2116 N. E. 18th Street, Portland . OR 97212. Her e-mail is: email@example.com. Pat needs the pictures as soon as possible so she can include them in our slide show. Your loved one’s name will be read out loud even if we do not have a picture on our board.
We are so grateful to Pat and her family at “The Peace House”, where we hold our meetings. They spend hours decorating their home so it is beautiful for our holiday memorial. For many, this time is the most special day they have during the holiday season since the murder of their loved one. It is a safe place to be.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Aisha Kathleen Zughbieh-Collins
Amber Rhiannon Adams
Anthony Branch Jr.
Austin Joe Hrynko
Braylon Michael Duguay
Brian Elton Spaulding
Cheritee Yvonne Vance
Cheryl Elizabeth Hart
Christopher James Loftus
Coltin Jacob Salsbury
Craig C. Moritz Jr.
Dale Archie Brown
David G. Swapp Jr.
Dean Anthony Kuntz
Devan Chanel Schmidt
Douglas Oliver Benton
Glen Edward Drysdale
Harold Sloan Blanchard
Jason Michael Ell
Jason Dale Johnson
Jason Scott Williams
Jayme Sue Austin
Jeffery Ray Brown
Jessica Lynn Clark
Jodi Marie Brewer
Joseph Ben Peterson
Julio Cesar Marquez Jr.
Kathleen Lois Bauman
Kaylee Anne Sawyer
Keith Ardell Benefield
Kenneth Dylan Lambert
Kenzie Rose La Buy
Krystal Jaye Mitchell
Kyle Williams Peckham
Laura Jean Bohlen
London Grey McCabe
Lori G. Billingsley
Marcos Juan Castillo
Molly Irene McCarter
Nicolas Lamont Lawson
Nicolette Naomi “Nikki” Elias
Paul W. Miller
Rachelle “Shelly” Law
Randall Leo Gettman
Raymond Lee Myers
Rebekah “Becky” Selegue Johnson
Ryan Robert Jones
Sahara Grace Dwight
Savannah Danielle Munden
Steve Leroy Johnson
Stuart M. Hess
Thomas James Fite
William Roland Hatch III
Windy Kim Kimball
Braedon Anthony Kroeker
Luke Aiden Kroeker
(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 email@example.com, call 505-656-8039, or mail us at POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045.)
STANDARD INSURANCE COMPANY THROUGH THE MATCHING EFFORTS OF SHIRLENE G.
ANTON AND DELORES K.
JOHN H U.
KEITH AND PAT E.
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 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 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.
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 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: email@example.com. If you have any 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
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 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.