Articles


MAY MESSAGE FROM MARY:
A MOTHER’S GRIEF IS A GRIEF LIKE NO OTHER

Here it comes again! Mothers’ Day. For many mothers, it is just another reminder that their child was murdered. It isn’t like we ever forget! But, for some, the anticipation of the day is worse than the day itself. Mothers’ grief is like no other. That doesn’t mean that fathers don’t love their children as much. It means that mothers play a different role in the care and development of their child.

There are other co-victims who suffer on “Mothers’ Day”. There are the co-victims whose mothers or mother figures were murdered. When we become a mother, our life is changed forever. It does not matter if we gave birth to a child, adopted a child, if we had a child of a friend or family member that we loved, or married a man who had children that we cared for as our own. Babies or children will not survive without someone to protect, nourish, and love them. They are born helpless and in raising and loving them, we form an unbreakable bond. This could be called nature or a higher power’s way of protecting the young. We can look at the animal world to see how important a mother’s love is. A mother bear will take on anything to protect her young. She will fight a larger animal even if it is the father of her cub to save her cub’s life. She will fight to her death or until she kills the bear or he leaves. Human mothers can become like mother bears when their child is threatened or harmed. They have unconditional love.

One does not have to look far in the world of co-victims of homicide to see the anguish and pain mothers feel when their child has been murdered. Our life is changed forever and we do not forget. When there is no justice or a case is not solved, the load to carry is even worse. It is not the nature of things for the children to die before their parents. If a mother loses her only child, how is she supposed to act? Is she still a mother? Of course she is. But there is no word in our English language we have to use for a mother whose child had died. We call husbands whose wives have died “widowers”. When a husband dies, the wife is called a widow. A child left behind without parents is called an orphan. Yet, we do not have a word for a parent left behind after their child has died. A parent’s love has no end. It is no wonder we feel so sad and alone.

Sukie Miller, PH. D., author of “Finding Hope When a Child Dies” wrote:

The loss of our children affects us for as long as those children might have lived. We recall them at every empty milestone in the future—her senior prom, his graduation from high school and years later, as the children of our friends live their rites of passage, we think, “It might have been my daughter marrying today.” or my son will never have children of his own.”

Miller also tells that mothers could be long past their first raw grief over the death of their child but they were still brokenhearted years, sometime even decades, later. Everyone thought they had recovered from their loss, but this was not the case. It was in their private therapeutic hours together that she found that their losses still shaped everyday of their lives. They had just learned how to act recovered.

Again, this could be nature’s way of helping give babies and children a good start. Babies or even small children need someone to watch over them. It is a mother’s reward when she is able to watch her child grow up or be there when she sees their children grow up. A murderer steals more than the victim’s life. It steals the very future of all who would have been born had they not been murdered.

In 2013, Gayle Moffitt and I presented our first workshop on “Mothers Grief” at the National Conference. It was unbelievable how so many of the mothers felt the same. It did not matter the age of the mother or the child. Each mother was profoundly affected. Their grief was complicated or compounded by the murder. Unsolved murders prevented many of the mothers from moving to a “new normal”. What makes murder complicated is the fact that when a death is interfered with it becomes compounded. It is natural for humans to move forward when a loved one passes. What is so hard for mothers is that their child was their present and their future. Trials and lack of justice prevent people from moving forward. Other people’s reactions or lack of validation will continue to postpone a mother from moving forward. It is also the role of a mother to help the rest of her family, even if it means postponing her own healing. When a child dies as a result of being murdered, mothers fight with the feelings of guilt and failure. Many believe—though it is not true—that they should have prevented it from happening. We can help mothers by educating the public on the “aftermath of homicide”.

We can all also help mothers who lose a child from homicide by being there for them and listening to their story. Mothers’ Day is a day we all can reach out to support the many mothers and mother figures that have lost loved ones to homicide. Please know we are here for you. You are our heroes.

All my love, Mary Elledge


SPAGHETTI DINNER IS HUGE SUCCESS

The Greater Portland Area Chapter is so grateful to Robert Pfeifer for the outstanding job he did in planning, organizing, getting donations, and cooking for his “Annual Spaghetti Dinner” that was held to get funds for the building of our new POMC Memorial Wall. The wall will be built to give us additional space to add another 500 or more names. Michael Heimbuck, a fellow veteran from the American Legion Hall, Post 1, assisted Robert. Between the two of them we had wonderful donations to give out and increase the prizes for our raffle. Both of these men spent hours asking for and collecting donations.

Veterans from Post 1 and other Legion Halls helped as well. We are so grateful to all of the people who donated wonderful prizes and gifts to our silent auction as well. It was truly a group effort and we are closer to getting our new wall because of all of the time and effort so many spent.

Pat Kuiper, Delores Cook and Linda Momeny worked on the silent auction and helped with arranging and displaying the donations. We will run a list of those who contributed next month. The dinner and auctions were successful and everyone had a great time. Thank you to all who attended as well. It could not have been better.


THOUGHTS AND LETTERS FROM MEMBERS

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

PTSD

From Linda Blake: Mary, I’d be happy to have this in the newsletter. Anything that helps. One thing I thought of is “Through Field Tapping”, which you had in a newsletter (EMDR, eye movement). I have 2 websites I like. Magnus Tapping (for depression) and Dr. Ng. who does a power routine. Both are similar and the light finger tapping plus the eye movement STOPPED the brain Chatter. I was able to focus and read novels again, after almost 9 years of inability to concentrate. Please tell people to NEVER give up hope to get better. It’s been a long journey, and certainly not an easy one. However, today I can even talk about Melody without crying. It DOES get better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6133V2EcVIY This is Magnus, and excellent! Note that it can only help, as there are no negative aspects. The process accesses right and left brain. Clearing the obsessive or negative thoughts and feelings. Freedom!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkU1uY75U2Q Dr. Ng does a slightly different sequence and she is equally good.

THREE WAVES FOR HEALING

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

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

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

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


Upcoming Events

29th ANNUAL PARENTS OF MURDERED CHILDREN NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Date: July 30-August 2, 2015
Place: J.W. Marriot Las Vegas Resort and Spa, Las, Vegas NV 89145
The hotel is $99.00 a night for Conference Attendees. Download Conference Brochure and Registration at National Website: www.pomc.com


KATIE ROHAUER AND ROBIN HUTCHINGS BRING GIFTS TO GIVE OUT AT THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE.

POMC members were given an added treat at the March monthly POMC meeting. Long- time members, Katie Rohauer from Sisters and Robin Hutchings from Bend attended the meeting bringing beautiful handmade angels to give out at the POMC 2015 National Conference to be held in Las Vegas on July 30 to August 2. It will be held at the J.W. Marriott Las Vegas Resort and Spa. Members attending were excited to see both ladies and also were thrilled that they were making enough angels so that everyone who attends the conference will get one.

Though the ladies had not attended meetings for years because of the distance, it was as if we had never been apart. Co-victims of homicide seem to form a bond that is “never ending”. The Portland Chapter is sponsoring the Friday evening memorial event in Las Vegas. All chapters are able to reserve tables for the dinner before the memorial so our chapter will have enough tables so that all of us can sit together.

We are asking all Oregon and Washington members to please let us know if you plan on attending. We would like to include all members in presenting the memorial program. It will also be special because we will all be together. It is a great opportunity for all of us to meet more of our POMC family.

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


PARENTS OF MURDERED CHILDREN JOINS WITH MOUNTAIN VIEW CEMETERY TO HONOR VETERANS ON MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 25, 2015

The Greater Portland Area Chapter is proud to announce that we will be joining with Oregon City and Friends of Mountain View Cemetery to celebrate Memorial Day on May 25, 2015 at Mountain View Cemetery, 500 Hilda Street, Oregon City, OR 97045. Mountain View Cemetery is the site of our POMC Memorial Wall. This is our 6th year celebrating with the city and Friends of Mountain View Cemetery.

This is a wonderful opportunity for members to see our beautiful memorial as well as pay honor to the men and women who have served our country. The program includes a guest speaker, music, gun salute and light refreshments. All of our members are invited. It will start at 10:00 AM.



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

Benjamin Redmond
David Rothrock
Victor “Todd Howell
Paul W. Miller
Marcos J. Castillo
Craig C. Moritz Jr.
Glen Edward Drysda
Jeffery Towere
Dustin Finney
Christopher Lewis Chandler
Nicolette Naomi Elias
Carol Lynne Keightley
London McCabe
Kathleen Lois Bauman
Victor “Todd Howell
Julio Cesar Marquev
Jayme Sue Austin
Lynette Jarvis
Coulton McComb-Buehler
Rebekah “Becky” Selegue Johnson

(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

Bill and Diana K.
Richard and Pat K.
Grief Watch, Inc.
Rose and Brian B.
Delores and Lee C.
Alta and Michael H.
Steve and Tiffany L.
Kathy L.
Arlene L.
Linda M.
Bill and Diane P.
Milwaukie Post No 180 The American League
Portland Post The American League
United VIG Program Administration


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?


PARENTS OF MURDERED CHILDREN
AND OTHER SURVIVORS OF HOMICIDE

Greater Portland Area Chapter
14427 S. Forsythe Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
Fax (503) 656-4420
Eledge1@gmail.com
(503) 656-8039

February 4. 2015

Dear State’s Attorney, Marlyn Mosby:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Mary Elledge, Chapter Leader/President


A CHANCE TO LEARN FROM OTHERS

POMC CHAPTERS CAN JOIN TOGETHER
TO MAKE THE 2015 CONFERENCE A GREAT SUCCESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Elledge, Chapter Leader
Greater Portland Area Chapter


POMC CHAPTERS CAN JOIN TOGETHER TO MAKE THE 2015 CONFERENCE A GREAT SUCCESS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PLEASE KEEP THE NATIONAL 2015
CONFERENCE ON YOUR CALENDAR :
JULY30—AUGUST 2, 2015

The Greater Portland Area Chapter has been very excited to hear from so many of our members who are planning to go to the 2015 National POMC Conference in Las Vegas on July 30 to August 2. One of the members who called had not been to one in 20 years. This is a perfect time for Oregon and Washington because flights are less expensive to Las Vegas than almost any other state. We will be staying at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort and Spa. The resort has given us a special price of $99.00 per night. The rooms are deluxe with wonderful views and tech amenities. There is a $25.00 fee each way from the airport.

Meals will be included in the registration price and the Portland Chapter will be reserving tables so we can sit together. Our chapter is also going to be responsible for helping put on the Memorial Friday night. It will be wonderful to have a large representation from Oregon and Washington. In keeping up with the other National Conferences, we hope that it will be a special memorial for all who attend.

We will be keeping you up dated each month. Please let us know whenever you might find out that you are able to attend. We want to have plenty of table space. You can call 503-656-8039 or e-mail elledge1@gmail.com or write POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Road, Oregon City, OR 97045.



DOVE ORNAMENTS ON OUR 2014 HOLIDAY TREE

There are nearly seventy-five doves on our holiday tree;
They are so beautiful for you and me to see.

The dove has been a symbol of love and hope;
Without these emotions,
It would be impossible to cope.

Inside of each beautiful dove is a hanging heart;
Spiritually, we will never be apart.

The heart is a reminder
That our loved ones are always near;
They will never be forgotten
And that is something we don’t have to fear.

Mother and father doves share the responsibility
Of caring for their young;
They are more like humans
And being together is always more fun.

When doves have their children, they hover above;
Like all of us, this is how we show our love.

There could not be a better ornament
To hang on our holiday tree;
Doves are a symbol of love and bonding for you and me.

Tonight we will celebrate this season together;
Knowing that we all understand,
Gets us through this stormy weather.

We will call on happier holiday memories
To help us through this season;
It is loving and remembering our loved ones
That softens our pain and that gives us some reasons.

May the love for those not with us on this earth
Fill the emptiness that we feel;
And may this holiday time,
Be the time that this love helps us all to heal.

Mary Elledge


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

Download form here


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.

Download form here


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.

Download form here


JUST FOR FUN PRODUCTIONS

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


More than Just a Name: Placing a Face on Grief

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

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

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

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

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


Tacoma Violent Crime Victim Services Welcomes Homicide Survivors

Peer Support Group Meeting

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

Place: United Way Building
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 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.