One of the hardest feelings we face after a loved one is murdered is “worry”. Of course, many people worry about all sorts of things and they have not had to deal with the murder of a loved one. Yet, because of all we face dealing with the “aftermath of homicide,” co-victims of homicide are more prone to suffer with chronic worrying. The problem with worrying is that it keeps us from moving to a better place than the worst thing that has just happened to us, the loss of a loved one to homicide.

Experts in the field of bereavement all have come to the same opinion that to suffer the loss of a loved one in a violent manner is one of the hardest things a person has to face. Homicide cannot be resolved. Our loved ones will not be coming back. I could not have written these words in the first years after my son, Rob, was murdered. My tears would have gotten in the way of trying to read what I had typed and I don’t think that I would have let myself write them down. Maybe in a poem, but never to admit I would never see him again. I see this in the eyes and hear it from the voices of the newly bereaved. “Shock” is a wonderful gift we get when things happen to us that are unthinkable. We are not ready to absorb dealing with the loss of a loved one in a violent manner for a long time. We can tell people that our loved one was murdered but saying the words does not always mean we are dealing with it.

Worry is the first thing that even little babies suffer. They are not able to let people exactly know what they want so they find quickly that crying works. Anxiety, panic and dread must come into their minds when their needs are not met. They have not yet been able to communicate so they rely or other ways to let us know what they need. As a baby matures, we can see by their expressions and temperament if they are worrying. Their first smile is the perfect gift we receive from our baby. They let us know that everything is alright. The same thing can happen to us when we let people know what we need or what helps us. Smiling does not mean that we are “all better”. It can mean that we appreciate that they are there for us.

A person who is quick to smile generally is someone who most all of us will be drawn to. Smiles are contagious. Tears and sad faces are essential because they are part of the grieving process. Yet, worry really does not do us any good. If we only show our worried face, we might give some people the impression that we are not open to conversation. Worry can cause us to become ill and it lowers are resistance to fight off things that we are exposed to. Worry can affect every organ in our body.

In the first weeks and even months after the murder of your loved one, it is best to remember that you are facing the hardest thing you will ever have to face in your life. Be good to yourself. Find people who have an understanding or are just good listeners. Rest before you get tired when doing things that have to be done. Take time to learn how to relax. Your body and mind are working on overload or some people may not be able to concentrate to do the tasks that use to come easy. If you are able to get time off work, learn to relax at home as well. It is easier to avoid worry when you are not tired. Being tired makes our life bleaker.

Other things that might also help is to try to take your work time as a time that you do your best to not think about the loss of your loved one. Practice using work time as if you are going into a door that only holds----just work and the need to get something done----. You are not forgetting, you are going into a space that does not let sorrow in. Your loved one is not forgotten. They will always be remembered and loved. Remember, they loved you too. They would want you to be able to stay healthy so you can do what you have to do. Many times this includes helping others.

Though Carnegie did not write his information on not worrying for people who have lost a loved one to homicide, his suggestions are very valid and some of his other ideas are as follows:

The following might be helpful:

Don’t worry about criticism. No one truly understands your situation but you. It is easy for people to say that they would have done this or that if it did happen to them. There are so many variables when a murder happens. No one should or can judge anyone else’s reactions. Each co-victim of homicide is a hero in my eyes. They have chosen to go on and it sometimes would have been easier not to. Their grief is a tribute to how much they loved the one so cruelly taken from them. The memorial we built in Oregon City is just one of the things we have all worked so hard so that others will see that we need changes to help eliminate the amount of people being murdered in the United States.

Try to rid yourself of clutter as it causes worry. Get rid of things you have not used in a long time. Downsizing is healthy. It is a hard thing to take on but, it frees us from being taking over and it saves us the time of keeping care of things we do not even want or need.

If you worry about not sleeping, assign space that is used only for sleeping. Take your T.V. out of your bedroom. Do not even read in bed. Your mind allows you to sleep easier if the room is only used for sleeping. Sleep specialists explain that your brain will allow you to sleep better and quicker if that is the room set aside to sleep in.

Clean up clutter. Try to get out of the habit of filling your kitchen and dining room tables of things that just cause you worry and do not play a part of having a place to sit down and eat. Use your office or living room as a place to use your computer, TVs, game consoles and other such activities. You can again train your brain to associate these areas with leisure activities and hobbies. Reduce your internet activities so you have more time to get things you need done. If chores are always waiting for us, it causes us more worry.

Avoid worry by setting a budget. Your budget will help you make changes so you do not overspend. Not having enough money each month causes a constant worry. It is so easy to overspend when we are not conscious about paying our bills. Ask for help from a trusted friend or family member to get you started. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from agencies if needed. This is why we all pay taxes. There are times that a person cannot work after the death of a family member and this is why we have places for them to apply for help. Religious organizations also have funds set up to help with shelter, food and transportation.

It is important to organize your time. Maximizing your personal time is most important. After losing a loved one to homicide, time can either just fly by or just stand still. Try to do things at the same time each day. This way will help you not to worry about getting things done. You will be allowing yourself time to do the things important in helping you run your life smoothly. If you have extra time left over, this is the time you can do whatever suits you and you won’t be worrying about wasting your time.

We all need to be rational. An example would be that it does no good to worry if we do not get a job we want or if someone we just meet likes us or not. Worrying will not change any of these outcomes. We should try to focus on things that we did right. We need to believe in ourselves even though it is so hard when we are grieving. You are not the cause of your loved one’s death. Again, it is so easy to fall back in the “blame ourselves” theory. Our pain allows us the privilege of knowing how much we loved them. This is why they are so missed. This is why we are hurting. It also is so painful when we have to face the fact that our loved one will not be back. Dealing with the homicide of someone you love is like a “trip to hell”. Murder cannot be resolved! What we can do is to be with those who love us and understand or be with people who have been there too.

In closing, I want each person, including myself, to realize that worry does not make us better. A little worry is alright. But, a lot of worry makes our life unbearable and causes us stress that will make us mentally and physically ill. I hope that for 2017 each of you will reduce your “worry level”. I hope that by doing this we have more time to spend on remembering those we have loved and will continue to love. And I will always wish for a “new normal” for all of you who are suffering so much from the loss of your loved one. Again, you are my heroes. There is nothing we can’t do if we all work together. We have a song and poem written for all of us. It is called “You Held My Hand”. This is what we are all about. Our purpose is to be there for one another. We all need each other.

All my love, Mary Elledge

SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

1:00 pm
500 Hilda Street
Oregon City, OR 97045


Please send a 4x6” picture of your loved one if you want one
For our Picture Board.
(Sorry, they can only be displayed if it does not rain.)
Send to: POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe. Rd.
Oregon City, OR 97045


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.


Monday, September 25, 2017 will be the National Day of Remembrance for our chapter. It will be held at Mt. View Cemetery. The cemetery is located at 500 Hilda St., Oregon City, OR, 97045. The memorial will start at 1:00 p.m. We will have our program; guest speaker will be District Attorney Josh Marquis, the reading of all of our loved ones’ names, music, and a free barbeque.

We will have our picture board displayed. If your loved one’s name is not on it, please send us a 4”by 6” picture. If it is raining and windy, we will not be able to put the pictures out. Send the picture to Mary Elledge, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045.

If you would like to donate to helping buy food for our barbeque, please mail it to the above address as well. Thank you so much for any help you can do. We will have the new names engraved on a special paper to go along side of our wall until we can get our wall finished. It will be a beautiful day for all of us and a chance to meet new members. It is our biggest event.


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: 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.

Thank You


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: 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.

Thank You


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: 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.
Ashley Benson
Austin Joe Hrynko
Benjamin Redmond
Braylon Michael Duguay
Brian Elton
Brian Romo
Carol A. Hess
Charlie Peralta
Cheritee Yvonne Vance
Cheryl Elizabeth Hart
Christopher James Loftus
Coulton McComb-Buehler
Craig C. Moritz Jr.
Dale Archie Brown
Daniel Guerin
David G. Swapp Jr.
David Rothrock
Dean Anthony Kuntz
Devan Chanel Schmidt
Diego Aguilar
Douglas Oliver Benton
Glen Edward Drysdale
Harold Sloan Blanchard
Izaak Gillen
Jacob Ryan Davidoff
Jared Stout
Jason Michael Ell
Jason Dale Johnson
Jason Scott Williams
Jayme Sue Austin
Jeffery Ray Brown
Jeffery Towers
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
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

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




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


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: 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: 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: 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.)

NAME: _____________________________________________________________________________

ADDRESS: __________________________________________________________________________

CITY, STATE, ZIP____________________________________________________________________


100 E. EIGHTH STREET, B-41 MONEY ORDER__________


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

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: 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

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

100% of Contributions are Tax Deductible

Name:____________________________________________ phone: __________________________



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

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

Date: 3rd Wednesday of Each Month!
Time: 7:30PM – 10:00PM

The United Way Building is located in Tacoma, at 1501 Pacific Avenue. This is the same building that the VCVS office is located in. It is next to Union Station on the north side. As you pass Union Station you will see the United Way Building. Parking is on the south side of the building. Please park your vehicle in an open space and enter the building’s front entrance and take the elevator to the third floor. The conference room is Suite 312. Please call Lew Cox for more information (253) 383-5254.

Court Watch

POMC'S Court Watch Program is designed to help families maneuver through the court system. Two of the most important aspects of Court Watch are the prevention of any re-victimization to family members, and the minimizing of the emotional pain of going through hearings and trials.

If you would like support from POMC during hearings and trials or want to offer assistance, call Pat Elmore at 503-312-5681 or Allen Tremain at 503-522- 0577.

Important Notice Concerning The Newsletter:

Each month a number of newsletter are returned due to delivery problems. In addition to the initial postage, return postage is charged by the Postal Service. To minimize this expense, please write to the return address of this newsletter or contact Gayle if your address changes or you no longer wish to receive this publication.