On Sunday, January 26,, 2014, Tim and Melissa Davis invited family and friends to celebrate the birthday of their beloved son, Ryan Johnson, at the POMC Memorial Wall in Oregon City. POMC members were also included. Though the family had been in court since January 14, 2014, it was truly a day of celebration. Celebrating his birthday allowed them to smile and remember how blessed they were to have such a wonderful son and brother.
What made the event even more wonderful was the fact that the Davis family also wanted POMC members to remember their loved ones as well. They brought balloons to be released in their son’s memory as well as for all victims of homicide. Ryan‘s pictures were displayed as well as pictures of special family times. Tears were replaced by smiles as we listened to stories about Ryan. Everyone was allowed to tell stories or special memories about this wonderful young man.
It was obvious that having this special day at the POMC Memorial added to the comfort of all who attended. Looking at the names on the wall made all of us feel a special bond. We were not alone. Others have walked in our shoes. For me, being there brought our why we built this memorial. It was not built just for our “Day of Remembrance”, celebrated on September 25th. It was built to have a place to share where all of us could celebrate special days or just a place to feel safe and comforted.
Murder is like no other loss. It should never have happened. It cannot be undone or resolved. Knowing that so many people helped so we could have this memorial gives us all support and comfort. It is important for all families to know that their loved one will never be forgotten. This is what we saw on that beautiful sunny Sunday.
Comments made by those who attended Ryan’s memorial about the wall were so gracious. Calvin and Bradley, Ryan’s brothers, thanked us for attending. Seeing Ryan’s handsome and polite brothers gave us a glimpse of why everyone loved him so much. The boys are all so much alike. Watching the family pictures be taken by Ryan’s picture made the family complete again if only for a little while.
Releasing the balloons turned out to be comforting as well. The bright colors of the balloons were brought out even more by the sunrays reflecting off of them. Hugs were abundant. Though some of us had not met before, there was not a stranger in the group.
Another bonus in going to the POMC Memorial is that almost every day, someone leaves flowers by or on the wall. They add to its beauty. Knowing that others are remembering is an honor to every name that is on the wall. Some people come in groups while others might come alone. The fact that it is being used and enjoyed is a tribute to all who helped in any way that they could. It took all of us to made our memorial a success.
We hope that all of our members will visit or use the Oregon and Washington POMC Memorial whenever they can. It is our hope that the Davis family will be able to come back after their trial is over and find the peace and comfort they found for Ryan’s birthday. If you would like to attend the trial, please call 503-846-8671 to confirm it is still being held in Judge Tom Kohl’s courtroom, Washington County.
We would like to encourage all members to let us know if you are planning to meet or have already had a gathering at the POMC Memorial Wall. With your permission, it can be put in our newsletter. We also respect the fact that others might want to have privacy. Each of us grieves at our own pace and in our own way.
We would also encourage members to send articles to be used in the newsletter. We would be interested as well in you letting us know what other topics you would like us to write about. Please send articles to POMC 14427 S. Frosythe Rd., Oregon City, Or 97045; fax to 503-656-4420 or e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget our website at: www.pomc.com/portland/ .
All my love, Mary Elledge
The 2014 National Conference for Parents Of Murdered Children will be held on August 14-17 In Rochester, Minnesota at the Kahler Grand Hotel. The theme is “Rebuilding Shattered Lives, Renewing Hope for Tomorrow”. The cost of the conference is $240.00 and more information will be on the website soon (www.pomc.com). It is a wonderful opportunity to meet POMC members across the United States and Canada.
Numerous workshops will be offered along with a special panel to address situations and problems that result in dealing with the criminal justice system. A memorial is also planned for Friday evening. We hope many of our members will attend. It will be a great learning experience.
Please join our Memorial Day Celebration at Mountain View Cemetery on Monday, May 26, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. For over six years, the Greater Portland Area Chapter has joined with Friends of Mountain View Cemetery to honor those who have so gallantly served our country, including many of our own members. The service will include guest speakers, presentation of colors, a 21 gun salute, and breakfast refreshments. It may also include a fly-by. The public is invited to attend and encouraged to bring their children. It will be held at 500 Hilda Street in Oregon City, OR.
This is the first year our memorial wall has been finished for the event so it is a wonderful opportunity to honor our veterans and see our new memorial.
Though Tara Lawrence practices law in Portland, she has been outstanding in lending a hand to help POMC members who are having problems with their cases. As a former Sherman County district attorney, Tara is armed with the knowledge and advice members need. She offers her services to members who are in need of professional help. We appreciate her allowing us to use the article she wrote for “The Oregonian”. Many of our members loved ones were murdered by sex offenders.
Having our loved one murdered by a sex offender, who was let out early or is still dangerous, is one of the most painful things a co-victim must endure. Thank you, Tara for helping educate the public.
Sex offenders steal the innocence of our children. As a private practice attorney, it is an honor advocating for clients who are survivors of sex abuse. While previously serving as a district attorney, I witnessed the invaluable role that our judges play in holding child molesters accountable for their crimes. Oregonians are fortunate to have Measure 11, which provides mandatory minimum sentences for the most violent felons and sex offenders. Victims in Montana and Alabama do not have the benefit of Measure 11. The result is senseless sentences for sex offenders. In Montana, Judge Todd Baugh recently sentenced a convicted sex offender (and schoolteacher) to 30 days in jail and commented that the 14-year-old rape victim appeared “older than her chronological age” and “…was probably as much in control of the situation as was the defendant.” The victim took her life before she could be re-victimized by the judge. Is this an isolated misstep by a judge charged with the responsibility of holding a sexual predator accountable for his crimes? I wish it was. In Alabama, Judge James Woodroof recently refused to sentence a convicted sex offender for three rape charges. The judge’s initial sentencing order was successfully appealed by the prosecutor only to have him willfully order for the second time an inappropriately lenient punishment. You might ask yourself why these judges are handing down such offensive sentences. The method to their madness is based on a concept known as restorative justice. Restorative justice sounds warm and fuzzy, but let me assure you it is not. Restorative justice sounds good on paper and attempts to conceal the sentencing philosophy that victims and criminals are essentially morally equal.
This concept plays a reasonable role in minor property offenses, particularly involving juveniles, but should be viewed with extreme caution when the crimes are sexual assault or murder. A few victims want to face the predator who hurt them, but usually in the safety of a courtroom. The goal of this philosophy is reconciliation between victim and offender, not accountability through an appropriate prison sentence. The power of forgiveness belongs to the victim, not the sentencing judge. Survivors of child sex abuse should be empowered to decide if and when they grant the offender forgiveness. Oregon’s constitution provides that the criminal justice system is based on four principles: 1) protection of society; 2) personal accountability; 3) accountability for one’s actions; and 4) reformation. Restorative justice is not appropriate in Oregon, but Measure 11 is. Laws provide definitions of crime. A victim makes it personal. According to statistics, child abuse damages 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys across America. As a community we are charged with the responsibility of protecting our children from sexual predators. We cannot accept the unacceptable sentences for child molesters highlighted in the national news. After starting my career as a prosecutor I have learned that not all justice is achieved in the criminal courts. That is why individuals and institutions need to be held accountable in ways that are meaningful. It seems fitting that our federal courthouse located downtown features one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Krystle Rose Cook was quite a girl;
While she was on this earth,
She gave the world quite a whirl.
She loved being in the snow
Most of all;
While snowboarding, skiing and driving snowmobiles,
She didn’t even mind if she happened to fall.
Krystle’s life was taken before her time;
Like all of us, we wished
We would have been given a sign.
Everyone who knew her loved her so;
The taking of our loved ones’ lives
Is the worst kind of blow.
January 19th, 2014 will be “Krystle’s Birthday Party”;
To help celebrate, all of our loved ones
Will be remembered--so we won’t be tardy.
We will celebrate the fact that they were so loved;
We miss them so much
And we know they are together above.
We can also be sure they are making snow angels
Or having snowball fights;
I bet they will catch their balloons
After they are released from our sights.
As long as we remember,
They will be with us;
They are now probably skiing and snowboarding
And wondering why the fuss.
As we gather together on this special day.
We know our loved ones will always be near;
Loving them keeps them here.
The Greater Portland Chapter is proud to announce that the birthday party for Krystle Cook and all members whose loved ones were victims of homicide was a success. Close to fifty people attended and the weather was just perfect. We would like to thank all of the people who attended. This party is a wonderful chance for people living in the St. Helens area to have a chance to be involved. Everyone is always invited no matter where they live. The Cook family and POMC hosts the event. Delores Cook provided balloons for everyone to send a message to their loved ones.
According to the National Sheriff’s Association, Justice Solutions, and National Organization of POMC, there is no national uniform definition of the term “cold case” in murder investigations. In fact, only a few states, like Arizona and Colorado have developed concise definitions of the term.
As a co-victim of a son murdered seven years ago whose case has not yet seen justice, I spend a lot of time thinking about the term cold case and wondering when a murder investigation is considered inactive or cold. The terms don’t sit well with me. Co-victims living without justice never want their loved one’s case to become inactive or cold. The pain and frustration remain fresh in our hearts day-after-day, year-after-year, and the anguish is never-ending. I find myself asking "just when does an unsolved murder investigation become a cold case?”
We know there is no statute of limitations on the crime of murder. We are told that investigations are never considered closed until cleared by an arrest or other criteria which has been set by law or by official policy within a jurisdiction or law enforcement agency. Most law enforcement agencies have vague guidelines and policies on the set of circumstances that will cause an active investigation to become inactive or cold. It seems that if a case has no further leads or evidence to actively pursue it will eventually fall into this category. How are the co-victims of a homicide supposed to know if their loved ones case has become an inactive or cold case? And, how do we get our unsolved homicide case in line to be reviewed by a cold case unit?
What we do knowResearch submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice indicates there ARE three types of cold-case investigations that are done.
Clear communication is paramount for all concerned, but sadly such communication does not always occur. During murder investigations many co-victims feel confused, frustrated and angry from lack of communication. Some are wondering if their loved one will ever receive justice. This question plays over and over in the minds of the families and friends of homicide victims. In retrospect, it would be very helpful to co-victims if law enforcement agencies would determine definitive definitions for terms like open, closed, active, inactive and cold cases. If nothing else, this would at least indicate where the case sits with regards to investigative and law enforcement activity.
If you have comments or questions regarding this article, please e-mail: email@example.com or call Pat Kuiper at: 702-809-8654 to get your loved ones name listed in our newsletter. Feel free to contact Pat if you have any questions, or 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)
MARLENE Y. AND JOHN S.
JUDITH P. AND WILLIAM W.
PAT AND KEITH E.
JULIE W. AND ALOWA N.
The Greater Portland Chapter is so proud of our member, Amanda Harris, for launching her official site for siblings. Amanda is offering the Website: www.unitingsiblings.com so that sibling co-victims of homicide have a place to go where they will be understood and supported. This site will include video, chat, and telephone conference via a secure and private interface. Amanda is paying for the expenses and will be delighted to be another support for sibling co-victims. Amanda can also be reached at: Amanda@unitingsiblings.com or 623-866-3189.
Amanda Harris is now ready to start her web site for siblings. The Portland Chapter is excited about the support and understanding this new group will be for the many often overlooked survivors.
We are continuing to accept donations for our Memorial Garden and are very close to reaching our goal. Thank you to all that have already donated and to those that have not, please consider making your donation today. Please send your tax deductible donations to:
Parents Of Murdered Children
14427 S. Forsythe Rd.
Oregon City, OR 97045
If you have questions, please contact Mary Elledge at (503) 656-8039.
Please find, enclosed, $10.00 for my annual subscription (three issues) for the Survivors Newsletter.
(Please consider adding an extra subscription fee to help defray the cost for someone who cannot afford it.)
CITY, STATE, ZIP____________________________________________________________________
MAIL TO: POMC, INC. ENCLOSED IS MY: CHECK _________________
100 E. EIGHTH STREET, B-41 MONEY ORDER__________
CINCINATTI, OH 54202
Download form here
PRINTED NAME OF LOVED ONE _________________________________________________________ (This spelling will be used)
MEMBER/FRIEND’S NAME AND ADDRESS _________________________________________________
MEMBER OR FRIEND’S PHONE NUMBER __________________________________________________
(Required to verify order)
SIGNATURE FOR PERMISSION TO ________________________________________________________
ENGRAVE NAME AND SPELLING APPROVAL
Please submit one form for each loved one. Please make efforts to confer with other family members/friends to ensure multiple requests are not received for the same loved one. When completed, please mail to:
POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045. The names will then be submitted for engraving on the Memorial Wall at the Mountain View Cemetery and Park. If you have questions, please call 503-656-8039.
Download form here
Please Complete and Return to Memorial Garden,
POMC 14427 S. Forsythe Rd Oregon City, OR 97045
100% of Contributions are Tax Deductible
Name:____________________________________________ phone: __________________________
Gift in Memory of: __________________________________________________________
Anonymous gift (will not be recognized at the Memorial Garden or in published materials)
Method of Payment:
Credit Card #_________________________________________Exp Date:___________
Name on Card _________________________________________________________________
Pledged Payment (to be completed by December 31, 2014)
Please add notes on payment timing _________________________________________
Thank you for helping to create the Oregon-Washington Public Memorial Garden. Your generosity will never be forgotten.
Download form here
Turning pictures and home movies into a unique video you will treasure for a lifetime.
Tina Tanner 541-510-3075
Tana Tanner 541-935-2023
PO Box 343, Elmira, OR 97437
(Tana Tanner is a member of POMC. Prices are very reasonable for POMC members.)
We would like to get to know your loved one and gain and understanding of their lives, achievements, accomplishments, goals, and personalities. We’d like to celebrate the LIFE of our loved ones rather than remain in the pain of their death. If you would like to share a unique story about your loved one, please submit a short (1 page) letter telling us about them. Some possible ideas to include are:
Their favorite food, movie, book, and why
Their most successful accomplishment
A funny childhood story/experience
Their most exciting vacation
A unique talent
Their most prized possession
Their favorite school subject or teacher
Their educational/professional goals
A personal goal they planned to fulfill
An obstacle they overcame
A school play they may have performed in
Their favorite season/holiday
Please include your contact information as well as their full name and birth date. Thank you.
Please also include a picture of your loved one, if possible. Please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that your photograph will be returned to you.
Please mail submissions to:
Portland Area Chapter
Parents Of Murdered Children
And Other Survivors Of Homicide Victims
14427 S. Forsythe Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
Tacoma Violent Crime Victim Services Welcomes Homicide Survivors
Peer Support Group Meeting
If someone you love has been the victim of a homicide, we invite you to attend our monthly support group meeting. You will find acceptance, compassion and support.
Place: United Way Building
3rd FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM
Date: 3rd Wednesday of Each Month!
Time: 7:30PM – 10:00PM
The United Way Building is located in Tacoma, at 1501 Pacific Avenue. This is the same building that the VCVS office is located in. It is next to Union Station on the north side. As you pass Union Station you will see the United Way Building. Parking is on the south side of the building. Please park your vehicle in an open space and enter the building’s front entrance and take the elevator to the third floor. The conference room is Suite 312. Please call Lew Cox for more information (253) 383-5254.
POMC'S Court Watch Program is designed to help families maneuver through the court system. Two of the most important aspects of Court Watch are the prevention of any re-victimization to family members, and the minimizing of the emotional pain of going through hearings and trials.
If you would like support from POMC during hearings and trials or want to offer assistance, call Pat Elmore at 503-312-5681 or Allen Tremain at 503-522- 0577.
Each month a number of newsletters are returned due to delivery problems. In addition to the initial postage, return postage is charged by the Postal Service. To minimize this expense, please write to the return address of the newsletter or contact Erin at Hondaerin2@aol.com if your address changes or you no longer wish to receive this publication.