The Greater Portland Area Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children would like to thank each and every one of you who attended our September 2016 National Day of Remembrance. The cold and windy weather did not keep you away. It was wonderful meeting new members as well as seeing our faithful members who help get our message out. It was also heartwarming to see supporters and people who care about the loss of life because of homicide. Though the weather was cold, there was so much love and support from all those who attended. The love and warmth of those who care about those taken so cruelly from us and those whose loved ones names were on the wall warmed each of our hearts.
There were so many people that we are so grateful. But, I want to mention some of those who attended or helped sponsor our special day of remembering. It takes all of us to make it be meaningful.
We could not have done this alone. First of all, I would like to thank the city of Oregon City and the employees at Mt. View Cemetery under the direction of Jon Waverly. They spent countless hours setting up chairs, tents, and getting the grounds ready for the event. They helped direct traffic and take everything down after the event. We could not have put on the memorial without them. The office staff, Jinny King and Debra Allen, were there as well to attend to all of our needs.
This year we added a special feature to our celebration. We read the names of police officers who were murdered in the line of duty from Oregon and Washington starting from 2009. This was the year that we started fundraising for our memorial. We read each of these names out loud. There were two of the names that were already added on our wall from last year. We are hoping to get permission from the other police officers’ families to add their names to our new wall when it is finished.
We were honored to have Chief Dave Ham from Seaside to represent Sergeant Jason Goodding who was the latest police officer killed in Oregon. Officer Goodding’s father attended as well. We hope that Mr. Goodding will know that we will be here for him in any way possible. It is an honor to have our loved ones’ names along with the names of police officers who were murdered helping us be safe. We hope that others will see how important it is for us to work together for the safety of each other. Their families are truly co-victims of homicide like so many of us.
We all enjoyed the music from Piper Mark Mullaney. It was heartwarming to hear the bagpipe playing as we started our program. It was truly an honor to have the Veterans of Foreign War from Post 1324. Seven of the veterans marched and presented our American flag. Anna Marie Woods sang our “National Anthem” as we proudly stood. At this time, we would like to thank Garvin Bruhn, staff member at Mt. View Cemetery, for all his help with our sound system. Gavin works hard at getting the speakers and songs heard by all who are attending.
Mary Elledge, Chapter Leader, opened the memorial celebration. Keynote speaker was Rosemary Brewer, Executive Director for the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center. Knowing her personally is truly an honor. She is doing an excellent job of helping co-victims go to parole hearing when inmates are being released. She does a remarkable job as an advocate for those co-victims attending the hearings. Ms. Brewer is able to help keep dangerous inmates from being released. Along with the staff from the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI), she helped read nearly 600 names on the wall and names to be placed on the new wall when it is completed. Other staff members that read names from NCVLI were Rebecca Khalil, Scott Flor, Julie Hester and Melanie Kebler from Oregon Crime Victims Law Institute. The readers did a remarkable job and wanted to be sure each name was correctly pronounced.
Gayle Moffitt read our “Heart Poem” and three bundles of white and blue balloons were released by Delores Cook, Karen Cornwall , Mary Elledge and Chief Dave Ham. Our POMC song, “Thank you for Holding My Hand” by Mary Elledge ended the program.
We especially would like to thank BCT and their staff for their many years of bringing their barbeque wagon and furnishing and cooking hamburgers on their grill. They have supplied the barbequed items and condiments for grilling for every event we have held at Mt. View Cemetery. What a group!
Gayle Moffitt designed our program. Delores and Lee Cook donated the beautiful floral arrangement in front of the podium. On behalf of all of our members, I would like to thank the following people because it takes all of us to make it a success. None of us could do it without their help. Also, the most important thing is to thank everyone who attended. Without an audience, there would be no “Day of Remembrance”:
City of Oregon City,
Anna Marie Woods
Staff at Mt. View Cemetery
BCT and crew Mary and Bob Elledge
COSTCO, Clackamas Post 1324 Veterans of Foreign War
Pioneer Rental Rosemary Brewer
Starbucks, Oregon City Karen Cornwall
Fred Meyers Allen Tremain
Sherrie’s Restaurant, Oregon City Rebecca Khalil
Eleannor Baccelieri Melanie Kebler
Scott Flor Julie Hester
Delores and Lee Cook Debbie Holfield
Rose Minor Malia Sprague
Maryalice Godfrey Debbie Holfield
Rich Umpress Reser’s Foods
Melissa and Tim Davis
If we have left anyone out, please let me know. We appreciate any and all of the help we have received.
Working with co-victims of homicide is truly an honor. I have met some of the most outstanding people I could ever hope to know. I have also met some of the most amazing people who are always here to help us and they have never had a loved one murdered.
All my love, Mary Elledge
$10.00 Adult - $6.00 Children 12 and under Sponsored by Robert Pfeifer and American Legion Riders To support The Greater Portland Area Chapter Of Parents Of Murdered Children (501C-3 Non-Profit – Tax Deductable) Proceeds will be used for an additional memorial wall.
November 5, 2016 4:00 pm – 7:00pm American Legion Hall, Post 1 1830 SE 122nd, Portland, OR
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
TO PRE-ORDER TICKETS SEND TO: POMC 14427 S FORSYTHE RD. OREGON CITY, OR 97045 503-656-8039
(The following poem was given to us from a member and the author is unknown.)
I sit in haven
And watch you every day;
I try to let you know with signs
I never went away.
I hear you when you’re laughing
And watch you as you sleep;
I even place my arms around you
To calm you as you weep.
I see you wish the days away
Begging to have me home;
So I try to send you signs
So you know you are not alone.
Don’t feel guilty that you have
Life that was denied to me;
Heaven is truly beautiful
Just you wait and see.
So live your life, laugh again,
Enjoy yourself, be free;
Then I know with every breath you take,
You’ll be taking one for me…….
Good afternoon everybody!
I would like to welcome each and every one to our 2016 National Day of Remembrance. It is an honor to be able to celebrate the lives of our loved ones together. It is in remembering that we will never be apart.
This year it is even more special because we are also honoring the lives of police officers who have been murdered in the line of duty since 2009 in Oregon and Washington. We chose that date because that is when we celebrated our first National Day Remembrance here at Mt. View Cemetery.
It is because of your presence that this day lets the public know the horror of homicide. It is in all of us joining together that we let others know that over 16,000 people are murdered every year and the same amount are murdered by drunk drivers or on drugs. It will take all of us to work together so that we will be able to make a difference.
We make a difference when we vote for people who are in favor of rights for victims, speak out for protection of society, support and provide assistance for victims and co-victims of homicide and provide sanctions when a serious crime is committed.
I know that all of us here are thinking probably on the same lines. We are so grateful that you are here. Many of you here have helped to give us hope. We thank all of you who assist, guide us, and work for our rights. Sadly to say, we get calls from all over the United States from co-victims who are not receiving the rights all of us have worked so hard to get.
There are so many unsolved cases. Solving cold cases not only provides justice for those murdered, it keeps a murderer from murdering again. Solving problems for those living in domestic abuse situations
is imperative. Children need protection
Again, we are here to honor our beloved children, parents, grandparents, siblings, family members or friends whose lives were stolen from them. We bring an army here with us that understands and does not want to tolerate homicide. We all can make a difference
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank all of you here. Together, we are keeping our loved ones near and forever in our hearts.
A human heart does more than just keep us alive;
It takes more than just living
So that we can survive.
Colorful balloons will be released in the sky;
We are celebrating our loved ones’ lives
So it is alright if we smile
And a safe place for us to cry.
*WHITE BALLOONS RELEASED REPRESENT OUR LOVED ONES
Our heart is what we refer to
When we speak about love;
It is what holds us together
When we think of the world above.
Our heart is what we offer
To those we care about;
When we truly love someone,
We are not afraid to speak out or even shout.
*BLUE BALLOONS RELEASED REPRESENT POLICE OFFICERS
Our heart is what we give to show that we care;
It is the symbol of togetherness
During the best and worst times
That we share.
*WHITE AND BLUE BALLOONS RELEASED REPRESENT US TOGETHER
Our heart is the first thing we think about
When we join together;
It is how we can survive
The stormiest weather.
So now when we think about a heart,
It will remind us that sharing our love
Keeps us from ever being apart;
Having our Day of Remembrance
Let’s others know those taken from us
Are only as far away as our heart.
Remembering keeps our loved ones
Forever in our hearts!
*Balloons were released at this time.
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: email@example.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.
Amber Rhiannon Adams
Austin Joe Hrynko
Braylon Michael Duguay
Cheritee Yvonne Vance
Craig C. Moritz Jr.
Dale Archie Brown
David G. Swapp Jr.
Dean A. Kuntz
Devan Chanel Schmidt
Douglas Oliver Benton
Glen Edward Drysdale
Harold Sloan Blanchard
Jason Scott Williams
Jayme Sue Austin
Jeffery Ray Brown
Jessica Lynn Clark
Jodi Marie Brewer
Julio Cesar Marquev
Kathleen Lois Bauman
Keith Ardell Benefield
Kenneth Dylan Lambert
Kyle William Peckham
Laura Jean Bohlen
London Grey McCabe
Marcos J. Castillo
Nicolas Lamont Lawson
Nicolette Naomi Elias
Paul W. Miller
Randall Leo Gettman
Rebekah “Becky” Selegue Johnson
William Roland Hatch III
Sahara Grace Dwight
Jason Dale Johnson
Ryan Robert Jones
Kaylee Anne Sawyer
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org, call 505-656-8039, or mail us at POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045.)
DELORES K. AND ANTON K.
THOMAS AND KIMBERLY N.
BUCK AND CAROL J.
MARIAN CO. VICTIMS IMPACT PANEL THROUGH
TYLER AND LIZ K.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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: 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 would like to share your story.
Lucy Eilertson (1998)
Diana Moffitt (1987)
Donald James Brown (2007)
Kimberly Larson Reames (1983)
William (Bill) Mark Stratton (2005)
The Greater Portland Chapter is so proud of our member, Amanda Harris, for launching her official site for siblings. Amanda is offering the Website: www.unitingsiblings.com so that sibling co-victims of homicide have a place to go where they will be understood and supported. This site will include video, chat, and telephone conference via a secure and private interface. Amanda is paying for the expenses and will be delighted to be another support for sibling co-victims. Amanda can also be reached at: Amanda@unitingsiblings.com or 623-866-3189.
Amanda Harris is now ready to start her web site for siblings. The Portland Chapter is excited about the support and understanding this new group will be for the many often overlooked survivors.
Please find, enclosed, $10.00 for my annual subscription (three issues) for the Survivors Newsletter.
(Please consider adding an extra subscription fee to help defray the cost for someone who cannot afford it.)
CITY, STATE, ZIP____________________________________________________________________
MAIL TO: POMC, INC. ENCLOSED IS MY: CHECK _________________
100 E. EIGHTH STREET, B-41 MONEY ORDER__________
CINCINATTI, OH 54202
Download form here
PRINTED NAME OF LOVED ONE_________________________________________ (This will be engraved on the wall)
LOVED ONE’S BIRTHDATE____________________________ DEATH DATE____________________________
MEMBER/FRIEND’S NAME AND ADDRESS ____________________________________________________________
MEMBER/FRIEND’S PHONE NUMBER_____________________________ Do you want a Newsletter? Yes No
SIGNATURE FOR PERMISSION TO
ENGRAVE NAME AND SPELLING APPROVAL_________________________________________________________
Please submit one form for each loved one. Please make efforts with other family members/friends to ensure multiple requests are not received for the same name. When completed, please mail, fax, or e-mail to the following places: POMC, Mary Elledge, 14427 S. Forsythe Road, Oregon City, OR 97045 or fax 503-656-4420, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, please call 503-656-8039.
Download form here
Please Complete and Return to Memorial Garden,
POMC 14427 S. Forsythe Rd Oregon City, OR 97045
100% of Contributions are Tax Deductible
Name:____________________________________________ phone: __________________________
Gift in Memory of: __________________________________________________________
Anonymous gift (will not be recognized at the Memorial Garden or in published materials)
Method of Payment:
Credit Card #_________________________________________Exp Date:___________
Name on Card _________________________________________________________________
Pledged Payment (to be completed by December 31, 2014)
Please add notes on payment timing _________________________________________
Thank you for helping to create the Oregon-Washington Public Memorial Garden. Your generosity will never be forgotten.
Download form here
Tacoma Violent Crime Victim Services Welcomes Homicide Survivors
Peer Support Group Meeting
If someone you love has been the victim of a homicide, we invite you to attend our monthly support group meeting. You will find acceptance, compassion and support.
Place: United Way Building
3rd FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM
Date: 3rd Wednesday of Each Month!
Time: 7:30PM – 10:00PM
The United Way Building is located in Tacoma, at 1501 Pacific Avenue. This is the same building that the VCVS office is located in. It is next to Union Station on the north side. As you pass Union Station you will see the United Way Building. Parking is on the south side of the building. Please park your vehicle in an open space and enter the building’s front entrance and take the elevator to the third floor. The conference room is Suite 312. Please call Lew Cox for more information (253) 383-5254.
POMC'S Court Watch Program is designed to help families maneuver through the court system. Two of the most important aspects of Court Watch are the prevention of any re-victimization to family members, and the minimizing of the emotional pain of going through hearings and trials.
If you would like support from POMC during hearings and trials or want to offer assistance, call Pat Elmore at 503-312-5681 or Allen Tremain at 503-522- 0577.
Each month a number of newsletter are returned due to delivery problems. In addition to the initial postage, return postage is charged by the Postal Service. To minimize this expense, please write to the return address of this newsletter or contact Gayle if your address changes or you no longer wish to receive this publication.