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August, 2016 MESSAGE FROM MARY
“LIVING FOR THIRTY YEARS AFTER THE MURDER OF MY SON”

ROB,OUR SON, GRANDSON, BROTHER, AND, FRIEND WAS MURDERED ON JULY 13, 1986

First of all, I must start out by saying that I never thought that I would be able to live another thirty years knowing that my son, Rob, had been murdered and how he had been murdered. Not knowing that much about posttraumatic stress disorder then, I actually thought that it would never be different from how it was the first years after his murder. The scenario of his murder played over and over in my mind. One of Rob’s murderers called from jail after he was arrested and told how he helped Tony Wik murder our son. He told the different things they had to do to Rob to make him die. Tony Wik was a man who said Rob was like a brother to him and best friend. We had known him for years. What we didn’t know was that Tony was a sociopath. He could look into my eyes and pretend to be concerned when Rob was first missing. He could even cry when the detectives interviewed him. He could do all of this knowing the two men he hired and himself had murdered and buried him 10 miles from our home in a shallow grave.

If you might be wondering why I even talked to one of the men that helped murder Rob, I would have to say that knowing what happened is upmost in the minds of most co-victims of homicide. There is a need to know if your loved one suffered, how long and most important, who murdered them. The rest of the world seemed to just stand still and I could only think of the horror of what had happened to Rob. I could not even imagine that anything in my life would ever be good again. Worst of all, what could or would I do if anything happened to one of my other children or anyone else I loved. I could understand how a person depressed might feel about not wanting to live. The grief I felt was like my heart was being crushed and there was nothing I could do. I also knew that I was also compelled to see that my daughters and grandchildren were alright and the other people I loved were alright as well. Somehow I knew that we were now going on a trip through hell. I wondered if we would all make it.

It was impossible to sleep and food tasted like sawdust. Rob was missing for over five weeks and it got to the place that I now was afraid to find him. I felt that he was already dead. I knew in my heart that since he was twenty-one and had never left home before, he was not a runaway. I prayed and prayed. Yet, I knew that his fate had already been decided.

The murderers had already changed our lives forever. I knew Rob would never make us worry about him. He would never just leave. He knew he was loved. He would not make us suffer this way.

Knowing now what happens to many families, we were fortunate because we all stayed together through the “horror of homicide”. Though two of our daughters did not live at home, one was married and the other had a job in Spokane. Our married daughter drove back and forth every day to help find Rob. Our second daughter left her job in Spokane to help look for Rob and after he was found we all helped gather evidence and supported each other. Rob’s younger sister finished her senior year in high school but, was robbed of the joy of senior events. All of our lives were tore apart. It was painful to watch how each family member suffered. My husband and I ached for our son and felt even more devastated over the grief his grandparents were suffering. They saw how we were barely making it and then they had their pain of losing a grandchild they lived next door to. His other grandmother lived just a mile away.

What helped us the most was the wonderful support we received from our district attorney, the detectives, victims assistance and our friends and other family members. We were not victimized by the justice system. This is not always what I have seen happen in other cases. Another thing that made a new normal possible was that I knew I was not alone. I met other people who were wonderful and they too suffered the loss of a child or other family member or friend. The people I met were my new friends at a Parents of Murdered Children meeting in Portland. They understood. They listened to my story and knew just what to say. They had been in my shoes.

Of course, it was a shock to find out how the laws work for criminal cases. Rob’s case was one of the first cases in Clackamas County that the co-victims were allowed to go into the courtroom. Before that, co-victims were not allowed in. They had to wait outside the courtroom. The law had just been passed a short time before he was murdered. It was co-victims, people working in the justice system and friends of victims of crimes that helped get victims’ rights in our state. I became involved immediately in rights for victims of crimes. I was President for two years for Crime Victims United. After that, I became chapter leader and facilitator for the Greater Portland Area Chapter.

IT WAS THE CO-VICTIMS I WORKED WITH THAT HELPED ME GO ON AS WELL.

I honestly must say that it was having a family that worked together, good friends, the best support possible from our detectives, district attorney, victims assistance, and the love and understanding from POMC that made it possible for me to be here today. I do not hate anyone enough to wish them to be a co-victim of homicide. Having covictims as friends has allowed me to meet some of the greatest people in the world. Their priorities are in the right place. They have been to hell and now hopefully back. It would be impossible not to fall in love with them. They are my heroes. I have learned from these wonderful people the most important thing in the world. We have learned how important each life is and how helping others is the greatest gift we can receive or give. Again, it is because of working with co-victims that I am still alive. Working with the dedicated people in the system is also like working with angels. I am not the same person I was before. I thank all of you for putting up with me and for shaing the love we have for each other. I might be “a little weird” but, I have met some of the greatest people in the world and I know people are resilient. Because of the worst thing in the world happening to me, I have met heroes and found the true importance of family and friends. I have also even found a “new normal”. I now want to be part of the future.

All my love, Mary Elledge


FUNDRAISER FOR THE GREATER PORTLAND CHAPTER
FOR OUR MEMORIAL WALL ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 2016
IN MEMORY OF RYAN JOHNSON 11am-4pm

On Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Melissa and Tim Davis will be holding a fundraiser in memory of Ryan Lee Johnson, their son. Rian was murdered on January 26, 2012. This fundraiser and event is to help raise money to build an additional wall and pay for engraving for the new Parents of Murdered Children Memorial Wall.

LOCATION OF EVENT:

This event will be held at Bales Thriftway in Aloha located at: 17675 SW Farmington Rd, Aloha, OR, 97078. They will be selling: hot dogs, chips, and drinks. 100% of the money taken in will go toward the wall. We will also be holding raffles. A POMC booth will be set up. Melissa is working on getting Washington County Sheriffs out there to put on a safety/fair crime prevention. Victims Assistance through the DA’s office will also be involved.

Please contact Melissa Davis at 503-351-0353 if you would like to help. We need help in making signs and setting up and help in tearing down. If anyone would like to offer the use of a canopy or canopies, it would be most helpful. Melissa has a barbeque, coolers, tables, chairs, and a few canopies.

The Davis family and friends will be wearing “Remembering Ryan” T shirts with his death date printed on it. The T. shirt will be in black. Melissa will take orders for people who want their loved ones name printed on a shirt. They will sell between $10.00 to $12.00 dollars. She will need to get the orders ASAP. You can call her phone number, 503-351-0353. You can also get a shirt with your loved ones name at any other shirt shop if you would like. It is not required, if you would rather not want to wear one. Melissa thought that it would be important for the community to see how many of us are affected by homicide.

This is also a perfect time to show people how we all need to support one another with all of the senseless killing going on. As a society, we need to show that murder is a crime that can never be made right. Our loved ones did not deserve to die. As a group, we will be making a statement. This will also help us build our new wall so that our new members can have their loved ones names engraved on it.

We will also be delighted to accept any cash donations or any item you would like to donate to the raffle that we will be having that day. Please call Melissa if you will be able to help out in anyway. It will take all of this to make it happen. You can call Melissa’s at: 503-351-0353 or e-mail her at melissa_a_jones@yahoo.com.


It is with a great deal of pride that we share Melissa Davis’ letter about the people who have assisted her family and her through the justice system. Melissa shares her story of healing and getting to a “new normal”. We hope that their courage gives all of our members hope and the strength to be able to “invest in the future”. I have had members say that it is even more important for them to live now to let others know how important and special a life is.” They want to live to be able to help others deal with “the aftermath of homicide”.

THANKING OUR HEROES

On May 15th, 2016, my family had the honor to have all of our heroes and family together in one room for dinner so we could say “Thank you”! It was one of the final things we needed to do so we could begin our new normal.

My stepson Ryan Lee Johnson was 22 years old when he was executed in front of Bales Thriftway in Aloha on January 26th 2012. This murdered happened on a busy Thursday in a very public place and it also happened in front of my middle son, Austin. That was the worst day of our lives. The day that forever haunts us. Ryan was in a custody battle with his ex girlfriend over their, at that time 5 year old son. Ryan had been fighting Megan in court for over a year. Ryan was holding her in contempt and had a court date of January 31st 2012, Ryan was executed before he could ever hold her accountable. To this day, she has our grandson and is hiding out of state.

Jeffery Johnson was the grandfather of Ryan’s son. Jeff Johnson decided to take matters into his own hands. Jeff Johnson executed Ryan and destroyed many lives that day. But he didn’t take our lives, he took away our normal and caused the worst pain we will ever know. But “dammit”, if he didn’t make us stronger. It took 2 years until we were able to go to trial. Jeff Johnson hired the top defense attorney in Oregon. But we also had the top DA’s in Washington County, and they weren’t about to lose. Going through trial was extremely emotional and not being able to read the jurors was even worse. Our trial lasted several weeks but when it was over, WE WON!!! To us, we received justice. I guess the way we see it is he is suffering everyday, I hope he lives 25 years and is in misery everyday.

When sentencing was over, we actually had to deal with our own lives. We had to learn how to survive and not fall into a million pieces. My husband works in a prison as a SGT and has to deal with these people on a daily basis. When we decided we needed to talk, we got into our car and drove, we communicated about everything, no matter how bad the detail, when his back was strong he carried me, when his was weak, I carried him. We would talk about every detail, about every piece of pain, about how we were going to make it, there was no doubt. When we overcame year three, we knew it was time to live. We think about Ryan and what he would want from us. He would be proud. When we were falling, we would remind each other how much he loved his life, and we would smile.

In year 4, after we honored his life at the memorial wall, we decided their was something else we needed to do. And that was thanking our Heroes. Mike Huppi was in the parking lot that day when Ryan was murdered. Mike chased Jeff with his vehicle for several miles over hills and winding roads at high speeds while on the phone with 911. Mike Chased him right into the welcoming arms of Officer Corey Jentzch of Sherwood. Officer Jentzch risked his life that day by stopping someone who just committed murder. Because of their bravery, and doing their job 100% they helped put the murderer away for life.

So on May 15th, we had the good Samaritan Mike Huppi, Officer Corey Jenzch and DA Chris Leuman. We treated them and their families to dinner. We honored them for their service and expressed our deepest gratitude for what they did that day. We now have an extended family and we will forever be grateful. There is not a better feeling than to say “Thank you”.

Melissa Davis.


PAMELA BREWER RETELLS HER STORY OF GETTING TO A NEW NORMAL; HER STORY OFFERS HOPE AND VALIDATES THE COURAGE OF THOSE WHO HAVE LOST A LOVED ONE TO HOMICIDE.

(It has been an honor for me to be able to correspond with Pamela Brewer. She has turned her life around more than anyone I have ever met through Parents of Murdered Children. I have never talked to anyone who had so far to climb back to any type of “new normal” as she has. She has written to us before and we are now fortunate to read her story about getting to a “new normal”.

There is hope. It does not ever mean that we would not do anything to have our loved one back. It does not mean that we miss or love them any less. It just means that we can honor their memories and show our love by not letting the murderer destroy any more lives. Our lives can still be used to help others and to teach people the horror of homicide. It is like no other loss. It can destroy those left behind if we let it. It can put us into a life of hell that keeps us from enjoying the good memories that are carried deep inside of us. We owe our loved ones the right to be remembered for the wonderful people they were and we need to think of them not just as “victims of homicide”. They were precious people who deserve to be remembered for the good they brought into this world and to us. We hurt so much because we loved them so much.

Those of us who work with co-victims or we are a covictim know that murder cannot be resolved. Nothing will make it right. This is hard enough. Yet, it would be worse if this made their memories before the homicide too painful for us to think about. They live on by us remembering. We proved this by the beautiful wall we built in Oregon City. Their names are engraved in granite. It is a special wall that shows they will never be forgotten. After we are gone, people will still come to see “The Parents of Murdered Children Wall for Co-Victims.)

PAMELA BREWER SHARES HER STORY OF
“REACHING A NEW NORMAL”.

The worst days of life started when my oldest daughter, Jodi was involved in prostitution and was brutally murdered. My grief over my daughter’s murder was so severe I with didn’t want to face reality. Then to make matters worse, my beloved husband had terminal cancer. Not only did I have to deal with the fact he was dying, I had to deal with the murder and burial of my daughter. It took six months before we could have her funeral because of finding her torso out of state. They had to do DNA testing and it took that long.

I had to go back to work before Jim died to keep our family going. After a few months, people at work acted like I should be getting over it. (They wanted me to quit talking about it.) I had no one else to talk to about it. I was a union cocktail server in a major casino for eighteen years. Because of the murder of my daughter, I developed PTSD and could hardly get from point A to point B. I lost my job.

It reached a point where I was in jail constantly. I would “up on” crack cocaine for days. I wouldn’t stop getting high. I was arrested in Las Vegas for paraphernalia five times. I was never arrested for drugs because I would do them all before I went out. When I would be taken to “city jail”, I would see all the “girls” I knew from the street. They were prostitutes or girls who ran “game” on unsuspecting tourists who wanted to have a good time, gambling, drinking, drugs, or women.

I was picked up by undercover officers constantly because I didn’t know what I was doing. There were cops who were as bad as the girls. My “celli” was gay who was twenty years younger than me and one hundred pounds heavier with a bad attitude. I was then charged with battery against a police officer with substantial bodily harm. It was a downward spiral and I didn’t care.

I could go on and on about being homeless, attempting suicide, being raped, overdosing, people trying to kill me, a knife fight and a gun being pulled on me. However, what I want known is not the madness,drug addiction or hell that I went through. It is the “new normal” where I am now. After all of this, I found comfort after they found out who murdered my daughter and from being baptized in the Seventh Day Adventist Church last month. I have a new job with people I love. I just bought a new car. I am helping other people. My house warming is this Sunday. So, I am here to say, not only is a “new normal” within reach, I believe with Jesus Christ all things are possible if you believe.

Yet, I will always miss my beloved daughter and my husband of 31 years.
Sincerely, Pamela Brewer
(Thank you so much, Pamela. You are an inspiration to all. There is hope for all of us and sharing is the key. No one can do it alone. Our stories need to be told.)


POMC IS NOW RECEIVING DONATIONS
FROM GO FUND ME
OREGON POMC MEMORIAL WALL

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.


PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN:

On September 23, 2016, we will be celebrating our “National Day of Remembrance” in Oregon City at Mt. View Cemetery. We hope that by next year the wall will be completed. We hope to have a large attendance so more people know that it is only by joining together that we can help put an end to the horror of homicide. Again, we will have a BBQ after the event. It is free for all who attend and a chance for all of us to share and visit with each other. If you know of anyone who would like to donate to helping with the barbeque, please send any donations for the BBQ or wall to POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Road, Oregon City, OR 97045. Thank you for whatever you might be able to do.


CRIME STATISTICS SPONSORED BY: THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS AND OFFICE FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME

Homicide: One person is murdered every 31 minutes.
Rape: One person is raped every 1.9 minutes.
Aggravated Assault: One person is assaulted every 36.9 seconds.
Larceny Theft: One home is victimized every 4.8 seconds.
Burglary: One home is burglarized every 18 seconds.
Domestic Violence: One woman is victimized by an intimate partner every 52 seconds.
One man is victimized every 3.5 minutes.
Child Abuse and Neglect: One child is reported abused or neglected every 34.9 seconds.
Drunk Driving: One person is killed in an alcohol related traffic crash every 40.4 minutes.
Identity Fraud: One person becomes a victim of identity theft every 4.9 seconds.
Elder Abuse: One elderly person is victimized every 4.2 minutes.
Hate crime: One hate crime is reported to the police every 69 minutes.


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

Ashley Benson
Benjamin Redmond
Cheritee Yvone Vance
Coulton McComb-Buehler
Craig C. Moritz Jr.
Dale Archie Brown
David G. Swapp Jr.
David Rothrock
Dean A. Kuntz
Devan Chanel Schmidt
Dorothy Renee’ Fix
Douglas Oliver Benton
Glen Edward Drysdale
Jayme Sue Austin
Jeffery Ray Brown
Jeffery Towers
Jessica Lynn Clark
Julio Cesar Marquev
Kathleen Lois Bauman
Kenneth Dylan Lambert
Kyle William Peckham
Laura Jean Bohlen
London Grey McCabe
Marcos J. Castillo
Nicolas Lamont Lawson
Nicolette Naomi Elias
Jodi Marie Brewer
Paul W. Miller
Randall Leo Gettman
Rebekah “Becky” Selegue Johnson
William Roland Hatch III
Harold Sloan Blanchard
Izaak Gillen
Braylon Michael Duguay
Jason Scott Williams
Keith Ardell Benefield

(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

Terry R.


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?


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


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 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.