Violent Loss Resources Newsletter, May, 2017

Contents:

 Topic of the Month:

Traumatic Grief after Violent Dying Conference

 News:  Free Monthly Meetings in San Diego as well as upcoming            

Restorative Retelling Groups. 

Resources of the Month: South Africa, Philadelphia, Christine                                                                               Grimmie

  Inspiration: Sandy Hook Four Years Later

 Question of the Month-What are you doing to move forward?

Topic of the Month: Traumatic Grief after Violent Dying Conference held April 8 & 9 in La Jolla, CA  received  outstanding reviews from attendees, presenters who donated their time and the planning committee who worked on this project for a year.  

 Here is what they said:

The most valuable part was the experienced speakers and the depth of knowledge from the presenters.  the survivors insight was invaluable.IMG_4395-sunday End with Dr Rynearson

Best conference I have ever attended.  Usually I am waiting for the conference to end, but not this time.  Thank you again for an outstanding conference.  I have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from  my staff.

The resounding passion of professionals who work with these issues.

Beautiful, comfortable venue, well-organized presentations, and a jaw-dropping series of speakers . There was a sense of shared purpose that could not be denied.  People are very excited about Restorative Retelling.

Best conference we have ever held. IMG_4346 bubbles (1)

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned to where the next conference will be, and let us know if you wish to partner with us to bring one to your city. Follow this newsletter blog or contact Laura Jeffs, at Virginia Mason Separation and Loss services.  laura.jeffs@virginiamason.org

For more photos of the conference go to Saturday Photos and Sunday Photos

News:

Free Monthly Meetings in San Diego are starting as well as upcoming Restorative Retelling Groups and Services.    Restorative Retelling is an evidence based approach that has helped reduce the symptoms for survivors that have lost someone to a violent death.  The first meeting is May 16, 6:30pm in convenient Mission Valley. Contact Tammy Carter, MFTI for more information and the address at 619-685-0005.

 Resource of the Month:   This section of the newsletter usually introduces you to one resource but this newsletter is different.  Three new resources will be added as we are excited about the important work they are doing.  Please visit their websites and thank them for being a part of the solution and helping to expand resources for those following a violent death.

National Homicide Justice Alliance/ Justice for Alex Now

National Homicide Justice Alliance(1)

We are families of murder victims who are uniting to find justice for our loved ones, to support one another to find healing and promote peace in our communities.

Their Vision: To facilitate the union of a grassroots alliance of families of homicide.  We are the persons most directly affected by homicide and gun violence. We will focus on determining our own needs as families of homicide victims, advising, fostering programs, and promoting legislation, which will work for peace and justice and the cause of families of homicide victims.

http://www.justiceforalexnow.com/national-homicide-justice-alliance

The Christina Grimmie Foundation

On June 10, 2016, Christina Grimmie  was a fan favorite of NBC’s  The Voice who died of gunshot wounds inflicted in a targeted attack that followed her concert performance in Orlando, Florida.

Her foundation was set up as a legacy to her and her website says: Some stars shine so brightly that they shine forever.  When families encounter tragedy, we support them, with love.  The Christina Grimmie foundation exists to support families who have lost a loved one to gun violence and support for families facing breast cancer diagnosis.

https://christinagrimmiefoundation.org/

Modiegi Sekedi Motlhabane Foundation 

The foundation  is an Nonprofit  located in South Africa founded after the murder of her daughter by her mother Patricia who writes:

 Good evening, this e-mail serves the appreciation of finding your program of the impact of violent death to families-restorative retelling model on the internet. I am one of the mothers impacted.I was doing a lot of mistakes when running the homicide support group without guide lines/materials, but since I started studying your collaboration data my practice has improved a lot, I wish to see you visiting SOUTH AFRICA, people here are brutally murdered to xenophobic, taxi war, bank armed robbery, intimate relationships and so on, families need to be attended but how, so many marches were done but xenophebic attack is prolonging and dying violently is spreading. This Foundation was the recipient of several of The Journey Workbooks. 

Inspiration: 60 Minutes Returns to Newtown

In case you missed it, click on the link below to catch the 60 Minutes follow-up with families in Newtown who lost first graders and educators.  There are touching messages of the forever pain that exists and inspirational missions that families are working on to make a difference and honor their loved ones.

Jimmy Greene: There have been those that have said things like, “You know, so you guys are good now?” Or “I hope you’ve had some closure to your daughter’s murder.” In the back of my heart and I know in Nelba’s, as well, it’s like our family will never be intact again. Our daughter, Ana, was 6 years old.

60 Minutes returns to Newtown Four Years Later

Question of the Month-What are you doing to move forward?
Like us on  Facebook:

Facebook: Survivorsof Violent Loss

Read much more in…

webMurder_Survivor-front-cover-sticker-2500web       The_Journey_front_cover web

Violent Loss Resources Team — Contact us

Connie Saindon: csaindon@svlp.org
Larry Edwards: larry@larryedwards.com

Check out this editorial by the LA TIMES 3/31/17

The death penalty doesn’t bring closure so much as it extends trauma
http://fw.to/Sz7fJdh

Quote: “studies have found that capital-murder trials and executions rarely bring a sense of closure, or peace, to the families.”

Quote: “Grief, as those who have experienced it can attest, never really goes away. But it does fade with time. It takes much longer to fade, however, if the criminal justice system, in its misguided thirst for taking one life to atone for loss of another, forces the grief-stricken and traumatized to keep reliving the moment — cruel and unusual punishment, if you will, for those who are guilty of nothing.”

Thanks to Larry Edwards for forwarding this information. In my work with families since 1995, I concur with this editorial as this is the sentiment  I hear from most families.

Appreciations to all who ask the important questions of what truly helps these families.  It may be that we need to reduce blaming anyone and look at what we steer people towards.  There are few studies that give us this information.

When the criminal justice system does its job it has put someone away that is a danger to society and prevented someone from being wrongly convicted.  It is not the solution for families who say they have a life sentence. The criminal justice system is designed to deal with the crime and the criminal.  It’s job is not to resolve the trauma that impacts folks whose loved one was murdered.  While there is room for them to reduce adding more trauma to families, it is not their job to work with the traumatic grief that accompanies homicide.

As popular a topic as Murder is, there is still too few resources for families after a murder. This overwhelming,  intense and horrific experience puts families at risk for depression, post traumatic disorder and substance abuse. Family includes up to 11 members  not just the one you see that may speak for the family.  The absorption in the criminal case prevents most from getting the trauma support that would alter their longer term adjustment.

Instead there is a misguided push by many around these families and the families themselves to seek and get justice via the criminal justice system.  Families become absorbed by the workings of a system they know little about and have little voice in.

Families do not realize this until sometime after the sentence is passed. They live four or more years waiting for a trial to end with interruptions, postponements and lives on hold. Families who’s case got  “life in prison without the possibility of parole” escape the revisiting of their case by periodic and painful reliving of parole hearings but true justice for all would be to have their loved ones returned.  There are many who never see their case go to trial.

So, let’s not argue about who is or isn’t doing something but move to work together and not make claim that any one of our solutions is THE SOLUTION.  We all have something to contribute and survivors voices will light our path.

Thank you for all that you do,

Connie Saindon

 

virginia_mason_logoRegister NOW!!   see belowucsandiego_logo

April 8 and 9, 2017

Traumatic Grief after Violent Dying Conference

Virginia Mason Separation and Loss Services and UC San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, are pleased to offer a two-day conference on Traumatic Grief after Violent Dying on Saturday and Sunday, April 8 and 9, 2017 from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at UCSD’s International House in La Jolla, CA.

With generous support from the Caldera-Saindon Grant, we are able to offer this two-day training for a fee of only $150/person plus an additional $35 for 15 CEU credits.

Featured speakers (partial list):

  • Ted Rynearson, MD, Clinical Professor, University of Washington and Medical Director, Virginia Mason Separation and Loss Services
  • Richard Gold, MA, Founder, Pongo Publishing
  • Larry Taylor, DMin, BCC, Chief Chaplain, VA San Diego Healthcare System
  • Lori Montross, PhD, Family Support Psychologist, Moores Cancer Center
  • Summer Stephan, Chief Deputy District Attorney, San Diego County
  • Vilma Torres, LMSW, Director, Safe Horizon Bronx Family Justice Center
  • BethAnn Holzhay, MSW, Director, Bronx DA Crime Victims Assistance Unit
  • Connie Saindon, MA, LMFT, Founder, Survivors of Violent Loss Program
  • Saul Levine, MD, Professor Emeritus, UC San Diego
  • Charles Nelson, PhD, Founder/Director, Crime and Trauma Recovery Program
  • Sidney Zisook, MD, Distinguished Professor, UC San Diego
  • Robert Neborsky MD, Clinical Professor, UC San Diego

Register Now!!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/traumatic-grief-after-violent-dying-tickets-32174649242

  For questions, email Laura Jeffs, Program Coordinator, at laura.jeffs@virginiamason.org or call (206) 223-6398.

fvsai_logo  ivat_logo  This training is co-sponsored by The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT).  IVAT is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  IVAT maintains responsibility for this continuing education program and its content.  This course meets the qualifications for __ hours of continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  IVAT is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses to offer continuing education for nurses (CEP #13737).  IVAT is approved by the State Bar of California to offer Minimum Continuing Legal Education for attorneys (#11600).  CE credits approved by CA agencies are accepted in most states.     For information on continuing education, contact   psmith@alliant.edu


handling-loss-holidays

News

Edward Rynearson, MD, leading specialist in Violent Death Bereavement, will be the keynote speaker at Safe Crossings on  Childhood Grief in Seattle, Washington, on Friday, February 24. To find out more about this one-day program contact: info@safecrossingsfoundation.org.

Save the Date: April 8 & 9, 2017, for  a Traumatic Grief after Violent Dying  two-day conference featuring both National and Local leaders and survivors. The program will be designed for clinicians and advocates who work with violent death.  Virginia Mason Medical Centers Separation and Loss Services leader Edward Rynearson, MD, and UCSD Medical School Residency Program Director,  Sid Zisook, come together to put this workshop on, with funding support from the Caldera/Saindon Grant.  Details to follow.  Email csaindon@svlp.org to make sure your name is on the list for notification.



Topic of the Month

Remembering and Rituals

Lives are like rivers, they go where they must to not where we want them to.

-Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Remembering

It is understandable that people can’t forget how a loved one was murdered. It shakes us all to the core of our lives and community. The horrific and traumatic nature of a violent death is deeply experienced and images can easily be triggered. We are hard wired to remember the most intense moments of our lives.

They say memories are golden.

Well, maybe that is true:

I never wanted memories;

I only wanted you.

—Author Unknown

Horrific events interfere with memories of who murder victims were before they died.  A major task of  Restorative Retelling is to slowly and respectfully bring back  who loved ones were before they were killed. One of my brothers apologetically admits he knows how our sister died, but he doesn’t remember her. Consider these words from Rose, one of the  anonymous writers in Murder Survivor’s Handbook:

it is one of my greatest fears that my Daughter and Grandson will be forgotten; my second fear is that they will always be remembered for how they were murdered, and I want to change that now to how they lived.

Rituals

Beyond Words: Words are difficult to use when it comes to describing the experience of life after murder.  Rituals and ceremonies do what words cannot do.  They are vehicles for respectful expression of losses.  Events can help free up overwhelming emotion allowing its expression in a private or shared activity.  The use of art, poetry, music, and dance can say what cannot be said in words.  Such events act to strengthen bonds between individuals and their community in the aftermath of a murder or other violent death when fear and trust are shattered.

Our focus this month is on Re-member-ing your loved one during this challenging time of missing them during these upcoming holidays.   

webMurder_Survivor-front-cover-sticker-2500webTopic of the Month contains excerpts from Murder Survivor’s Handbook, available at Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Question of the Month

What do you want us to remember about your loved one?

treeweb2013
Inspiration:
This poem was read at every Holiday Memorial the Survivors of Violent Loss Program organized. Survivors were asked to change words to fit their belief systems and bring symbols of their loved ones for the holiday tree.

 

 

 

 


Christmas in Heaven

 

I see the countless Christmas trees20131214_holidaymemorial2013_1725

Around the world below,

With tiny lights, like heaven’s stars,

Reflecting on the snow

 

20131214_holidaymemorial2013_1722The sight is so spectacular,

Please wipe away that tear, 

For I am spending Christmas

with the angels this year.  


I hear the many Christmas songs,

That people hold so dear,20131213_holidaymemorial2013_1744

But the sounds of music can’t compare

With the Christmas choir up here.

 

I have no words to tell you, 

The joy their voices bring

20131214_holidaymemorial2013_1732

For it is beyond description,

To hear the angels sing.

I see the pain inside your heart.

But I am not so far away,

 

I know how much you miss me,

We really aren’t apart.20131214_holidaymemorial2013_1728

 

So be happy for me dear ones, 

You know I hold you dear,

And be glad I’m spending Christmas,

 20131213_holidaymemorial2013_1740

With the angels this year. 

I send you each a special gift,

From my heavenly home above,

I send you each a memory of,

My undying love.

 

After all “love” is the gift,sandy-hook-web

More precious than pure gold.

It was always most important, 

In the best stories told.

 

Please love and keep each other,20131213_holidaymemorial2013_1742

As the angel said to do,

For I can’t count the blessing,

Or love they have for each of you.

 

So, have a Merry Christmas,

And wipe away that tear.20131214_holidaymemorial2013_1737

Remember, I’m spending Christmas,

With the angels this year.

 

by Wanda Bencke in memory of her daughter Lysandr

 

To develop your own rituals, consider some of the following ideas and let us know what you do. Your rituals will give others ideas when their thinking is blocked.

Activities can include the telling of stories around a fireplace or bonfire, going to the burial site and praying, chanting, singing, serving the needy, making charitable contributions, doing a difficult feat such as a hike, balloon ride, or a surfboard paddle-out.

Items to use for rituals could be candles, rosemary (for remembrance), seeds, sand, feathers, balloons, crayons, rocks, ribbon, music, stars, or irises (for hope).


 

Like us on  Facebook:

 

Subscribe now … and follow up to let us know your thoughts by adding your comments about anything in this article.

Violent Loss Resources Team — Contact us

Connie Saindon: csaindon@svlp.org
Larry Edwards: larry@larryedwards.com

Topic of the Month
Long-Term Consequences


It ain’t over when it’s over!

Survivor families look forward to getting their lives back to normal when sentencing has taken place or the case is on hold or solved in different way.  When time becomes more of their own design and not controlled by steps in the justice process many realize their normal world has changed.   They  may experience: continued involvement with  criminal justice, health problems that demand notice, intense imagery  that seems to come from nowhere,  angry outbursts surprise them, increased fear of crime and safety issues for themselves,  family  and friends, relationship changes,  career changes, loss of faith, social isolation, family dysfunction and more.  The time to pay attention to the emotional toll is now front and center.

Bravoharrier-1. It’s a topic that needs to be discussed more, because the conventional attitude has always been “get over it.” But mental health professionals and scientists have recognized that PTSD can cause irreparable damage to the brain and change a person’s behavior—not for the better. (Larry Edwards)

When the verdict of “Guilty” was read in court, we experienced an immediatedsc_6656 sense of relief. That step was finally over. But it seems that within minutes, a feeling of emptiness came over each of us with the realization that we still wouldn’t get our daughter back. I hadn’t consciously had this thought before and of course my mind knew it was impossible, but the emptiness prevailed. We hadn’t discussed as a family what our next step would be . . . (Evelyn)

Criminal Justice System Involvement continues . . .

            Victims’ Rights and Services Do Not End at Sentencing. Changes have been made so that the former victims’ rights and services that included only front-end services now include back-end rights and services, such as the right to be notified of the prisoner whereabouts.

            VINE Link (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) is an online national network that allows you, 24 hours a day, to obtain timely and reliable information on prisoners.  You can register to be notified by phone, email, or text message when an offender’s custody status changes .  https://www.vinelink.com/

Traumatic Grief

Traumatic grief will show itself in a variety of ways unique for each person. It is not about individual weakness; it is about experiencing an event that is beyond everyday experiences. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal event, a devastating experience for all who lose someone to murder. My research shows that depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)  were found most frequently as long-term difficulties experienced by survivors.  Survivors not may reach out for help from counselors until many months or years after the death of their loved one.


News

Save the Date: April 8 & 9, 2017
Traumatic Grief After Violent Dying
Seattle, Washington

Two-day conference featuring both national and local leaders and survivors. Program will be designed for clinicians and professionals who work with violent death.  Virginia Mason Medical Centers Separation and Loss Services leader Edward Rynearson, MD, and UCSD Medical Schools Sid Zisook, MD, come together to put this workshop on with funding support from the Caldera/Saindon Grant.  Details to follow.  Email csaindon@svlp.org to make sure your name is on the list for notification.



Question of the Month

What are your tips for helping survivors once the case or trial has been set aside?
What have you seen survivors do that helped?

marina-2
Example: Do not twist yourself into a pretzel trying to extract something positive out of something that is truly bad. Sometimes things are just plain awful. (Marina)



Resource of the Month  

To help answer the Question of the Month, I have two resources for you. Some get involved in activities such as changing legislation; for example, Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Some survivors get involved by providing support and educational information to new survivors,  such as Survivors of Homicide, Inc. , a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization that provides support, counseling, and advocacy to family and friends of homicide victims

My name is Jessica Pizzano and I am with Survivors of Homicide Inc. I have recently purchased “Murder Survivors Handbook” and I just wanted to thank you so much for putting together such a wonderful book. I have started utilizing it with my clients and it has been extremely helpful.


Inspiration

halia-1  Hailia says:   There is a strength and resilience to the depths of my soul that I developed out of sheer survival after the loss of my sister.

A Mother Gone—by Yvonne

yvonne-2

Life was so unfair

Why? There are no answers

Though I try desperately

You are not nameless forgotten

A best friend, my hero,

Time goes by the ache is still there

I look for your smile, a laugh anything to erase a last memory

I fight for you though the past cannot be changed

anger at a man who doesn’t care


MHScoverweb

Topic of the Month contains excerpts from Murder Survivor’s Handbook written for and by those who live and work with life after murder. Available on Amazon.com.

Like us on  Facebook:

Subscribe now . . . and follow up to let us know your thoughts by adding your comments about anything in this newsletter.

Violent Loss Resources Team — Contact Us

Connie Saindon: csaindon@svlp.org
Larry Edwards: larry@larryedwards.com

Violent Loss Resources Newsletter, October 1, 2016

  • Topic of the Month:  Victim Impact, Justice & Unsolved Cases
  • Question of the Month: What mistake do you want to help others avoid?
  • News:  Hotline/Chatline crime victim centered and trauma informed
  •  Resource of the Month: Crime Stoppers
  • Inspiration: Kaila Quote


Topic of the Month: Victim Impact, Justice & Unsolved Cases

One thing we are certain of … anyone who has lost a loved-one, and then goes through  a criminal trial, whether it is a death-penalty case or not, knows that, in the end, there are no winners, no closure, no “happy endings.” What was done can never be undone … (Valeria)

VICTIM  IMPACT  STATEMENT

Today, judges  are compelled by law to give co-victims an opportunity to address the court. All states guarantee the right for those who have been most affected by a crime to present a written or oral statement in court.  This is called the Victim Impact Statement.

Most of the time this opportunity is at “sentencing.” The decision is up to the judge, but you will probably have an opportunity to read  your statement in court. These reports become part of the record for this case. The judge may allow Victim Impact Statements to be submitted from different people who have been impacted.

Up to this point, the voices of co-victims have not been heard unless they were witnesses. An impact statement gives them an opportunity to speak on behalf of a loved one. This one chance to be the voice puts great pressure on co-victims to make sure it is complete and right within the limited time they have to speak.

I have heard several co-victims lament over what to say and worry they will be unable to read their statements in court without breaking down. You may appoint someone to read it for you. Again, check with your Key Contacts about what is allowed in your situation and have a backup plan.

Whether or not your case gets to a Sentencing Phase, this type of report is valuable for each person to complete and have as a family record. Writing down the story of your experience can be of great value to you and others over time. Once written down, you can edit it and refer to it so that you will not need to tell the story over and over again to new people in your world.

JUSTICE

Justice requires more than holding offenders accountable.  Yet we minimize a victim’s pain and suffering, and pretend that criminal convictions are a sufficient balm. We must meet our obligation to victims, not just because we are a compassionate society, but because helping victims rebuild their lives is an essential component of justice. (Susan Herman, 2010)

“True justice cannot really be achieved.” I hear this again and again.  Listening to so many of  you that when all the legal process is over, and the sentence you hoped for has occurred, true justice is not possible as there is no getting our loved one(s) back. The perpetrator may be held accountable by the legal system, but he or she has already “gotten away with murder.” Co-victims are challenged with having to reconcile this fact and rebuild their lives in spite of this reality. This is hard work.

“Getting closure” usually means only that an aspect of the journey after a murder will not be repeated, such as when there is a trial and someone is found guilty.  Usually, but not always, that work is done and there is closure to that activity.

UNSOLVED CASES

Murder cases can go unsolved not only for decades, but for centuries. For co-victims, this fact is just as disconcerting as the murder case itself.

  • Survivor writer Marina has no hope of getting justice in the legal arena but finds ways to direct her rage and find hope.
  • It took 33 years to get justice for the death of Debra Davis, one of the victims of a notorious crime boss in Boston.
  • Dee’s family waited 13 years for cold-case detectives to find a pattern in the death of five women. Looking at their cases together led to a suspect and convictions. (Scream at the Sky)
  • Joselyn Martinez, a 36-year-old actress, cracked a cold case by tracking down her father’s killer 26 years later, and handed her work over to detectives.
  • The movie “No One Killed Jessica” tells the true story of model Jessica Lall, who was shot dead while tending bar in a New Delhi restaurant. Although a trial was conducted and dozens of witnesses testified, the suspected gunman was acquitted. But media outcry and petitions to the president from her sister and a journalist led to a reopening of the case and subsequent conviction.
  • Actor Dylan McDermott solved the mystery of his mother’s tragic murder 45 years later, after he discovered police had covered it up. He was just five years old when it happened.

webMurder_Survivor-front-cover-sticker-2500webWhen a new angle is identified, or a new timeline has passed, Crime Stoppers can help bring public attention to the unsolved case. For another example, The Pasadena Star News agreed to publish pictures and background information on any unsolved homicide case in Los Angeles on the newspaper’s website. Additionally, the newspaper highlights an unsolved case weekly. It only takes one person, one call, to turn an unsolved case to solved.

Read much more in Murder Survivor’s Handbook

 



Question of the Month: Was justice served in your case? What tips do you want to help others avoid?
    

My parents’ case has been stalled since 1980. For three years I stayed in contact with the FBI agent in charge of the case, hoping for justice for my dead parents. Since then, I have reviewed the case and the evidence, and written a book about the case to disclose information that had never before been made public.  (Harrier)

I am very bitter about my experience with the justice system. Statistically, it is a system with a fifty percent failure rate.  That is unacceptable, yet we are taught that the American system of justice is the best in the world. Really? Would you buy a two-story house with a missing second floor?  Would you ever climb on a jet if you knew it might crash fifty percent of the time?  Would you keep your money at a banking institution with a fifty percent default rate?  You can call it a justice system if you please, but I call it the Busted System.  So what if some people think it’s the best system in the world?  That may or may not be true—it’s a big planet.  But to me, the American legal system is merely the cleanest dirty shirt in the closet. (Marina)

People think that if you receive the sentence you asked for then justice was served.  However, in reality they got away with murder because our (loved ones) are still dead.  I find no justice in that.  I thought that when I heard the words: guilty, guilty, guilty, and I left the courtroom, in some way I would feel differently.  I didn’t.  I took a small measure of pleasure that he was going to have to spend the rest of his life in a cage; that he didn’t get to walk out of the courtroom a free man.  (Rose)



News:  Hotline/Chatline for Victims of Crime Support.
The State of Iowa has just launched a state hotline for crime victims and co-victims that not only provide resources but a daytime chatline: one-on-one chats in real time that are victim-centered and trauma-informed.  This phone system for resources is available 24/7. Imagine this available in your state. Imagine a state or national hotline/chatline for those who have lost someone after a homicide. Talk with them about what is involved in setting this up.  Contact <katryn-duarte@uiowa.edu> regarding the hotline and <alexandranassif@muawi.org> about the Chatline .



Resource of the Month:  Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers first began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during July 1976, following the fatal shooting of Michael Carmen while he was working one night at a local filling station. After two weeks the police had no information when out of desperation Detective Greg MacAleese approached the local television station, requesting a reconstruction of the crime. The re-enactment offered US$1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the killers.

Within 72 hours, a person called in and identified a car leaving the scene at high speed, and he had noted its registration.

Crime Stoppers USA is the national Crime Stoppers organization that spans the United States to create a network of local programs that work together to prevent and solve crimes in communities and schools across the nation. Check out their successes and find them near you:  www.crimestoppersusa.com



Inspiration

Let someone make you smile, let someone make you laugh, allow yourself to be happy.  You could be a blessing that someone else needs. ( Kaila)


Like us on  Facebook:


Violent Loss Resources Team — Contact us

Connie Saindon: csaindon@svlp.org
Larry Edwards: larry@larryedwards.com

 

Violent Loss Resources Newsletter, September 1, 2016

            Topic of the Month:  Prosecuting the Case, Continued

            Question of the Month: What happened in your case?

            News: National Day for Remembering Homicide Victims

            Resource of the Month

            Inspiration



Topic of the Month:
Prosecuting the case, Chapter Seven, Murder Survivor’s Handbook.

webMurder_Survivor-front-cover-sticker-2500webWhile there are many families who do get their case heard in a court of law; there are those who are still waiting for their day in court. This newsletter will address cold cases in the future. In this issue we will focus on those who do get to go to court.  The following is an excerpt from the book:

Prosecutor Prior writes the following questions on the back of her business card and encourages families to ask the questions each time they meet:

When is the next court date?

What can I expect?

Will anything new happen?

Is the case still going as planned?

What can I do to help?

Prior to court, I was told how I should act and dress; I was told to refrain from losing my mind and trying to kill this murderer, or at least that’s what I heard. I dressed nicely and answered the questions, but if looks could kill, I was trying . . . it didn’t work. (Kaila)

Trial Timeline

  • Pre-Trial Conferences
  • Jury Selection
  • Trial Starts
  • Opening Statements
  • State Presents Its Case
  • Defense Presents Its Case
  • Rebuttals by Prosecution and Defense
  • Closing Arguments
  • Jury Instructions
  • Verdict
  • Sentencing

 Twenty-eight years later an arrest was made. After two years of court hearings, a plea agreement was reached for 2nd degree murder. (Halia)

More Surprises:

  • Request to change the venue (location) of the trial.
  • Attempts to keep witnesses from testifying.
  • Your loved one is described in discrediting terms. This may have already happened during police interviews.
  • Disappointments can occur when the prosecutor does not take into consideration what the family wants. One mother was convinced that her son’s murder was a hate crime. She remained angry at the prosecutor for not adding this to the charges.Read much more in Murder Survivors Handbook.


Question of the Month: What happened in your cas
e? Can you relate in some way to the above excerpt? What tips do you have for others?



News: Mark your calendar.  National Day of Remembrance of Murder Victims is September 25. 
Thanks to Parents of Murder Children (POMC)  who worked to have this day every year set aside to put on different events to honor murdered loved ones. Activities encourage support for families and communities.  Check your local resources for activities in your community.

If you are in San Diego go to the link below for more information about the event.You will be given the opportunity to speak about your loved one’s life, who they were and how you would like them to be remembered. Ceremony for National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. Saturday, September 24 at 10 AM – 1 PM. Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/185416058528433/permalink/210963475973691/



Resource of the Month: Victims of Crime Resource Center, University of the Pacific-McGeorge School of Law, http://www.1800vivtims.org/



Inspiration: Take a look at images of previous River of Remembrance events on the Annual Day of Remembrance of Loved Ones of Murder Victims put on by Survivors of Violent Loss.



Like us on  Facebook:

Subscribe now … and follow up to let us know your thoughts by adding your comments about anything in this article.

Violent Loss Resources Team — Contact us

Connie Saindon: csaindon@svlp.org
Larry Edwards: larry@larryedwards.com

 

 

Violent Loss Resources Newsletter,  August 1, 2016
News you can use … collected for you in July. (Scroll down to see all)

Contents will vary somewhat month to month, as we close out this month, our contents include:

            Topic of the Month:  Prosecuting the Case: Survivor Voices

            Question of the Month:  What happened in your case?

            Quote

            News: Two Day Conference 2017: Traumatic Grief after Violent Dying

            Inspiration: “Not Forgotten” Project in Chicago contains  photos and interviews

            Resource of the Month: Victim Law

            What you missed last month           



Topic of the Month: Chapter Seven, Prosecuting the Case
: The importance and complexity involved in this topic is large enough that this topic will continue next month as well.  This month the  focus will be on Survivor Experiences.

 Excerpts from Murder Survivors Handbook webMurder_Survivor-front-cover-sticker-2500web

Here are what some Survivors have to say about this topic:

The FBI had a prime suspect in my parents’ deaths—my younger brother. They wanted to prosecute, but the U.S. attorney’s office refused, saying that without bodies, with little forensic evidence, and having an unreliable witness (my youngest sister, who failed two lie-detector tests and vowed to lie in court), that the odds of getting a guilty verdict were too low to risk incurring jeopardy. (Harrier)

When the case stalled, I met with the U.S. attorney assigned to the case. He explained why there would likely be no prosecution, no trial—the case was circumstantial; there were no bodies; there was little forensic evidence; and my sister was not a reliable witness. He did not want to risk incurring jeopardy by losing the case. (Harrier)

Often it will feel like it is more about the system than it is about justice. It will seem like every consideration is being given to the Defense, on behalf of the Defendant….(Valeria)

 Our charges were worked out behind closed doors with input from the Judge. We were advised up front that the justice system did not allow tailoring charges to increase the available sentencing options. We were given a voice only in the crafting of the plea offers, and then it was advisory in nature. We did, however, feel that the State took into account our perspective and the degree of concurrence we expressed was communicated to the judge at sentencing. ( JJ )’

It was a time when our private and public self felt so disconnected, and the hard work we had put into managing our emotions and grief was challenged on a regular basis throughout the trial. (Valeria)

  I was told that my telling of domestic abuse was not relevant to the case, but I feel that it was the reason my sister was murdered; because I left my abusive boyfriend, and he couldn’t find me, so he found my sister and murdered her.(Kaila)

 When court comes into session, they ask if the judge, the recorder, the prosecutor, the defendant, and the defendant’s attorney is present. They don’t even care or ask if the victim’s family is there. In a lot of cases, I think the defense would be very happy if we were not there. (Kaila)

Twenty-eight years later an arrest was made. After two years of court hearings, a plea agreement was reached for 2nd degree murder. (Halia)

Means, Motive, and Opportunity

The prosecution of a case does not mean motive has to be proven, but the jury does want to know why it happened. Did the defendant have the means, motive, and opportunity to do what he or she is charged with? In our Survivor Writer stories, some of the motives they believe were:

Marina: Oldest motive in the book. Dad planned to end his relationship with his abusive girlfriend, and she was enraged at the loss of a wealthy man to support her lifestyle! …

Harrier: He got caught doing something wrong.

Rose: Prevent having his life disrupted by his son’s existence; it would ruin him . . . child support was secondary.

Kaila:Revenge.” How dare I leave the man that loved me. He Murdered my sister because I left him.

Yvonne: Random act, opportunity, found someone alone and vulnerable.

Mary: I do personally feel that these 6 teens were stupid and immature. I believe they were bored and thought it was okay to get their kicks that night by beating someone up and causing someone an injury….

Question of the Month – What happened in your case? Subscribe now … and follow up to let us know your thoughts by adding your comments about anything in this article.

Quote: Though you can never really be prepared for the unique challenges that will come your way, we hope that by relating our experiences and what we learned in our journey … you will gain insight and confidence by which to navigate the process, should you ever have to. (Valeria)



News: Two Day “Traumatic Grief after Violent Dying”
Conference being planned for April 8 & 9, 2017 in  San Diego, CA. Sponsors include Ted Rynearson, MD Virginia Mason Medical Center, and Sid Zisook, MD; University of California, San Diego. Planning Committee includes Connie Saindon, Founder of Survivors of Violent Loss; Ilanit Young, San Diego VA Center; Linda Pena, Director of S.D.DA’s Victim Assistance Center;  Charles Nelson, Trauma Recovery Center; Kathleen Barnum, Elizabeth Hospice; Mary Edwards, Victim Assistance Coordinating Council with generous financial support from Carmela Caldera. *Mark your calendar.



Inspiration:
Not Forgotten: Chicago Street Memorials.  Journalist Ann-Marie Cusac and former Emergency Room MD Thomas Ferrella have teamed up to produce interviews and photography for a show at the Cage Gallery 18 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago running from September 29- December 3rd, 2016. Here is a link for more information for you poster



Resource of the Month: Victim Law: https://www.victimlaw.org/

Victim Law is a searchable database of victims’ rights legal provisions including federal, state, and territorial statutes, tribal laws, state constitutional amendments, court rules, administrative code provisions, and summaries of related court decisions and attorney general opinions.

Victim Law currently contains legal provisions relating to the following 10 basic rights of crime victims:

  • The right to attend and be present at criminal justice proceedings;
  • The right to be heard in the criminal justice process, including the right to confer with the prosecutor and submit a victim impact statement at sentencing, parole, and other similar proceedings;
  • The right to be informed of proceedings and events in the criminal justice process, including the release or escape of the offender, legal rights and remedies, and available benefits and services, and access to records, referrals, and other information;
  • The right to protection, including protection from intimidation and harassment;
  • The right to privacy;
  • The right to apply for crime victim compensation;
  • The right to restitution from the offender;
  • The right to the expeditious return of personal property seized as evidence whenever possible;
  • The right to a speedy trial and other proceedings free from unreasonable delay; and
  • The right to enforcement of these rights and access to other available remedies.


What you missed last month:

Topic of the Month:  The Criminal Justice Process

            Question of the Month- What tips do you have?

            News: Orlando 

            Inspiration: I’ll cry again

            Book Resource: Accidental Truth



Like us on  Facebook:

Subscribe now … and follow up to let us know your thoughts by adding your comments about anything in this article.

Violent Loss Resources Team — Contact us

Connie Saindon: csaindon@svlp.org
Larry Edwards: larry@larryedwards.com

 

 

Survivors of Violent Loss exists to build a lifeline of hope and healing by providing support and education to those who live and work with violent death. Coping isn't easy. Survivors of Violent Loss can help. www.svlp.org (619) 685-0005

Sections