You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2016.

Violent Loss Resources Newsletter,  July 1, 2016

News you can use … collected for you in June. (Scroll down to see all.)

Contents include:

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
What you missed last month

Topic of the Month:

Murder Survivor’s Handbook
Chapter Six: The Criminal Justice Process  MSH in court

This chapter is full of helpful information, and much more than I can place in a monthly newsletter for you. So, I have chosen the contribution of a couple who were committed to helping others after their ordeal.  Let us know if you find this helpful or if you have something to add.

This photo of Murder Survivor’s Handbook is of a survivor in court.  She took the book with her every day to look things up and to help her ask questions of her advocate and prosecutor.

Courthouse Survival Advice

Once a trial date has been set, your next challenge is attending court proceedings with its rules and protocols. Bonnie and John had to endure this twice after their 80-year-old mother was raped and killed. They wrote Courthouse Survival Advice in the hopes that it would help others. Their heartfelt, practical advice continues to help families everywhere.

Bonnie and John start out by advising what to wear, not only to help give a good impression but also for comfort and ease. They know the stress you will experience. You can tell by their tone that they are speaking from the heart in wanting to help you from their own difficult experience of having to go through this process twice. This guide is several pages long and worth every word. Send copies to everyone you know that is following your case. Below is just a sample of the document. It is a must read.

  • Clothing – first of all, if you are clean and look halfway neat, you look better than most of the people at the courthouse. If you want to be dealing with the press, dress accordingly. They will put slobs on TV, but they don’t like to. Like it or not, there is often a lot of PR necessary in getting justice for your loved one. The lawyers will be wearing suits. The criminal may too. You don’t have to go so far as high heels or coat and tie, but stay away from the cutoffs and T-shirts.
  • Line up at least five (Monday through Friday) “easy-to-care-for and easy-to-live-in” outfits. I’d suggest an emphasis on comfortable clothing that you can sit in for hours, if necessary, without a lot of fussing, tucking, pinching and riding up.
  • Find a non-fussy hairdo and non-fussy makeup, etc. Pare down as much primping as you can in the morning, since you’ll be needing more sleep than you are used to needing. Fair warning – even good-quality eye makeup tends to run when you cry –and there’s nothing like courthouse proceedings to reduce you to tears.
  • Start taking VERY GOOD care of yourself, if you aren’t already. Work your schedule to allow you to get more sleep, take your vitamins, and get some calm exercise. Avoid caffeine; take it easy on junk food. You may find you will be more prone to colds, stomach upsets, etc. Stress will do you in.

There is so much more to their very helpful article; read more of it online and add your own pieces to it. Their article is available on the Survivors of Violent Loss Program website and listed in Resources at the end of this chapter.

Question of the Month

What tips do you have for Survivors and for Criminal Justice Professionals to help others who will be required to take this difficult journey?


The mourners in Orlando need to know they are not alone and have our support. They want to know how we have survived.  What can each of us do?  If you have lived the life of having someone who was killed violently, you relive your loss when this kind of incident is in the news.  Read the news and not watch it on TV so much.  The TV news coverage tends to replay the same very distressed folks over and over again.  Protect yourself and your ability to function.  Please send us your ideas.


I’ll Cry Again …

I cry again, this time for Orlando (6-16-16)

I cry again, this time for the Boston Marathon;

Time before it was the removal of memorabilia from the grave site of a murdered mother and infant;

Before that, I cried again and again and again for Sandy Hook;

I cry again for the first conversations between Dad and Yvonne about her mother who was murdered when she was just ten.

I’ll cry again, and again and again …

I cry when I read about the lives of homicide detectives, and how their lives are impacted.  The horrors they attempt to objectify to pursue the who-dun-its. The disappointments and blame they take on when justice isn’t served.

I’ll cry again when being safe is an illusion and being free is thwarted …

Can’t run a marathon, can’t go to first grade, can’t leave objects of love at a grave site, can’t go to class, can’t drive home from work, can’t go to work, can’t say no to going to the Prom, can’t say no when asked for a cigarette, can’t ride a bike in one’s neighborhood … can’t play at the park, can’t help a friend or sister out with her abusive boyfriend … can’t open your door at home, can’t have visitation at mom’s …

I’ll cry again, again and again …

I will continue to cry … and not go to Murder Mystery Cafes, watch made-up murder stories, nor support guns. It is now my nature to live life seriously.

As I know I will cry again, and again and again.

The tears won’t stop. There are too many stories in addition to the new ones that pile on.

Nor will it end for me not to buffer my tears with roses, irises, lavender, gardens, quiet, photography, cooking adventures,  walks along the ocean, cups of tea, turning off the TV and more …

I know I will cry again … it is the nature  of murder … and I will fight back with reciprocal intensity at what is beautiful in this world.

I  know that I grow and increase my convictions with the strengths I see in each survivor  I know.

I know we will cry …

Connie Saindon  (4-15-13)  

Book Resources: Accidental Truth

This book is a memoir of a daughter, Lauri Taylor, who would not give up the search for who murdered her mom.  A housewife who navigated four years between two countries and multiple helpful and not helpful criminal justice professionals to reach a final and surprising ending—the truth.  There are lots of lessons in this journey about working with and outside the criminal justice system.

Quote: Sandra Levy ‘s mother said
on the NBC Today Show, 5/3/16, that when  she was told that the convicted killer was getting a new trial, No matter what we still lost our daughter.  Sandra’s mom uses art to help others because she knows the media moves on, but the families don’t.

What you missed last month:

Topic of the Month:  The Homicide Investigation
Question of the Month: What tips and lessons would you like to pass on to others?
Resource of the Month: Black’s Online Law Dictionary
Inspiration: Some things have to be carried …
Book Resource: R.I.P Memorial Wall

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:
Larry Edwards:

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. (619) 685-0005