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New Series Announcement by Connie Saindon

One of the most rewarding aspects of writing Murder Survivors Handbook (MSH), published in 2014, was the reading I did while doing my research.  MSH has been used successfully as a resource for those who have lost a loved one to homicide and those who have worked with them.  It was the winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best in Self Help.  Victim Advocacy agencies, counselors, chaplains, nonprofit counseling services along with hospice agencies and more have several copies on hand to give to clients.  Individuals have bought them for themselves and members of their families as they navigate the months and years ahead of their unwelcome journey of life after homicide.

Here’s a comment from a grieving mother who currently spends her days in a courtroom:

I’m in the middle of pre-trial. I take this book with me to court; I read it as I am there when I run into a problem or hear something I don’t understand. I have it with me at all times. As I read the stories it helps me see this is exactly how I am feeling during pre-trial and I am careful in everything I do there. I encourage everyone who is going to court to buy this even before then. When my son died, I didn’t understand why detectives were not telling me anything. I wondered if they were even doing anything; during pre-trial I heard just how hard they were working on the investigation. I keep this book close, still reading it. Thank you to everyone who took part in making this book happen.

I read, viewed and interviewed whatever I thought might strengthen the information in this book.  My premise was that none of us knew it all.   While it would be impossible to capture everything for a resource book, I was content to give enough variance, so each reader would feel less alone and find some but not all the resources on their new and treacherous journey.   To do the work on this book, the larger the pool of information and experience the greater the possibility.

Thirty-nine colleagues from criminal justice, psychology and literature across the nation offered edits, reviews or examples.   The real-life stories from thirteen anonymous survivor writers answer questions if they could for each of the ten chapters.  Each murder victim is different in age, family order and place in the community and these real stories reflect that.  Over one hundred contributors can be proud of this resource that has been so well received.

I plan to introduce one of these sources each month.  I will select them in no order of importance but as they come to me.  Each resource is of equal importance as is each homicide.

The first in this series is a book published in 2009 by a reporter and editor for the Boston Globe: The Ride by Brian Macquarrie.

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