Archive for category Justice

Arlis Perry Part II Skeptics, Satanists and Serials Murderers


Arlis Perry

Arlis Perry died October 12, 1974

I am far, far from a religious scholar and would never even consider delving into such waters of my own accord.   However, the “waters of fascination,” with the many permutations, rumors, myths, half-truths and factoids of the murder of Arlis Perry came calling recently. Just as my initial bare bones of a blog was unearthed to perk the curiosity, so too, the “other side of the story” may fascinate the masses.

Whether you believe in crazy cults, Satan or the talk of serial killers, it truly is a story of rich tapestry. Trying to sort out every detail is better left to others.  I will try to present information speculated or proven by others in a list kind of manner, interspersed with some detail. This story is like “the many arms and tentacles of an octopus,” Difficult to tie together. You are forewarned!

As with every homicide, particularly cold cases, they are victims of their own era combined with circumstance, with things left undone and, “coulda, woulda, shoulda.” Please refer to the initial blog “for a running start” An Unsolved Murder, the Mystery of Arlis Perry.

Did this unworldly newlywed, plucked from her North Dakota home into the influences of 1970’s California living, contribute to her own demise?  What was the common denominator that held her together when she made her first trek beyond the plains with her husband?  It was her Christian religion. That was the “glue of her existence.”  However, how did she become so bold to try to convert others to her side of the fence?  Why was this dangerous territory in an era of free thinking and constant change?

Cast of Characters Contributing to the Tapestry

Blogger, William Ramsey

Rumors and the chilling, brutal display of a killer

Rumor: Arlis’ murderer(s) actually laid her body on the central altar of the church, but that the authorities had her body moved to another location in order to maintain the sanctity of the church.

Fact: She was found on her back, naked from the waist down with her legs spread wide apart, her pants were carefully placed over her legs to form oppositional, triangular shapes.

Perry’s blouse was ripped open and her hands held a votive candle folded across her chest. Horrifically, another votive candle protruded from her vagina. Evidence indicated she was beaten, then choked. The savage blow of an ice pick behind her left ear caused her death. Its handle was seen protruding from her skull when a security guard found her body.

Maury Terry, author of The Ultimate Evil

Terry is an award-winning investigative reporter whose work has been prominently featured in both television and print media. In 1993 and again in 1997, he conducted the first television interviews with the confessed killer David Berkowitz. Currently, Terry operates his own TV production business, and he continues to investigate major criminal cases. The opening chapter in Maury Terry’s book The Ultimate Evil retells the awful story of Arlis Perry’s demise. The Ultimate Evil

Terry said Arlis most likely did something the group decided she had to die over. “She might have heard or seen something she shouldn’t have,” he said. “They may have feared she would expose them.”

Terry speculates Perry found out some prominent Bismarck residents were involved in cult activity. “Someone in Bismarck OK’d this, and someone had the hooks to get help on the West Coast,” he said. “This was a pretty sophisticated operation.” Further, why invest so much of it to assassinate an innocent young girl of no material threat to a huge drug-smuggling organization?  Maury Terry was convinced she knew or did something that threatened their drug distribution operation.

The Process Church  

They believed they were visionaries warning of the coming apocalypse. In the wake of the shootings at Columbine and with cult activity on the increase, this could have been ripped from the mainstream headlines throughout 1999. But at the end of the hippie dream, these were the charges levelled at one of the most controversial cults of the Sixties: the Process Church.

process_church_logoRobert DeGrimston Moore and Mary Ann McClean were both fascinated by auditing In 1963. They were who two people met at the L Ron Hubbard Institute of Scientology on Fitzroy Street, London. They were both studying to be ‘auditors’. The aim of auditing was to become ‘clear,’ to wipe the psychic slate clean and become, in effect, a kind of superman, no longer enthralled to neurotic fears and hang-ups.

They studied the work of Alfred Adler, a Freudian who had broken away to develop his own ideas. Adler, who developed the idea of the inferiority complex, believed that people were driven by what he called ‘secret goals,’ hidden agendas that gave rise to compulsions and neuroses. The idea was to discover these goals and make them conscious. Putting Adler and Hubbard together, Robert and Mary Ann created a new system – Compulsions Analysis.

The church has changed its name about five times and keeps a low profile. And in their current disguise, they have made tons of money,” Terry said. “And some of the original members are still in it. The legacy of The Process Church of the Final Judgment continues to prosper.”

David Berkowitz, “Son of Sam”

Berkowitz was said to have ties to The Process Church. He underlined a sentence in a section about the Process Church: “Thou shalt kill. They say they are dedicated to bringing about the end of the world by murder, violence and chaos–but they, the chosen, will survive to build a new world of Satanic glory.” (p.372)

At the time of his arrest, Berkowitz admitted the killing of  six people and injuring  seven more that took place in New York City from the summer of 1976 to August of 1977. In the mid-90’s he claimed that the murders were ritual murders committed by a cult.


crowleyArlis Perry was murdered on October 12th which was also the birthday of black magician Aleister Crowley. Followers of Crowley, also known as Thelemites, revere October 12th as a “holy day and refer to it as Crowleymas.”

Aleister Crowley died in Hastings, England on December 1, 1947. However, his legacy lives on in the Law of Thelema which he brought to mankind (along with dozens of books and writings on magick and other mystical subjects), and in the orders A:.A:. and O.T.O. which continue to advance the principles of Thelema to this day.”

Was Arlis Perry deliberately stalked by cult members affiliated with the Process Church and killed in a Satanic sacrifice specifically in honor of Satan’s Prophet, Aleister Crowley?

Jon Martinson

Martinson is a former psychology professor at Bismarck State College and lifelong Bismarck resident: “I believe it’s possible that people in North Dakota were involved in (Perry’s) murder in some way,” Martinson said.

Martinson reported that Arlis Perry’s in-laws, Duncan and Donna Perry, were shaken when told that she had attempted to convert members of a satanic cult in Mandan to Christianity.

A Mystery Person Visits Arlis

It was at the law firm’s office where she was visited by a mystery guest the day before she was killed, an appearance that continues to puzzle those who attempted to solve the crime.

Witnesses described this person as a man in his early 20s who was five-foot-10-inches tall. He wore jeans, a plaid shirt and had blond, curly hair of normal length. Co-workers reported that Perry seemed upset by the visitor, who they thought was her husband. However, the identity of the visitor remains unknown today, and may be an important clue in the murder mystery.

Martinson summarized, the Process Church was formed in England in the 1960s after Robert and Mary Ann De Grimston couldn’t resolve issues with the Church of Scientology. They developed their own church and soon were labeled Satanists because they worshiped both Christ and Satan. The couple believed that at the end of the world, Satan and Christ would collaborate; Christ would judge the living and dead, and Satan would execute the judgments.

Berkowitz, Charles Manson and William Mentzer, the convicted killer of Hollywood producer Roy Radin, were all believed to be members of the Process Church or one of its related spinoff cults.

A Bismark dentist stated: There were a lot of religious groups coming through town at the time,” who went to school with Perry. “I remember seeing people dressed in priest’s outfits. But instead of white collars, they wore red collars and sported upside-down crosses draped around their neck.

Jon Martinson pointed out that, It’s very important to know that it was Berkowitz himself who raised the connection to the University of Mary, and he did it in late 1979 – nearly eight years before “The Ultimate Evil” was published.

In a Book manuscript: “A story behind the story of Arlis Perry, Helter Skelter, the Son of Sam, and the Process Church of the Final Judgment”   we are provided with extensive details, theorizing the influence of Arlis’ experience between her Christian teachings and the clash of these cultish forces: (Chapters 5 & 6)

When Arlis First Met the People Causing the Downward Spiral

Process Church Ceremony

Process Church Ceremony

She met the six handsome young men while visiting her grandmother. “Are you priests?” she asked. The six men wore the black clerical garb associated with pastors in Catholic and traditional Protestant Churches, except their necks were adorned with red collars instead of white ones.  Three of the men also wore red ribbons and a silver coiled-snake ring on their ring finger.  These three, Father Christian, Brother Thomas, and Brother Joseph, were called “messengers.”  The other three were called “initiates.”

“No,” the men explained, they were not associated with any organized religion. In fact, they believed all organized religion was badly flawed.  “Anything that is organized will eventually be corrupted,” they explained, “if it isn’t already corrupted to begin with.  Society is never wiser than the individual, unless the individual lets society do their thinking for them.  Organized religion places unelected people in positions of power and provides them with the means to mislead and control the masses.”  The men invited Arlis to bring some friends over to their house next Wednesday night, where they would show them what the Bible says about organized religion.


Throughout the lesson, Arlis’ new teacher would jump from one book in the Bible to another; often taking things completely out of context.  To explain the meaning of a phrase embedded in a sentence in one of Paul’s letters, he might jump to an identical phrase found inside a different sentence in Ecclesiastics.  To define a word inside that phrase, he might jump to Mark’s Gospel or the Book of Job.

Father Christian preached what he called “Positive Christianity” and distinguished it from what he called the “Negative Christianity of Organized Religion.” Father Christian explained that “Negative Christianity” emphasized the passive, rather than the active, aspects of Christ’s life.  Negative Christianity stressed our Fallen World, the Passion of the Christ, His sacrifice on the Cross, and our other-worldly redemption.  Negative Christianity enfeebled people, leaving them weak and dreaming of the next life.

Father Christian’s mission was to replace this negative emphasis with a positive emphasis on Christ as an active preacher, organizer and fighter who opposed the institutionalized Judaism of his day.  A true Christian was liberated from the false Jewish God of organized religion, and came to realize an alternative and true Jehovah who desires the empowerment of the oppressed.

Arlis noted these men were obsessed with the Biblical Apocalypse. The End was coming, and they, as the Chosen People, were going benefit in a great way from the event.  The sooner they brought about the collapse of Western Civilization, the better it will be for the Elect.  Money was the root of all evil.  Poverty was the root of all grace.

Their made up religion espoused that there were successive lives, and  fate in each successive life through the exercise of free will.  Each person was consciously (or unconsciously) choosing their fate through each successive life.  Birth defects, etc. were the result of choices made in the person’s previous life

Several trips to the college library brought Arlis to the realization that the leader, Father Christian was inventing a false history to justify his beliefs.  She routinely out-debated Father Christian and the other young men from California at their “Bible Study” sessions.  When membership started dropping, Father Christian declared Arlis to be an “SP,” a Scientology term for a “Suppressive Person” or “antisocial personality” believed to make up about 2.5% of the population.  It is believed an SP can impede the progress of a movement by their mere spiritual presence which can cause other individuals to become a potential trouble source (PTS); a group believed to make up about 17.5% of the population.

Arlis’ Big Mistake

Despite being ostracized by the group, Arlis continued her mission to try to convert the Satanists in Bismarck back to Christianity.  Anat’s efforts to streamline the Process Church’s West Coast operations included detailed briefings on branch’s efforts in North Dakota. These discussions brought Arlis to her attention.

Anat placed Arlis, a nineteen year-old Christian, on a list of powerful SPs that needed to be eliminated as soon as possible, regardless of the cost to the regional organization.  She selected Bill Mentzer for the job.  She was now his boss in the West Coast organization.

Preparing for the Kill


Altar at Stanford Chapel

An associate of Mentzer took a picture of Arlis and sent it to the Satanists in Bismarck for confirmation that he had acquired the correct target.  The picture put the organization in a quandary, because the female pictured had wavy hair (Arlis’ hair was straight) and was not wearing glasses (Arlis had bad eyesight).  To settle the question as to whether she was the correct target, two Satanists were flown in from Bismarck to make a positive identification.  Guy Blase, an attorney at the Palo Alto law firm of “Spaeth, Blase, Valentine and Klein” (where Arlis worked as a receptionist) saw one of the men having an intense conversation with her in the waiting room, the day before she was murdered.


The killer may have been tracking his target toward a familiar rendezvous, Arlis often went to the chapel to pray.  Unfortunately, she stayed until closing that night.  The killer waited until she was alone in the chapel to make his move.

She was beaten and choked (the deep purple bruises imprinted on her neck matched the pattern of her brown wood-and-glass-beaded necklace) repeatedly, but not raped.  He was forbidden from “spoiling” this sacrifice to Satan.  He took a break from the violence to relieve his accumulated sexual pressure on a church kneeling cushion, leaving stains that the police would later find.  He promised the Christian an easy death if she blasphemed her Lord on a small tape recorder he had brought with him.  Arlis refused.

Killer with a Tape Recorder?

The torture continued.  He was surprised that her skinny little frame held such a strong spirit.  He straddled his victim and gave her one last opportunity to curse into his little recorder.  She looked at him with innocence and serenity despite the vicious imprints of his fist – and said, “God loves you too.”

He placed his young victim on her back and shoved her partially under the last pew in the left-side alcove, a short distance from where she was last seen praying.  Above her head, a large engraving of a cross had been sculptured into the church wall.

Perversion and Cult Symbolism

body “He couldn’t save you from the power Satan,” the assassin told the young martyr.  The killer turned Arlis’ face toward the altar, so she could see what he was going to do next.  He brought back two 24 to 30-inch-long yellow beeswax altar candles.  Arlis’ blouse was torn open and her arms were folded across her chest.  One candle was shoved between her breasts with enough force to break both bra straps.

Arlis was nude from the waist down, and her legs were spread wide apart: representing the left and right toes of the bird goddess’s foot.

The second altar candle was jammed into her vagina to represent the middle toe of the bird goddess’s foot.  (The killer shoved the candle so hard that he accidentally broke it.)

To enclose the bottom of the symbol, the legs of her blue Levis were spread-eagled upside down across her calves.

Maury Terry (who surprisingly never grasped the symbolic significance of the arrangement of Arlis’ corpse) stated, “Viewed from above, the resulting pattern of Arlis’ legs and those of the inverted blue jeans took on a diamond-like shape.”  He missed the significance of the candles between the legs and breasts – providing the third intersecting line of the witch’s symbol.

He arranged Arlis’ body in the shape of a “witch’s sign.”

The magical symbol for a witch is also known as the “witch’s foot,” and may take any one of several forms.  The “extended chevron” symbol has been found on Paleolithic pottery and cave paintings dated as early as 20,000 BC.  The most common form of the symbol in ancient Sumer was three crossed lines within a square.  Today, it most often takes the form of the symbol that is usually thought of as the “peace sign.”

The night watchman had locked the church around midnight, forcing the killer to break out and leave the door on the west side ajar.  He took Arlis’ glasses with him to prove to Anat that he had hit the correct target and to explain that she was wearing contacts in the picture taken by his female associate – headquarters was not happy with having to pay airfare, hotel accommodations and other additional costs associated with confirming the target in the last week prior to the hit.  [Hmmmm!  Religious cult or Mafioso]

Comment from the manuscript: The police never solved the murder.  Her body was sent back to North Dakota for burial.  One night in October, the local Satanists stole her headstone from the cemetery as a victory memento.

You could take Arlis out of the Dakotas, but you could not take the Dakotas and Arlis’ upbringing and her version of Christianity out of her.  It appears her desire to “convert the wrong people” was Godly, but not grounded in common sense.  What might she have become in later years? I don’t know, but it seems only just that she should have been given the opportunity!



Additional References:




, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment



Leave it to me to find a “quirky” murder charge called murder by omission.  I read about it somewhere and wanted to know more. That’s usually how my writings begin.  Whether there is a plethora of material or not, I can usually make “somethin’ outta nothin’ “ if the answer is not-Naught!  In this case, such a legal concept appears to be few and far between in the United States.

Someone online known as known as “Coragraph” stated his opinion as: “Murder by omission is very rare — it can only be found where the person had a significant affirmative duty to act, and choose not to act when required to do so by law. The courts will rarely find such a duty to act, absent special circumstances.”

Two such circumstances are the custodial parent of a child, who refuses to seek proper medical attention — and someone who causes the original problem, and then does nothing (or not enough) to correct the harm done.

One such case frequently cited occurred in the Corpus Cristi, Texas in which potential adoptive parents Hannah and Larry Overton.  They met Andrew, a 4-year-old, at their Evangelical church, wishing to add him to their family of several children.  However, little did this couple know of his serious medical conditions, never revealed to them. According to an Express News account in September 2008 and recounted in a article, some of the salient facts of the case include:

  • An official diagnosis of acute salt poisoning was one cause of death
  • The State accused Hannah of feeding him salty creole spice AND neglecting to get medical attention promptly; Andrew may have consumed the equivalent of 6 teaspoons of salt or 23 teaspoons of a creole seasoning.
  • His birth history- Andrew was born to a drug and alcohol addicted teen that neglected him. Other problems included delayed speech, social immaturity and a voracious appetite- including PICA behavior.
  • Andrew had a disorder known as PICA – an insatiable need to eat inappropriate things (Cigarette butts, debris on the ground, human waste, cat food etc.)
  • (Sidebar: I saw such behavior when I worked in an institution for the severe-profoundly “retarded” and autistic persons.  Totally freaky! ) Andrew broke a glow stick and tried to “drink the liquid.’
  • Although the prosecution claimed Andrew was force-fed, they balked, as he was very strong. However, Hannah did say that she gave him stew with the creole spice and then water sprinkled with more of the spice. After which he vomited and lost consciousness.
  • She claimed he “had been acting weird and continuously eating inappropriate things for two days prior to his death.
  • Dr. Michael Moritz, an expert in salt poisoning never had the opportunity to testify. He believed that Andrew died of eating a very large concentration of salt all at once rather than his Pica or underlying medical condition. His salt level was the highest ever recorded in the literature.
  • There was no evidence of force, salt on his body or salt crystal in his mouth, no lacerations….
  • But there was omission …and the failure to call 9-11
  • Hannah had been in a car accident and was in much pain. She summoned her husband. They took him to an urgent clinic, but it was too little, too late.
  • On September 12, 2007, Hannah was convicted of a mandatory life sentence without parole while her husband, who was also charged with capital murder, pleaded no contest to negligent homicide and given two years probation.


Another Case in England-

  • Very similar in circumstances…  Angela Gay and her husband were wrongfully convicted of causing the death of their adopted son Christian. His birth history was very similar to Andrew’s. He was irritable with constant thirst with diabetes and other abnormal behavior, later attributed to brain damage.
  • Christian had lived with the Gays only one  month prior to him slipping into a coma and dying.
  • This couple was serving a five year sentence and accused of feeding him four teaspoons of salt.
  • The Gays were “slow to realize that their son was gravely ill.”
  • British child welfare officials did not disclose any health problems, as in Andrew’s case
  • The Gays were acquitted of all charges after MDs testified that a brain malfunction caused his salt levels to rise to fatal levels.

The Tragedy of the MV Sewol in Korea –

On April 16, 2014 288 passengers on board perished as well as others deaths, with still others missing in a disaster that was entirely preventable.

As reported in The Sewol Ferry Tragedy as a Warning

Article 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea clearly states, “The state must endeavor to prevent disasters and protect the people from their danger.” While the immediate cause of the Sewol’s accident might be attributable to the captain and the owner of the ship, the government bears the most direct responsibility for saving not a single passenger who was left in the ferry.

The Captain, 1st Class and 2nd Class Officers and the Chief Engineer are being indicted for murder by omission in Korea according to Kang-Ju won of the K-law (May 15, 2014.) Murder in Korea can include life in prison or the death penalty. However the death penalty has not been utilized since 1997.)

The author states that the elements of Murder by Omission include:

  •  A duty to act, to prevent danger and did nothing-left the ship early and did not try to save passengers;
  • The intent to kill another person where the perpetrator foresees that his act can cause death and yet persist-not caring;
  • Loss of life and Causation-Proof that the defendant’s omission-inactions were substantially related to all deaths

(Even though some were rescued after the defendants jumped ship.)

Reportedly, to date no person in Korea has ever been convicted of Murder by omission in a “calamity –accident related” case. Author Kang Ju won feels they will mostly likely be found guilty of murder (without omission) and serve long sentences.

Background of the Sewol Mismanagement and Incompetent Oversight 

  • The world watched helplessly as hundreds of lives drown to death because of the combination of corruption, ineptitude, and irresponsibility pervasive in today’s Korea.
  • The previous administration relaxed the regulations on a ferry’s life and safety, allowing the Chonghaejin Maritime Transportation, the Sewol’s owner, to import an aged ship and add more room for passengers and cargos;
  • The safety inspection and the certification of the ship were left to private entities formed or heavily influenced by ferry owners;
  • The Park administration allowed the Chonghaejin to hire temporary workers, including the captain, at a low wage and without adequate safety training;
  • The government turned a blind eye to the illegal overloading of the ferry.
  • The Park Geun-Hye administration fail to mobilize its resources to rescue the passengers in a timely manner:
  • The Coast Guard never issued an order to rescue the passengers, but only a call to salvage the ferry; and it relied on a particular private company for the rescue and salvage, and protected the company’s monopolistic operation.
  • The Park Geun-Hye administration also walked away from democratic accountability by abandoning its responsibility to protect the people, systematically controlling the media, and mobilizing the police to isolate and surveillance the victims’ families.



Whether we are speaking of overwhelmed, and unprepared parents, dereliction of duty by maritime officers, or law enforcement, murder by omission is attributed to deliberate actions or inactions causing death. It appears to be fraught with problems and may be incorrectly applied. Is it any wonder that few states have it on the books or apply correctly?  Is it semantics after all, or can it mean the difference between life and death for the accused? We must always consider the victim, as an omission in this context, is another life taken.



Who is there to be your voice to the court, or with Board of Pardons and Parole when you clearly are too distraught and consumed with emotion to convey your opinion on the fate of the murderer?

  • Can you trust someone else to present a generic picture for you?
  • Can you trust that another relative  or friend will say what is needed?
  • Can you trust yourself to maintain control?

If the answer to any of these questions is doubtful, trust in me, a skilled writer and homicide survivor and advocate with over 30 years experience.  If you have been given sufficient time to prepare a victim impact statement, perhaps I can help.                    

For more information, please contact me about Victim Impact Statement Assistance.



, , , , ,


The Most Important “Head’s Up EVER! The Victim Information Notification System (VINE)


VINEA counterpart to Connecticut’s Office of the Victim Advocate is the Judicial Branch Services in the Office of Victim Services. They oversee the Victim Information Notification System (VINE), otherwise known locally as CT SAVIN – Connecticut Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (System).

CT SAVIN is a free, confidential service that provides crime victims and their family members, victim advocates, and members of the community  no cost, confidential notification of court related events. The Connecticut Judicial Branch provides this toll-free, automated notification service.

VCRs- VINE Service Representatives

CT SAVIN is operated by the VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) service and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. In addition to VINE Link, CT SAVIN offers a free and anonymous telephone service that provides crime victims and interested individuals with information and notification. Accommodations are available to those with communication impairments and Spanish speakers as their primary language.  (I would check in advance to ascertain if representatives and documentation is available to assist in other languages).

Registration Information: Notifications can be received by telephone or e-mail.  Fair warning! Should you misrepresent your identity, you could be prosecuted!  You are encouraged to update your status and personal information whenever a change occurs!

And just to be CLEAR, in our state where bureaucracy rules CT SAVIN provides notification messages regarding court related events whereas the Office of Victim Services and the Department of Corrections OVS/DOC provides information about changes in inmate status.

For help with registration for Connecticut incarcerated inmate related notifications contact OVS toll-free at (800) 822-8428 or DOC Victim Services Unit toll-free at (888) 869-7057.

Why can’t every state have a “one stop shopping procedure” and be an “opt out” system? “Just askin’.

The Proof is in the Pudding….Generic_VictimNotification

Although I have been registered with the Department of Corrections and the Office of Victim Services Notification Systems, I was negligent in registering with VINE! Shame on me. So, as a “test case,” for this blog, I went through the process via phone registration.  They will ask you identifying information regarding the inmate and your name. They will also respond to any related questions or get the answers (Seems to me, I was put on hold about three times.)


  • A 30 day advanced  notice of the prisoner’s  release
  • Information concerning a prisoner’s transfer to another facility
  • Information concerning the escape and re-capture of the prisoner
  • Information regarding the custody status of the inmate

Other Important Points

  • You may register other family members with their phone number or e-mail address  and a password;
  • It does not matter where you are based, you will receive the notification
  • There is a free app available via Apple ITunes as well;
  • CT SAVIN notification messages will be left on an answering machine
  • Notification from CT SAVIN should be just one part of your safety plan

APPRISS, the Kentucky based software company, devoted to safety notification, administers the program, and includes a wide range of services.  (As they are undergoing management changes, a Shattered Lives radio show is still pending.)

A Quick Reference Guide: How to Register:;

Please check the procedures and provisions in YOUR State, as they may differ!

This is a great opportunity to remind readers, that the VINE alerts you to changes with court related events regarding the perpetrator.  However, who is there to be your voice to the court, or with Board of Pardons and Parole when you clearly are too distraught and consumed with emotion to convey your opinion on the fate of the murderer?

  • Can you trust someone else to present a generic picture for you?
  • Can you trust that another relative  or friend will say what is needed?
  • Can you trust yourself to maintain control?

If the answer to any of these questions is doubtful, trust in me, a skilled writer and homicide survivor and advocate with over 30 years experience.  If you have been given sufficient time to prepare a victim impact statement, perhaps I can help.                    

For more information, please contact me about Victim Impact Statement Assistance.



The Most Important “Head’s Up EVER! The Victim Information Notification System (VINE)







, , ,

Leave a comment

In the Shadow of Sandy Hook What Should be the Yardstick for Victim’s Privacy?


mass media, privacy, victim privacy

Even 15 months after the most horrendous mass killing of children and adults in recent history, the wounds are still fresh…

A year anniversary passed in December….

A Governor appointed Advisory Council is still grappling with the “why of it” in hopes of gaining insight into the prevention of another mass tragedy of its kind.

Guns, mental health, school oversight, and parental responsibility aside, a town grieves daily. But there are signs of renewed hope with a new architectural design for a new school just completed and a Selectwoman who continues to lead with grace and thoughtfulness.  Using a delicate balance of completing town business and always keeping those who died in our hearts and minds., Pat Llodra accomplishes her mission to ensure the safety and best interests of her residents.



Release of the 911 tapes: “Release of the audio recordings will also allow the public to consider and weigh what improvements, if any, should be made to law enforcement’s response to such incidents,” Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott said.

Pat Llodra, First Selectwoman of Newtown compared the steady leak of information about the investigation of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School to “Chinese water torture she now believes recordings of 911 calls from the school should be made public.

“Every day, there is something in the media that drags us back to that terrible day,” Llodra said. “I think everything that can be released should be released.” She asked that media “treat us kindly” in December 2013, just three months ago.

Although each and every victim has their own opinion regarding what is appropriate and what they can personally tolerate, in the final analysis, dispatchers were calm and handled the situation as trained.  However, this event has opened up a Pandora’s box in that victim’s privacy issues have never been so exposed. Does anyone really want or need to see photographs of dead children and carnage from perpetrator Adam Lanza?

Does the “principles of Free speech” and journalism trump human decency?  Should we rein in the Freedom of Information Act in certain circumstances?

Raised Bill 388 of the Connecticut General Assembly-                                                                       


Link to Text of the Bill:

This bill seemingly covers all bases in scope with 29 separate provisions stating: “Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of…” in situations in which various documents, files or images, it has been determined that the withholding of such in the public’s interest clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure and such disclosures would constitute an invasion of personal privacy.

Specific provisions added  as they relate to crime victims include 27 through 29:

(27) Any record created by a law enforcement agency or other federal, state, or municipal governmental agency consisting of a photograph, film, video or digital or other visual image depicting the body or any portion of the body of a victim of a homicide, to the extent that the disclosure of such record could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, [of the victim or the victim's surviving family members.] provided nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit the inspection of such a record in accordance with section 2 of this act;

(28) Any record created by a law enforcement agency or other federal, state or municipal governmental agency consisting of an audio recording of an emergency 9-1-1 call or other call for assistance that is made by a member of the public when such call (A) relates to a homicide, and (B) captures, conveys or relates to the impaired physical condition of the caller or another person, to the extent that the disclosure of such record could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, provided nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit listening to such record in accordance with section 2 of this act;

(29) Any record created by a law enforcement agency or other federal, state or municipal governmental agency consisting of an audio recording that is an operative communication among law enforcement personnel when such communication (A) relates to a homicide, and (B) captures, conveys or relates the impaired physical condition of the caller or another person, to the extent that the disclosure of such record could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, provided nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit listening to such record in accordance with section 2 of this act.

(Bracketed text is recommended for deletion while the remainder of 27-29 was underlined in the Bill, meaning that it is new information to be added). As can be noted, this language covers records, photos, videos created by law enforcement,, depicting a body or a portion thereof, audio recordings that convey information concerning a homicide or the impaired physical conditions of victims, and requests for copies of images and audio recordings, including copying of images in which victim families have submitted a written objection  to the image.

The other provisions include “everything but the kitchen sink” such as medical files, trade secrets, financial and commercial, content of real estate appraisals , records between those with privileged relationships, school enrollment records, investigative records, adoptive records, town petitions, educational and mental health records, security manuals, emergency plans, correctional institution material, records from government owned or leased institutions, security system information, Department of Transportation records, parks and recreation  minor attendees, etc.


This Bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee as of 3-4-2014 after which a Public Hearing  of the Government Administration and Elections Committee was held  on 3-10-2014, lasting  5½  hours (inclusive of all bills within that committee.)                                                                                           Link:

The number of entities testifying on behalf and against this bill is listed as follows:

To date, the GAE Committee voted 8 to 6 in favor of the bill. It may pass on to other committees prior to the end of the session on May 7th (a short legislative session this year.)


Judiciary Committee
03/10/2014 American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut – David McGuire 03/10/2014 CCFOI and Privacy and FOI Task Force – James H. Smith
03/10/2014 Connecticut Bar Association – Daniel J. Klau 03/10/2014 Connecticut Broadcasters Association – Michael P. Ryan
03/10/2014 Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information – Claude Albert 03/10/2014 Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association – John T. Walkley
03/10/2014 Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association – Chris VanDeHoef 03/10/2014 Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission – Colleen M. Murphy
03/10/2014 Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists – Jodie Mozdzer Gil 03/10/2014 CT Daily Newspapers Assoc. – Chris VanDeHoef
03/10/2014 CT Division of Criminal Justice 03/10/2014 CT Office of Chief Public Defender – Susan O. Storey
03/10/2014 CT Office of the Victim Advocate – Garvin G. Ambrose 03/10/2014 Don DeCesare
03/10/2014 Freedom of Information Commission 03/10/2014 Mitchell W. Pearlman
03/10/2014 Rep. Angel Arce 03/10/2014 Rep. Leonard A. Fasano
03/10/2014 Senator Donald E. Williams, Jr. 03/10/2014 South Windsor Police Department – Matthew D. Reed
03/10/2014 The 26 Families of the Victims of the Sandy Hook School Shooting 03/10/2014 The 26 Families of the Victims of the Sandy Hook Shooting – Morgan Rueckert
03/10/2014 The Freedom of Information Commission    



The Constitutional rights of freedom of speech and the public’s right to know need to be forever balanced. When respect and human dignity are “thrown out the window” in favor of media ratings than we have sunk to a new low in society. I am not sure when we veered off course in favor of sensationalism and gore.  However, I do know that the pendulum needs to swing back. Crime victims need to take control and draw clear boundaries for themselves. This is an area with which we should not have to be concerned.  However, we are placed in this position by the sheer number of atrocities occurring. Let’s stop the madness and   use some common sense and human decency.  Government should not have to legislate human decency! If this legislation is passed by the end of the session, may it serve as a model for other states as well as a cautionary tale regarding journalists’ lack of moral compass.

With that said, an answer to reliving some of the pain of a surviving family’s experience following homicide, is my customized Victim Impact Statement Assistance.  Using my skills and experience, I can paint the picture with and for you, such that the court or Board of Pardons and Parole can truly know your family member.  It will be a testament of the heart, relieving you of the burden at a most vulnerable time.   If I can help you or your family, please contact me.

In the Shadow of Sandy Hook What Should be the Yardstick for Victim’s Privacy?

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53 other followers