Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust: Homicide Survivors Carry the Torch for those Taken by Violence

photo: LATimes
photo: LATimes


Whether users of the Book of Common Prayer are reciting “metrical text”—text that when a congregation reads it, it all comes out even” in burial rights, “ashes to ashes and dust to dust” (based on the Biblical, Genesis 3:19) or wedding phraseology,” “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here together”it matters not.  Poetry is fallacy, as life almost never “comes out even in metered phrases.”

Had our liturgical forefathers known that homicide would be so commonplace in “civilized society,” they would be aghast at the persons getting all of the care and attention, namely the perpetrators of crime versus the victim/survivors.

Enter Parents of Murdered Children, INC, the largest national self-help support group organization working for the rights of murder victims since 1978, and making sure that they evolve into “healthy survivors.”  Twenty five years of assistance and advocacy later, Dan Levey “was handed the torch,” following the homicide of his brother, Howard.

“Shattered Lives” radio interviewed this accomplished man to discuss how far POMC has come and future work to be done,  for there are always others on the horizon who can benefit from this fine organization.



  • Kudos to the CUE Center for Missing Persons for their search efforts for missing persons in Horry County,  S.C.
  • Introduction to our guest
  • POMC- Is it just for Parents of Murdered Children? A brief history…;
  • Providing Services …on the phone everyday across the country- “Trying to grab funding” etc.
  • Collaborative efforts  “We’re all in it together;” Working on public policy and legislative issues
  • Support with other organizations such as Survivors of Homicide, Inc.; Citizens Against Homicide;;
  • “The Saddest thing to hear years down the line”, according to Dan
  • Dan’s personal homicide story-  November 3,1996
  • Terrorizing the neighborhood on a Sunday morning… “Flipping a coin to see who would be the shooter…”
  • The aftermath of the crime
  • Ladyjustice… “Sorry doesn’t mean anything, but…”
  • Dan discusses their yearly leadership trainings
  • Programming – The Murder Wall…a description of a travelling tribute
  • Delilah describing the CUE Center’s Wall for the Missing
  • Passage authored by survivor, Cincinnati’s  Sharon Tewkesbury, regarding the impact of the Murder Wall and her husband Monty
  • All about POMC’s “Second Opinion Service”- What they do; What they don’t do
  • Ladyjustice asks about eligibility and composition of the “other sets of eyes”
  • Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Harry Bonnell-  who served POMC for 20 years –
  • Discussion re Dr. Henry Lee – The Connecticut Connection:
  • Information regarding how to submit information to SOS
  • Comparisons to medical issues- The importance of a second opinion
  • Ladyjustice & Delilah talk about the similarities to the former “Crimewire” Radio Show with Susan Murphy-Milano & Denny Griffin
  • Example-
  • POMC’s National Conference in Rochester ,Minnesota August 14-17, 2014 –Keynote Dan Gable-
  • Parole Block Program, – Circulation of Petitions to keep criminals incarcerated versus being released early
  • What is the significance of the Parole Block program for survivors according to Dan?
  • Delilah asks about POMC’s role in advocating against early release across the country,  Example- the State of Connecticut-
  • Life does not mean life…. behind bars
  • Discussing tracking their data re petitions and the impact of this program-

Very successful!

“Homicide Grief is the yearning to say one last goodbye…”

Dan Levey,

Executive Director

National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc.

550 W. Portland St.

Phoenix, Arizona 85003


Questions Elicited from this Show

  • What was Dan’s background prior to his current position at POMC?
  • What does the Executive Director position entail?
  • Are we all competing for the same Federal dollars?
  • What is the uniqueness of POMC as compared to other organizations?
  • What were the circumstances of Howard’s homicide?
  • What is the Murder Wall about and when is it used?
  • Does the “Second Opinion Service” assist in solving cold cases?
  • Are prosecutors and law enforcement cooperative with the Second Opinion Services?
  • What has been the typical amount of circulations per week and numbers per petition drive?
  • According to the DOJ, what is the average “life sentence” for a murderer?
  • Is it true that all prisoners are indigent and cannot afford restitution?
  • How quickly does restitution happen in Arizona?
  • What does the National POMC Conference workshops consist of?
  • What are the consequences of not having a National Crime Victim’s Leave Act?
  • What are the most important pieces of legislation passed in Arizona in recent years?
  • What are the most important ways in which to help POMC in the future?

The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.

Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust:

Homicide Survivors Carry the Torch for those Taken by Violence

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