My Lily Pad

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When you are at my juncture and status in life, it can sometimes be a rollercoaster. Too often, as a single person with no feedback to rely on, I have trouble mentally balancing it all. I tend to lament about my multiple responsibilities and simultaneously think that things aren’t happening quickly enough.

Sometimes, when you have climbed the first, second, and third rung up the ladder of success, you think to yourself, “I’ve definitely paid my dues. It’s been so long at this 24/7 journey. I have sacrificed much, spent oodles of time, effort, energy and money. Why hasn’t “X” happened yet?”

It’s during those times that I can’t see the forest for the trees because I’m too close to it. In addition, my goals have changed over time. I’ve never wanted to be the Oprah of Crime or the person on the talk show circuit. That’s when a trusted person, who has also been along for the ride, steps in to provide objectivity and remind me that there has been tremendous progress and that there were never any promises made of instant or guaranteed success no matter how hard you work! This last part is a bitter pill to swallow, for I have succeeded all my life with dogged perseverance, drive and resilience.

Having an online presence of any importance is indeed an adventure that is constantly changing, most often without an end destination. I now realize through trial and error and a lot of guidance, that if you can’t ride the wave, maybe you shouldn’t surf!

When I embarked on my public relations- social media partnership in 2010, I knew something about marketing in terms of event planning but the rest was all new to me, especially social media. What should I expect from a publicist?

I was flattered that I was taken on as a client with ImaginePublicity, and that my talents were recognized. It was cool to have a publicist and the fact that I didn’t have to be famous to deserve one! In fact, I wrote a little satirical blog imagining what the role of a publicist must be, called, Life in the Cockpit at Imagine Publicity.

I was now in the company of high profile activists, advocates, authors and more.

Fast forward to 2017. When I scan the landscape at ImaginePublicity, I see many permutations of Donna R. Gore on a weekly, monthly,  and daily basis. I’ve grown in many areas of social media, written hundreds of blogs, published my first book about homicide in an anthology series, created my national radio show with a quality 5 year track record, actively participate as a Connecticut State Outreach Coordinator for the Cue Center for Missing Persons.  I’ve done book signings, newspaper interviews, presentations and speaking engagements, all which I have proudly pursued in the name of creating a better path for others!

Recently, I looked at my journey from this perspective and I think I have a great lily pad in comparison to where I started in 2010! I would never try to say I’m top frog in the neighborhood, for that’s not my goal. However, I know that I’m someone who has achieved great heights from my present view on the lily pad.

Should I be content? No, for I am a voracious learner with an intellectual curiosity for diverse life experience! In the meantime, I will try to enjoy my lily pad as it is for now!

Thanks to all who have helped me along the way!


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To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity. Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email: contact@imaginepublicity.com

You can find me here, please follow or friend! Facebook,  Shattered Lives,  Twitter, LinkedIn

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Writer’s Process Blog Hop

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photo courtesy of D Sharon Pruitt

Dying to Live, Amy Susan Crohn, ImaginePublicity,Donna R. Gore, LadyJusticeI was nominated to join the Blog Hop by award winning author Amy Susan Crohn. Her first book, DYING TO LIVE: Running backwards through cancer, Lupus, and chronic illness was a finalist in the MEMOIRS (Overcoming Adversity/Tragedy/Challenges) category by Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She was a featured author at the 2014 Book Expo America in New York. Accomplishments which to aspire! Catch up on Amy’s website and be sure to read her blog.

I was also featured on last week’s “Hop Stop” at ImaginePublicity, a social media marketing agency who has helped develop my skills in ImaginePublicity logosocial media as well as marketing my new endeavors. Through my association I have been able to be introduced to some of the country’s leading victim advocates and others who are tops in their fields surrounding the rights of crime victims and the judicial system.

 

What am I working on?

I am a blossoming author in the professional sense, but, in reality, I have been writing since my teens, and that’s a LONG time ago! I am a mad, passionate writer and practice my craft everyday through my blog entries, in-depth research blogs which showcase issues and guests on my national radio show, Shattered Lives. I’m in the process of expanding my expertise in my forthcoming first book.

We are all products of our past and I bring a rich tapestry of experience prior to  becoming a crime victim in 1981 when my father was murdered.  I’m also the survivor of over 50 surgeries during my lifetime. Luckily, these experiences molded me into the person I am today, happy, very healthy, and are the basis of my nickname “LadyJustice.”

As a homicide survivor and advocate for many causes with an insatiable intellectual curiosity, my main interest is in the non-fiction crime genre. However, due to the myriad of colleagues I’ve met along the way, and the increased exposure to so many aspects of crime victims and their rights, I have also included others as closest to my heart, such as persons who go missing.

It’s difficult to keep on track at times, for I want to veer off into territory about which no one else has written. This is the root of my passion, for my writing to be unique and cutting edge as often as possible versus mundane ho-hum stuff.

I have created a niche market service for crime victims unlike anyone else, a custom tailored Vicitim Impact Statement writing service available in a tiered package. This addresses a need in that victims can be often left to their own devices at the most vulnerable and emotional time in their lives, unable to understand a judicial process that seems stacked against them and their needs. My consultation service creates a victim impact statement for court or for a Board of Pardons & Parole.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My passion for crime story telling knows no bounds. I can always make “something” out of a few facts given my divergent thinking skills.  Sometimes I employ what I call the ”Stone Soup Method”.  There is a more detailed method to my writing which includes how to effectively market the crime which I have outlined in a presentation called “Marketing 101 for your Crime.”  YES,  you do have to market it as a crime victim in order to obtain the proper exposure.   When writing about crime, these are some of the questions I ask myself:

    • What is personally interesting to the writer?
    • What is unique or unusual?
    • Is it related to current events? (Does it need to be?)
    • Is it historical or nostalgia based?
    • Does it have heart, human interest?
    • Is it “just another crime” or are there elements that make it more intriguing?
    • Is it readily transferable to written or audio format?
    • Will the topic have “staying power”- longevity?
    • Is the topic controversial, provocative?
    • Will it offend others…Do you care?
    • As the writer, do you have a personal stake in the topic, and does that make it better or worse?
    • Can other elements and information be pulled in to increase audience appeal?

What differs is I always try to tell a story by painting a complete picture, by using a variety of social media sites in an interesting manner, and using creative language with a sense of humor.

Why do I write what I do?

My writing has personal relevance to me and a larger audience, because it is intriguing and unique, and it needs to be discussed in the context of creating an awareness. In addition,  I enjoy breaking down the barriers of “taboo topics “ with the potential for helping large numbers of readers listeners such as in Defining Suicide Healing and Grief.

How does my work process work?

I tend to follow my heart, along with my personal experience when it comes to choosing subject matter, but I’m mindful of the following:

  • Explain the relevance up front
  • Use a “hook” to capture attention
  • Be original – No “copy-paste” stories
  • Credit others- Use references for excerpts and other material used to illustrate your message
  • Humanize and personalize
  • Tie it together- beginning, middle, conclusion
  • Begin and end on a positive or provocative note
  • Be creative (i.e. chose quotes or short narratives to “capture the mood” and enhance your material
  • Don’t use bad language; The use of other language can say it just as effectively
  • Pair your story with a graphic that “says it all”(non-copyrighted or with permission)
  • Respect copyrighted material
  • Circulate “respectfully” to other social media forms
  • Diversify your message
  • Connecting and sharing posts
  • Inclusion of questions at the end when relevant

Thanks for the opportunity to introduce my life as a blogger which has served as a “springboard” for many other opportunities! I so look forward to what’s on the horizon for “LadyJustice!”

Karen Beaudoin, A Child is Missing

As she relates the harrowing story of her missing and murdered sister in her book A Child is Missing, author Karen Beaudinwill share with readers how she has turned a family tragedy into not only a quest for justice, but a learning tool which she uses to teach law enforcement agencies about investigating criminal cold cases.

An author who is working on her sequel, Karen is also a dynamic speaker appearing at conferences and organizations all over the country.

Misdeeds at the Morgue

 

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There was a time when misdeeds at the morgue were considered something out of a Frankenstein movie, designed to be seen only on Halloween night.  However, nothing could be further from the truth, misdeeds are occurring everyday “in the shadows,” kept from public view.  How are they accomplished?   They are accomplished “under the guise of academic or educational pursuits”, shrouded in bureaucracy. [Note:  It’s funny about the double meaning of words… A “shroud” is also a cloth used to wrap a body for burial; a winding sheet.]  

According to information from the State of Connecticut’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, when performing  an actual internal and external autopsy, a medical examiner collects less than one pound of human tissue for later examination . They can also legally retain an organ such as the brain, or heart for up to five years, after which it is destroyed in a “special crematorium.”

Here’s but a few examples of misdeeds I can point to in my own backyard:

A) The Connecticut General Assembly was asked to legislate common sense and compassion concerning the event of a grieving mother and her son’s death four years earlier in 1995.  It did not do so. 

Employees at the chief medical examiner’s office in Farmington incorrectly denied that the body of Lorraine Wilmot’s son, Jason, had been transported to their office. They further prevented her from viewing the body prior to an autopsy except through closed-circuit television. When she requested that she give her son one last kiss, reportedly, an employee laughed at her!  

The episode so hurt Ms. Wilmot that she has become the driving force behind a bill that would require the medical examiner to publish and distribute a brochure outlining the rights of a deceased’s family. These fundamental rights include viewing the body and being told why an autopsy is required and when the victim’s family can have custody of the body.

Chief Medical Examiner at the time, Dr. H. Wayne Carver fought vigorously against passage of the bill. His reasons for opposing the bill are chilling! In testimony before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, Dr. Carver essentially said, “it’s not his job to comfort people who come to his office to view loved ones who have met a violent death. Hospitals and funeral homes are better prepared than the morgue to meet the emotional needs of bereaved relatives.” 

How very cold and lacking in compassion! [ Note: The website for the State Medical Examiner’s office has general information for families and defers “the emotional part” to other agencies.  Even in 2014, no victim’s rights are listed! Perhaps it will occur in the future, as Dr. Carver is now retired.] 

B) In 1986, Dr. Catherine Galvin, 39, was fired as Connecticut’s Chief Medical Examiner for allowing her dogs in the autopsy room while she was performing her job and…for administrative mismanagement. 

C) In April 2013, after one of the most horrific mass killings in recent history, the Newton- Sandy Hook, CT school shootings, a Connecticut medical examiner’s office employee was fired for allowing her husband to view the body of perpetrator, Adam Lanza!  

D)  Finally the Pièce de résistance” was the Chandra Turner Reform Act of Oklahoma.  This act permits families to have the opportunity to appeal their loved ones’ death certificates. Numerous Oklahoma cases occurred in which the Medical Examiner rubber stamped death certificates as suicides, many without autopsies or proper testing. Some of their actions were politically corrupt, contaminated and included manufactured crime scenes in the majority of cases.   Dennis Griffin and Susan Murphy-Milano discuss the Chanda Turner case on Crime Wire Investigates with the family and attorney, Jaye Mendros.

The above examples serve as a backdrop for the fascinating true account of Dennis N. Griffin’s 1996 novel; “The Morgue.”   

Dennis N. Griffin

Dennis N. Griffin

Former government and private investigator, Denny Griffin had retired from his official duties and was searching for something intriguing to do.  At first glance, investigating some minor wrongdoings at the morgue was “dull stuff” as he delved into the underpinnings of the operation with essentially nothing to go on. What he discovered was incredible, perverse, ugly, and certainly NOT for the faint of heart!

In this interesting episode of Shattered Lives Radio, Denny initially discusses his rise as an author and then provides us with an intimate view of the seamy side of the misdeeds of a morgue in upstate New York. 

Listen to Shattered Lives Radio

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  • An invitation to be a radio host on Inside Lenz Network; contact ImaginePublicity if interested in becoming a part of Inside Lenz Network
  • Introduction to our guest, Dennis N. Griffin
  • The path to authorship beginning  at “The Beeches”
  • Denny’s “Policing Las Vegas”
  • The Feds… and the “hidden ownership” of the casinos in the 1960’s and 1970’s in Las Vegas
  • Denny’s advice as an author and…What not to do
  • Coroners versus medical examiners 
  • A personal connection to a case that nobody wanted-illegal harvesting of tissue and more…
  • In the process of losing a daughter…Could it be? 
  • The case breaks open – Unauthorized harvesting of tissues and “the bodies” – “cremation” by next of kin  
  • Discussion of falsifying records and illegal use of skeletal remains recovery courses 
  • New York Body Stealing Statute 
  • Legal Body Donation 
  • The “Cat Woman” 
  • Delilah on the prolific nature of body stealing and when/how will it stop? 
  • The story of the farms and a sexual predator 
  • Discoveries…
  • Sex in the Medical examiner’s office  
  • Discussion of the charges: Misdemeanors versus felonies 
  • Compromise on charges and the fate of 20 or 30 murders
  • The book:  Fiction versus non-fiction 
  • “Acting under orders” 
  • An incredible postscript…
  • Remembering the Oklahoma Medical Examiner and incompetent law enforcement investigations 
  • Crime Wire  Oklahoma Cases
  • Denny’s Contact Info: A New website: http://www.dennisngriffin.biz/

 

 

Questions from the “Book Nook” & “Viewing Room”

  • How did Denny get the writing bug…and was his journey typical?
  • What did Denny discover when researching the history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department?
  • What was Denny’s history featuring his first mob figure in “Sin City?”
  • What are the most important considerations in publishing your book? 
  • What was informed consent in New York in the Medical Examiner’s Office?
  • What occurred in the cremation process when tracking three or four years of activity? 
  • Why was the medical examiner illegally harvesting human tissue and bodies? 
  • What happened concerning the “Cat Woman” body?
  • Where did “the courses” take place?
  • What did the science teacher do?
  • What was the outcome of the charges on the medical examiner?
  • What was Denny’s opinion on a real sentence? 

 

Disclaimer: 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.

Thank You World…From “Ladyjustice”

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(Observing the One Year Anniversary of “Shattered Lives” Radio Show)

February 4, 2012 to the present…. One year of wonderment… education, passion, tears, laughter and helping many, many people….  Where do I begin?  It has been… and continues to be immensely rewarding.  It is a heck of a lot of work… But most of all, this groundbreaking show is a true pleasure and a labor of love.  It helps to feed Ladyjustice’s insatiable intellectual curiosity and creativity… and keeps her out of trouble…most of the time!

As they say on the Award shows, “I wish I had time to thank each and every person in a special way.” However, I do not… The best way to thank everyone is to continue to do this work as a public service…and to honor my father, who was murdered by a career criminal almost 32 years ago…  

With the exception of my mentors in this venture, I can only list the guests: “stars appearing in my constellation.”

*** I encourage you to please go to the archives, enjoy and learn from all of them!  

  • Susan  Murphy-Milano – My mentor and dear friend, motivator who pushed me beyond my limits, who saw the possibilities when I didn’t…whose voice is still in my head and forever in my heart.  I hope she would be proud of me and this milestone;
  • Delilah Jones – the master PR professional, jovial co-host, dear friend, compassionate caretaker, “mother hen” and invaluable resource, I thank her for all that she has given over and above her prescribed role…. My life would not be the same without her presence and guidance;

List of Guests and Affiliations:

  • Introduction to Ladyjustice with  interview by Delilah;
  • St. Mark Varnau- San Diego Police Department – Elder Abuse;
  • Janice Smolinski- Billy’s Law and Adults Who Go Missing;
  • Sam & Wanda Rieger- Creators of the Melanie Ilene Rieger Memorial Conference against Violence (on behalf of their daughter);
  • Robin Kramer Interval House-DV;
  • Bob Rahn, PI, Management Resources, Ltd;
  • Michelle Cruz,  Connecticut State Victim Advocate;
  • 10) Dr. Laurie Roth, TBI;
  • 11) Robin McHalen True Colors-LGBTQ;
  • Denny & Faith Griffin- Vehicular Death;
  • Tim Palmbach – Forensic Science, Henry Lee Institute;
  • Andrew Norton, Legislative Liaison, State of CT  Services for the Blind;
  • Anna Doraghazi  & Lavinia Masters – Sexual Assault;
  • Melissa Cann – Family Survivor – Long Island Serial Killer;
  • “At the Movies” Reviews with Ladyjustice & Delilah;
  • Duane Bowers – Trauma Specialist (#1)
  • Chuck Elgin & Robin Moore- Sonar & Rescue Dog Techniques;
  • Kim Anklin – Management resources Ltd; Sexual Harassment;
  • Ann Baldwin- Baldwin Media;
  • Raymond Bechard “The BerlinTrnpike” Human Trafficking;
  • Kim & Kristin Anklin-Workplace Harassment –Violence;
  • Imagine Publicity – Showcase of Clients;
  • Roger Sylvestre- Ct Fire Academy;
  • Michael Dooling, Author of “Clueless  in New England”
  • David Francis – The Jon Francis Foundation;
  • Antoinette Bosco- The Death Penalty;
  • Diane Tomassetti-  Baggins End Guest House-

“Pampering Yourself”

  • Derek VonLuchene – Ryan United;
  • David Kaczynski-Brother of the Unabomber ;
  • Duane Bowers –Caretakers #2;
  • Marylyn Gambrell- No More Victims” Kids of                           Incarcerated Parents;
  • Susan Murphy –Milano “Holding My Hand Through Hell”
  • Dottie Laster & Betty Houbion – Human Trafficking;
  • Peter Valentin Henry Lee Institute Evidence Collection;
  • Al Dressler- Facechecks- Vito Colucci Investigations;
  • Bob Rahn-Cold Case Vernon Jones;
  • Jillian Maas Backman- “Getting in Touch with Your Spiritual Side”
  • John & Becky Glezen PFLAG- Hartford;
  • Michale Callahan- “Too Politically Sensitive”
  • Duane Bowers –Sandy Hook Massacre #3;
  • Melissa Marshall- Disability Issues;
  • Eryn Cervantes – Citizens Against Homicide Conference;
  • Marilyn Gambrell – “No More Victims” (#2);
  • Anna Doraghazi CONNSACS – Richard Fourtin Case – etc. (#2);
  • Diane Fanning True Crime & Fiction Author 

     Thank you very much…from the bottom of my heart!