Category Archives: advocacy

Top Ten Facebook (activist) Friends

Quand j’ai commencé sur Facebook j’ai pensé que je garderais mon réseau sociale à mon travail de défense des victimes. J’ai pensé que c’était une approche saine. Au fil du temps, cette tactique s’est érodée. Pour le meilleur ou pour le pire que j’ai de plus en plus d’utiliser Facebook comme un forum pour promouvoir mes idées au sujet des victimes et la justice pénale.

Je ne me sens pas trop coupable. Je vois toutes sortes de “Friends” en utilisant Facebook pour promouvoir leurs croyances (lesPieces où ils trouvent, lors de leur bande est en lecture, une cause pour un être cher qui est décédé d’une maladie).

Ce que je pense est sain, c’est que beaucoup de ces personnes Au départ, j’étais fatigué de véritables sont devenus des amis (pourquoi devrais-je essayer de garder les deux mondes »séparés?). Voici quelques gens qui ont récemment adhéré à mon cercle Facebook, j’espère que vous reconnaîtrez les noms:

1. Erin Runnion

2. Carolyn Gardner

3. Chantal Dubé

4. Doreen Avant

5. Joe Wamback

6. Joey Davis

7. Marjean Fichtenberg

8. Pierre Boisvenu

9. Arthur Lepp

10. Cheryl Bullock


When I started on Facebook I figured I’d keep my social network separate from my work as a victim advocate. I figured that was a healthy approach. Over time that tactic has eroded. For better or worse I have increasingly been using Facebook as a forum to promote my ideas about victims and criminal justice.

I don’t feel too guilty about this. I see all sorts of “friends” using Facebook to promote their beliefs (the plays they are in, when their band is playing, a cause for a loved one who has died of some illness).

What I think is healthy is that many of these persons I was initially weary of have become genuine friends (why would I try to keep the two worlds’ separate?). Here are some folk who have recently joined my Facebook circle; I hope you recognize the names: 

1. Erin Runnion

2. Carolyn Gardner

3. Chantal Dubé

4. Doreen Prior

5. Joe Wamback

6. Joey Davis

7. Marjean Fichtenberg

8. Pierre Boisvenu

9. Arthur Lepp

10. Cheryl Bullock

Here’s to more talk about our lives and loves than the unfortunate business that has been thrust upon us.


Cameron UK Justice Reform

Kudos to Steve Bennett, a former detective with the West Midlands Force who runs a blog called Thin Blue Line over in the UK. Steve posted the following about England’s Conservative party platform regarding criminal justice across the way. Seems that though we are an ocean apart we have a lot of similar challenges. Any chance we can tie Harper, Ignatieff and Charest to a similar commitment?

I love the first statement:

“- Criminals aren’t caught because the police are stuck at desks doing paperwork.”

This is the criminological equivalent of Gretsky’s adage: “100% of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in the net “(to give it a nice hockey Canadian feel):



Following on from the rousing Conservative party conference in Manchester last week, here, in a nutshell, are a selection of observations, quotes and pledges from the speeches of David Cameron and Chris Grayling on the plans they have to reform the Criminal Justice System.

– Criminals aren’t caught because the police are stuck at desks doing paperwork.
– Violent offenders, sex offenders and heroin dealers get off with cautions because it’s the least hassle.
– Even if they go to prison, the Government releases them automatically after a fraction of their sentence to reoffend on the same streets as before.
– People think our criminal justice system is broken.
– Worrying too much about the criminals and not enough about the justice.
– It makes me furious. It makes you furious. And law abiding, decent, people are asking – who’s looking after me?
– That’s why need radical reform in every part of the system. The police. The CPS. The courts. Prisons. Probation. We need to sort it out, so there’s no more excuses, no more buck-passing, no more nonsense. We need a criminal justice system that is focused on fighting crime and that is exactly what we plan to deliver.
– No one thinks that the Government’s 24 hour drinking regime has led to the creation of a “continental café culture.
– We’re not talking about stopping people enjoying a few drinks in the pub. But things have gone far too far. Our town centres on a Friday and Saturday night can be battle zones for our police. Local parks and local estates are blighted by gangs of young troublemakers…. fuelled by alcohol given to them by irresponsible adults.
– I have talked to people up and down the country whose lives are being ruined by antisocial behaviour. It’s time we stood up for them.
– We’ll start with the problem of fourteen year olds hanging around with bottles of super-strength beers or ciders. It’s much too easy for them to get very drunk quickly and cheaply.
– We will increase the price of a four pack of super strength lager by £1.33. We will more than double tax on super strength cider. And our planned increase on alcopops will raise the price of a large bottle by £1.50. These tax changes will not hit responsible drinkers.
– We’ll tear up this Government’s lax licensing regime. Right now virtually anyone can get a licence to sell alcohol. We even have all night takeaways selling more drink to people as they stagger home from the pub. We will change that.
– We’ve also got to deal with those who commit the acts of antisocial behaviour and disorder as well. Right now they can offend again and again and just get away with it.
– Our criminal justice system is sending all the wrong messages. We need real punishments for young troublemakers. Not to send them home with a rap over the knuckles. That’s why we are working on a range of instant punishments for antisocial behaviour.
– Like grounding the offenders for up to a month. Or making them do community punishments, like cleaning up local parks. Real consequences for the trouble they’ve caused. But that’s for low level offences.
– For the more serious incidents, things must be different. We were all shocked by the tragic case of Fiona Pilkington. But let’s be clear. – What happened to her wasn’t antisocial behaviour. It was criminal.
– Giving someone a caution or a fixed penalty notice means box ticked, case closed, another solved crime. But we know the system is being misused. But when serious offenders, like people carrying knives, also get off with a caution, when they should be behind bars.
– I think anyone who assaults a police officer should end up in court facing time behind bars.
– It’s time for a new deal with our police. We’ll deal with the things that frustrate them. We’ll get rid of the mountains of bureaucracy that make it easier to cut corners. We’ll provide them with proper protection against violence. We’ll get rid of the target culture that makes it easier to issue a caution than to prosecute. And we’ll give them back more power to charge criminals themselves.
– But in return we want real action against the troublemakers. And we want them to be more accountable to the communities they serve. – The next Conservative Government will get rid of Britain’s caution culture. And will demand real moves to tackle antisocial behaviour. – It’s time justice was really done on our streets.
– We will tear down Labour’s big government bureaucracy, ripping up its timewasting, money-draining, responsibility-sapping nonsense.
– The police, the prosecution services, the prisons … is failing under the weight of big government targets and bureaucracy. The police aren’t on the streets because they’re busy complying with ten different inspection regimes.
– The police say the CPS isn’t charging people because they have to hit targets to reduce the number of unsuccessful trials.
And the prisons aren’t rehabilitating offenders because they’re focused on meeting thirty three different performance indicators.
This all needs to change. I’m not going to stand here and promise you a country where nothing bad ever happens. I do not underestimate how difficult it will be to deal with this problem of crime and disorder.
– We cannot rebuild social responsibility from on high. But the least we can do the least we can do is pledge to all the people who are scared, who live their lives in fear and who can’t protect themselves, that Chris Grayling, with Dominic Grieve, will reform the police, reform the courts, reform prisons.
– I see a country where you’re not so afraid to walk home alone, where you’re safe in the knowledge that right and wrong is restored to law and order.
– But if we pull together, come together, work together — we will get through this together.
And when we look back we will say not that the government made it happen … not that the minister made it happen … but the businesswoman made it happen … the police officer made it happen … the father made it happen …the teacher made it happen.

You made it happen.

Right now it seems that the Conservatives are closest to the real issues and have the desire to bring about the reforms that are essential if we are to enjoy a more peaceful society. The message we would send out to whichever party is elected at the next election is this. Show us that you have learned from the lessons, mistakes and errors of judgement of the past. Waste no time on party policital spin, we’ve had a belly full of it. Ditch the blame culture once you have cleared the decks. Show us the truth about the state of the Criminal Justice System as it stands now, then waste no time on blame, show us with your actions that you are healing the wounds inflicted on this country over recent years. Then you will have our blessing, support and confidence.

One last thing. There will be sectors of society waiting for you to trip up. Show us your guts and determination to succeed for us all. Don’t give them the ammunition to shoot you. There will be those who will accuse you too, of having your noses buried deeply in the trough. Be aware of that. Act with transparency and honesty so that we will not feel our trust is misplaced.

The Crime Analysis Team
Nice 1 Limited


Top Ten Crime Advocates

Here are my top ten crime advocates – Canada. These people rock relentlessly, tirelessly doing your dirty work so you may never fall into the abyss:

1.   Randy McCall:  Is there any aspect of victimology Randy isn’t involved with? Check out his links: 


Randy is your go-to guy for all things victim related, advocating for Canada but equally entrenched in the United States, Europe and Asia. His weekly Twit compilations are a personal favorite.  Randy seems to get more driven with age, negating the adage that our creative potential is effectively dead at 32. I have dubbed Randy Night Owl because he has proven to be the most level-headed of the bunch of us (and he has appropriately dubbed me Rorschach)

2.   Judy Peterson: She had the stroke of genius to connect missing persons with unidentified human remains. Judy was the first to advocate for changing Canada’s DNA identification laws. Others quickly followed suit including the Ontario Provincial Police and  the United States Namus project, and recently Quebec’s efforts to link remains with missing persons. 

3.   Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu: I have blogged so much about my friend Pierre and his Quebec victim advocacy group, AFPAD that to elaborate would be redundant.


Let it be said that his recent efforts to follow suit with Lindsay’s Law are beautiful.

4.   Carolyn Gardner:  In Canada we have a problem. A “life” sentence means a maximum of 25 years served in prison (usually 16 years if the offender demonstrated good behavior). This leaves the business of advocating for longer sentences to the victims. No one has done a better job at this than Carolyn Gardner advocating for a longer sentence for her sister, Sheryl Gardner murderer Ralph Power.

5.   Wayne Leng: A controversial and polarizing figure, Wayne is nevertheless a key advocate for the Missing Women of Vancouver. He has also been one of the strongest voices for the missing women along the Highway of Tears in British Columbia, a recent case that seems to get ignore as much as the missing women in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

6.   Holly DeSimone:  


The hardest working victim in victim advocacy. Holly seems to be everywhere speaking out on sexual violence against women.

7.   Marcel Bolduc:   A pioneer.  Marcel was fighting the fight when we were all in diapers.


He has bragging rights beyond what we could comprehend. Search on Marcel and you will find nothing; he is a shadow-warrior, and a great personal inspiration.

8. Michel Surprenant:  Again… a shadow warrior. Michel is a member of AFPAD and fights on in the memory of his daughter, Julie Surprenant.  Another personal inspiration.

9.   The Unsolved Victims from Vermont. New Hampshire and Maine:  Close to 100 murders unsolved and possibly connected to Quebec.

10.   Sharron Prior: Then unsolved journal of the 1975 murder of Sharon Prior, maintained by her sister Doreen: Inspirational, and in need of more attention.


Crime Victims and Identity

Wayne Leng has a very good post over at Missing Women on victims and identity.  A University of Alberta PhD student, Amber Dean is studying the lives and deaths of women involved in prostitution, drugs and other high-risk, vulnerable lifestyles to see ‘‘what they can tell us about the way our society is organized.’’.

Dean’s focus is the missing women of  Vancouver’s East-side, the victims of serial killer Robert Pickton.  

Dean’s thesis is looking at the pictorial representations of the Vancouver women by a group of forensic artists on the website of Project EDAN and how those depictions changed through media and public perception. 

Frankly I am surprised that there is not more research in this area of victims and identity. My own experience saw my sister, Theresa’s reputation dragged through the mud, and we continue to see the dismantling of identities in the cases of the Missing Women from Rocky Mount, North Carolina .  The cultural Zeitgeist of crime victims appears to equally vacillate between the extremes of idyllic angel and low-life crack-whore. The field of research is ripe for all manner of sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists. 


Susan Klebold Essay

A lot of broohaha about  Susan Klebold’s recent essay in O magazine. Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the shooters in the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.  Klebold states that she had no idea just how unstable her son was. 

I have no issue with Klebold “going public”. She joins a list of offender parents who became outspoken after their tragedies, including the parents of Jeffrey Dahmer. What do we expect these people to do with their grief and shame, hide it under a rock?


How to grieve like a victim

What’s the proper way for a crime victim to grieve? Well there’s no right way.  There’s no shortage of crime victims who have turned their suffering into advocacy, and here are links to some of my favorites:

– Afpad

– Lindsay’s Law

– Power No Parole

I would like to focus on two people who did something quite different with tragedy:

1.   Erin Runnion’s 5-year-old daughter Samantha was kidnapped and murdered in 2002. After Samantha’s death Erin started Joyful Child, a California non-profit dedicated to protecting children from sexual abuse and abduction through programs that unite and uplift communities.  Runnion believes that parents should be concerned about common threats to young childen, and should not be overly focused on relatively rare occurrences such as child abduction by strangers.

Take a look at Runnion’s website which is so bright and positive. It’s filled with beautiful pictures of Samantha, her art work, and some of the great things she used to say:


Joyful Child

2.   In July Elias Sorokin went missing in Southern California. Though he is still missing, Elias is presumed dead (Adam Hunt and Stewart Skuba are awaiting a preliminary hearing for the murder).


My neighbor is a friend of Elias Sorokin. In his memory she started a garden for Elias:

Yesterday was the first harvest and I was lucky enough to benefit:


Sauteed Bok Choy!:

There are lots of ways to grieve and recover. Please send me your suggestions.


Rattled Baby, Over You…

I’ve been shaken up for about 24-hours by this picture:

This is a picture of Brianna Maitland’s car – how it was found, backed into an old abandoned house in Vermont back in March, 2004. Brianna hasn’t been seen since.

Here is a picture of Brianna:

What got me thinking of Brianna is I got an email from a relative of Maura Murray. Maura’s been missing from New Hampshire since February 2004. Every few months, me and this relative write to help each other, keep each other updated with how things are going.

Here is a picture of Maura:

Now here is a listing of all the people who have gone missing from Vermont and New Hampshire over the past 25 years:

1. Rachel Garden, missing from Newton NH, southeast of Manchester, March 22, 1980.

2. Russell Bovit, missing from Last Resort Farm in Walden VT , May 11, 1986

3. Sonya Moore, missing from Penacook, NH, November 2, 1989

4. Cheree Hawkens, last seen at Burlington Airport, Burlington VT, January 18, 1990

5. Heidi Dawn Wilbur, last seen at a convenience store in Middletown Springs VT, February 9, 1991

6. Audrey Groat, last seen at the Park and Ride in Northfield VT, August 21, 1993

7. Bethany and Tina Sinclair, missing from West Chesterfield NH, February 4, 2001

8. Hang Thi Phuong Nguyen, missing from Manchester NH, March 16, 2001

9. Lorne Richard Boulet Jr., last seen on Perry Brook Road in Chichester NH, July 29, 2001

10. Karen Shirley Dube, missing from Ware NH, Sept.1, 2001

11. Courtney King, missing from Pelham NH, January 9, 2004

12. Timothy James Young, last seen on Daniels Pond Road in West Glover VT, January 20, 2004

13. Maura Murray, last seen on Rt 112 in Haverhill NH, February 9, 2004

14. Brianna Maitland, last seen at Black Lantern Inn, Montgomery VT, March 19, 2004

 15. (Removed)

16. Jessica Ann Capille, missing from Bethlehem NH, December 8, 2004

And here is a map with indexes of where they disappeared from:

And this is a list of all the unsolved murders in Vermont and New Hampshire in the last 35 years:

1. Joanne Dunham, Charlestown NH, October 1968

2. Jane Doe, Bedford NH, October 6, 1971

3. Daniel O’Connell, Loudon NH, October 30, 1971

4. Kathy Gloddy, Franklin NH, November 22, 1971

5. Paul Olsen, Madison NH, March 24, 1973

6. James Teta, Rindge NH, August 25, 1973

7. Anne Psardelis/Diane Compagna, Raymond NH, September 29, 1973

8. Domingo Valdes, Pelham NH, June 14, 1974

9. Maurice and Ellen Wilkinson, Center Ossipee, August, 16, 1974

10. David Longfellow, Manchester NH, November 24, 1974

11. James O’Brien, New Boston NH, April 12, 1975

12. Judy Lord, Concord NH, May 20, 1975

13. Madlyn Crouse, Nashua NH, February 27, 1976

14. James Sullivan, Gilmanton NH, February 21, 1977

15. Casmiro Jablonski, Newmarket NH, July 6, 1977

16. Joan Gray Rogers, Hardwick VT, July 15, 1977

17. Shari Lynn Roth, Livermore NH, August 21, 1977

18. Jaclynne Snyder, Lee NH, September 4, 1977

19. Pauline Miller/ Ray Blanchette, Manchester NH, October 24, 1978

20. Cathy Millican, New London NH, October 24, 1978

21. Kenneth Jache, Weare NH, October 14, 1979

22. Mary Elizabeth Critchley, Unity NH, August 9, 1981

23. Yvonne Fine, Concord NH, September 7, 1981

24. Laura Kempton, Portsmouth NH, September 28, 1981

25. Mary Harrison, Winchester NH, October 30, 1981

26. Sylvia Gray, Plainfield NH, May 28, 1982

27. Pamela Brown, Barre VT, July 17, 1982

28. Tammy Little, Portsmouth NH, October 16, 1982

29. Bearnice Courtemanche, Kellyville NH, May 30, 1984

30. Ellen Fried, Kellyville NH, July 20, 1984

31. Eva Morse, Unity NH, July 10, 1985

32. Lynda Moore, Saxtons River VT, April 15, 1986

33. Sarah Hunter, Pawlet VT, July 1986

34. Heidi Martin, Hartland VT, May 1, 1984

35. Steven Hill, Hartland VT/Plainfield NH, (In CT River)July 1986

36. Barbara Agnew, Hartland VT, January 10, 1987

37. Lynn Snyder, Rollinsford NH, April 18, 1987

38. Judith Whitney, Winchester NH, November 8, 1987

39. Patricia Scoville, Stowe VT, 1988 (An arrest was made)

40. Sharon Johnson, Bedford NH, July 28, 1988

41. Pamela Webb, Franconia NH, July 18, 1989

42. Craig Lane, Peterborough NH, January 8, 1989

43. Carrie Moss, New Boston NH, April 24, 1991

44. Stella Bolton, Portsmouth NH, February 16, 1991

45. Rita Roy, Manchester NH, May 20, 1991

46. Theresa Reed, Plymouth NH, September 6, 1991

47. Lisa Begin Wright, Laconia NH, December 18, 1991

48. Cheryl Peters, Morrisville VT, August 9, 1993

49. Angela Ann Blouin, Derby VT, May 30, 1993

50. Mindy West, Manchester NH, October 4, 1998

51. Mary Morales, Vernon VT, March 3, 1999

52. Louise Chaput, Pinkham Notch NH, November 15, 2001

53. Amie Lynn Riley, Manchester NH, August 15, 2003

54. Christina Lunceford, Nashua NH, August 1, 2004

And here is a map where they were found:

Now what if some of these missing persons and unsolved murders were related to unsolved cases in Quebec?