The Ottawa Sun

Thu 10 Feb 2005

Page: 8

Section: News Byline:


Sometimes no news isn’t good news. The Ottawa-based Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime has launched a study on how to help the families of victims of serious unsolved crimes.

“The greatest need they have is for information,” said centre president Steve Sullivan. “What happened to their son, their daughter, their wife? It’s hard to get on with healing when you’re still wondering what happened.”

The centre is asking victims of unsolved sexual assaults and the survivors of murdered and missing loved ones to respond to a survey and take part in a round-table discussion in Ottawa on March 4.

The centre launched the federally-funded study after searching for information about how to help victims of unsolved crimes. They came up empty.

That’s no surprise to Carol Ann Johnson. Her daughter, Carrie Mancuso, was murdered in Ottawa in 1995. No one has been charged in the murder of the vivacious young woman, who worked in the sex trade.

An occasional phone call would have meant a lot: “It would have made me feel like a human being,” Johnson said.

The key is finding ways cash and time-strapped investigators can put into practice, Sullivan said, adding families who may never get justice in court need ongoing support.

The case of Karen Caughlin illustrated the need to help families of victims. The 14-year-old was dropped off at a girlfriend’s house on a March morning in 1974. Her body was found in a ditch near Petrolia later the same day.

The murder remains unsolved, “and there was a 25-year period when the family never heard from police,” Sullivan said.

Visit for more information on how to take part in the survey and discussion.


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