Archive | victim advocates

Last Day to Vote for National Protocol for Missing And Unidentified Person Cases

Reminder: Today is the last day to submit your vote to Establish National Protocol in Missing and Unidentified Person Cases through’s Ideas for Change in America. If you haven’t added your vote, please do so now, time is running out! The first round of voting for the Ideas for Change in America competition will end tonight, December 31 at midnight Pacific Time. All you have to do is click on the widget below and sign in or register (it’s easy) and vote!

Establish National Protocol in Missing and Unidentified Person Cases

Every 30 seconds someone in the U.S. disappears, an average of 850,000 persons per year. Of that number, approximately 105,000 remain as open cases, unresolved. There are also unknown numbers of unidentified deceased persons, with estimates as high as 50,000. With modern technologies, available resources and tools, more cases could be resolved. With law enforcement budgets slashed, available training and knowledge of these tools and resources remain out of the grasp of many agencies. Cases go unresolved, family members remain in pain needlessly, criminals go free, and the unidentified deceased are buried and even cremated, taking the answers with them, sometimes forever. The Department of Justice crafted model legislation which would give law enforcement, coroners, and medical examiners the necessary protocol and tools to correct this injustice. Efforts have been made to pass this legislation on a state by state basis, but this process has proven to be slow. Each day that passes without these procedures in place increases the number of missing persons who may never be recovered, and unidentified deceased persons who might never be named. The legislation provides law enforcement with a check list of information to acquire from the family of the missing person, databases and other resources to utilize, such as DNA analysis, and the new NamUs. Coroners and medical examiners are given procedures to report the unidentified deceased, and enter all available identifiers into national databases, such as fingerprints, dental records, and DNA analysis. The text of the legislation can be found here:


The Birth of Justice Interrupted Crime Investigation Radio Network

I have some exciting news to share with you. Published Author and Victims Advocate, Susan Murphy Milano, Stacy Dittrich, a law enforcement officer and Robin Sax, a sex-crimes D.A – joined forces to create the Justice Interrupted Crime Investigation Network. The focus of their alliance is to provide justice to victims of unsolved murders, rape, abducted children, family violence, missing person cases, domestic violence, cold cases and crimes against children. All three women have worked tirelessly for victims. I trust they will bring much needed attention to many important cases that have been ignored by traditional media and remained unsolved.

Personally, I am relieved. As the Spokesperson, for a missing mother, I know from experience how frustrating it is to get media attention. I know what it’s like to spend endless hours making phone calls to the press, emailing newspapers, radio stations and news channels, contacting anyone having the ability to publish a story. All in vain. I’ve come to the sad conclusion that media (especially locally) suffer from Missing White Woman Syndrome. There is a clear bias. Media attention has everything to do with the right race, age, social class and gender. Otherwise, don’t expect them to cover your story. Notice that most women who get plastered all over the news are usually attractive, white, and middle to upper-class. Things would have turned out very differently if Lilly had white skin and came from a wealthy family. The Miami Herald doesn’t care about a Hispanic woman who lived in Kendall and went missing.

UPDATE 12/20/08 and WARNING
Since this post, I’ve learned that Susan Murphy-Milano is not to be trusted. For more info on my experience with Susan, please see my Sincerest Apology to Christen You see, I was lied to by Susan. She told me she had evidence (GPS and credit card records) which proved Christen Pacheco (Lilly’s fiance) was responsible for her murder. All lies…

*Please be very careful if you’re thinking of going to Justice Interrupted for help.*


How To Make Civil Servants Work for You!

Never Give Up
Originally uploaded by GregPC

By David Van Norman – Civil Servant.


Including, but not limited to, Coroners and Cops

“The Taxpayer Speech:

“Matthew was, and still may be, a taxpayer. His family are taxpayers. YOU are a taxpayer. They (or you, on their behalf) needn’t go begging, hat in hand, for information. He, they, and you, have already paid for that service! You support, by paying taxes and purchasing goods and services in the community (anywhere), the infrastructure of government, which includes law enforcement organizations. You paid for my training and experience (regardless of where you live) for me to learn what I know, and for the investigators in Whatever County to do what they do. You pay for the gas that propels their cars and the computers on which they type their reports. You, as a taxpayer, citizen, victim, loved-one of a victim, or private advocate acting on behalf of the family, have EVERY RIGHT to expect professionalism, and adherence to the rules of professional conduct. If you don’t get that, someone needs to loose their job!

“Law enforcement, like most organizations, has a political side. A deputy investigator, patrolman or detective will not be concerned with the political aspect of failing to do what needed to be done. They are insulated from above by layers of supervision. A sergeant is higher up the supervisory chain, but only a few have aspirations to rise into management. By the time a police officer is promoted to lieutenant, and certainly by captain or chief, politics is about all there is. The weakest link, believe it or not, is the department chief or Sheriff. A chief is generally an appointed position (serving at the pleasure of the county administration), while the sheriff or coroner is generally elected. Either way, scandal will end their careers (and does, on a daily basis) in a heartbeat. No matter how high-and-mighty I think I am, there is always someone higher, and mightier, than me, who understands that he (or she) is held in place by a fickle public.

“Law enforcement, by its very nature, can be intimidating to deal with. But, the fact is that law enforcement has more to fear from you than you from them. Provided you plan your contacts with them, and don’t expect the moon, you should be able to assist the family.

“I appreciate that it is difficult to communicate effectively with law enforcement or other forensic specialists. There are legitimate reasons that some information cannot be released to the public. No one knows who you are – you may be the murderer. But, if your salutation is professional, and includes a concise statement of who you are, and why you are calling – and if it sounds as though you make these calls on behalf of families 20 times a day, your credibility goes up.

“One of the reasons I use email so much, is that it gives the receiver a sense of solidity – having something in hand (or at least in a computer) that verifies the sender’s veracity. My signature block is chock full of junk, but anyone reading it knows they can check me out – I’m inviting them to! My emails are designed to overwhelm. I intentionally front-load everything. It presents in the minds eye a bulldozer that WILL NOT STOP. I want them to see me coming, take me seriously, and comply with my requests. I want them to know that if they don’t comply, I won’t be ignored. Not everybody gets that message… the first time. That’s another advantage of the email format, I just send the same message with SECOND REQUEST at the end of the subject line, with the original message attached (date-time stamped), and CC it to the receiver’s supervisor. That generally gets the job done.

“My standard advice is that during your legitimate inquiries, if anyone refuses to answer your questions, you should “walk up” the chain of command – at each level asking if it is the policy and practice of the subordinate to ignore inquiries from the grieving families of decedents.

“I recommend that you call the agency, and start your inquiry with an investigator – and hook him (or her). Then tell them that you have constructed an email with information about the missing person that you would like to send to him (or her) for ‘forwarding to the most appropriate authority within your department.'”

I’d like to thank Mr. David Van Norman for allowing me to publish his advice. It is my sincere wish that everyone who reads this post benefits from it, like I did.