Over the years Shattered Lives Radio has given hours of airtime to individuals and organizations which have had the experience of homicide in their lives. The aftermath of that experience can take many directions, from becoming an outspoken advocate for change, to those who have a difficult time functioning.
Host Donna Gore has had a personal experience with homicide, having lost her father to random murder over 30 years ago. As host of the show she’s presented several guests who share this common bond.
Addie Carone, in her mid 80’s is a former social worker and matriarch of the Carone family of Connecticut. Addie’s twin son Peter was murdered in March 1987, with the perpetrator released on bond, setting in motion a virtual lifetime of not knowing, a fugitive status, which took on international proportions. She lives her life with a sense of grace and “new normalcy” and she does “what one has to do.”
The wealthy Zachs family demonstrated the most egregious misconduct imaginable by conspiring with others to harbor their fugitive son for 22 years, sending him money, creating a new identity and the opportunity of family in Mexico.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Carone family, who lost their son-brother Peter, who did everything possible to seek justice on an international level and carried on with dignity and hope. Even now, Addie showed constraint and “an ounce of compassion” for Fredreck Zachs, as he was charged with harboring a fugitive.
Sam and Wanda Rieger
Melanie Ilene Rieger, a college student, was murdered by her boyfriend on May 24, 1994. Her parents, Sam and Wanda Rieger created an annual conference to educate and bring comfort to others who have fallen victim to violent crimes.
Sam and Wanda Rieger took from the ashes of their daughter’s death and created (along with a village of volunteers) a premier conference dedicated to serving the needs of future crime victims and educating those who serve them. However, this is not solely an academic gathering with Power Point presentations. More to the point, it is a touching of souls and sharing of stories, creating an everlasting impact for participants – good, bad, but NEVER indifferent. Veteran survivors of crime do not return for the facts and figures, or to be exposed to more violence. Rather, we return to visit old friends, for the thirst of ever-increasing knowledge in the field of victimology and violence in today’s society. We come to share with new victims and service providers, the benefit of our tragic experiences …and to hear more stories. The stories never end…
Jennifer Bishop Jenkins
Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins‘ views on gun control were born out of her own personal family tragedy, losing her sister, brother-in-law, and their unborn child to a 16-year-old “thrill killer.” Living every day with the memory of her loss, and continually fighting to keep the killer behind bars, Jenkins has been a vocal activist on her sister’s behalf.
She brings to the table the issue of the mostly ignored rights of the victims when advocating within the juvenile justice system to keep this “serial killer in the making” behind bars. Arguing against early release of underage killers who have been tried and sentenced as adults, Jenkins says, “The nationwide campaign to end JLWOP has spent millions of dollars advocating for these convicted murderers to be set free. Not a dime has been allocated for victim outreach or support.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins and her family are active opponents of the death penalty, believing that prevention is the key to alleviating the devastation of crime rather than execution.
Parents of Murdered Children (POMC)
The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) was created as a support for the families and friends of those who died by violence. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio there are state chapters in several other states across the country which hold monthly meetings, provide support, advocacy and court accompaniment. Many POMC Chapters publish their own newsletters and have designed and implemented special programs to meet the needs of survivors in their area.
The guest for the hour is Dan Levey, the National Executive Director of POMC.
Be sure to visit the website DonnaGore.Com for many background stories and posts about surviving victims of crime and life in the aftermath.