The Geography of Murder in the U.S.

Map of the U.S.

How much does geography influence the homicide rate? A lot. A whole lot. Did you know that half of all violent crime in the U.S. is concentrated inside 13 zip codes?  Furthermore,  2/3 of U.S. zip codes report zero to one homicide per year.  That means that 66% of the country is quite safe from […]

Exploitation of Homicide Survivors by the Media (And What to Do About It)

image of newspaper press in action

Journalists can feel like an incoming meteor to a brand-new homicide survivor. Sometimes it’s even them who deliver the bad news. Homicide co-victims immediately feel “offline.”  We’re quite literally “dumbstruck.” And wouldn’t you know that’s just about when we discover a news truck, cameraman, and journalist trespassing in our driveway and approaching our door, microphone […]

Exploitation of Homicide Survivors by the Funeral Industry (And What to Do About It)

Coping with the aftermath of violent death is tough enough without others manipulating our vulnerability and hijacking our wallets.  Sadly, the Funeral Industry has tricksters.  But to be fair, just like mechanics, realtors, contractors and others, some funeral homes are great, others average and some are merely driven by profit. Ignorance and compliance cripple our […]

Wrongful Convictions and Homicide Survivors

image of a prisoner looking out a tall window

Little has been written about the impact of wrongful convictions on crime victims in general and homicide survivors in particular. How does this miscarriage of justice happen? What can be done?

Support Groups to Cope with the Grief of Homicide

There will come a time in the life of nearly every homicide (and suicide) survivor when they feel absolutely depleted.  They’ve run the marathon.  They’ve jumped through the hoops.  Insomnia has hog-tied them.  They feel adrift and realize (wisely) that they need support.  Where should they turn? This moment will come soon for some of […]

Safety Concerns Following the Murder of a Loved One

image of bullet hole in window

In the hours and days following the violent murder of someone important, we can be so preoccupied with grief, fatigue, and distractions that it’s easy to forget our own safety.  It’s just not where our focus is. I recall being consumed with detectives, answering the phone, dodging the media, planning a funeral, preparing for out-of-town […]

Traumatic Grief and 6th Sense Experiences

person looking up at night sky with flashlights

Does trauma increase the likelihood of having 6th sense experiences involving their deceased loved one?  Perhaps.   Interviewing homicide survivors for my podcast has yielded spontaneous reports of survivors experiencing their first anomalous experience following the violent murder. According to a Gallup Poll, 32 percent of Americans believe the spirits of the dead can return. […]

Repurposing Trauma

storm cloud reflected over water

It is natural and understandable (inevitable?) for a trauma survivor to ask, “Why me?”  “Why my family?”  “Why my child?”  “What did we do to deserve this?”  “Life is not fair!” The Unfairness of Life I would hasten to agree.  Life is not fair.  We can always find people who are the exceptions to the […]

The Financial Fallout After Murder

image of close up of money

Little is depicted about the financial chain reaction which inevitably follows a homicide (or suicide). You won’t find much information in research, podcasts, movies, books, from professional certified public accountants, or even on Google. It seems we’re all in the dark, learning on the fly and re-creating the wheel.  This is yet another example of […]

What To Do If Wrongfully Charged with Murdering Your Family Member

Image of justice scales

Grieving from the homicide of a loved one is tough enough.  But what if you’re also wrongly charged for it?  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s life-changing even if you aren’t convicted.  Risk Factors The biggest risk factors contributing to a wrongful conviction are being African-American, having faulty eyewitness testimony, prosecutorial misconduct, […]

Victim Impact Statement (VIS) : From a Homicide Co-Victim

written statement

It wasn’t long ago when crime victims were expected to be mute and stoic in court at sentencing and in parole hearings.  It was akin to “be seen and not heard.” No more.  We’re finally permitted to speak open before sentencing if we choose to.  A parent or legal guardian can speak on behalf of […]