While murder creates headlines and sparks public attention for a short time, families of victims are left with a lifetime of picking up the pieces.
After Joyce Farion’s son Scott was shot at the base of his brain stem in April 1994, her entire world was turned upside down.
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“You suddenly become: ‘The mother of the boy that was murdered,’ ” she said.
In the spring of 1995, one year after her son’s death, Joyce decided she was tired of suffering alone, and founded Victims of Homicide, a support network for those affected by the murder.
In the spirit of gathering support and spreading education, hundreds of victims of homicide and professionals in the field came together yesterday and will come together again today at the Fantasyland Hotel for a conference dedicated to sharing information about the effects of murder.
“You’re thrown into a world you know nothing about,” said Anne Cunningham.
“Murder is a whole different kind of grief. Grief is grief and loss is loss, but the difference is that someone is responsible, someone did it.”
Anne’s 15-year-old son, Grant Cunningham, was killed in 1995 in a deliberately set house fire. No charges were laid in the case, which left Anne and her family with many unanswered questions.
“People read about it in the paper and say, ‘Oh, there was another murder,’ and don’t think about it again, but there are people that are left behind without support.”
The two-day conference boasts a list of speakers and workshops, led by families of victims, all in an effort to make life easier for those dealing with unnatural death.
“We can say we know what they’re going through, but we have no way of knowing what they’re going through,” said Roland Burandt, sergeant of Victim’s Services.“There is compassion, but we can be skilled in our compassion.”