How can you help a victim of stalking?

There are many ways you can help a victim of stalking:

BELIEVE – LISTEN – RESPECT – SUPPORT – EMPOWER – SPEAK OUT – RESPOND

You CAN make a difference in someone’s life.  You can help STOP a stalker.

Be Authentic…

A good friend of mine, one that I have immense respect for, wrote, “You know you’re living an authentic life when everyone doesn’t like you…you said no, drew lines in the sand, spoke up or perhaps said nothing, and it was wildly unpopular. An intention only to please others and to be liked, is a disease that has filled cemeteries all over the world.”

Such a profound statement…

Most of my life I tried to be kind to others, probably to a fault.  I didn’t want to share any bad news, no negativity.  I never wanted to talk about problems – to me there were no problems, only challenges to be overcome.  I was always trying to lift people’s spirits, as it was very important to me.

Then after Morgan was murdered, smiling on the outside, while I was dying on the inside, finally got to be too exhausting.  I started to open up more and more with people.  I started to share the facts about what happened to Morgan.  Next I made a shocking discovery, as many other parents of murdered children do…most people, sometimes even your own family, and friends, don’t want to know what happened – they don’t want to talk about it, they don’t even want to bring up your child’s name.  There are many reasons for this.  Sometimes they are so upset they want to just “forget” about it, because they can’t cope, sometimes they don’t know how to talk about it, because it makes them “uncomfortable,” and sometimes they want you to “just get over it,” so they can have their friend back the way they used to be.  And I am sure there are many more reasons people have for not wanting to talk about it – but none of those reasons really work for me.  I realize it is not my job in life to change their opinions.  I had to realize those people would no longer be involved in my life.

Through the pain of losing my youngest daughter I have learned to be authentic.  I speak my mind, for myself, for Morgan, and for all other victims as well…all those who can no longer speak for themselves.  I chose to be upfront, honest, and push forward towards justice with love.  If others don’t like it, that is fine with me – this is my life, not theirs.  I know I can’t make everyone happy, so I no longer try.  I believe in the path I have chosen, and that path gives me happiness.  Being of service to other victims, and co-victims brings warm happiness to my heart.  The pain of losing Morgan never goes away – I just learn to live with it.  I are forever changed because a piece of my heart is missing, and I know deep down that I am still here for a reason.  I know it is now my turn to try to make a difference in this world, and in doing so I honor my precious daughter Morgan.

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

To understand grief a little better here is a pretty good article to read…it can help you talk with a friend who really needs you after a great loss in their life.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17928/what-i-wish-more-people-understood-about-losing-a-child.html

 

 

 

 

 

The Missing Frog Prince…from a Valentine’s Day long ago

 HERE IS A PICTURE OF THE LITTLE FROG PRINCE KEYCHAIN I BOUGHT FROM RED ENVELOPE IN 2009.  IT WAS A VALENTINE’S PRESENT FOR MORGAN – IT IS STILL MISSING, AND HAS NEVER BEEN FOUND!

Today on Valentine’s Day, as I closed my eyes to remember Morgan, another memory “appeared” in my mind.  This happens to me quite often.  They are always important pieces to the puzzle that have to do with Morgan’s case. On the morning of December 2, 2011, when so many things were happening, it was just too much to process.  We had just found our youngest daughter, dead in her bed.  We were in shock.  We were in pain.  And yet we did hear what was being said, and we did retain it.

I have mentioned to other parents, of recently murdered children, that for me it was like hundreds of little puzzle pieces constantly swirling above my head, and all you want is for them to fall into place, in order to show a “complete” picture of what happened to my child.  Then I see these parents open their eyes wide, as if surprised and happy that someone expressed what they themselves have been feeling.  What I usually hear them say, is “Yes, that is exactly it!”

So when the memory of this little keychain “appeared” in my mind I immediately knew why.  The morning of Morgan’s murder, when her felony stalking detective, Garfield County Sheriff Rob Glassmire, asked me if Morgan was missing a keychain, i looked at the rack where we all hung our keys, and said no. The keychain Morgan used to drive the car (my keychain), the one with the front door key on it to the new lock we had put on our front door, was hanging on the rack.  But what I hadn’t remembered that morning was that Morgan did have her own keychain, the one with this little frog prince on it.  I didn’t remember because Morgan had not used it since a couple of weeks after the stalking had started.

Why hadn’t she used her keychain?  Because her car had almost 300,000 miles on it at the time, and was having some mechanical problems.  So when we realized she had a stalker(s) I told her I would prefer she just drive my car, as a safety precaution.  Then when our front door lock started to break, and Steve replaced it, my keychain only had the new front door key on it – the old key was no longer on my keychain.

And why does it matter if her keychain was never found after her murder?  Because it not only had her car key on it, but it also had the old front door key on it.  And that matters because that key also opened the door into the house from the garage, and possibly unlocked the french door from the back patio into the master bedroom – but I never thought of that at the time.  Then after we had gone through all of Morgan’s things and packed them up to move, I realized her keychain was no where to be found.  We looked everywhere, but never found it.  We reported this to the detective, but like so many other details in her case he had no interest in the missing keychain.  Someone knows where this keychain is and could lead us to even more answers.

If you live in Colorado, and if you ever remember seeing someone that may be connected with Morgan’s case, with this same keychain, please contact Northern Colorado Crimes Stoppers.  The process is completely secure and anonymous.  Tips can be sent via telephone, text or email at 800-222-TIPS or 800-222-8477 or via the web at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=361&DSID=361 or by text or SMS, Text “NOCO (plus your message)” to 274637. Upon reception of your first incoming message, the system will auto-reply with a confirmation containing your unique Tip ID., To submit follow-up information, you simply reply.  Nothing else is needed.  All follow-up tips, and even your replies from the application, are written under the original record.  They are shown threaded and date/time stamped in the narrative.  The thread may be terminated by the text STOP at any time.  You can also manually select the “Terminate Thread” button from within the application.

All calls are anonymous and all communications are encoded and encrypted.

There is a reward available for any tips that lead to an arrest in Morgan’s case – thank you!

 

 

A Stalking Taken Seriously – Aspen, CO

Here is a news report about a stalking out of Aspen, CO – this stalker was apprehended and sentenced.  I applaud the Aspen police for their swift and efficient protocol in this case.  Stalking should always be taken seriously, and serious consequences should be imposed.

Aspen, CO is where Morgan went to school, before attending college.  Aspen is at one end of the Roaring Fork Valley.  We lived in the Roaring Fork Valley when Morgan was killed, but it was in a different county – there are 3 different counties in just a short distance from each other.  From one end of that valley to the other, there are also 9 separate law enforcement agencies, and none of them shared information about suspects or cases. For so many years it seemed like such a small valley to us, with only one degree of separation. It gave you a sense of community.  Little did we know back then, if crimes are not exposed and shared between agencies, and citizens are not informed, then they can not protect their families or neighbors from dangers lurking in their community.  Knowledge is extremely important, which is why community policing is an extremely important concept.

Wouldn’t this be nice if all stalking cases would be taken seriously, and handled rapidly, for better outcomes like this one was?  If they were I believe we would have so many less lives destroyed.  We need all law enforcement agencies to adopt a National Protocol on Stalking.  https://victimsofcrime.org/docs/src/creating-an-effective-stalking-protocol.pdf?sfvrsn=2 

Man who stalked girls in Aspen sentenced

 

And she said, “I love you daddy.”

 Ask any adult woman about their father, one who still calls their father “daddy,” and you will hear stories of immense love and respect. I have been blessed to be married to one such “daddy” – Steve.  Both Morgan and her oldest sister always called him “daddy,” and they absolutely adored him.

Blood doesn’t always make you a “daddy.”  Another person has always called Steve “daddy.”  My niece never knew her own father, so ever since she was a small child, Steve treated her just like one of our own daughters.  She loved him very much.  And just like our own 2 girls, she made him father’s day cards, always got excited to see him and never got off the phone without saying she loved him.  And to this very day my niece still ALWAYS calls Steve “daddy.”  Even as a mother herself, and almost 40 years old, to her Steve is “daddy.”

I have met many friends over the years that still call their fathers “daddy.”  What a beautiful thing – I love hearing them talk about their childhoods and all the wonderful memories they have.  It really does take someone special to be a daddy.  A person that really loves spending time with their children.  Someone that is always there for them, someone they can count on.  Someone who knows there is no greater gift in this world then a child…that makes a “daddy.”  One of my dear friends just lost her “daddy” to cancer – it was painful and cruel.  She is hurting so much and yet every time she speaks about him she smiles (with tears in her eyes) and you can hear the love in her voice for the man she will always call “daddy.”

You are probably wondering why in the world I am going on and on about this.  Well because I just remembered something that happened about a year after Morgan was killed.  A woman contacted me to say that she was convinced Morgan killed herself because she had read that the last thing Morgan said to Steve was, “I love you daddy.”  Now I have heard a lot of crazy things from people over the years – but when I heard this woman say that, I felt a wave of sadness for her…what kind of childhood had this woman had that would make her think that?  It was just all too sad.

For Morgan to say, “I love you daddy” was completely normal behavior for Morgan.  I know for many other girls and women this would be normal behavior as well, and for those who can not understand it, I feel a deep sadness.  Unconditional love comes from the heart, it’s what every child deserves, but not every child receives.  What a wonderful world this would be if everyone could know, and understand, unconditional love.