Book Club Engagement Tonight

Dare I Call It Murder? - A Memoir of Violent LossAnother book club meeting this evening. Looking forward to it.

Even though it is sometimes difficult to talk about my parents’ deaths and what that did to my family, I do enjoy these sessions. It gets people thinking in broader terms about violent death/violent loss, traumatic grief, and post-traumatic stress, and the debilitating impact that can have individuals, families and society at large.

I blogged about this last fall. If you haven’t read the blog, here’s a link: Society’s Challenge: Survivors of Violent Loss.

If you are a member of book club, I would be honored to have Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss selected. If you’d like me to attend a book club meeting, I am willing to do so, within reason travel-wise. Or maybe we could connect via Skype.

And thank you, Amazon, for suggesting today Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss to book lovers.


Official website: Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss
“Dare I Call It Murder?”: 90 5-star reviews
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Survivors of Violent Loss Program

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Congrats to Pulitzer Winners

Congratulations to Pulitzer Prize winner (biography or autobiography) Megan Marshall, author of “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), “a richly researched book that tells the remarkable story of a 19th century author, journalist, critic and pioneering advocate of women’s rights who died in a shipwreck.”

And congrats to the other finalists in this category: “Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World,” by Leo Damrosch (Yale University Press), “a seminal work that illuminates the famous yet enigmatic satirist who was also a crucial figure in 18th century Anglo-Irish politics”; and “Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life,” by Jonathan Sperber (Liveright), “an impressively researched work that provides a fresh perspective on Marx and his ideas by placing him in the social and intellectual swirl of the 1800s.”

I knew the nomination of “Dare I Call It Murder?” would be a long-shot, so I’m happy to have been given consideration.

More on the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners at:

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Final Return — coming April 15, 2014

Final_Return-cover-300px3 Days and Counting: Tax Day Cometh — if you hate it, you’ll love this debut novel from Ron Howeth: Final Return — coming April 15, 2014

When a terminally ill Vietnam veteran is targeted by a rogue IRS agent, he assembles a team of combat veterans — male and female — to turn the tables and collect a “penalty fee” from the IRS.

Read an excerpt from the book at the Final Return official website:

Like Final Return on Facebook:

Yes, I edited this book. It’s still a fun read. . . .

What a minute, that’s not what I mean. I meant to say that while I may appear biased in this matter . . . crap . . . this will never come out right. . . . Forget me and enjoy the book.


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Thank You, Ann Rule, for Dissing Me 4 Years Ago

Today marks the fourth anniversary of true-crime writer Ann Rule’s lawyer dismissing as “de minimis” my objections to the numerous errors in Rule’s account of my parents’ deaths aboard their sailboat Spellbound.

Dare I Call It Murder? - A Memoir of Violent LossNever mind that a number of these critical errors resulted from Ann Rule taking on faith the veracity of public statements made by the prime suspect in the FBI’s murder investigation. Had Ann Rule done her homework, she would have, at the very least, questioned the validity of these “facts,” which were shown by the investigators to be misleading at best, if not outright lies, from not only my brother, but the other two survivors aboard the Spellbound at the time.

Still, I owe Ann Rule a thank you in a perverse sort of way. Her inaccurate and poorly written account of the deaths of Loren and Joanne (Jody) Edwards gave me the impetus I needed to finish my own book, Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss. In this book, I tell the untold story of the case the FBI labeled as “Crime on the High Seas: Murder.”

I unmask the emotional trauma of violent loss as I ferret out previously undisclosed facts to get at the truth of how and why my parents were killed.

Read the related excerpt from Chapter 32 of Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss.


Official website: Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss
“Dare I Call It Murder?”: 90 5-star reviews
Facebook Page
Survivors of Violent Loss Program

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“Dare I Call It Murder?”: 90 5-star reviews

Dare I Call It Murder? - A Memoir of Violent LossDare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss now has 144 reviews on, 90 of them 5-star reviews.

Again, thank you for your support in making this book a success, even if that success is bittersweet.

I would have preferred to never have had to write this book and about the devastation my parents’ deaths wreaked upon my family. The rewarding element is that people are getting the message about violent loss and what happens to the survivors, the living victims. I get emails and cards from people who have had similar tragedies in their lives, thanking me for writing the book.

It’s nice to know that the book is helping people in ways I never imagined. For that I am grateful.

Related Links

Official website: Dare I Call It Murder? — A Memoir of Violent Loss
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Survivors of Violent Loss Program

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Malaysian Air News Coverage: Stop the Circus, Give Families Dignity, Privacy

MSNBC and a couple of its news anchors deserve a hearty thank you for bringing some sense and perspective to the news coverage of Malaysian Air’s missing flight MH730. As does, Meghan Daum, who commented on it in her column, “Media judgment, like Flight 370, has vanished,” in the Los Angeles Times.

Having endured a similar “circus” of news coverage surrounding my parents’ deaths, I have a pretty good idea of the anguish and the emotional trauma the family members are going through; my heart goes out to them. So when I see a news organization acting responsibly, it merits being singled out for praise.

Yesterday, MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid had Rev. Earl E. Johnson, the former national spiritual care manager for the American Red Cross, as a guest commentator to talk about the trauma the distraught family members are enduring as they await news of their loved ones, who seemed to have vanished into thin air.

Using language similar to what we use in the Survivors of Violent Loss Program, Johnson said, “stop the circus . . . these families are responding normally to an abnormal event. These families need privacy and dignity, and to be protected from well-wishers, media, lawyers, et cetera. They need to reestablish trust.”

He explained that anticipated grief, such as when a loved one dies from old age or a terminal illness, allows family members and friends to prepare for the death and the accompanying grief. But when a plane falls out of the sky or a shooter guns people down, it causes a severe traumatic reaction that affects mind and body.

“You have a different set of grief dynamics,” Johnson said. “You have ambiguous grief. . . . The bodies may not be found.”

Ambiguous loss and grief come from the ambiguity that occurs when loved ones are missing and their fate uncertain. That in turn holds the grieving process hostage.

“Grief professionals are involved,” Johnson added. “Disaster-trained professionals that can step in and protect these people and give them dignity. It should not be the [media] circus, like the [repeated showing of the] iconic picture of that grieving mother.

“There are people out there who know how to be with those [family members], but not just any counselor, not just any priest, imam or rabbi,” he said. “You really need folks that understand disaster and the unique emotional, spiritual and physical needs of those who have just experienced a catastrophic disaster.”

Indeed, traumatic death takes a toll on our bodies as well as our minds and spirits. And when we don’t address those needs in a meaningful way, our health suffers, mentally and physically, and that affects everyone around us.

Later on, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked that the news organizations—singling out CNN and Fox (no surprise there)—cut the theatrics and “baseless speculation” about the fate of the missing airplane and the people on board. The self-serving speculation only adds to the anguish and trauma the family members and close friends are already suffering from, he said.

Hayes pointed out the value of 24-hour news channels—and the dark side: when supply fails to the meet the demand, so-called journalists and experts began offering unsubstantiated [and patently absurd] claims about black holes sucking the airplane into oblivion (CNN), and Islamic terrorists hijacking the plane to Pakistan for use as a WMD (weapon of mass destruction) against Israel (Fox).

These clowns at CNN and Fox, along with Rush Limbaugh, would have been better off suggesting the plane and the 239 people aboard were in the mythical Shangri-La.

Huffington Post also ran an item by Rev. Johnson (“While Waiting for the Plane to Be Found and Other Considerations”), in which he offers advice not only to news organizations covering disasters and catastrophic loss of life, but to us all. He suggests that if we collectively demand that news organizations stop shoveling “disaster porn” and instead “honor and remember the victims and their loved ones,” we will all be better off emotionally, spiritually and physically.


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Announcement for Upcoming Book

Originally posted on Survivors of Violent Loss:

ImageAnnouncement 3-1-14

Connie Saindon’s professional as well as personal experience have given her a unique perspective that few others have.  Not only did she learn first-hand about criminal death,  she also learned that she is also a Survivor in every sense of the word.  It didn’t take her long to realize that little was known about the impact on folks after the murder of a loved one.

Her upcoming book whose working title is: Murder: A Survivor’s Guide-Journeys, lessons, and Resources from Survivors and Professionals fills that void for the Survivors, the co-victims of murder.  From death notification to dealing with the criminal justice system, to addressing the news media, to coping with one’s own traumatic grief, this book provides guidance, resources, and techniques for getting through the aftermath of a homicide. 

It also contains Survivor Stories written by those who have already been down this difficult path.  The Survivors…

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