Six months since the launch of Dare I Call It Murder?: A Memoir of Violent Loss, and it remains highly ranked (#32) on Amazon.com’s Top-Rated Books in Biographies & Memoirs—sitting alongside Mayou Angelou’s Mom & Me & Mom.
It’s been a good run for the book, and for that I thank all of my supporters. However, as I’ve said before, the success is bittersweet. I would have preferred to never have had to write it. Nonetheless, based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from readers (and 85 5-star reviews on Amazon), I am grateful to know that it is helping people in ways I never imagined.
The truly sad element is that this type of situation never ends. Violent loss impacts hundreds of people every day, not only in this country, but worldwide.
In the L.A. Times today, I read a story about a woman who has come to believe her father killed her mother three decades ago. The criminal justice system, in a familiar story line, charged the man with murder, but later dropped the charges, citing insufficient evidence.
The woman was five years old at the time and didn’t understand what had happened. Only that her mother had disappeared, and she longed for her mother’s return. Now she gets it, and hopes to set matters straight.
Cases like these are not unusual, although from all the crime show on TV, one might easily conclude such cases are rare. The sad fact is, approximately 30 percent of homicides go unsolved and become what are known as “cold cases.” For the families and close friends of these victims, they are the ones who get the “life sentence”—a life without justice, along with the traumatic grief, anger, depression and PTSD that often accompanies such an outcome.
No one is prepared for the sudden, violent death of a loved one. And when it happens, it’s a bit like getting whacked from behind with a baseball bat.
To help those unfortunate people who get that life-altering phone call or knock on the door, a “Murder 101” book will be published this year: Murder: A Survivor’s Guide—Journeys, Lessons and Resources from Survivors and Survivor Professionals, written by Connie Saindon and edited by yours truly. Connie Saindon is the founder of the Survivors of Violent Loss Program in San Diego; she also wrote the foreword to my book.
This new book will help guide the readers on the difficult journey that follows the murder of a loved one, from rebounding after the death, to dealing with the media, to dealing with the criminal justice system, to understanding their rights as a survivor and co-victim of a criminal death, to finding new meaning or a mission to help others. It also includes stories, tips and lessons from survivors who have been down this path.
More to come on Connie’s important book as we get closer to the publication date.