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BIOGRAPHY OF RICHARD W. CRESS

 

I remember the impact of a simple knock on our door on May 18, 1983. It signaled the beginning of a new and different life for my family and me. That knock was by the King County Medical Examiner; he had come to advise our family that the body of our thirteen-year old son Patrick had been recovered that afternoon. Katherine was home alone when she was given this devastating news.

Since that tragic day, I have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge that could be gained in no other way. During my work for and with victims of violent crime, I have given much thought to the perilous journey that we victims must endure.

I serve on the Board of Directors for, DOVE [Dignity Of Victims Everywhere] in Snohomish County, Washington, a non-profit organization that presents this Internet website in a never ending effort to provide comfort and solace and resources to victims of violent crime everywhere.

In my years as a victim advocate, I have conducted physical searches for missing children and adults in Western Washington State. During those years, with many volunteers, I have helped in the recovery of dozens of runaways, endangered youth, and walkaways, the recovery of a homicide victim before she was reported missing, and assisted in the recovery of one suicide victim. During one such search I was proud to lead a team of volunteer searchers, and discovered evidence in a homicide case, five years before the recovery of the victim's remains. This case is chronicled in Jack Olsen’s book Salt of the Earth [St. Martin’s Press]. The evidence gathered was used in the Aggravated First Degree Murder conviction of Brenda Gere’s killer.

As an outspoken Victim Advocate I have taken every opportunity offered to present my thoughts and concerns for victims, victim needs, and victim issues.

A victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, I was forced to retire from Architecture in 1986. My wife Katherine battled breast cancer and a bone marrow transplant and died of complications on April 26, 1993.

After Katherine's death I began writing. The result of that effort, a catharsis many years in the making, is a book I call The Value of A Smile. One day I hope to find a publisher for this work that not only presents the homicide of my son and its devastating impact on my family but also an understanding of the pain and fears that victims of crime everywhere reluctantly share.

While working this book I began to see the connection between high levels of untreated stresses prevalent in families devastated by violent crime, post-traumatic stress disorder and other deadly diseases including breast cancer, hypertension, heart disease and much more that result from damage or destruction of the human immune system.

In 1997 I was invited to present research to the 9th International Symposium on Victimology at the University of Amsterdam and submitted two papers, Stress Disorders-A New Classification and Victims of Crime-Victims of Stress both of which were included in the Final Report of the Symposium.

Richard's other writings include:

 

 GRIEF BY HOMICIDE
Families and Friends of Missing Persons and
Violent Crime Victims, May 1983.
A compiled victim self help booklet. Edited and
copyrighted this published work.

 

 VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS DOVE
[Dignity Of Victims Everywhere]
June 1990.
 A Victim self help booklet.

 

 THE VALUE OF A SMILE
Richard W. Cress July  2001.
Subject Victims of violent crime.

In 1998 I presented a virtual lecture The Benefits of Nutrition and Exercise on Victims Emotions to the international Victim's Assistance List on the Internet

 

 

Richard W. Cress

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