My son Patrick, age 13, was murdered in the late hours of April 30 or the early hours of May 1, 1983 . . . as close as anyone can tell that is; this crime remains one of King County Washington's unsolved homicides for thirty years. We present these pages to share with you, the information and experiences that we have faced in our years as victims, survivors, and victim advocates. We hope these pages will help in your journey along the treacherous path of the victim/survivor.
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We frequently use the terms 'Victims' and 'Survivor.' Both terms are used to define those who have suffered from, or as a result of, violent crime.
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Dick's book The value of A Smile is available in paperback and Kindle versions at
THE VALUE OF A SMILE
Dick's book, is also available through R.R. Bowker's Books in Print and Global Books in Print, Baker and Taylor, Alibris and other outlets including European and Spanish and in many languages as well.
Below are brief description of the book and a victim advocate's review: Please click any BOOK TITLE on this page to read more about the book and/or to make a purchase.
1. The Value Of A Smile began on yellow legal pads, May 18, 1983 as my wife Katherine and I sat at the Dining Room Table waiting for a call from the Medical Examiner to verify that the remains found that afternoon near Juanita High School were those of our missing thirteen year old son Patrick, who appeared to be the victim of homicidal violence. Dental records were needed to identify the remains.
We were oblivious to the impact of this violence on our family and even less aware of the path that homicide investigations take. Not knowing how important this information might become, we decided to make notes to jog our memories and to avoid forgetting important details that may be needed later to determine what happened, who killed him, and why. Our notes began from the time we last saw Patrick and spoke to him, to this painful, antagonizing early morning vigil. This proved to be an important decision because as time passed grief and ultimately Post Traumatic Stress Disorder set in and our memories became clouded by the protective fog that accompanies tragic events such as these. Although Patrick’s case remains unsolved at this writing, we still hold out hope that one day we will find the answers we have so desperately prayed for over these many years.
In writing this book I was forced think long and hard about what our family experienced and the relationship that exists with other homicide surviving families and individuals; this led me to the subtitle Victimization 101. While writing two research papers for the 9th International Symposium on Victimology on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I came to an even broader and deeper understanding and a clearer vision of the relationships that exist in most homicide surviving families.
The following is paraphrased from the book:
2. As we were about to enter the room, the reverence and finality of the moment was overwhelming. Memories of that afternoon still linger, bringing forth that same emotion even many years later. The realization that this was to be the last physical connection with an important part of our lives was by then all too real. A child is something that no parent ever wants to give up. We knew that never again, would we touch or hold him. We could never share in his pain or his troubles; he would never ask us for the car keys or share with him the joys of becoming a parent. We couldn't wipe away his tears when pain or adversity visited. Never again could we use our parental wisdom to guide him to the right path. A brutal act of violence had torn all this . . . and more from our lives. Patrick was alone when he died. We were forced to accept a finality that no parent ever wants. We knew that lying in that small room off the corridor, was the physical remains of an important and vital part of our lives. We each knew in our own way that when we left that small room, all that would remain were memories.
Kathy Copley, Victim Advocate; Kentucky Victims Coalition VFrom my first reading of this book, a phrase used by the author has haunted me: "Institutionalized Disinterest." What an apt, however unfortunate, grasp of how the system functions: a system so compartmentalized, so territorial in its separate interests, and so mutually exclusive that in the end it too often fails the very people it is designed to protect. I don't know if, in writing this book, the author intended more to empower other victims, or to enlighten victim-service providers, or to encourage the system to take a long-overdue look at itself. Indeed it is a book that does all three.
January 7, 2006
I got the book yesterday. I have to say I have shared in your family's grief, it brought tears several times. I only felt that kind of grief once for thirty seconds and this refreshed that brief moment. I was in a small row boat on a pond, fishing for brook trout, while my son and daughter played on the shore. My son was about eight and chasing his sister, when he slid down a clay bank into the water. He completely disappeared and the water became calm, before I could pull on the oars twice he surfaced, running up the bank. Dick, in that brief instant is as close to what you must have experienced. I thank God I never had to live it further. Chris has a hard time reading the book, the pain and suffering is more then she can handle. In summary, you have done well. I think this will help a lot of people to come, and those who have suffered in the past. Ralph
The Value Of A Smile is also available at Amazon.com and available below electronically.
The book is also available electronically at Book Locker for $8.95 and there are no Shipping or Handling Charges. Please click the link below to download this e-book. http://www.booklocker.com/bookpages/smile.html