Thursday, October 2, 2014

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2014


The Legacy of Susan Murphy Milano lives on through Document The Abuse and the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA)

In November of 2011 The Roth Show featured Susan Murphy Milano, Attorney Holly Hughes and the developer of the iEAA Apple App, Chet Hosmer, on the show to explain the details of how the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA) should be used. Not only has it been used in several high risk domestic violence cases, but those who created their personalized EAA are still alive to tell about it.

The Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit is a revolutionary new tool described and detailed in the book, Time’s Up: A Guide on How to Safely Leave an Abusive and Stalking Relationship by Susan MurphyMilano.  Since the release of the book on April 12, 2010, thousands have become aware of a new standard of safety which goes well beyond current planning measures for abuse victims. Used by hundreds of advocates and victims, they are the living testament to the success of the EAA.

Susan Murphy Milano,ImaginePublicityThe world knows the passion and brilliance of the late Susan Murphy Milano's work in the field, the thousands of lives she was able to save, and the sense of urgency she had about the EAA and documenting the abuse of victims in a way that is beneficial to them, strengthening a possible prosecution, and not, in her words, just "lip service."

Through her partnerships with Sandra L. Brown of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Neil Schori of Naperville Christian Church, Susan and her work were instrumental in the creation of Document the Abuse.Com where information about the EAA is explained, resources are listed and those qualified to assist are certified.  Several individuals are skilled in assisting victims, including Tracey Murphy on the west coast and Michelle Harkey on the east coast, who have had positive results.

This nugget of gold broadcast explains in detail the legal and forensic benefits of the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit and how it is the first step a victim should take, before ever announcing she's leaving or suing for divorce. It insures her testimony should anything negative happen to her, it records the history of abuse towards the victim or the children who are often used as ammunition in the battle to hurt each other in a contentious breakup.

Now, with the Apple App available, victims can do almost everything, including recording their video testimony on their iPhone, iPad or iPod. The Apple App makes it easier, safer and effective to create the documents needed for their specific, individualized safety plan. The easy to use instructions included within the Apple App walk the victim through each step, encouraging them all the way and letting them know their information has been created properly.
The App walks potential victims through the process of creating their own video testimony and then securely time stamps the video to prove it's existence.

In this podcast listeners will learn:
  • The challenges of prosecutors to get around the hearsay of witnesses after the fact
  • The forensic advantages for law enforcement built into the iEAA Apple App
  • How the EAA circumvents Crawford v Washington and the right of a defendant to confront the accuser
  • Explanation of the "forfeiture clause"
  • How a technology company stepped up to help create the iEAA Apple App

Important Books by Susan Murphy Milano for Victims of Abuse:

Time's Up, A Guide on How to Leave an Abusive and Stalking Relationship (Kindle)
  Time's Up: How to Escape Abusive and Stalking Relationships Guide [Paperback]
  Moving Out, Moving On: When a Relationship Goes Wrong Workbook [Paperback]
  Holding My Hand Through Hell: A Real Life Journey of Hope, Survival, Murder, and Abuse [Kindle Edition]
  Holding My Hand Through Hell [Paperback]


Monday, September 29, 2014

Forget The Magic and Move On, but #LeaveSafely

Ken and Angie met at work. Because they lived in a small town in Iowa, running into one another at the grocery store, church, or neighborhood bar was common. Out of the blue, it just happened that they began dating.

Within a year Angie and Ken married. Within weeks after their marriage Ken felt the need to question his bride's every move when she was "out of range." If she took longer than usually to return home after work ended or took too long at the grocery store he would be in her face and demand to know where she was or who Angie was with, "why wasn't she home sooner" he demanded.

After a few months Ken did not like his bride's responses and began beating Angie. One night she had to be taken to the hospital because he broke her nose.


She went to her mothers house for a few days to think things over. Angie asked her mother to remove all the mirrors in the house during her stay, she didn't want to pass a mirror and see what Ken had done to her face.

Ken sent flowers and notes of love to her daily. Angie loved Ken very much and was willing to forgive him. She returned to give Ken another chance.

Believing, as most women do, that all the violence ends just because the person apologizes, like waving a magic wand  over a hat. Sounding like a line from some cheesy movie script Ken claims he's sorry, vowing never to never hit her again.

Two weeks later Ken began beating Angie once again. This time Ken broke her arm.  The following morning Angie went to court and obtained a court order of protection. Shortly after, she moved out and in with a girlfriend on the other side of town. A fews months passed and she hired an attorney and filed for divorce.

From the time Angie moved out of the apartment Ken found ways to send notes and letters to her. Her court order prohibited Ken from communication which also included letters and phone calls. That didn't stop him, he found ways to have notes left on her car windshield in the downstairs mailbox where she lived. In his letters he told her that if she knew what was good for her, she would come back to him, and how God joined them together in holy marriage and they would be together until death.

Dear Angie,

I really do love you with all my heart and soul. I know it seems as if all I do is upset you, that is not my intention. I am really hurting, as I am back and back to stay. I am also trying to make all the changes you want of me, and love, I will make them! I just need to know you want me. I wish they could happen overnight but I know that will take time. Honey, I am really trying my best, and giving my all to you, us and our marriage. That is what means the WORLD TO Me!!! I am just really frustrated that you have not yet tried to put forth an effort to me, us and OUR MARRIAGE. O don't know, I can't read your mind! Choosing your independence, acting single, friends, relatives etc, etc,over me us, OUR Marriage, BABE that hurts, that hurts a lot! I want to give me all and do my best. Now and forever to you,to US, and OUR MARRIAGE. Don't you understand, don't you care? Honey I am trying harder than I ever tried anything before in my life.

Over the period of 11 months Ken sent Angie one or two letters every day. All of his letters were each signed "Love always forever and ever, your husband," and he usually added a P.S. like this:

I know i Fuc---up our marriage, but NOTHING that LOVE, understanding and all effort cannot correct! We both made mistakes together, so please, lets start correcting those mistakes together, and together make the marriage GREAT. Now and forever if you really love me, and your love is true. YOU will find it in your heart to forgive me and start over one last time (no more will ever be needed) TOGETHER WITH ME NOW.

Ken's letters to Angie show desperation to gain control of her. That's all most abusers want to do is regain their power over those they "profess to love." He claimed he was willing to do anything for just one more chance.

Be forewarned!

No one alters their violent outbursts and behaviors by simply waving a magic wand. They will not change, ever. It does not matter what they do for a living be it a car mechanic, doctor, police officer, lawyer, truck driver, accountant, teacher or professional.

Warning Signs to watch out for:


  • Extreme jealously and possessiveness; (this applies to dating and marriage and after a break-up)
  • They have a need to control others in their environment; (that includes you)
  • Name-calling and use of derogatory remarks or constant put-downs;
  • Screams and yells then explains why they are speaking to you this way;
  • (they may even apologize a day or two later and ask you to understand why they said or had that so called first time reaction-they may make the excuse of being "so" in love with you and ask for another chance-rarely will they apologize)
  • Poor communication skill and coping skills (this seems to apply only to you during the relationship. If they had such poor skills how could they be in professions where coping and skills matter and are related to their jobs? )
  • Tendency to blame others for their faults/mistakes; ("you know baby I didn't meant it. I had so much going on and am under a lot of pressure, I just blew.") If they do it once it is a pattern in their conduct they have always repeated. This is likely the first time you are aware or have seen it.
  • A self-righteous attitude;
  • Addiction to not only drugs or booze, but power;

You can't rescue or fix these individuals. They are toxic and dangerous to any relationship.

For more information visit Document The Abuse. com

Monday, October 28, 2013

In Memory of Susan Murphy Milano

Susan2
Today (Oct.28) marks the 1 year anniversary of Susan's death. What better way to remember her than to read and learn from the posts that she left behind. There are literally thousands of messages from her at Murphy Milano's Journal, all indignantly calling for the safety of abuse victims.

"But for those fearful or unable to seek service from a domestic violence shelter provider, there is a book available that will take a victim from living in fear to a plan, with a roadmap to safety. "

Document the Abuse, Susan Murphy Milano, Neil Schori, Sandra L. Brown

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Would Susan Say: The Susan Cox Powell Video Testimony



Recently released documents in the Susan Cox Powell disappearance, especially a written last will and testament and video made by Susan, indicate that she was in imminent danger and she knew it. In the video we see her laying the groundwork and instruction should something happen to her, as well as in notes she wrote indicating that, ..."if something happens to me it may not be an accident."

This case was one that Susan Murphy Milano wrote about and talked about extensively. (Below are links to some of the posts she wrote.) She had Susan Cox Powell's parents on radio shows along with their attorney Anne Bremner whom she talked to frequently about the case.

According to Susan, and some of the conversations we had about it, the writing was on the wall, Josh Powell had intimate knowledge about what happened to his wife on the night he took two small children camping in freezing weather after dark. Add in the later interviews with his father, still incarcerated Steven Powell, and the soup gets even spicier. She felt that Steven Powell could have possibly been the mastermind behind the whole crime given his obsession with something he could not have, his son's wife.

We are all familiar with the incidents that occurred since the beginning of this case in December of 2009, and the last one standing is Steven Powell. Josh Powell incinerated himself and his children after a social worker came by for an appointed visitation, and his brother, who some believe was also involved, has committed suicide.

By all indications Susan Cox Powell was attempting to create an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA), but what went wrong, and why didn't it accomplish what she wished it would?


  • There were no incident or police reports filed (that we know of) to indicate violence in the home, Susan only spoke about her unhappy marriage to friends as far as we know. (Hearsay) But, Josh Powell had violent tendencies as indicated in the treatment of his own mother.
  • To document the abuse Susan had a handwritten "last will and testament" but it was not witnessed and notarized (that we know from news reports).
  • After creating the handwritten will and the video testimony, Susan locked it away in what she thought was a safe place, but, by all reports, she didn't give a copy to relatives, trusted friend, or attorney.
  • Most likely the video and will may not hold up as evidence in court, it would depend on the jurisdiction and laws for that state.
Susan Cox Powell tried, she knew enough about her own situation to know she was in danger, and to put her impressions in writing and video. She felt that something was going to happen, intuitively wanting to protect her children and the assets, she did all she knew to do.

Had Susan created an EAA with a trained advocate things may have turned out differently for her and for her children. Although hindsight in this case is 20/20, the information we know could possibly save the life of another in the same situation. 

A person trained to assist in the creation of an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit would know how to have everything in order, signed, witnessed and notarized, to insure that if it ever needed to be presented to a prosecutor, law enforcement investigator, or to the court, that it would have the best chance of being the voice of the victim, whether or not that victim was disabled, missing, or deceased. It would also contain details about the possible perpetrator that would give investigators avenues to take to uncover evidence and proof.

It's a relatively simple process, and those who have created it are all still alive to testify to it's usefulness,  in fact it has the effect of empowerment and peace of mind to most of those who have created their individualized safety plan and the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit.

On the website, Document the Abuse, Sandra L. Brown, CEO of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and colleague of Susan Murphy Milano, has assembled comprehensive information about lethality assessment, how to create the EAA, how to become certified to train others, and lists of all providers and community partners that are committed to help insure the safety of victims of family violence.

What Would Susan Say:

Nine emails were provided to the newspaper after Susan Powell disappeared in December 2009, but at the request of the provider, the newspaper held back on publishing them until now. 
"Every moment I step back and take stock of what I'm dealing with, it feels like a never ending cycle but I'm too afraid of the consequences (sic) losing my kids, him kidnapping, divorce or actions worse on his part, if I take a stand on one of his ultimatums like spending $20 on the counseling co-pay or cutting off access to my pay check," she wrote. 

When Susan Cox Powell vanished, it was disclosed by the oldest of the boys, "mommy went on a camping trip with us but she didn't come back." West Valley city police, for unknown reasons, decided to sit on evidence; blood, child's disclosure, a letter found in Susan's drawer at work stating "if something happens to me." There was enough within weeks to prevent Josh Powell from leaving the state of Utah and making an arrest. What in God's name were they waiting for?   (from May 1, 2012 post)


Help keep Susan Murphy Milano's legacy moving forward into the future, a future where there is absolute help for victims of violence, female and male.

If you're a victim, read Holding My Hand Through Hell, you will find yourself and your story somewhere in this book,  Susan's true crime memoir is a must. 

If you are thinking about ending a relationship, before you make any announcements or plans, read Time's Up, prepare your personal Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit and individualized safety plan to insure that you've done all you can.

Click on the book covers to purchase.





*Susan Murphy Milano lost her battle with cancer on October 28, 2012. To keep her work and her memory alive, I will be writing entries to her blog hoping to keep her many loyal readers and keep attention on the cases which she herself wrote about. Sometimes a case screams to be heard, a case that Susan herself would want to write about, those are the ones I will occasionally attempt to present as "What Would Susan Say."......Delilah (ImaginePublicity)

Disclaimer: I am not a trained or certified advocate, only a close friend and colleague of Susan Murphy Milano and was appointed administrator of her online sites. The opinions and case speculations do not necessarily mean that I'm an expert in domestic violence, only in the sense that I had the privilege of working with Susan on a daily basis, editing her blogs and books and sharing in her vast knowledge.


http://murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com/2009/12/not-your-average-camping-trip.html
http://murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com/2010/11/susan-powell-to-be-chewed-up-like.html
http://murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com/2010/11/susan-powell-part-2-to-be-chewed-up.html
http://murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com/2010/11/susan-powell-part-3-she-knows-she-will.html
http://murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com/2011/09/susan-cox-powell-father-in-law-arrested.html
http://murphymilanojournal.blogspot.com/2012/05/lesson-for-world-susan-cox-powell-and.html

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What Would Susan Say: The Murder of Susann Smith

Susann Smith of Bothell, WA
The state of Washington was reeling just over a year ago when Josh Powell incinerated his children and himself shortly after a social worker dropped off the children for a unsupervised visit. Who can forget that Josh Powell was the husband of still missing Susan Powell, and the person of interest in her disappearance?

Susann Smith of Bothell, Washington, also a mother of two young children, was brutally murdered, in fact beaten to death, found in the bathtub of her home on February 12, 2013. Police have named her husband, Alan Smith, as the "person of interest."

Married for 8 years the couple was in the midst of a contentious divorce, separating in 2011, and, as often happens, arrows and accusations were being flung by both sides as court documents report neither side was happy with parenting arrangements. Each had a restraining order against the other when the divorce was originally filed, leading one to believe there was evidence of abuse in the relationship.

Matt Phelps, Regional Assistant Editor for the Bothell Reporter has been following the story extensively and reveals much of what's contained in court documents concerning the divorce proceedings, a large part documenting each side stating their displeasure with the other and witnesses testifying about each person's parenting skills and attitudes. But, what really went on behind the closed doors of the home in the 200 block of 240th St. S.W. in Bothell?

I don't have the resources that Susan Murphy Milano did to dig deep and find hidden evidence, nor to get opinions from high profile people, but, after working side by side with her for several years, I did learn many things about how to see what's in plain sight.



Several things are evident:

  • There was definitely abusive behavior in the home, possibly from both sides and witnessed in front of the children.
  • Susann Smith was a native of Germany, her family was there, and she made it known that her family had requested she bring the children to Germany to be near them for support, according to court records, she told her mother that she wanted the children to be near their father. However, according to Alan Smith, Susann had used taking the children to Germany as a threat.
  • As a couple they were utilizing all of the personnel available, therapists, mediators, and attorneys to settle the differences within the divorce.
  • Alan Smith was seeing a psychiatrist, although the nature of why is not revealed, it's stated that Alan was "fearful" she would take the children to Germany, and that he felt Susann had her own "mental issues."
  • The court was petitioned numerous times, at first over monitary issues and then escalating into the parenting as being the matter in question with witnesses from both sides testifying to the natures and characters of each parties.
Pattern of Conduct


One thing that Susan Murphy Milano would often say is, "look for the pattern of conduct before and after the event, whether it be an instance of abuse, or intimate partner homicide, there will be clues in the way those close to the victim behave."

  • Since the murder of their mother, the two young children of Susann and Alan Smith, have been in the care of Child Protection Services. It's reported they were not in the home at the time of the murder, but where were they? Were they in school or daycare as would be their normal routine, or were they somewhere that was planned ahead of time so that they would not be witness to the murder of their mother? If the latter, who made that plan?
  • Alan Smith was named a "person of interest" shortly after the murder, as most husbands are, especially when there is a quarrelsome relationship. Search warrants were carried out and investigators moved in to do their job and make their reports. Considerable amounts of possible evidence were taken from the house, including Alan's motorcycle.
  • It's reported by an anonymous co-worker that Alan Smith was at work the days following the murder of the mother of his children until his employer, Boeing, put him on administrative leave. He had often spoken about Susann negatively to co-workers saying that he was emotionally abused and apparently felt no reason to keep the disputes of his divorce private. Was this an act of reaching out to others for support, or was he setting the stage?
  • He attended the memorial service for his estranged wife and, according to neighbors in attendance, showed little emotion (ala Scott Peterson). Alan Smith seems to have emotionally "moved on" from his troubled marriage and the death of his wife, although this could be a normal shift being separated for some time, and he possibly began forging new relationships, one would expect that even with all the problems under the bridge he would still grieve for the mother of his children. 
  • Alan Smith was the owner of the home in which his wife and children lived, and where Susann was ultimately murdered. He has since had the home cleaned of all signs of death and moved back into it, to the discontent of some neighbors who have witnessed him carrying on his life as if nothing happened and playing host to a new girlfriend.
  • It's been reported that Alan Smith is seeking to gain custody of his two children, taking them back from CPS, and this is where things get alarming.
Susan Murphy Milano wrote about a lot of cases, including the Susan Powell case, where she was adamant that when a mother is murdered custody of the remaining children should not automatically go to the father. So, in this instance, CPS did the right thing in taking protective custody right away. Until such a time when the remaining father is no longer the person of interest, suspect, or that he has been thoroughly investigated and cleared of any wrongdoing, should the children be returned.

Yes, realizing that we have innocent until proven guilty in our democratic society, she was often criticized for her stand on this issue. But, isn't it better to err on the side of caution and protection of the children than the rights of an innocent father? An innocent father would welcome such scrutiny, get it out of the way, and seek justice and resolution for his children.

Alan Smith



Circumstantial evidence not looking good for Alan Smith

  • The bicycle. When questioned intially about his modes of transportation, Alan Smith denied he owned a bicycle. However, during the investigation it was found that he indeed had purchased a bicycle using a credit card in late November. Was this misleading, or was it a lie?
  • In March an abandoned bicycle was found which was the same make and serial number as the bicycle purchased in Seattle by Alan Smith. Investigators are processing it for any latent evidence connecting it to the murder of Susann Smith.
  • Another lie? Days after the murder Alan Smith lied to investigators about cuts on his hands.
  • Purchases. Alan Smith was buying some odd staples in the time before the murder, such as coveralls, latex gloves, shoe covers, a still missing rubber mallet and, duct tape, of course. And don't forget the bicycle.
  • Computer searches. It's not unusual to search the internet for tickets to South America for 1 adult and 2 children, or is it, especially just before notification of the childrens' mother's murder. After the children were taken into protective custody, tickets for 1 adult were included in the search records of Alan Smith's computer, along with the term, “does Venezeula extradite to the United States." Is Smith a flight risk? (more shades of Scott Peterson)
  • Blood evidence. Traces of blood found in Alan Smith's car: the steering wheel, center console, and a floor mat. Blood traces were also found on his backpack. A pattern from the coveralls he purchased was found at the crime scene.

Sgt. Cedric Collins. "… No arrests have been made and anyone who may have information they feel may be helpful in this investigation is encouraged to call the Bothell Police Department tip line."

That number is 425-487-5551.

So, what would Susan say? 

"The dangers should be carefully considered when ending a dating relationship or marriage. The reaction to rejection is costing lives. In cases where the victim has died, her fears during the relationship or marriage remain silent, telling family or friends is considered "hearsay" and it's not enough when the person responsible is finally brought to trial. As a precaution, victims are encouraged to prepare the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit and video, also known as the "EAA." This removes hearsay and in a victim's own words provides historical abuse documentation, gives law enforecment and prosecutors a profile of the offender and shows his pattern of conduct prior to the crime should the victim vanish or be killed."   DocumentTheAbuse.Com

Had Susann Smith known about and created an EAA, King County investigators and the state of Washington would be saving taxpayer dollars spent on the investigation that has now lasted almost 4 months with no arrest. Her documentation would have spelled out enough evidence to make a quick arrest, if indeed Alan Smith is the suspect, and help lead investigators to build a stronger case for prosecution.

***

Help keep Susan Murphy Milano's legacy moving forward into the future, a future where there is absolute help for victims of violence, female and male.

If you're a victim, read Holding My Hand Through Hell, you will find yourself and your story somewhere in this book,  Susan's true crime memoir is a must. 

If you are thinking about ending a relationship, before you make any announcements or plans, read Time's Up, prepare your personal Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit and individualized safety plan to insure that you've done all you can.

Click on the book covers to purchase.





*Susan Murphy Milano lost her battle with cancer on October 28, 2013. To keep her work and her memory alive, I will be writing entries to her blog hoping to keep her many loyal readers and keep attention on the cases which she herself wrote about. Sometimes a case screams to be heard, a case that Susan herself would want to write about, those are the ones I will occasionally attempt to present as "What Would Susan Say."......Delilah (ImaginePublicity)

Disclaimer: I am not a trained or certified advocate, only a close friend and colleague of Susan Murphy Milano and was appointed administrator of her online sites. The opinions and case speculations do not necessarily mean that I'm an expert in domestic violence, only in the sense that I had the privilege of working with Susan on a daily basis, editing her blogs and books and sharing in her vast knowledge.


Monday, November 5, 2012

What Would Susan Say: Where's Stacy?




Is it ironic that on October 28, 2007 Stacy Peterson was never heard from again, silenced in the prime of her life, most likely at the hands of her husband Drew because of the secrets she held so long?

On October 28, 2012, another Sunday morning, exactly 5 years later, another voice, Susan Murphy Milano, was silenced in the prime of her life, taken by the hands of an abusive disease, because of the secrets she held so long that caused pain and stress in her life and contributed to her disease.

What would Susan say?

After a week of being in the fog zone, with time being insignificant, you can almost hear Susan shouting,

"Ok, enough about me already! You all have work to do! It's not about me, you know where I am, but, how are you going to find Stacy?"

From the beginning days of the Stacy Peterson case Susan was deeply affected, not only because she recognized the fact that Stacy most likely wasn't coming back, but because she saw similarities between Drew Peterson and her police officer father, the smug attitude and the fact that each of them thought they could get away with what they had done behind closed doors.

Immediately Susan picked up on the nuances of the case, before national media attention, and made no bones about what she wrote, sympathetic to the family members, but calling out what she saw from first hand experience living with an abusive cop. She saw through Peterson and his "Legal Marshmallow Roaster" attorney and knew exactly what they were up to, doing everything to divert attention away from Stacy.

In the midst of the circus of media, online forums, and news reports was a young mother, Stacy, who held within her being a secret she hoped would be more of an insurance policy. Stacy confided this secret and most likely lost her life because of it.

Because of Stacy, Susan was inspired to create the Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit. Had Kathleen Savio had the opportunity to create her own EAA, perhaps Stacy would still be around. Had Stacy done the EAA, the public would not have been subjected to the years of buffoonery created by Drew Peterson and his campfire team of attorneys and public relations ringmasters.

Peterson’s pattern of conduct and actions are important as it relates to Stacy Peterson. She can be placed in the marital home the morning she disappeared, so we know she and Peterson were in that house. From Sunday morning until the following day, there is a window of opportunity for Peterson, and when the coast is clear, in my opinion, he takes her out of the house. How far is he really going to drive? Does he go to one of two camp grounds with which he is familiar within an hour’s drive of the house? Does he go to a more obvious and public location, perhaps in plain site and one that is familiar to him? We do not know because Stacy Peterson is still out there someplace waiting to be found.......Stacy Peterson's Tragedy: Saving the Lives of Others, October 27, 2011

Now that Drew has been convicted of the murder of his previous wife, Kathleen Savio, and we see the latest news about appeals and possibly a second circus act, Susan would want us to remember the most important fact:

STACY PETERSON IS STILL MISSING.



Whatever the significance of the October 28 date may be, it's no coincidence in the universal order. It's a date that both Susan and Stacy will be remembered in the future, somehow still connected to each other.

The world has the opportunity to change the way intimate partner violence and homicide is handled, something Susan vowed she would do in 1989.  The challenge is: "Who Can Fill Her Shoes?"



On October 28, 2012, Susan Murphy Milano lost her battle with cancer. 

Her latest book, a "true crime memoir" based on the experiences of her life, HOLDING MY HAND THROUGH HELL, was released earlier in the month. 

To order a copy go directly to the publisher, Ice Cube Press (http://icecubepress.com) or Amazon and Barnes&Noble, or ask your local book stores to order it.




Thursday, October 11, 2012

Holding Her Hand Towards Heaven




On Monday, October 1, Susan made the decision to suspend her treatment and let nature take its course with the cancer.

I knew that once her decision was made there was no turning back this time, and although angry at first, I accept and honor her decision as I know her friends and followers will as well.  Susan  tried to write this post herself, but her energy levels are declining and I hope that I can honorably speak for her.

Anyone who has been around cancer knows the toll it takes on the body, mind, and spirit. Susan tried hard, often rallying and giving us all hope that she would stay in the fight, but the abusive cancer attacked her too strongly, and she felt that there was no more hope that she could diffuse the outcome.

She is quickly declining without the daily care of Dr. Akoury and the treatments she was getting and it's obvious now just how well the treatments were working, and how without them she is falling prey to the disease.

Susan has a wonderful team of Hospice caretakers who come in to help her, along with Dr. Akoury and myself, we've welcomed the visits of her closest friends. Through the tears and anguish we all realize that she has made peace within herself and accepted the outcome, but ask ourselves can we find that peace as well?

The only thing missing is Susan's family.

I have to speak to Susan's son and her sister: Although you've made very angry and ugly remarks to her publicly and privately, she always has a deep love for you. The same blood that runs through your body runs through hers and you can never change that fact. There comes a time when forgiveness must take place and for whatever wrongs you feel she has done to you, I assure you they are nothing in comparison to the pain she's experiencing knowing she will never be able to touch you, hug you, or hear your voices again.

I may not be able to change your hearts or your minds, but my wish is that you find a way to soften your bitterness and contact her before it's too late. If you would like to do that, please leave a comment here and I'll make it happen. I know you read the blogs often. Please reach out to her, no mother should have to die thinking her only child hates her.

She leaves you only a legacy of hope. Hope that you will grow into the man she envisioned, strong yet compassionate, not angry and bitter, with the capacity to love as she has loved you. Her new book, Holding My Hand Through Hell was written with you in mind, so that you would know the truth from her perspective, and that you would see what made your mother who she is and why she did the things she did.

I will hold her hand until she enters heaven because God placed that responsibility on me, at great cost to my own family and the families of her friends. This experience is one I never, ever thought I would have to do, not prepared for, nor do I want to, and I only hope I have the courage to carry through.

Susan wants everyone to know how much she appreciates the cards, letters, gifts and donations that will help defray the costs of both her medical bills already incurred and her end of life expenses, and especially the LOVE that has poured all over her from you.

Her wish is that donations will continue so that those who helped her will be paid what they are owed. She also hopes that everyone will do all they can to make Holding My Hand Through Hell a huge success, so the world will know that although life can be hell, with the hand of God we can all make it a better place for somebody.

We don't know the day or the hour that Susan will be taken from us, but she's comfortably waiting in the arms of angels who I'm sure will hold her hand as she enters heaven.

Delilah
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