A Time to Heal

Where is the Memorial for Surviving Victims Families of Dahmer?

Twenty years ago our community was torn apart by a monster from within. He tore apart families and no one really understood why. What kind of evil was in the mind of this typical looking guy who seemed to live a typical life? None the less, he was a monster in every way. Even though twenty years have come and gone, many people are grieving as if it happened yesterday. Twenty years and we are still missing these angels taken for a purpose we don’t quite understand, taken and nothing left behind but broken hearts and memories of loved ones who did not deserve to die this way.

Ernest Miller this one is for you. Peace my brother!

A Memorial of Honor

 

For twenty years we watched the news and saw the local media make these families relive (or recreate in some cases), the pain they have lived with for the sake of ratings. Even though the local media has trivialized this tragic event, there are many in the community who continue to care and pray with these families as they felt the torment the families have been left to deal with. For their part, the local media refuses to acknowledge their lack of involvement when families asked for their help to find missing loved ones, yet they benefit from the aftermath. I hope they can sleep at night!

This year marks the 20th year remembrance of this tragedy. We have been bombarded with ratings driven stories of pain and sorrow of families still in the grieving process. The cameras in their faces, constant images of the dead, even more constant images of the monster, talks with the defense team, the police, and anyone who ever met Dahmer were on display this past week. What was seldom covered by any media outlet and hurtfully glossed over was the fact that we have not yet created a memorial for these victims or for their families. A memorial to help them heal, to help us heal, and to say to them as a community, we are sorry for your lose, our lose and to apologize for the things we could have done to prevent this from happening, namely our ignoring of the reporting of a number disappearing Black men in a brief time span, because it was not important at the time, nor did the MPD deem it worthy to investigate.

Sadly there is already a memorial for Dahmer and please do not go looking for it. They do not need our attention. It is disgusting and sickening that he is more popular in death to some people than these innocent victims. Outside of the families who is championing for them right now?

When a little child is abused or harmed like little Caylee Anthony, instantly a law or memorial is created post haste, but still in segregated Milwaukee, we have to beg for this too. To add insult to injury we even have a memorial for the firefighters of 911 but we can’t we memorialize this, an event that happened right in our own backyard?

Why won’t the city of Milwaukee bring peace to the families? It is very simple. They do not want to conjure up memories of Jeffery Dahmer because it is bad for business. Secondly, Milwaukee refuses to atone for blatantly turning its back on Black families who pleaded with city police, government officials, and local media to help find their loved ones until it was too late. These families were left to search for their missing sons, brothers, uncles, and cousins in vain. If the city, the police department, or the local media would have put in one ounce of effort, the magnitude of this tragedy may have been prevented. If someone would have taken one minute more to investigate to Konerak Sinthasomphone’s situation…well we could speculate for another twenty years but why? He is gone now and the people who had the power to prevent his untimely death are nestled away living normal lives as are their children and families. His family gets to relive his nightmare ending over and over again.

We need to help these families heal and yes they are still hurting. In this case we do have power to knock down this wall of segregation and come together for this one purpose. We can bring peace and be messengers of healing and God’s grace in the time of storm.

Jim Stingl wrote a good article which I share with you because it is powerful testimony from a victim’s family member.

Excerpt taken from

“It’s Hard to Forget Dahmer, but Please Remember His Victims.”

Jim Stingl Journal Sentinel

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/125993113.html

“The discovery of Dahmer’s acts widened racial divisions in the city. He was white and many of his victims were black…” “There was a sense that Dahmer was able to get away with it for so long because of the perception that the missing males were marginalized because of race or sexual orientation.”

“Carolyn Smith reported her brother, Eddie Smith, missing in the summer of 1990, but she doesn’t think the police took her seriously. She tried to get TV news to run his photo, but officials declined. As it turns out, he was Dahmer’s sixth victim.

Smith doesn’t have the luxury of forgetting about Dahmer. Milwaukee has recovered, but the families never will. Every day she thinks about what he did to her brother, which has caused her tremendous stress, depression and fear of leaving her Milwaukee home.

She wants a memorial erected, but not at the 25th and State site where the Oxford Apartments building, … was razed.”

 

My beloved community there is not much more I can say. I think Ms. Smith said it best. Let us show these families some real love and respect from this community NOW. Let us come together to claim victory over tragedy and support those still grieving the loss of cherished family members. We need to be more vocal on this and insist on the need to have this not waiting for uninterested political officials to take up our cause or to do it only because it is election season. Sadly this memorial seems to be a non-issue; we need to change that asap.

Please take a moment to contact your representative and let your voice be heard.

To contact your representatives please click the link below.

http://itmdapps.milwaukee.gov/electedreps/electrep.jsp

Contact your state and city officials!!!!!!

Presently this governor has a tentative committee looking into a memorial at the request of concerned community members and families. I have heard nothing back from our mayor about this other than what I heard on TV which was that it was something they could pursue sometime in the future. It’s been 20 years, the future is today!

Peace Family,

WW

 
 
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