Murder Survivor's Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources received a prestigious Gold Award in the 2015 Benjamin Franklin book awards competition sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association.
Read the news release.
Words are woefully insufficient to convey the extraordinary value of Murder Survivor's Handbook. Written for survivors, but exceptionally useful for the professionals and friends who want to assist them, this book is unparallelled in its information about and guidance through the unique experience of traumatic bereavement following a loved one's murder.
Its focus ranges from the pragmatic (e.g., how to stay safe, what to include in a courtroom survival kit) to the emotional (e.g., tending to your grief, remembering). Saindon's 'survivor tips' are worth their weight in gold, and make this superb resource a virtual road map for all who find themselves navigating the treacherous waters of life after murder. Clearly written and easy to digest, this book is jam-packed with essential information and, without qualification, is now the go-to book for all homicide survivors and caregivers of all types who help them. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
Therese A. Rando, Ph.D., BCETS, BCBT
The Institute for the Study and Treatment of
Loss, Warwick, RI; author of the forthcoming
Coping With the Sudden Death of Your Loved One: A Self-Help Handbook for Traumatic Bereavement
This handbook is the absolutely perfect tool for survivors of homicide victims and those professionals who work to support them. Through the voices of survivors, the stark realities of learning to live with homicide are clearly exposed. The incredible depth of sorrow, daunting financial impact and the long term challenges that survivors face are effectively presented. The wealth of information contained in this handbook needs to be on the bookshelves of everyone who interacts with survivors of homicide.
Carol Gaxiola, mother of Jasmine Gaxiola,
Director/Victim Advocate, Homicide Survivors, Inc.
I know this book will be a tremendous help to those unfortunate enough to find themselves in this terrible situation. It is organized in such a way that people can read each section as the need arises. I wish there had been such a helpful resource for my family when we so desperately needed it!
Joyce Knott, mother of Cara Knott, murder victim
The book is rich in content. It is the banquet of life-sustaining information that I did not have 15 years ago.
I’m in the middle of pre-trial. I take this book with me to court; I read it as I am there when I run into a problem or hear something I don’t understand. I have it with me at all times. As I read the stories it helps me see this is exactly how I am feeling during pre-trial and I am careful in everything I do there. I encourage everyone who is going to court to buy this even before then. When my son died, I didn’t understand why detectives were not telling me anything. I wondered if they were even doing anything; during pre-trial I heard just how hard they were working on the investigation. I keep this book close, still reading it. Thank you to everyone who took part in making this book happen.
With her Murder Survivor's Handbook, Connie Saindon extends a loving and much-needed helping hand to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. She provides great helpings of wisdom, compassion and inspiration while showing the way to what will surely be an appreciative readership. Heartfelt and well written, it will serve as a benchmark in the genre for years to come.
Carlton Stowers, two-time
Edgar Award winner
for Best Fact Crime
This is exactly the book I would have loved to have had in the beginning so I wouldn't have made so many mistakes with Homicide, and that I would have had some idea how this entire process works. Soon others will not have to try to figure out the craziness of it all; it will be right there in their handbook.
Dayna Herroz, Survivor/Co-victim
Peer Advocate/Violent Loss
As a network news producer who focuses on violent crime, I meet families all the time who have just gone through the worst thing ever and then have to deal with a world of cops, prosecutors, media that they’ve never dealt with before. The Murder Survivor’s Handbook is a great resource. It’s something I will share with families I meet in the future. It’s great that you have taken the time to put down on paper what you’ve learned through your own tough journeys.
Susan Leibowitz, Producer, Network News
This book is wonderful. It will be very helpful not only to my new participants but for myself and my chapter leaders. You covered all the steps that victims have to deal with. The chapters are broken down and very easy to read and follow. The resource section after each topic is great. Thank you, this is a one-of-a-kind book much needed!
Rose Madsen, Families &
Friends of Murder Victims, Inc.
This book covers the full spectrum of grief and loss as well as criminal justice system. It is written with a very personal and practical tone that connects the reader to the writers and makes it easy to understanding the legal part. It was a more emotionally difficult read than I anticipated, but, ultimately, so full of hope and comfort.
Yolanda Boyd, sister of Willie Jones
I got a tremendous amount out of it, a wealth of information as I head toward the criminal trial. It's unfortunate that a person wouldn't necessarily be inclined to read it before tragedy strikes; if they did, they would be so much better prepared. Survivors will find this of great help when the unthinkable happens.
Valerie Wagner, Survivor/Co-victim
The stories of loss shared by survivors in this book shed light on the fact that when this type of trauma happens, lives are touched with both tragedy and renewed capacity for resiliency. Every time I hear on the news of someone just murdered, I cry inside for their families and loved ones. This book will be of great benefit to the newly bereaved.
Celeste Vinzant, Survivor/Co-victim
We know your book will be a tremendous asset to survivors who will suddenly be faced with dealing with the unimaginable and all that follows. It will help them learn the unfamiliar language of violent loss and provide them with the kind of guidance and resources we all wish we had at the beginning our journey, when it is desperately needed.
Timothy's Family, Survivors/Co-victims
Very thorough. Love the practical suggestions, safety ideas, outlining what you want to say about your loved one to the media, and the resources and online links. There is so much "brain freeze" during the aftermath that these suggestions can help a great deal. The personal stories are very touching. The reader knows they "get it."
Michelle Iliff, MA
Survivors of Violent Loss Counselor
I am extremely impressed with the content of this book. As a co-victim, I am so proud of the individuals who so bravely have offered to share their experiences so others can have some point of reference if they should ever have to walk this unfortunate path. So many scenarios that can arise are addressed in these pages. Here they will find a road map to help navigate their way through this maze of heartache. Most important they will find the tools and a guide to resources that has taken many of us years, even decades, to stumble upon.
Dee Dee, Survivor/Co-victim
This book is fantastic! It will be so helpful to survivors, professionals and our colleagues working with Homicide Survivors.
Director, Crime Victims Assitance Unit
District Attorney's Office
The book was truly wonderful! It contained all the info and guidance I know that would truly help someone navigate the legal aftermath as best a book could. I think this fills a much needed gap. Very well written and organized! I look forward to hearing the wonderful feedback from survivors who used it.
Kerry Essakow, PsyD, MFT,
Program Director of Survivors of Violent Loss Program
The book is wonderful and obviously a labor of love and passion for what you do and how deeply you care.
Cynthia Charlebois, Chief
San Diego County District Attorney’s
Victim Services Division