Tuesday, January 3, 2017


The magnitude of the mass killings at the Appalachian School of Law on January 16, 2002, unfolded gradually.

Angela Dales, the dead student, was the mother of my oldest grandchild.  As we joined Angie’s family in the struggle to get through the terrible aftermath of her murder—to ask questions—we were met with deceit, anger, cover-ups, and lies. Our questions were met with everything but answers. Everywhere we were confronted with disingenuous expressions of sympathy and support; half-truths; hypocritical offers of help; and worst of all—a callous disregard for our feelings and the depth of our pain.

When the words of law enforcement and elected officials took on a pejorative, even a disparaging tone—our pain deepened. These are the individuals we are supposed to hold in high regard, the individuals we to turn to find answers and to find justice. We found neither. We found intellectual fraud and dishonesty.

Our story is not unique; we are not the exception—we are the rule. Whether one is a survivor of Columbine, September 11, the Appalachian School of Law, the Aurora theater massacre, Sandy Hook, or any senseless crime, the thing victims and their families ask is what you rarely get, honesty and truth.

People in positions of authority, people we put our faith and trust in to protect us and to protect our civil rights—have (and do) mislead and deceive. They play with words and demonstrate an unlimited capacity to rationalize the worst behavior.

I will go into the duplicity in greater detail in upcoming posts. (To be continued)

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