Melanie Hack shares healing thoughts

What has been missed in the reporting?
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine (Question to Melanie Hack)

Oh so much! I can’t possibly share it all here.
Before the inquest, the newspaper reports contained some errors and I realized that what we were hearing in the media on any given day was not always accurate.
During the inquest I would sit in the courtroom listening to evidence and then read inaccurate representations in the next day’s newspaper reports; knowing even the slightest alteration in wording has misrepresented what was actually said and given a different connotation. And by that point I would feel the media was sensationalizing Cindy’s story by reporting lurid details that had little to do with her death.

On June 6, 1989, the Vancouver Sun newspaper stated, “Richmond R.C.M.P. S. Sgt. Ron DeRoon said there has been no trace of the woman since she went missing. He added there is nothing to suggest foul play.” Given Cindy’s history of harassment I did not understand how the police could say that.
Did they think the blood on her car door was normal?

Coming soon… “What should I know?”
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

April 22nd, 2014 at 6:14 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

It is with such deep sadness that I write this post.
Today a local teen has passed away from a car accident and his two friends, also in the accident, are in critical condition.
And for them, grad was only a few months away.
I am a mother of two teens…and this tragedy has struck close to home. My son is only one year younger than those boys…and he knew them.
I’m seeing a lot of grieving teens in the community. Please know you are supported.
And here are a few thoughts for parents at this time:

I’m reminding everyone to listen closely when your teen is talking.
And watch his/her behavior. (You want to be alert for any potential self-destructive and reckless behavior as a result of grief.)
By listening and watching, you will find opportunities to help your grieving teen.
Don’t force a teen to talk about feelings…if the teen feels comfortable with you and realizes you are willing to really listen, s/he will talk when ready.
So please make the time to listen to a teen who wants to talk…and give him/her your undivided attention. By doing this, you are sending the message that the teen is important and that grieving is important.
It isn’t surprising to hear that the high school students who are several years younger than the injured teens, and therefore didn’t know them, are also overcome with grief and crying in the school hallways. Their emotions and thoughts are surfacing as a result of the tragedy and they are still learning how to process the accident and death. For adolescents who have little experience with trauma, death, pain, or stress, this will be the first time they experience the overwhelming emotions related with grief.  This can be frightening and many don’t have the self-awareness to know what types of coping strategies will help.
While sadness and crying may be an expression of grief for one teen, another may respond with humor and laughter.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to deal with death. It is a different experience for everybody.
Be patient.
Be available.
Be open-minded.
Validate their feelings…don’t minimize them.
Be prepared for mood swings.
And help brainstorm coping strategies based on their personalities.

I’m so proud of my son. He has consoled other students using hugs. And he’s made himself available to listen…or be a shoulder to cry on…or like right now, just “hang out” with those who need it.
I was brought to tears with this tragedy. Such young lives involved.

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

April 9th, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Ed Sheeran, the red-headed twenty-three-year old English singer-songwriter, reportedly helped make a dying girl’s dream come true, just moments before she passed away on Tuesday…only three days ago.

Spurred by a Twitter campaign called #SongForTri, the musician called Triona Priestley, a 15-year-old teen in Dublin, Ireland who suffered from cystic fibrosis, and sang “Little Bird” to her before she drifted off into a deep sleep.

A friend of the teen, named Lucy Hanlon, posted to Facebook that Sheeran’s manager got in touch with her to arrange the call, and the teen’s brother, Colm, confirmed Triona passed away shortly after she was serenaded.

What a beautifully touching and heart-warming story…I just had to post it!

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

April 4th, 2014 at 9:19 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

What would you like to tell me?
~Ken MacQuees, Maclean’s magazine (question to Melanie Hack)

When I flew to the lower mainland after Cindy’s body had been found on June 8th, some of my siblings and I piled into Cindy’s car and headed to the place where her body was found in the residential area of #3 Road and Blundell Avenue. I needed to see where she was found. I think even then I was subconsciously starting to put some of the pieces together of her life and death puzzle so I could understand what happened and why. I needed her death to make sense. And I needed to make it real. I needed something concrete. We were oblivious to the existence of an RCMP report stating, “The body was decomposing and is believed to have been at that location since 89-05-25 when she went missing.” Without having any evidence at that point, the RMCP had already assumed that this vacant and trashed-out site was where Cindy had died, rather than having been brought here, which would mean someone else had killed her. Already, they had decided her death was a suicide. Searching through the abandoned brown and white house near where her body was found, we were dumbfounded to see the destruction around us: broken windows and doors, destroyed furniture, trash and plaster everywhere, holes in the walls and floors, discarded syringes, and what appear to be satanic graffiti on the walls alongside swastikas and obscenities. Someone had spray painted “Devil,” “666,” a pentagram and a naked woman on the walls. What a shock to realize Cindy was found near here. Later I wondered why police hadn’t grabbed the syringes as evidence. Maybe one was used to kill Cindy.

Coming soon… “What has been missed in the reporting?”
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

March 31st, 2014 at 9:55 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

What would you like to tell me?
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine (question to Melanie Hack)

First off, we need to be able to recognize Cindy’s case for what it was—beyond a distraught individual genuinely fearful for her life. She felt trapped, alone, confused, alienated, angry, guilty and ashamed. It doesn’t matter what clinical label was put on Cindy. She was a victim—a victim of society’s ignorance and unable to know where to turn for help or who to trust or what to do. Society failed Cindy through a lack of proper support over a span of years.
In another Blog post I will share more of what I told Ken.

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

March 24th, 2014 at 6:52 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Do you feel that case will ever “officially” be solved? What will it take to crack the case in the authorities eyes?
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine (question to Melanie Hack)

I guess the police would need to be interested in solving the case. And at this point I don’t know that they are.
I wonder if they could look at DNA evidence on the cigarette butts found in her carport or from saliva on the licked envelopes that contained the threatening letters or the foreign hairs found on her body, etc. Or have the authorities destroyed all that evidence?
They were told to keep the case/file open because of the undetermined findings at the inquest. But I found out police closed the file and labeled it as suicide. So is there any evidence left for analysis?
After-death chemistry was not yet an area of study at the time of the [1990] inquest but I’d like to know if there is someone now who can interpret the written results of the samples (taken from her dead body) showing the relationship of free morphine to total morphine in her blood and her liver. –This would tell us how long it was before death occurred and whether or not she could have even taken morphine in pill form!

Coming soon… “What would you like to tell me?”
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

March 17th, 2014 at 6:30 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

 

“Who killed Cindy James?”
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine (question to Melanie Hack)

It would be my own speculation and I can’t say without proof.

Coming soon… “Do you feel that case will ever ‘officially’ be solved? What will it take to crack the case in the authorities eyes?”
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine.

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

March 14th, 2014 at 9:44 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

What can you tell me about how you reached your conclusion?
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine (question to Melanie Hack)

I had so many questions. So I scrutinized the seven years of harassment with the perspective of wondering what could have been going on with Cindy that I wasn’t aware of at the time. And I also tried to see what the possibilities were as they related to how other people might have been involved. And I looked through every scrap of paper I could find relating to Cindy, and was relieved to discover more facts that would finally lead me down a path to closure.

Coming soon… Who killed Cindy James?
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

March 7th, 2014 at 6:25 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Do you have a suspect in mind?
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine (question to Melanie Hack)

Yes.

Coming soon… “What can you tell me about how you reached your conclusion?”
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

March 3rd, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Have you reached what you believe is a resolution of the mystery?
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine (question to Melanie Hack)

After scrutinizing the evidence I do have a theory…

Coming soon… “Do you have a suspect in mind?
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine

Melanie Hack
Author of Who Killed My Sister, My Friend
Read an excerpt now
TV Shows and Clips about the Death of Cindy James

February 24th, 2014 at 8:23 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink