Melanie Hack shares healing thoughts

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

The title of your book, Who Killed, implies that you are convinced this was a murder. Is this an accurate portrayal of your belief?
~Ken MacQueen, Maclean’s magazine (question to Melanie Hack)

I do believe there is no possible way that Cindy ended her life on her own.
Not one of her friends or acquaintances indicated there was a hint of suicide in her actions or conversations during the period leading up to the disappearance.
Her psychiatrist said there was no hint of a multiple personality.
She had massive doses of drugs in her body (including Flurazepam and morphine) …10x the amount necessary to kill her. And although Flurazepam pill residue was in her stomach, there was an injection site on her right arm at the elbow, making it possible that she could have been injected with the morphine. BUT it was never determined how the morphine got in her system—only a trace amount of morphine (from pills? or from diffusion back into the stomach via the blood stream from oral ingestion or injection?) was found in her stomach along with 3.3 milligrams of Flurazepam (an estimate of twenty 30mg capsules of Flurazepam). Shouldn’t there have been more morphine residue in her stomach if she swallowed morphine pills? And if she had done this to herself and swallowed liquid morphine wouldn’t there have been a container having liquid morphine residue near her body since she would have been sedated too soon to dispose of it nearby and tie herself up? And if she was injected, someone else had to have killed her because she would have been comatose before the end of injection (1½ ounces). And there were no traces of drugs found in her abandoned car or at the death scene. No containers with drug residue (not even of the Flurazepam), showing she would have carried them there – not in the pockets of the jacket she was partially laying on nor in the McDonald’s paper cup found nearby. Did an accomplice or unknown perpetrator take it away? And either of the levels of morphine and Flurazepam found in her system would have killed her (something she would have known as a nurse), so why would she have taken both? Or been given both?
Even if we suppose Cindy only swallowed the Flurazepam pills, someone else had to have injected her with the morphine. And in that case, according to the evidence, there is no way Cindy could have done the death scene alone!

Coming soon… “Have you reached what you believe is a resolution of the mystery?
~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 13th, 2014 at 6:10 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink