Grief doesn't respect demographic boundaries, and the devastating impact of a homicide in the family can be found in all walks of life. On Monday, a coalition of victim groups gathered outside the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse downtown to remember lost loved ones and listen to a keynote speech by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock -- whose sister Karen was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2002, and who urged the audience to find ways to turn their pain and sorrow into action.
The National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims brought out a number of prominent law enforcement officials and local leaders in the victims' rights movement, including mistress of ceremonies and state representative Rhonda Fields, mother of Javad Marshall-Fields, killed with his fiancée Vivian Wolfe shortly before he was expected to testify as a witness to another murder.
But the most powerful moment of the proceedings came when family members were invited to come to the podium with photos of their loved ones, to remind us all of the people behind the statistics.
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Some of the deaths received widespread media coverage. Others did not. Many remain unsolved; in fact, there are more than 1,500 unsolved homicides on the books in Colorado. But as the video below makes clear, all of the crimes involved have snatched away something precious, in the harshest way imaginable.
More from our Education archive: "Javad Marshall-Fields/Vivian Wolfe CSU scholarship endowed 5 years after their murders."