MURDER! CAN YOU HELP? WILL YOU HELP?
by Andy Weddington
Monday, 19 November 2012
"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets." Voltaire
Today, it's murder and it's personal.
What follows is brief comment about someone I know who was murdered. And a plea for public help - to pass along today's comment in hopes it will fall before the eyes of someone who knows something and will do their civic duty and contact the police.
Early last Friday morning - barely 10 minutes awake from a deep, restful sleep - the telephone rang. The caller informed me that someone I've known for a long time had died. They did not know any particulars as to cause of death.
Still shaking the fog of sleep and not sure I heard correctly, I asked them to repeat. Yes, the person was dead.
While making a pot of coffee, I thought. The aroma of a strong breakfast blend ignited brain cells - there was an important call or two to make. Coffee brewed, poured, and after a sip or two with thoughts collected, I dialed a long distance number to deliver terrible news tactfully. The party calling anwered. It was not an easy conversation.
I had spoken to and exchanged email with the deceased within the past few months. They were on the top of my "to call" list during the Thanksgiving holiday. And a Christmas present was wrapped.
I found the area's newspaper on the Internet. There was a brief article about the death but no name. The death was being investigated as a homicide. What? Descriptions in the article were clues confirming it was whom the caller identified. I guess in the back of my mind the defense mechanism 'denial' was in play, and there had been a mistake.
But still shock.
Updates to the article released the victim's name, location of crime, and cause of death - stabbed to death in their home.
The victim an older, tiny female literally defenseless. She was always kind and gracious to me, and my wife. Though a private person, she was ever cordial to others. She was not one to have an enemy.
So, why? Who would do such a thing?
There were others I needed to communicate with but did not have their current contact information. So, I called the police to ask their willingness to act as intermediary - to relay contact information.
I spoke to the case's supervising detective. He agreed to help. As we learned while speaking, we have something in common - we're Marines. He assured me they would catch the killer(s). I feel better knowing a Marine is engaged.
This morning, anger has replaced denial, shock, and sadness. I called the supervising detective and asked if it would be appropriate for me to help. I told him I did not want to meddle or otherwise hamper the investigation but thought a brief comment, along with the newspaper article link (includes law enforcement contact numbers), and plea for public help may prove beneficial. He welcomed my offer.
So, here it is - the link to the New Jersey Herald newspaper article reporting the murder of Virginia "Suzy" Sommer; my (step) mother-in-law.
The police are working diligently. But widest public awareness only serves to help. Please, as a reader of this forum, I ask kindly that you pass along today's comment with like request to those you send. Use email, Facebook, Twitter, telephone - any or all means. Who knows whom may come forward with critical information.
If ever hoping a commentary would go viral, this is the one.
To repeat the law enforcement contact information at the end of the Herald article...
The prosecutor's office is asking for anyone with information regarding the murder to contact investigators at the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office, 973-383-1570, or the State Police at 973-383-1514. All calls will be confidential.
This is personal. I am angry.
Thank you, Detective. Catch the killer(s)!
Please help - if nothing more than as a relay. Thank you, kindly!
To those who know me and my wife, no need to send condolences etc., in reply. Those are understood and we appreciate!
On the other hand, information, should you have any, welcome. Better yet, call the police.