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Annual Homicide Victim's Memorial
Sunday, April 8, 2018
Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

National Crime Victims' Rights Week
April 8 - 14, 2018

Mark your calendar for our annual Fundraiser/The National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims...
Sunday, September 23, 2018
... a 5k non-competitive run/walk with your kiddos, dogs or whoever. Rosie's Dog Beach, 1 Granada Ave. Long Beach, CA 90803. Registration information coming soon.

California Victim's Bill of Rights Act 2008
Marsy's Card (Proposition 9)


If you have a Lifer Parole Hearing coming up, be sure to register so you will be notified of the hearing:

In California up to $200 is available for victims, next of kin and support persons attending parole hearings.  Go to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and fill out the travel voucher information for reimbursement. services/travel-voucher.html

The Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney indicates that less that 10% of victims attend parole hearing.  Your attendance makes all the difference in the world

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services
PO Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001

JHV 2016-2017 Officers

A Message From The Founder,
Ellen Griffin Dunne

Ellen Griffin Dunne"The scales of justice have gradually become weighted in the favor of the accused, leaving the victim with no rights or representation.

We must re-establish the idea that homicide is the ultimate offence against humanity. Its punishment must reflect the gravity of the crime.

Fortunately, the majority of our membership has not had to suffer the personal effects of a homicide in their family but they support our goals.

We seek to educate the public as to the injustices in the present system of criminal justice in California. Only when the people are aware of the facts can change and reform be accomplished."


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California assemblyman Mike Gatto is planning a remembrance memorial honoring his father who was murdered 3 years ago. The event will be at the JHV Memorial on Saturday, November 12, 2016. We will be following up more information regarding this event. The murder is still unsolved.

Announcement: JHV Board Member LaWanda Hawkins has been appointed as Co-Chair of Crime Victims United of California replacing Marcella Leach.

LaWanda Hawkins photo

Our beloved Marcella:
It is with great sadness that I write that Marcella Leach, the co-founder Marcella Leachand long time Executive Director of Justice for Homicide Victims passed away March 15, 2015 at the age of 85. Like me, many of us met Marcella during the darkest days of our lives, after losing someone we loved to murder. She was a champion of Victims' rights and the face behind Marsy's Law, the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Act of 2008 that gives California residents 17 constitutional rights. She was honored by presidents, governors and many other victim groups. She will be sorely missed and forever in our hearts.  Read More

National Crime Victims' Service Award "Volunteer for Victims Award" goes to San Pedro's LaWanda Hawkins
In April 2015 a number of victim rights advocates traveled to Washington, D.C. to support Lawanda Hawkins, CEO-Founder of Justice For Murdered Children and Justice for Homicide Victims Board Member receive the National Crime Victims 2015 "Volunteer for Victims Award". Nominated by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office for her many contributions to victims and their families, LaWanda is an outstanding example of a Victim Advocate. After losing her only child, Reggie, to murder in 1995, she was re-victimized by the criminal justice system. To date, the murderer of her son has not been caught or brought to trial. Justice For Murdered Children in a non-profit support group whose mission is to reduce the number of homicides and unsolved homicides, assist families that have lost loved ones to homicide, and improve the justice system by making law enforcement more responsive to homicide victims and their families. Congratulations LaWanda! We're all proud to have you on our team.

Los Angeles Marathon Fundraiser - Another Great Success
Homicide victim families again walked/jogged/ran the 26.2 miles of the Los Angeles Marathon raising funds for Justice for Homicide Victims while honoring their loved ones. It was a hot day in Los Angeles but three of our runners made it all the way. It has become a tradition that Cynthia Bejar and her daughters run the entire race encouraging other families to participate and offering encouragement to whose taking the challenge all in the name of her nephew, Vincent Bejar, an unsolved murder dating to 2008. We thank all who participated.

Fullerton Policy Academy Training
For the third year in a row, Justice for Homicide Members spent the evening of Tuesday, September 23, 2014, chatting with cadets attending the Fullerton Police Academy. We lined the room with pictures of homicide victims....a power message. It's always rewarding to discuss our hard-fought for victims' rights with young men and women pursuing a career in law enforcement. We make every effort to relate each of the 17 Constitutional Rights named in Marsy's Law to an actual event and discuss the impact of the rights on families of homicide The cadets are always very interested in our personal stories and I think it helps each of us to talk about our experiences and to share our stories. We thank Chief Dennis Kies for inviting JHV to participate in their training program. We look forward to next year.

Justice for Homicide members appear on Tony Valdez, "Midday America" show August 3, 2014 and discuss their experience as survivors of victims of homicide

Justice for Homicide Victims/Justice for Murdered Children hold Crime Victims Forum for L.A. County Sheriff Candidates Ports O’Call Restaurant in San Pedro was buzzing with law enforcement on Friday evening May 23, when Justice for Homicide Victims/Justice for Murdered Children held a forum for L.A. County Sheriff Candidates. Details

Sheriff's Candidates Discuss AB 109, May 24, 2014 - Five of the men seeking to become sheriff of Los Angeles County agree that California’s prison realignment has been a failure. Details

30th Anniversary of Justice for Homicide Victims was celebrated at our annual Memorial Sunday, April 6, 2014, at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, Ca. National Crime Victims’ Rights Week theme: 30 years restoring the balance of Justice. Details

Please Donate to JHV
March is our annual fundraising month. JHV Members and family walk/jog in rain or shine in the famous Los Angeles Marathon to raise funds and to bring awareness of the impact homicide has on survivors and society. The Marathon starts at Dodgers Stadium and continues for just under 27 miles to the ocean in Santa Monica. We break the Marathon into nine 3 mile segments making it easy for just about everyone to participate. We invite you to join us and experience the Marathon for yourself. Donations are just $75 for each 3 mile segment and $50 for those under 18 years. We have a van traveling along the route to cheer participants as they progress along the Marathon route and also to pick up participants and return them to their vehicles (we don’t want you to go 3 miles and then have to walk back 3 miles to find your car.) Please see our flier.

If you cannot participate in the Marathon, please consider making a contribution to JHV. We are a verified 501©3 non profit and all donations are tax deductible. All funds are used to further our organizational goals: to support family survivors of homicide and to educate the public, law enforcement and professional groups about the impact homicide has on survivors and society.

To learn more call Cynthia at 626-617-7801. Checks can be mailed to JHV, P.O. Box 4202, Cerritos, CA 90703-4202.

JHV Board Members make news - December 2013
Board Member LaWanda Hawkins makes headlines in the Daily Breeze for her work with victims of crime. And Board Member Jeanette Chavez is sited for helping families in the San Gabriel Valley area.
Read Article

All are invited: JHV Annual Memorial Honoring Homicide Victims Sunday, April 6, 2014. This years’ National theme is “30 years: restoring the balance to justice.” And JHV is celebrating: “30 years of helping victims of homicide in the Los Angeles area” Sunday, April 6, 2014, Justice for Homicide Victims will hold their annual Memorial at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, Ca., honoring all victims of homicide. We will also honor the 30 years of Justice for Homicide Victims as an organization and recognize the achievements of our founders including Marcella Nicholas Leach and Ellen Griffin Dunn. Many of those who have suffered the loss of a loved one and worked through JHV to change laws and perceptions will attend and speak. Keynote speaker will be Griffin Dunne, an actor, film producer and film director and more importantly the son of JHV founder Ellen Griffin Dunne and brother to homicide victim actress Dominique Dunne.

Family Members of a 30 year old cold case solved in 2012 feel their Marsy’s Law rights are violated and ask JHV for assistance.

Marsy Law Training for Fullerton Police Academy Cadets: For the second year in a row Justice for Homicide Victim members gathered at the Fullerton Police Academy on the evening of September 26, 2013, to talk about “victim’s rights”. We go through each of the 17 Marsy Law constitutional rights specified under Marsy’s Law; talk about what they mean; how each provision relates to police field work and particularly how they impact victim families. The cadets are very interested in our personal stories of homicide and its great sharing information and answering questions as to what exactly Marsy's Law provides victims' of violent crimes and/or their surviving family members. We thank Chief Dennis Kies for inviting JHV to participate in their training program. We look forward to participating again next year.

First Ever Unsolved Homicide Summit Huge Success
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department hosted L.A.'s first ever Unsolved Homicide Summit Saturday, July 20, 2013. The event was sponsored by Justice for Homicide Victims and Justice For Murdered Children and they lined the Sheriff's media room with pictures of homicide victims. Details

Justice For Murdered Children and Justice for Homicide Victims are sponsoring Los Angeles County's first ever Unsolved Homicide Summit on Saturday, July 20, 2013 from 8.a.m. to 1 p.m. at the L.A. Sheriff's Headquarters at 4700 Ramona Blvd., Monterey Park, Ca. The event is free to the public and all are invited.

The Honorable Michael A. Latin (retired) will moderated questions amongst law enforcement, district attorneys, media and other professionals regarding unsolved homicides, seek suggestions and ways to solve cold cases and bring closure to families. Details

If you have an unsolved homicide case and have questions; please email us. Maybe we can help get answers. .

Justice for Homicide Victims to be honored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 for their exemplary achievements in assisting crime victims. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will commend our organization during National Crime Victims' Rights Week with a Proclamation.  JHV will also be recognized by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office during their Victims' Rights Recognition Ceremony and luncheon on Thursday, April 25. We are humbled and thankful. Photo

29th Justice for Homicide Victims Memorial Foundation Event is scheduled for Sunday, April 21, 2013, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, Ca. The Homicide Victims Memorial is just inside Gate 19 off of Workman Mill Road.

Justice for Homicide Victims' will honor Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca with the Robert W. Leach Victim Advocate Award. We are also extremely pleased that Los Angeles County’s new District Attorney, Jackie Lacey, will be present and speak to those gathered. Todd Spitzer, Legal Director, Marcy’s Law for All, Orange County Supervisor and former Assistant District Attorney will bring everyone up to date on Marsy’s Law and Lynette Duncan, who survived the murder of her father and sister, will tell her inspiring survival story.

Bring your loved one’s picture, release a balloon in their memory and watch the Doves take flight. Light refreshments will be served. (see flier)


JHV started 2013 with a LAPD West Bureau hosted Crime Victims’ Clinic Saturday, January 12th, at the LAPD’s Ahmanson Recruit Training Center in Westchester. Dr. Michael Crosby, Sr. led the group in an inspiring innovation. Welcoming was LAPD Commander Dennis Kato; Captain Peters; Donna Wills, Director of the Los Angeles District Attorney Victim-Witness Assistance Program; and the Honorable Jim Dear, Mayor of Carson. Details

Justice for Homicide Victims has entered into a partnership with the media publication “Cuffed & Wanted”. They will happily publish information regarding your unsolved homicide case in their bi-monthly Los Angeles County edition. "Cuffed & Wanted" newspapers are available at most 7-11, Circle K and such around the area. Details

Justice for Homicide Victim members spent a recent evening with recruits of the Fullerton Police Academy explaining Marsy's Law and Victims' Rights to potential law enforcement personnel.  It was an exhilarating evening sharing information and answering questions as to what exactly Marsy's Law provides victims' of violent crimes and/or their surviving family members.  After going through a power point presentation  on the basics of the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights Act of 2008 (Marsy's Law) JHV members shared stories of their experience with law enforcement.

We all think the Fullerton Police Academy and particularly Chief Kies, are really on to something in bringing victims in to share their stories.  Thank you Chief Kies it was a great experience.

Long Time JHV Advisory Board Members Ralph & Francine Myers report on the June 2012 parole hearing for the murderer of their son Tom. Details

Unsolved Cases Project
In an effort to bring attention to unsolved homicides, JHV has begun listing unsolved cases. View current cold cases and/or if you are interested in participating in the project, Details

2012 Victims' Rights Memorial at Rose Hills

2012 Marathon Fund Raiser another fun day.....

Old Fashion Picnic - National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims
In 2007 U.S. Congress designated September 25 as the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. As such, we are partnering with many Southern California victim advocacy groups in sponsoring an Old Fashion Picnic in memory of our lost loved ones.

Get your picnic basket together, grab a blanket and some chairs and come join us for a day of new memories. We’re going to be picnicking around the Lighthouse, directly across from the Queen Mary. We’re planning activities for the kids and lots of food and entertainment for the adults. Remembrance ceremony will take place from 3 to 5 p.m.

If you’re interested in volunteering to help, email us or call Jane or La Wanda.

Two hundred pictures of homicide victims lined the roadway around the Homicide Victims Memorial in a powerful tribute of lost loved ones

2011 L.A. Marathon Fundraiser - Great Success in the Pouring Rain
JHV members and other victims along with District Attorney personnel showed their grit by walking three-mile segments of the of the Los Angeles Marathon in pouring rain on the first day of spring Sunday, March 20, 2011.  They jogged and walked in memory of their loved ones and all victims of homicide. Details

Knowing your Rights As a Victim of Crime
During the last few months Justice for Homicide Victims and Justice for Murdered Children have joined forces holding Crime Victims' Clinic to help educate all victims of crime to ensure they know their constitutional rights here in California. We promise to keep you informed of upcoming Clinics and to provide a recap of those meetings. If you are interested in attending, or need additional information, we are just an email or phone call away. Details

Former JHV Board Member, Ralph Meyers, had the following article printed in the Bellingham Herald on July 27, 2010, remembering the murder of his son, Tom

Were you the victim of a crime and the court ordered restitution?
The California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation may have collected money for you. Contact the Office of Victims & Survivors Rights & Services to inquire if you have unclaimed money from a direct order of restitution. To update your address or obtain additional information call us, toll free at 1-877-256-6877
Katie James, Manager
Office of Victims & Survivors Rights & Services
Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Judges reinstate some Proposition 9 parole rules
A federal appeals court Thursday upheld strict parole revocation rules approved by California voters in 2008, overturning a federal judge’s decision against Proposition 9.. Details

Long Time JHV Board Member LaWanda Hawkins named a Los Angeles Freedmon's Sister
When LaWanda Hawkins received the call that she was selected as a Los Angeles Freedom’s Sister, her response was classic: “You don’t mean me; how did you find me?”. Details

JHV Board Member Honored
Jeanette Chavez, mother of Sammantha Salas, was recently named "Woman of the Year" by local Assemblyman. Details

KTTV Fox 11 Interview with Dr. Henry “Nick” Nicholas and Marcella Leach on Marsy's Law
Dr. Henry “Nick” Nicholas and his mother Marcella Leach were interviewed on KTTV Fox 11 in Los Angeles about Marsy’s Law. They were guests May 17 on the Midday Sunday show hosted by Emmy award-winning crime reporter Tony Valdez, who also reports on Fox 11’s “L.A.’s Most Wanted” news segment. Details & Video >>

Marsy's Law: Victims' Bill of Rights Act of 2008
Marsy’s Law is the strongest Victim’s Bill of Rights in any state in the nation. Its passage means that, for the first time, victims in California have meaningful and enforceable rights. The law includes these rights:

  • The rights to justice and due process
  • The right to notice of all proceedings
  • The right to be present whenever the defendant has the right to be present
  • The right to be heard --at critical stages of the criminal justice system--  any time that a victim's rights are at issue
  • The right to have victims' safety considered before any release decisions are made
  • The right to know when an offender is being released, or escapes
  • The right to protect victims' confidential records
  • The right to refuse to submit to interrogation by a defendant or his lawyer before trial
  • The right to confer with the prosecutor
  • The right to be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, and to be treated with fairness and respect
  • The right to restitution
  • The right to a speedy trial and to reasonable finality
  • The right to enforce these special rights in any court
  • The right of victims be informed of their Marsy rights-- just as defendants are given their Miranda rights

Marsy's Law gives victims a meaningful opportunity to participate in parole proceedings and their safety – and the safety of the general public – are the critical standard, before any release decisions are made. This has meant setting a new maximum of 15 years between parole hearings.

Download Marsy's Law Bill of Rights 2008

Thanks to recently enacted Marsy's Law
Heilemann Family wins 15 year Parole Denial

The 1987 killing of Palisades High School student Clinton Heilemann shocked the community. His parents, Arnold and Evelyn Heilemann sprung into action becoming victim advocates strieving to help other families devastated by murder. Arnold serves as JHV president and Evelyn was Treasurer until her death last year.

In a January 5, 2009 hearing at Vacaville, the Board of Prison Terms mandated a 15 year denial for further parole hearings under Marsy's Law, which was passed last November by voters, giving victims and their families icreased rights.  The board, which based parole requests on several factors including future employment and living plans, improvement through self-help programs, a psychology evaluation, education, remorse, restitution and responsibility for the crime, heard from several speakers including members of Justice for Homicide Victims, Arnold Heilemann, Clinton's sisters, an aunt, cousins and friends Kenneth Waco and Matthew Williams, who was wounded in the shooting
July 3, 1987.

Robert LeachRemembering Our Beloved Bob Leach

Justice for Homicide Victims’ co-founder and President Robert W. Leach passed away March 30, 2008 following a lengthy illness. Bob has championed the rights of homicide victim survivors over the last twenty-five years following the murder of his step-daughter, Marsy Nicholas. In 1983, Marsy, then a senior at UC Santa Barbara, was murdered by an ex-boyfriend, Kerry Conley.
(read more)

Seeking Justice for Slain Loved Ones
Los Angeles Times Covers the JHV Memorial

"There's not a writer yet who can describe the feeling," Jack Reilley said. "The rage and the helplessness and the sense of loss and despair. Victims get a certain look on their face that we all recognize and know. And then you have to do something about it."
(read more)

Victims' Rights Week, 2009
Help JHV Celebrate The Memory Of You Loved-One!

The annual JHV Victims' Rights Week Memorial celebration will be held At the JHV Homicide Victims Memorial (just inside Gate 19) at Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary on Sunday April 26, 2009. More information to follow.

Robert LeachExtraordinary Leadership In Victims' Rights
JHV & Los Angeles County District Attorney
Honor Robert Leach

JHV President, Robert Leach was honored for his extraordinary leadership in victims' rights at the JHV Annual Awards Banquet on December 4, 2005. The ceremony was held at the Hotel Bel Air and was attended by many supporters, including L.A. District Attorney, Steve Cooley.
(read more) includes video

Marcella Leach Congratulations To Marcella Leach!
2005 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Award Recipient!

The Honoree received special recognition during the awards ceremony hosted April 8, 2005, by the Office for Victims of Crime to honor victim advocates, organizations, and programs in the field of victim services.
(read more)

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