Research on survivors of homicide has focused on various circumstances and the impact of homicide on family members and strangers. However, research regarding the survivors of individuals killed by police remains difficult to find. This particular kind of public, traumatic death of a loved one imposes unique and traumatic grief for the survivors. Per the 2014 FBI Uniform Crime Report, my family and I were one of an estimated 461 families affected by the death of a loved one due to police homicide in 2013. This estimate is low, however, because only thirty-three states voluntarily report such information, and law enforcement agencies are not required to report civilian deaths by police homicide. This narrative explores the impact of homicide by police on me as a survivor and mother as I coped with the death and trauma of my adult son’s death by police. Using short episodes of interactions, I analyze my experience and ongoing grief.
My oldest son, Cliff, was shot to death by police officers five years ago when he was twenty-nine years old after a high-speed chase with police. It is unclear from the redacted police report why the chase was initiated, but the outcome was my son’s death from six bullet wounds.
Fundamentally, autoethnography begins with an individual researcher who interrogates their self and their positionality within larger social contexts.1 According to Ellis, Adams, and Bochner, “Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno).”2 Personal narrative and autoethnographic writing allow us to examine “the most compelling and meaningful experiences of our lives.”3 It permits “deep excavation of our multiple truths, boundless experimentation with text and story, and their power to heal.”4 The writing is critical, vulnerable, existential, imaginative, evocative, and poetic.5 The texts often “showcase concrete action, dialogue, emotion, embodiment, spirituality, and self-consciousness.”6 Herrmann adds that through autoethnographic writing we can “explore our everyday lives and emotions how we relate the past to the present toward the future, and the way we understand the lives of others, our lives, and our culture.”7 Personal narrative and autoethnographic writing assist in maintaining individual well-being and can aid the process of emotional healing.8
I situate this autoethnography within the context of police homicide and its effect on me as a survivor and as a mother. I grant permission for others to read about my “intentionally vulnerable subject: my son’s death and my traumatic, life-changing grief.”9 And, because “writing about yourself always involves writing about others,” I obtained process consent from each person mentioned in this autoethnography.10
As I pull my car into my driveway, my phone rings. It’s my former daughter-in-law, Julie. I am puzzled. Why is Julie calling me? She never calls me unless it’s to talk about Rhiannon, my granddaughter. I answer the call and immediately notice the tension in her voice.
“Elizabeth?” Then her voice breaks and she gasps for breath.
“Julie? What’s wrong?” Her distress shoots through me and, instantly, I know what is wrong.
“Julie? IS CLIFF OKAY?”
No response. Sobbing, gasping, hesitating, words choking out. I get out of my car, slam open the front door of my house, and call for my husband James. I hold the phone inches away from my right ear so I can still slightly hear Julie, turn to face my husband, hand him the phone, and say:
“Julie is on the phone. Talk to her. I can’t listen to her because something has happened to Cliff.”
“What are you talking about?” he says. “She could be calling about Rhiannon.”
“No. I heard her say Cliff’s name. Now please: talk to Julie.”
* * *
The media report police-involved shootings with alarming frequency. In 2018, an estimated 992 people were fatally shot and killed by police, per the “Fatal Force” database hosted by the Washington Post, which tracks police shootings.11 Recent high-profile, fatal police shootings of unarmed African American men in Ferguson, Baltimore, Cleveland, Memphis, Minneapolis, and other U.S. American cities are tragically common. I share a bond with the mothers of these slain men and children, but in my case, I am a White mother whose White son was killed by police.
As my husband speaks to Julie on the phone, a throbbing starts at the top of my head and works its way into my jaw, tightening it. Fighting off the instinct to run, I awkwardly pace around my house, walking from front window to back door, over and over. Anxiety fills my body, running from my chest to my fingertips, as I tremble, cry, and mumble, “no, no, no, no, no,” pulling at the ends of my hair. I keep thinking, “Is this happening?” Since I can feel the pressure of pulling my hair, I know that I am present, in this moment.
I KNOW THAT CLIFF IS DEAD.
I run outside, free of the confining space of my house. I squat on my patio, cover my face with my hands, and give in to the urgent need to sob. I stay in this position for several minutes. “Get it together, Elizabeth,” I say to myself, wiping the tears from my face and willing myself to focus on the trees in my yard. The now. The present. My entire body is shaking as I stand upright and turn to walk back into my house. As I enter, I stop, hang back, and watch my husband talk to Julie.
“Are you sure? Uh huh…okay…well, don’t lots of people drive white trucks?…uh huh…call me back when you find out more, okay?”
My husband ends the call then walks toward me, arms extended to embrace me. I quickly step back, not wanting to be touched or to hear any information about my son.
“Don’t touch me/don’t comfort me/don’t talk,” plays in my mind as a broken refrain. “Because no, no, no, no, my precious son is not dead.” I step back.
My husband slowly tells me Julie’s story:
Cliff borrowed a white truck from Julie’s uncle to move his furniture into a storage unit. Julie’s brother, John, phoned to tell her that a television station is reporting a police-involved shooting on the freeway, and the man shot by police is driving a white truck, the same make and model as their uncle’s truck. Julie and John believe that the man shot by police was Cliff and that he died about an hour ago. They are waiting for confirmation from police.
My thoughts fly back to thirty minutes earlier: I was working out at the gym while my son was dying on the side of the freeway in another state. I had been thinking about how routine my life was. I thought of Cliff and reminded myself to call him.
Studies about Parental Grief
The death of a child is a devastating event in the life of a parent, its impact long lasting. In her landmark study on grief, Sanders concluded that the death of a child is more intense and stronger than the death of a spouse or death of a parent.12 Since Sanders’s study, many researchers, such as Rando, have confirmed her findings, describing parental grief and mourning as “more intense, more complicated, and more protracted than those emotions encountered following the loss of other individuals in other role relationships.”13 The expectation is that parents will outlive their children and that their children will not die before they do. Schwab concluded that mothers feel grief more keenly than fathers do, and are more likely to cope with grief throughout the remainder of their lives.14
Other researchers have examined the ways in which parents cope with the death of a child. In interviews with bereaved mothers, Farnsworth and Allen concluded that listening, connecting, and being able to talk about their children were helpful means of social support.15 McBride and Toller drew similar conclusions and found that grieving parents who actively seek support and network with others benefit from these active communicative behaviors.16
My phone rings. It is my daughter Jennifer. I answer by saying,
“Tell me it’s not true.”
Crying. Then she haltingly tells me her story:
“Oh God…We [she and her coworkers] heard police sirens and gunshots fired…so we walked outside. We could see five police cars surrounding a white truck. Two officers were shooting at the truck. Oh my God, oh my God…and when I went home after work, a police officer came to my house to tell me that Cliff is dead.
Jennifer’s voice trails off as she begins to sob.
My twenty-nine-year-old son, her brother, is dead. He was fatally shot to death by police just a quarter-mile from her office.
According to the police report, on the day of Cliff’s death police officers were completing end-of-month warrant roundups, looking for city residents who had outstanding warrants. A police officer saw Cliff having his red sports car loaded onto a flatbed trailer. The borrowed, white truck parked nearby matched the description of a truck owned by a man who had an outstanding warrant for domestic abuse. Instead of asking Cliff for identification to verify the warrant, the officer waited until Cliff got back into the truck and then immediately started pursuing him. Cliff did not pull over; instead, either he or the officer initiated a high-speed chase.
Anticipating the route Cliff would take, police placed tire deflators on the access road to the freeway. When Cliff ran over the deflators, his truck careened and crashed into the divider wall on the freeway. It is unclear if Cliff or the police initiated the shooting, but the fatal outcome was that Cliff was shot six times, two of the bullets at close range as a police officer stood over him and shot him, per the police report. He survived for several minutes after being shot, but died before an ambulance arrived.
When I learned of Cliff’s death, I was torn between staying with my husband, who had minor surgery the day before, and leaving to drive to my daughter’s house. I stayed home for two more days before leaving. I felt I could not leave my husband in his post-surgery state, but I also did not want to face the raw, undeniable truth of Cliff’s death and my family’s pain. It was easier to stay home, 160 miles from the site of his death, my family, friends, and funeral planning. I cried. I slept for long stretches of time. Two days after Cliff died I gave in and drove to my daughter’s house.
During the drive, I alternated between crying, pulling over to cry, crying while listening to my son’s favorite music, talking to friends so that I would stop crying, and repeating: “It’s too much. I cannot do this. I cannot and will not do this. Take this burden from me. Please let this be a dream.”
I pulled into the driveway to my daughter’s house and watched her walk toward me. I did not move from the car, still trying to delay the inevitable. She chided me, saying:
“It’s about time you got here, Mom.”
I did not respond, but instead listened to her, trying to cope with the expected behaviors. I hugged her, cried with her, held her hands, and pretended to understand that Cliff was dead. Jennifer recited a list of tasks associated with Cliff’s death that needed to be completed, which was her way of coping:
“First, we need to go to the storage units that Cliff rented. The police have already gone through one of them, and it is a mess. Cliff rented another one, and we need to check it this afternoon. Then tomorrow we have to be at the funeral home by 2 o’clock and make decisions about the funeral arrangements.”
* * *
Numbness sets in
In the weeks following Cliff’s death, I repeatedly used the same metaphor to describe his death and the reverberations that followed: his death was like a plane crash: an earth-shattering impact, (trauma and grief) followed by debris (consequences of his death) scattered for miles. In the aftermath of Cliff’s death, I was unable to tell a coherent story about his death because I was coping with a tumultuous life, involuntarily pulled along a chaotic trajectory. I compared my lack of coherence to Frank’s chaos narrative about the impact of illness on the body. Although Frank writes about the impact of illness on the body, his chaos narrative is also applicable to traumatic grief. Frank describes the chaos narrative as “hard to hear,” and one that “reveals [the] vulnerability, futility, and impotence” of the storyteller.17 Individuals who attempt to relate chaos narratives to others are missing the thread of a story that follows a progression, because they are living in the chaos. They tell their stories as a means of sense making. The telling of chaos narratives provokes anxiety in the listeners, making the stories difficult to focus on, much less listen to.18
The chaos narrative is also one of confusion that describes how “easily any of us could be sucked under.”19 Five years later, I retain the sensation of being sucked under. I remind myself that my grief is not abnormal: I am not the only mother whose son was fatally shot by police officers. It is normal to be anxious about my surviving son. I remind him each time he drives at night how to behave if a police officer stops him:
Roll down your window.
Place your hands on the steering wheel.
Inform the officer before you move your body.
Do not argue.
Maybe my surviving son will be okay. Maybe.
In addition to struggling with chaos and trauma, grief challenged my self-narrative, which is the “stories we tell about our lives, the stories that others tell about us, and the stories that we enact in their presence.”20 My son’s death by police homicide did not fit into narratives about my identity as a mother or my experience with law enforcement (obey the law, respect the law—all of those rules my parents taught me). How would I cope with being thrust into the role of a mother of an adult child killed by police? I wondered how other mothers coped.
After the Funeral
The day after Cliff’s funeral, my daughter, Cliff’s father and I met with the chief of the police department responsible for my son’s death. The chief’s office was crowded with stacks of law books, official journals, maps of the city tacked on the wall, and boxes of records on the floor. It was difficult to find a place to set three chairs. We settled for sitting perpendicular to the chief, which forced us to turn our heads to the left to look at him. He began by greeting each one of us with a handshake, a nod of his head, then saying, “I am sorry you have to be here under these circumstances.” He then segued into building a case against my son: his defense of the police officers’ high-speed chase and killing of my son. He carefully outlined each point as to why my son was the guilty party. I learned later that the chief was engaging in the blue wall of silence: an unwritten honor code among police officers that keeps them from revealing facts or behaviors if doing so would implicate the officer(s) in borderline or illegal conduct that leads to charges being filed.21
After the chief built his case against my son—he had a gun in the truck (where was his permit?); he had a wad of money (definitely a drug dealer); he initiated the chase (questionable), leaving out the story of how Cliff was seen loading his car.
Cliff’s father asked the chief these questions: “Why were you pursuing my son? Why a high-speed chase?”
Chief: “I can’t tell you that information. The case is still under investigation.”
Cliff’s father: “Well, why did you shoot him?”
Chief: “I can’t tell you that information. The case is still under investigation.”
The conversation continued in this vein until we gave up asking questions. We said our goodbyes and walked out. A month later, I called the chief to request a copy of the official police report.
Me: “Hello, Chief. This is Elizabeth Stephens. I am calling to request a copy of the official police file about my son Cliff Jones.”
Chief: “Ms. Stephens: why do you want it?”
Me: (first thought: “What? Did I hear him correctly?) My answer: “Because he is my son and I am entitled to a copy of the file under the Freedom of Information Act.”
Chief: “It is an ongoing investigation and I can’t give you a copy of the file.”
For fifteen months I endured the same questions and conversation each time I called to request a copy of my son’s file. My final conversation included my mentioning a Freedom of Information Act violation I would file against the department. I got the 173-page file after that call.
In conversations with other mothers like me, I learned that my family was fortunate to be given an appointment and interview with a police chief. However, the stalling by the chief and the blue wall of silence were normal procedures that other mothers had endured.
Another similarity I shared with other mothers was the “justifiable” finding about police force. In the state where my son was killed, police departments are not required to invite outside law enforcement agencies to investigate the shooting of a civilian. The city attorney makes this ruling. Three months later, the city attorney for the police department ruled that officers were justified in killing my son.
The Impact of Homicide on Survivors
In addition to withstanding the media attention that accompanies police homicides of civilians, families must cope with the sudden death of a family member. When someone you love dies by homicide, the loss alters your worldview of what is considered normal. Homicide bereavement, as described by survivors, is “intense, persistent, and inescapable.”22 For survivors, “coping with the aftermath of a murder is a difficult and long-lasting process” because it instills a different type of grief: one that is more traumatic in nature than other deaths.23 Connolly and Gordon concluded that, in addition to suffering trauma, survivors of homicide victims may assume the new identity of co-victim, in which they experience rage, guilt, and blame that may persist for several years.24 Aldrich and Kallivayalil add that
the manner of dying in cases of homicide influences the course of bereavement—first, because the death is violent and intentional and evokes in survivors a terror of future violent loss, and, second, because the death is truly transgressive as it shatters people’s sense of themselves and the world as a secure place.25
An added burden for survivors of those killed by police is that homicide by police implies wrongdoing on the part of the deceased and stigmatizes both the victim and survivors. Questions arise: “Did the person deserve it?” “Why did the police shoot?” Sometimes these questions cannot be neatly answered, nor are they easy for survivors.
Since my son died, I struggle with the dialectical tensions of before homicide versus after homicide. It is difficult to maintain a mask of normalcy in my interactions with others because
The grief I carry remains at the surface
The rage I carry remains at the surface
The love for my son remains at the surface
I keep my emotions on a tight rein; however, they occasionally spill out of me when I least expect them. The media barrage of civilian deaths by police, plus recent shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, compound my grief, rage, and love; they stubbornly stay fixed at the surface of my after homicide consciousness. It is impossible to avoid news about racially motivated police killings or police officers such as the North Miami officer who, when asked why he shot a therapist who identified himself as such, admitted to the media “I don’t know why.”26 These events remind me that police violence and homicide continue to be unresolved in our culture. I stop viewing violent movies because REAL violence has consumed and permanently altered my life.
Autoethnographies of Grieving Parents
Around the two-year anniversary of my son’s death, I started reading autoethnographies as a way to connect with other parents whose children had died. I needed to place myself in the context of grieving parents because I no longer fit comfortably among non-bereaved parents and I did not know anyone whose child had died, especially by police homicide. As I read autoethnographies about parental grief, I began to feel a connection. In her autoethnography, Terry described her shock in coping with the sudden death of her adult daughter, mirroring one of many emotions I felt. She also described her experience with grief as a “wasteland,” a metaphor that I understand as life careens from bright and full of possibilities to desolate and lacking hope for the future.27 I also empathized with Ironstone-Catterall’s trauma as she coped with the sudden death of her son, Isaac. The author described the social expectations to return almost immediately to life as it was, which I experienced.28 Then I read Holmberg’s account of her profound grief following the death of her adult son from cancer, placing herself and other bereaved parents in the “high-risk mourner category.”29 However, Hastings, whose infant son had died, provided me with the profound insight that all bereaved parents, regardless of their child’s age at death, coping skills, religious beliefs, or personality, share a new “cultural identity” in which they are bereaved parents and others are “civilians.”30
When I somewhat recover from the trauma of my son’s death, five years have passed. I experience a change in my grief: that of being less weighed down. I still carry my grief, but it has shifted and consumes less space inside of me. It is a revelation to be able to make decisions, be happier, look forward to the future, and be less anxious.
Although my grief has grown less acute, I continue to exist in an emotional state that cannot be easily resolved. I am still isolated in my grief because I do not know other mothers who have experienced the death of a child by police homicide, so I decide to look for groups of mothers on Facebook. I discover that there are too many mothers whose children have been killed by police. The numbers and images of slain loved ones overwhelm me. I start reading through their posts AND I KNOW: I instantly connect with their emotions, attitudes, pictures of their children, frustration, anger, agony, powerlessness, tears, death memorabilia (shirts, jackets, shoes, necklaces, banners, bandanas, etc.) and hopes for change in how police officers are trained.
Reading through other mothers’ posts encourages me to maintain a connection to my son. Because coping with the death of a child is often a lifelong struggle, it is important for mothers to feel they are still connected to their deceased child. This connection may help them cope with their child’s death.31 At first, maintaining a connection with my son was strange. However, now I understand the relief it provides to stay connected. Before, when I talked to mothers whose children had died, I dismissed the idea of trying to stay connected to my son. It was not a lack of empathy on my part, but rather ignorance of profound, life-changing grief.
I drive two hours to my son’s grave to decorate his headstone with flower saddles and clean the dirt and debris off his headstone. I roll out my yoga mat, sit in front of his grave, and talk to him about his daughters and tell him how much I miss him. I sit in silence and reflect. I cry.
Cliff’s place of death is a public, pedestrian spot on the side of the freeway, where trash and the clutter of roadside debris gather. It marks his dying place, which is of no note to anyone but my family, and possibly the police officers who killed him. It is a place of mourning for me. Each time I drive by it, I visualize the events of Cliff’s death day, based on media reports, pictures, and video. The drive to Cliff’s death starts at a rise in the freeway access road, where retail stores and a car dealership line the road. An enormous U.S. American flag waves proudly in the breeze at the entrance to the car dealership. It reminds me of the civil freedoms that U.S. Americans believe they are entitled to. I top the rise in the road and look down—about half a mile—to the scene of the shooting. As I drive closer, I scan the sides of the road and picture Cliff panicking at the thought of several police officers pursuing him, uncertain of what to do because the situation is out of control. Cliff is terrified, makes a quick decision, and crosses the grass median. As his tires touch the asphalt, they meet with tire deflators and rapidly become flat. His truck careens into the retainer wall of the freeway. Give up or keep going? I picture the two police officers standing over Cliff, shooting him two more times at close range, per the redacted police report. I stop imagining at this point because it has become too painful. Aldrich and Kallivayalil state that these “horrific imaginings” are normal for survivors who wonder what their loved ones’ last moments were like.32 I see the marks on the freeway retainer wall where his truck crashed into it. I see where the grass has grown over the tire tracks in the median. Anger, bitterness, sorrow, regret, and love form the tears that rush out of me.
Some Final Thoughts
In 2013, my family and I were one of an estimated 461 families affected by the death of a loved one due to police homicide.33 This estimate is low, as only thirty-three states voluntarily report such information, and law enforcement agencies are not required to report civilian deaths by police homicide. Further complicating the statistics of death by police homicide arises from police often attributing civilians’ deaths to other causes.
Each day I wake up and think about Cliff. I work on finding peace with his tragic death. Some days I am angry with him for dying, but I am always angry with the police officers who shot him and were cleared of any wrongdoing in his death. Since my son’s death, police officers in the same city have killed two more civilians without penalty—one of them a seventeen-year-old boy whose mother called police because her son was suicidal. One of the police officers who shot my son also shot the seventeen-year-old boy and received police department commendations for both homicides. I try to imagine a time when my pulse will not spike when I hear or see the name of the police department responsible for Cliff’s death.
When you look at me, you are not aware that it takes all my strength and courage to perform my life because I need to survive for myself and my remaining family. Friends have moved on from my personal grief, except for one who has also experienced traumatic loss and thus understands me. I hold no resentment toward those who have moved on, because they do not understand my permanent pain and how it is ingrained in me. I do not intentionally hold onto my pain to show others that I am a grieving mother; rather, I simply carry it because it is part of me now. I believe the pain will never leave me, but perhaps it will dull a bit more with time.
Andrew F. Herrmann, “Introduction: An Autoethnography of an Organizational Autoethnography Book,” in Organizational Autoethnographies: Power and Identity in our Working Lives, edited by Andrew F. Herrmann (New York: Routledge, 2017), 1.
Tony Adams, Stacy Holman-Jones, Carolyn S. Ellis. Autoethnography (New York, Oxford University Press, 2015), para. 1.
Robert L. Krizek, “Ethnography as the Excavation of Personal Narrative,” in Expressions of Ethnography: Novel Approaches to Qualitative Methods, ed. Robin P. Clair (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2003), 148.
Grace Giorgio, “Traumatic Truths and the Gifts of Telling,” Qualitative Inquiry 15, no. 1 (2009): 160.
Arthur P. Bochner, “Putting Meanings into Motion: Autoethnography’s Existential Calling,” in Handbook of Autoethnography, edited by Stacy Holman-Jones, Tony E. Adams, and Carolyn S. Ellis (Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2013): 53; Christopher N. Poulos, “Writing My Way Through: Memory, Autoethnography, Identity, Hope in Handbook of Autoethnography, edited by Stacy Holman-Jones, Tony E. Adams, and Carolyn S. Ellis (Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2013): 475.
Carolyn S. Ellis. The Ethnographic I (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2004), 38
Andrew F. Herrmann, “Criteria against Ourselves? Embracing the Opportunities of Qualitative Inquiry.” International Review of Qualitative Research 5, no. 2 (Summer 2012): 137.
Adams, Holman-Jones, and Ellis, Autoethnography, 36; Andrew F. Herrmann, “The Ghostwriter Writes No More: Narrative Logotherapy, and the Death of my Namesake.” Qualitative Inquiry 22, no. 7 (2016): 589.
Holman- Jones, Adams, and Ellis, Autoethnography, 5.
Holman- Jones, Adams, and Ellis, Autoethnography, 24.
“Fatal Force,” The Washington Post. www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/police-shootings-2019/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f1c539f8f4a0
Catherine M. Sanders, “A Comparison of Adult Bereavement in the Death of a Spouse, Child, and Parent.” OMEGA—Journal of Death and Dying 10, no. 4 (1980): 315. doi.org/10.2190/X565-HW49-CHR0-FYB4
Therese Rando, “Parental Adjustment to the Loss of a Child.” In Children and Death, edited by Danai Papadatou and Costas Papadatou (New York: Hemisphere Publishing, 1991), 239.
Reiko Schwab, “Gender Differences in Parental Grief.” Death Studies 20, no. 2 (1996): 109. doi.org/10.1080/07481189608252744
Elizabeth B. Farnsworth and Katherine R. Allen. “Mother’s Bereavement: Experiences of Marginalization, Stories of Change.” Family Relations 45, no. 4 (1996): 365–366.
M. Chad McBride and Paige W. Toller. “Negotiation of Face among Bereaved Parents among their Social Networks.” Southern Journal of Communication 76, no. 3 (2011): 225.
Arthur W. Frank, The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995), 97.
Frank, Wounded Storyteller, 97–98.
Frank, Wounded Storyteller, 98.
Robert A. Neimeyer, Dennis Klass, and Michael Robert Dennis. “A Social Constructionist Account of Grief: Loss and the Narration of Meaning.” Death Studies 38, no. 8 (2014): 489. doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2014.913454
Gabriel J. Chin and Scott C. Wells. “The Blue Wall of Silence of Evidence of Bias and a Motive to Lie: A New Approach to Police Perjury.” University of Pittsburgh Law Review 59 (January 14, 1998): 237.
Laurence Miller. “Family Survivors of Homicide: Symptoms, Syndromes, and Reaction Patterns.” The American Journal of Family Therapy 37, no. 1 (2009): 68. doi.org/abs/10.1080/01926180801960625
M. Regina Asaro. “Working with Adult Homicide Survivors, Part II: Helping Family Members Cope with Murder.” Perspectives in Psychiatric Care 37, no. 4 (2001): 115. doi.org/10/1111/j.17446163.2001tb00643.x; Anthony D. Mancini and George A. Bonanno, “Resilience in the Face of Potential Trauma: Clinical Practices and Illustrations.” Journal of Clinical Psychology 62, no. 8 (2006): 972. doi.org/10.1002/jclp.20283
Jennifer Connoly and Ronit Gordon. “Co-victims of Homicide: A Systematic Review of the Literature.” Trauma, Violence, and Abuse 16, no. 4 (2015): 496. doi.org/10/1177/1524838014557285
Holly Aldrich and Diya Kallivayalil. “The Impact of Homicide on Survivors and Clinicians.” Journal of Trauma and Loss 18, no. 4 (2013): 363. doi.org/abs/10.1080/15325024.2012.701125
Catherine E. Shoichet, Joshua Berlinger, and Sheena Jones. “Police Accidentally Shoot Man in North Miama, Union Says.” CNN.com Cable News Network, July 21, 2016. www.cnn.com/2016/07/21/us/miami-officer-involved-shooting/index.html
Alice W. Terry. “My Journey in Grief: A Mother’s Experience Following the Death of her Daughter.” Qualitative Inquiry 18, no. 4 (2012): 356.
Penelope Ironstone-Catterall. “When Isaak was Gone: An Auto-Ethnographic Meditation on Mourning a Toddler.” OMEGA—Journal of Death and Dying 50, no. 1 (2004): 10. doi.org/10.2190/XWDA-45CA-YHUR-CARF
Lena Holmberg. “Words that Made a Difference: Communication in Bereavement.” Journal of Loss and Trauma: International Perspectives on Stress and Coping 12, no. 1 (2007): 10. doi.org/10.1080/15325020600725778
Sally O. Hastings. “Self-Disclosure and Identity Management by Bereaved Parents.” Communication Studies 51, no. 4 (2000): 353. doi.org/10.1080/10510970009388531
Phillip P. Tan and Jarline Ketola. “Bereaved Mothers Navigating the Impact of Their Loss.” Illness, Crisis and Loss 21, no. 2 (2013): 146; Nick J. Gerrish, Robert A. Neimeyer, and Sue Bailey. “Exploring Maternal Grief: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of Mothers’ Responses to the Death of a Child from Cancer.” Journal of Constructivist Psychology 27, no. 3 (2014): 169. dx.doi.org/10.1080/10720537.2014.904700; Dennis Klass. “Solace and Immortality: Bereaved Parents’ Continuing Bond with Their Children.” Death Studies 17 (1993a): 360. dx.doi.org/10.1080/07481189308252630
Aldrich and Kallivayalil, “Impact,” 365.
FBI Uniform Crime Report/Criminal Justices Information Services. (April 2015): ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_14_justifiable_homicide_by_weapon_law-enforcement_2009-2013.xls