UC Berkeley's Behind Bars

Surviving Loss: Crime’s Consequence

Many crime victims will tell you that closure doesn’t come after the perpetrator is sent to prison — or ever in some cases. Instead, some crime survivors say the key was to find their “new normal,” or how to carry on after the crime. “Surviving Loss” offers a glimpse into the lives of six women who have lost family members to homicide and explores their journeys through grief.


Bertha’s son was shot to death in Fairfield, Calif.


Diana’s son was shot and killed at a light rail station in Sacramento, Calif.


Cheryl’s husband was killed during a home invasion. During the incident, the perpetrators also raped her daughter with a shotgun.


Maggie’s husband was beaten to death by two juveniles who were robbing his gun store.


Debbie’s father was beaten to death by her nephew.


Misty’s brother was shot in a bar after hours. The death was ruled a suicide, but Misty believes her brother was murdered.


Parents of Murdered Children is a national organization with local chapters that helps survivors of homicide navigate the criminal justice system and cope with grief.

Citizens Against Homicide is a Bay Area-based group that offers a variety of resources, including guidance through the justice system, forums where you can communicate with others who have lost a loved one to homicide and information on how to generate leads on unsolved murders.

The National Center for Victims of Crime strives to help people rebuild their lives by linking survivors with resources, advocating for policies and providing training and technical assistance to those that help victims.


Reporting and production by Amanda Dyer and Armand Emamdjomeh
Videography by Armand Emamdjomeh