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Memorial wall honors victims of crime

From left: Loral Rae, Pamela McGirr and Loletta Hadel stand in front of a memorial wall at the Rood Center representing victims killed during a crime in Nevada County. The women are affiliated with the Victim-Witness Assistance Center, which is marking National Crime Victim’s Rights Week April 19-25.
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

The faces on the wall run the gamut, including men and women, toddlers and seniors, posed formally and candid grins. The one commonality?

These are all the faces of people who were killed in a crime — faces that are being displayed in a memorial wall for the month of April at the Rood Center.

The pictorial was put in place for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week — April 19-25 — thanks to the efforts of Nevada County’s victim advocates.



“We have an ethical and moral obligation to focus more attention on victim’s rights,” said District Attorney Cliff Newell, whose office houses the Victim-Witness Assistance Center. “We have to be very deferential to victims — that’s why it’s important to have a robust victim-witness unit in our office. And I think that with our advocates — Loletta Hadel, Pamela McGirr and Loral Rae from Truckee — we have achieved that.”

“We have an ethical and moral obligation to focus more attention on victim’s rights. We have to be very deferential to victims — that’s why it’s important to have a robust victim-witness unit in our office …”Nevada County District Attorney Cliff Newell

How Nevada County and the Victim-Witness Assistance Center have marked the week has evolved over the years, Hadel said.




“We had been trying to figure out how to honor crime victims,” she said. “The memorial wall was put up to remember the deceased victims of crime. The photos bear the faces of Nevada County residents who lost their lives as the result of crime, with most of them dying in the county they called home.”

The wall of photographs originally had been displayed in the probation office and was initially installed about six years ago, Hadel said. The victim-witness assistance program moved into the District Attorney’s office in 2011, and the wall was taken down about a year later when the probation department remodeled the space.

The photographs had been boxed up and moved to the DA’s office — but, said Hadel, “We had never come up with a good place for them to go.”

Their original placement in the probation office was “so effective,” she added. “Every day I would see people looking at those pictures.”

So in an effort to find a more public venue, the victim advocates decided to ask the county if the wall could be displayed during the entire month of April in the Rood Center.

Even though the wall features deceased victims, Hadel said the national crime victims’ rights week is meant for all victims of crime — “to hold victims up and make them feel supported, and encourage them in their recovery.”

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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