Helen Hill, America’s Most Wanted and a Mother’s Voice

Sep 15, 2007 by

The murder case of Helen Hill in New Orleans remains open even until today. Her friends and family, in connection with Crimestoppers have raised the reward to $15,000 for any tip leading to the capture of her killer or killers. This episode airs tonight at 9 CST on Fox, Cox Cable channel 9.

I attended the press conference yesterday at the Sound Cafe on Chartres Street, in the Marigny, home of silenceisviolence.org, to hear what Chief Riley and the folks from Crimestoppers had to say. Their frustration at the slowly developing leads in this case was obvious, although they say they ARE developing new leads. Most of the information seems to point to the fact that there are those who know who did this, they just aren’t coming forward. This new reward is aimed at bringing those people forward.

Chief Riley also reminded us that, although foot patrols have been suspended during the August heat, they will be returning permannently and in full force by September’s end, with each officer on duty spending at least one hour on prescribed walking beats per shift.

On a personal note, as I got ready for the conference to begin, I grabbed a seat at a table with a quietly attentive black woman, asking her if I could join her. She nodded, smiling and I sat down. My cell phone rang, and as I went to turn it off for the duration, I noticed it was my daughter. I quickly answered, promised her a return call, and turned off my phone. I turned to the lady whose table I was sharing, a little sheepish at the interuption.

“My daughter”, I said, “do you have any kids?”

“Two daughters, and I had a son”, she replied. “HIs name was Dinerral Shavers.”

I found myself spinning through the thought process of talking just now to my own daughter and imagining my next visit with her being in the Coroner’s Office. How could someone even get up each day and go on after such an event? How could they sit with quiet dignity at meeting after meeting, listening to the numbers of violent deaths since their own child’s murder crawl endlessly up past a hundred, a hundred & fifty and still climbing? How could she offer emotional support to her daughter who is battling cancer, and winning as far as she could tell? How does this work?

After brief introductions, and expressing my sorrow at her loss, a loss for all of us, as Dinerral built a music program aimed at getting kids off the streets, one that still works brilliantly in his name, to this very day, I asked her flat out; “How do you do it? How do you keep going?”

Yolanda Adams, mother of Dinerral Shavers and Tower of Strength in her slight presence simply shrugged a little shrug, and ignored the ‘How’ part, by focusing on the choice.

“I just will, until justice is served,” she said.

God Bless you, Yolanda.

May we all someday know your strength, dignity and will.

And bless your son for the legacy of hope he left behind.

Lord David

Pirate & Artist

Skull Club

New Orleans

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