Victims and Witness Services educated local business leaders about the judicial system as part of Justice Day, The Chamber of Commerce hosts the event along with the Leadership Class. The business leaders listened to police officers and prosecutors talk about crime in our area, and heard from former criminals who cleaned up their acts. The day was put together by the victim and witness services program. One of the last people to speak at Justice Day was Craig Miller. His niece was murdered 40 years ago in Centerville, Bedford County. Her killer is doing a life sentence in a Huntingdon County prison.
He says sharing his story is the only thing that's helped him get through the last four decades. David Cruthers killed Miller's 12 year old niece on September 11, 1970. Ever since then Miller has talked to groups all across our region. He tells people you have to face the reality of what happened. And he says you need to be honest with the people in your life about what you're going through. He poured himself into charity work. He even goes into prisons and works with inmates convicted of murder. He tells them his story in hopes they'll understand the consequences of their actions. He's realistic, he expects only about one percent take the message to heart. But he says if it keeps those people from committing another crime his time was well spent.
Victims Witness Coordinator Sue Griep says they're always available to the victim of a crime. But some people, like the family of a murder victim, are in a special category. She says they will help them forever, because their loss is forever.
Miller wants people to know that every time they see a story about a murder on the news the victim is a real person with a family.