Families of murder victims find comfort in National Day of Remembrance

September 25, 2013, by Eric Burke
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Today is a summer day for thousands of people across the metro. It was also a National Day of Remembrance for murder victims. But many families will also tell you it’s a special day — one to honor those that lost.

Six and a half years ago Chris Bartholomew was shot and killed near the intersection of 39th and Broadway. He had come to pick up friends from Westport. His death devastated his mother, but she’s been able to get through the past few years because of other families who have experienced a similar loss.

“My life stopped that day,” Misty Kirwan, mother, said. “Life as I knew it stopped that day. The National Day of Remembrance helps other people realize we’re still here.”

Kirwan tries to stay strong, but nearly seven years after her son was killed she still has bad days.

“There are some days when I don’t want to get out of bed, and I can call one of my friends that have been through this,” she said. “I just talk or cry and they really understand.”

One of the people she calls is Maria Martinez. Her brother Sam Mandacina was shot and killed in 2011. Sam managed a Northland convenience store. He offered to work a Sunday night shift for one of his employees. About 7 o’clock that night a 16-year-old walked in and shot Sam several times killing him and changing his family’s life forever.

“You instantly become so close to them because this tragic incident builds a special bond, and without them I don’t know where I’d be,” Martinez said.

Both women and their families are surviving one day at a time thanks to each other. Both think about their loved ones daily especially on this National Day of Remembrance for murder victims.

A Mother Seeking Justice.. Jon Leiberman Radio Show

Jon Leiberman

Jon Leiberman joined with Misty Kirwan; the mother of Chris Bartholomew discussed his case, live on air May 26th, 2011

Misty Kirwin & Chris Bartholomew

 

https://www.cyberstationlive.com/JonLeiberman

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Jon Leiberman

 

Professional Bio

Jon Leiberman is an Emmy award-winning investigative correspondent and producer who has filed hundreds of reports on fugitives across the country and abroad for the FOX TV show “America’s Most Wanted.” An expert in all things crime, he has appeared on national shows including “TODAY”, “Shepard Smith’s Fox Report”, “Nancy Grace,” and “The Maury Povich Show,” and is quoted extensively on crime stories in newspapers throughout the country. In January 2011, Jon started up LeibermanMedia, Inc. – a full service media content producing company whose clients include Webcast TV. Through LeibermanMedia, Jon hosts TrueFacts on CyberStationUSA.com and serves as managing editor for investigative projects at www.track180.com.

The company mantra is to give voice to the voiceless and help advocate for those in need. Jon also runs SonicLeibs,Inc. a company that provides compassionate and credible non-medical home care for seniors and others in need. Just as LeibermanMedia fights for the voiceless, SonicLeibs,Inc. helps those in their greatest time of need. Jon previously reported from Iraq, Cuba, and from the floor of the 2004 presidential political conventions for 62 stations nationwide as Washington Bureau Chief for Sinclair Broadcast Group. His journalistic actions during this time earned him a 2005 Payne Special Citation for Ethics in Journalism.

As Albuquerque capital bureau chief for KOAT from 1997-2000, Leiberman earned an Emmy for Live Reporting when he remained on the air for 24-hours straight during a fast-moving wildfire that engulfed thousands of acres. He reported from the ground, and then from a helicopter when the flames came too close. Leiberman has served as a professor in residence at the University of Iowa School of Journalism, and has lectured at the University of Maryland and McDaniel College. He also teaches journalism classes online for www.mediabistro.com, and does media relations seminars. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.