Loved Ones Grieve for 1967 Murder VictimsPosted: Updated: Feb 7, 2009 03:01 AM EST
Kimberly Perry Graves grieves for the mother she doesn't remember.
"I grieve now for what we both lost, that I don't have any memories of her, that she wasn't able to raise me, that someone took that away for nothing," Graves said.
Graves' mother, Carolyn Perry, and her aunt, Constance Hevener, were murdered by confessed killer Sharon Diane Crawford Smith at the High's Ice Cream Store in Staunton in 1967. Graves was just two years old at the time. As a mother now, she can't help but think about what that would have been like for her own daughters to lose their mother to murder.
"If something happened to me when my daughters reached the age I was, how sad it would be, how their lives would have been turned upside down, and how sad it would have been for them to go on without me," Graves said.
Graves' aunt, Ada Campbell, lived just one street over from her sister's killer for more than 20 years. Campbell believes Smith was prepared to die with her secret, until investigators and police found her, "She got caught; it was not a death bed confession. She would have went to her grave with it."
Campbell says she forgave Smith before she died Monday. For Graves, forgiving the woman who wasn't able to say she was sorry, will take time.
"I know that I will have an easier time forgiving the young girl that she was when she did it. It will be harder to forgive the woman that lived with it her whole life and would have died with it," Graves said.
Investigators are now looking into claims that former Staunton police detective David Bocock helped Smith bury the murder weapon.