10th crime victim memorial being held in Glen Burnie

Ceremony today starts Victim Rights Week

April 25, 1999|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

With the second of two men responsible for the traffic death of Charles W. Miller incarcerated, Miller's relatives felt happy, sad and relieved as they walked from the Anne Arundel County Courthouse.

William L. Isenberg, 37, of Glen Burnie, who did not show up in court last month for the imposition of a six-year sentence after his appeals failed, was caught and ordered to prison Friday morning, as Miller's relatives watched.

"It's over. It's done. Now, it's time to heal," said Emily Gamrod of Pasadena. Her brother, Charles, worked alongside her husband, John, and shared the family's home.

They will be among an expected crowd of 400 to 500 today at the 10th statewide memorial service for crime victims and their families.

The service for the Baltimore area will be at 4 p.m. at North County High School in Glen Burnie. It is one of three simultaneous services in Maryland recognizing victims and survivors and marking the start of Victim Rights Week. Others are on the Eastern Shore and in Western Maryland.

"This whole thing is about healing and about remembrance, and to make people feel supported," said Maureen Gillmer, who coordinates victim assistance for the Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office. "It is a tribute to loved ones and their families."

The keynote speaker will be Ginny Mahoney of Towson, who spent 17 years as a victim services provider -- first in Baltimore County, then for the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore. But her speech will be from a personal perspective: her stepdaughter, Mary Caitrin Mahoney, was one of three people killed in 1997 at a Starbucks coffee shop in Georgetown.

Relatives of victims can write a message on a felt butterfly that, attached with other butterflies to a net banner, will be raised at the start of the service. The names of the dead will be read aloud by their relatives and friends during the service. A quilt made by crime victims' relatives and photos of the dead will be displayed.

Anne Arundel is the host county for the first time since 1994. The service will include court administrator Robert Wallace playing bagpipes, court technical guru Naomi Howard playing harp, a color guard from the Naval Academy, and the Baldwin Memorial United Methodist Church Handbell Choir.

Debi Miller-Lieberman of Pittsburgh, another of Miller's sisters, said she hopes the service will comfort families like hers.

Isenberg showed no remorse in court Friday, displaying "the same arrogant contempt" for the grieving family that he and his co-defendant did at trial, said Assistant State's Attorney John LeCornu.

"I can state, with abiding conviction, that I have never derived more professional satisfaction than seeing this defendant shuffled off in leg irons," LeCornu said.

The investigation into the crash that killed Miller stymied police for six months as people who knew about it lied or refused to talk.

Isenberg and Perry M. Wald-vogel, 26, also of Glen Burnie, were racing on Route 100 after a party Oct. 25, 1996, when the car Isenberg was driving clipped the pickup truck Miller was driving. Miller was killed in the crash, but the other two men left the scene. Suellen Waldvogel, 49, Isenberg's girlfriend and mother of the other defendant, reported her car was stolen when, in fact, Isenberg was driving it with a suspended license.

Last month, Perry Waldvogel was sentenced to 18 months for his role in the accident.

Suellen Waldvogel is serving five years' probation for filing a false claim.

Pub Date: 4/25/99

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