Last summer I met Beth Clark and her sister Dawn Nelson at the Cider House Café in North Haverhill New Hampshire.  They were having a yard sale in front of the Café and I thought it was a strange place to be selling items.

Twice a year when I’m in New Hampshire I like to eat at this particular café, they have the best homemade donuts.  I could smell them as my daughter and I entered the door.  Nicole and I ordered our food and sat down at a table.  Sheila, the owner approached us.  “Can I speak with you for a moment?”  “Of course” I said.    “I saw your license plate outside and knew who you were because of the media attention your family has received.”  My Ohio license plate draws attention.  It says “CHLD MSN” and refers to my book A Child Is Missing.  It’s the story of my sister Kathy who was murdered in New Hampshire in 1971; the case is still unsolved.

Sheila leaned forward and spoke softly, “Could you speak to my friends outside?  Their names are Dawn and Beth.  Their sister died a little over a year ago and the death is considered suspicious, it’s still under investigation.  Their sister’s name was Wendy and they are selling all of her things today.  Maybe you could help them somehow.”  I was touched by her concern for her friends. “Of course, I would be glad to do that” I told her.  I wasn’t sure I could do anything, but I was willing to try.   

I approached Beth and introduced myself.  Sadness seeped in as she told me how her had sister died.  “We are selling her things today” she told me.  The yard sale they were having took on a whole new meaning.  Sprawled out in front of me were the remains of a person’s life, a sister’s life.  This wasn’t an ordinary yard sale.

From the beginning I was convinced that Wendy’s death was definitely suspicious and possibly murder.  We exchanged contact information and I told her I would be in touch.  In the next few months we talked extensively.  I did some of my own research and became more convinced that Wendy’s death was a homicide.    

I’ve had experience with law enforcement and the media since I was fifteen years old.  Kathy’s case was activated in 1983 and again in 2004.  Her remains were exhumed in 2008; they were hoping to get DNA.  I used this experience to help Dawn and Beth.  I instructed them on things they could do when dealing with law enforcement and how to use the media to get their story out.  I warned them it would be hard work but definitely worth it.  Seeking justice is not for the faint at heart.  This I understand.  My family has been fighting for Kathy and her justice for almost forty years.

Dawn and Beth spent many hours gathering information and materials to present to law enforcement.  They have bravely sought out the media to get Wendy’s story out to the public.  I am proud of all they’ve done and honored to call them friends.

Beth and I will be on Crime Wire, Blog Talk Radio discussing Wendy’s death.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm 
TO LISTEN LIVE GO TO     http://www.crimewiresite.com/   


  1. Karen,

    Thank you for your heart and willingness to help other siblings. You are an encouragement and blessing, honoring your sister’s memory in the process. I returned home yesterday from a writer’s conference and one of the publishers I met requested my entire manuscript. My story and help is of the spiritual nature yet I hope one day it will touch a sister’s life, like the one you shared today. We need to stick together – the sister’s left behind.

    Thanks for all you do!
    Lisa Buske


    1. Dearest Lisa,
      Once again, thank you for the tenderness in which your words are written. I do believe God has placed me on this path. If I can help even one find hope in the midst of sorrow, it’s worth it.
      I will keep you in my prayers as you endeavor to follow the path God has chosen for you. I wish you well with the book and please let me know when it is released.
      To God be the glory,


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