Sister of Murder Victim is Committed to Changing Laws
05/03/2005 The Benton County Daily Record (Bella Vista, AR) By: Tonya McKiever | Staff Writer
Lucia Bone never intended to become a consumer advocate. But because she wants to spare others from the pain she and her family suffered when her sister was raped and murdered, she is utterly focused on seeing legislation mandating background checks for service employees and contractors who do work in consumers’ homes. “In 2001, my sister, Sue Weaver, had a new home in Orlando, Fla. She turned on the furnace in February and noticed a film on the furniture. She contacted a major department store, a place she trusted, to arrange to have the furnace ductwork cleaned”.
Two men showed up and completed the job. As it turned out, one of the men had twice been convicted of sex offenses and was out on parole. The other man, the sex offender’s supervisor, was a convicted thief.
Six months later, the sex offender returned to Weaver’s home. He tied her up, raped her, beat her to death and set her house on fire.
Bone and her husband Mike founded Sue Weaver Cause — Consumer Awareness of Unsafe Service Employment. Bone addressed Bella Vista P. E. O. Chapter CD on Monday at their noon meeting to raise awareness about the potential danger of allowing into one’s home service workers who have not been thoroughly checked.
Bone had sent her sister a FedEx package in February 2001. The package was delivered shortly after her sister’s murder and the FedEx driver discovered and reported the fire. “The killer’s DNA was retrieved,” Bone said, “and the man who killed my sister had also raped another woman in 1994. His DNA matched in the cold case and he received a life sentence for that rape. For murdering my sister and the arson, he received three consecutive life sentences plus 30 years and chemical castration”.
“It took six weeks to find him and they were long, long weeks for my family. But we feel blessed to know who my sister’s killer was and that, because of his convictions in her case, he will never hurt anyone again.”
Cpl. Barbara Shrum of the Bella Vista division of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office also spoke to the group at Chef Bruce’s at the Highlands. Shrum is responsible for tracking registered sex offenders who make their home in Bella Vista.
“There are 14 in Bella Vista right now,” Shrum said. “Remember, you don’t have to open your door to anyone. Our department always tries to keep our residents safe, but you must take care of yourself. If you have access to the Web, level three and four registered sex offenders are listed at: www.acic.org. Your zip code or the words ‘Bella Vista’ can be entered to see the offenders listed along with their addresses”.
The Sue Weaver Cause organization was founded a year ago. It is a 501C3 group and its Web site is: www.sueweavercause.org. Several other incidents of violence and death attributed to home service workers are detailed at the site. Also found there are suggestions regarding safety awareness and legislation. “Our goal is national legislation,” Bone explained. “If we have to do it one state at a time, that’s what we’ll do. Please, ladies, learn from Sue. Be safe.”
To contact Bone call 214-450-5812 or e-mail lucia@SueWeaverCause.org. Contact writer Tonya McKiever firstname.lastname@example.org.