Dangerous House Calls: A New Blog Series
If you attended the 4th Annual Dancing for C.A.U.S.E. back in March, you saw the video and heard our appeal for you to remember the victims. Sue’s story is not an isolated tragedy, and while you may be thinking ‘this could never happen to me’, our ultimate goal is to instill awareness in you. If you are woman, you need to know how to protect yourself, or better yet how to avoid unsafe situations altogether. If you are a mother, you have the distinct duty of protecting your little ones and teaching them to protect themselves as they grow older. And if you are a husband or father, you no doubt desire the peace of mind of knowing your family is safe.
We plan to share the stories of these women periodically for a couple of reasons.
- To honor them. These were women whose lives were cut short by awful tragedies. They had husbands, children, parents and friends. They led lives that likely resemble yours. Their stories matter.
- To remind us that life is a gift and we must guard it. When we ASSUME that the service workers we hire are safe, we have nonchalantly given them access to our homes, loved ones, precious belongings, and even a peek into our habits and routines. It is our responsibility to take charge of our lives and ask the right questions. No, these tragedies aren’t common, and these women are all exceptions to the rule, but we seek to prevent any more of the exceptions.
We hope you’ll read these stories and vow to make a change in the way you routinely hire service workers. The change in how service companies conduct their business starts with us as consumers.
With that, I think it’s only appropriate to share Sue’s story first.
Cathy Sue Weaver was born May 16, 1949 in Missouri. Her artistic ability throughout childhood led her to graduate in 1971 with a degree in Interior Design from University of Missouri. She received her Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Kansas in 1980 and worked for twenty-two years in the banking industry.
In 1994, Sue left the corporate world and founded Embroidery Concepts, Inc., a custom embroidery digitizing company. She loved her work and her customers, and soon her talent for giving life to designs with thread was in great demand by high-profile accounts. A few of her recognizable designs include embroidered state seals found on leather chairs in state capitol buildings, numerous Disney and Warner Brothers designs, and detailed wildlife designs less than one inch tall for a belt manufacturer. Sue possessed an amazing artistic talent for design, and this was her passion until her death.
In 2002, Carpe Diem Sales and Marketing in Winter Park, Florida, honored her life with the Sue Weaver Memorial Award. Embroidery/Monogram Business Magazine sponsored the competition at their annual conference and Carpe Diem recognized an outstanding digitizer with this award.
On August 27, 2001 Cathy Sue Weaver was raped and beaten to death in her suburban Orlando, FL home. Her killer then set her home on fire with the intent of destroying any evidence.
Six months prior to her murder, Sue had contracted with Burdine’s, a premier FL department store, to have the air ducts in her home cleaned. Unbeknownst to her, both of the men sent on the service call had criminal records. One of the men was a twice-convicted sex offender on parole. Six months after the service work was completed, Jeffrey Hefling returned to Sue’s home to rape and murder her.
Sue Weaver was an amazing woman with incredible talents that included weaving, drawing, painting, and creating stained glass pieces. She also enjoyed orchids, golf, flying, reading and relaxing at the beach, and her love of nature allowed her to see the beauty in everything. Highly regarded by her peers and loved by her family and friends, she is missed deeply by those who knew her.
If you take anything from Sue’s story, please remember this. It could and should have been prevented.
Had we then known that convicted felons often use their employment to find their next victims, things might have looked differently.
- FIRST, always ask if the company conducts criminal annual background checks on their employees, contractors, and subcontractors.
- If the answer is yes, ask what type of screens are conducted. Keep in mind, there is no such thing as a national background check, and bonded & insured does NOT mean you will be protected.
- If the answer is no, DON’T use them. Tell them why you’ve decided not to hire them and search for others. Sue’s killer had a history of criminal behavior, and any background check would have revealed that.
- ALWAYS invite a friend over for coffee while the service work is being completed.
Please share Sue’s story and these tips with your family members, loved ones & friends. Let us remember that WE are in charge of our own safety and vow to stop assuming others are as concerned with our safety as we are.
If you have not seen the video, please view it below.