Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Saturday, June 7, 2014


"So long as we live, they too shall live and love for they are a part of us as we remember them."
- Gates of Prayer
In 1999, Teresa del Rio was shot through her car door in Los Angeles by a “shooter for gangs” with a 9mm. (Photo courtesy) [PHOTO SOURCE: http://voxxi.com/2012/10/29/california-death-penalty-measure-victims/]

Teresa Del Rio (November 8, 1978 to June 7, 1999) [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.jfmc.org/reward.html]

            We, the comrades of Unit 1012: The VFFDP, will send our utmost condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the parents of Teresa Del Rio, who was killed in a drive by shooting on this date, June 7, 1999. We do not only remember her on the date she died but we will remember her birthday on November 8 every year.

            We will always support you, Fernando and Anna, in your victims’ rights organizations. We also endorse Marsy’s Law and you are always in our prayers. We also thank you that you played a part in defeating Proposition 34.

            God bless you both and we present this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in one of his writing, The Friend:

Distant or near,
in joy or in sorrow,
each in the other
sees his true helper
to brotherly freedom.

We will be commending two prayers from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer:

A Prayer for All Conditions of Men:
O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; [especially those for whom our prayers are desired]; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

Burial of the Dead 1662:
ALMIGHTY God, with whom do live the spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful, after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh, are in joy and felicity: We give thee hearty thanks, for that it hath pleased thee to deliver this our brother out of the miseries of this sinful world; beseeching thee that it may please thee, of thy gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom; that we, with all those that are departed in the true faith of thy holy Name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy eternal and everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Teresa Del Rio (November 8, 1978 to June 7, 1999) [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.teresadelrio.org/]

Teresa Del Rio's Killer
Published on Mar 16, 2013
Teresa's parents speak about their daughter's murder and the killers 2 other victims, and the parents outrage that justice was not served.

California death penalty measure stirs ire of crime victims

Proposition 34 measure would end the California’s seldom used death penalty and commute the death sentences of more than 700 inmates to life without parole.

What would you do if your only childa college-age daughterwas shot to death and her killer, who had also murdered two other people, was caught and then got what you considered to be a surprisingly light sentence?

Anna and Fernando Del Rio of suburban Los Angeles. (Photo courtesy) [PHOTO SOURCE: http://voxxi.com/2012/10/29/california-death-penalty-measure-victims/]
Chances are that, after grieving for your loss, you would do what Anna and Fernando Del Rio of suburban Los Angeles have done as they try to seek a sense of justice.

“In November I am voting for the death penalty,” says Anna, who has become a victims rights and Crime Stoppers advocate of the controversial California ballot initiative, Proposition 34, many see as a referendum on the state’s death penalty.

Anna and Fernando’s daughter Teresa, 20, was murdered 13 years agoa moment that dramatically changed the lives of the Del Rios who for years had been active leaders in the city’s political and social circles.

Fernando, a former White House aide in the Johnson and Nixon administrations, is a widely respected Emmy-winning journalist who has covered stories all over the world and is a leader in the city’s Hispanic community.

Friends of tenor Placido Domingos, the Del Rios also were co-founders of Hispanics for the Opera, a group promoting the arts among Latinos in Los Angeles.

But their world fell apart on a night in 1999 when Teresa, a popular student at Glendale Community College, was giving friends a ride home from school.

In the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles, Teresa turned a corner to one of the friends’ houses when a young man standing on the side of the road fired multiple shots into her car.
Teresa was hit but her three passengers were unhurt and drove her to a local hospital. There, with her parents at her side, she died several hours later.

Anna was nearly inconsolable, and the city’s Hispanic community was shocked by the senseless tragedy.

“I remember when Teresa was born,” recalled longtime friend Lucy Casado. “Fernando was on cloud nine. He called and said, ‘I wanted you to be among the first to hear the news. I have a daughter!’”

As they tried to heal, both Anna and Fernando dedicated themselves to establishing a scholarship in their daughter’s memory and to becoming advocates for tougher crackdowns on criminals.

Fernando del Rio and his daughter Teresa. (Photo courtesy) [PHOTO SOURCE: http://voxxi.com/2012/10/29/california-death-penalty-measure-victims/]
Family of victim stunned at light sentence, now supports death penalty

When police arrested a suspect in their daughter’s case, the Del Rios thought they would finally get closure.

Roberto Franklin Ramirez was charged with the senseless killing. According to police, he was also responsible for two other murders and the attempted murder of three other victims.
But the Del Rios weren’t prepared for what happened next.

“He was rewarded with a plea bargain,” says Anna. “He will be eligible for parole in 12 years. If denied, he has to serve only 6 more years, and then he will be out in the streets at the age of 50. I don’t want my tax monies going to his support.”

This year Anna and other victims’ advocates have had their fury against soft penalties renewed by Proposition 34.

The ballot measure would end the state’s seldom used death penalty and would commute the death sentences of California’s more than 700 condemned inmates to life with no possibility of parole.

Like many ballot measures, this one is tricky. If you are voting for the death penalty, you want to vote against the initiative.

Supporters of the measurewanting to end the death penaltylaunched radio and television advertisements Monday that depict capital punishment as a useless, costly exercise that costs taxpayers and actually coddles criminals.

California reluctant to use death penalty, despite law

“Do you know we have the death penalty in California?” actor Edward James Olmos asks in a radio spot for Proposition 34. “You might not, because we almost never use it.”

Since 1978, only 13 inmates have been executed in California, according to the ad, and state officials say that as much as $130 million a year could be saved if the death penalty is abolished.

“Death row inmates get special legal teams that work for them, but they don’t work or pay 1 cent to the victim’s families, like other inmates do,” Olmos says. “They just sit in private cells, watching TV.”

The pro-Proposition 34 supporters have $2 million to use for ads alone. Opponents have raised less than a million dollars, and they are relying on prosecutors, police and crime victims like the Del Rios to get out its message.

The idea of ending the death penalty is a difficult notion for families of crime victims to swallow.

For Anna Del Rio, it is an endless fight that at times has made her the target of intimidation tactics by violent Los Angeles gangs.

Two years ago, she arose in the morning to find that someone had spray-painted “AVE 543” and “187”a gang moniker and a police code for murderacross her garage doors along with a profane word.

Del Rio believes she was targeted by a neighborhood gang either because of her work with Crime Stoppers or because they mistook her for a police informant.

But she refuses to back down.

“They gutted me. They took my soul. They took my heart,” she says of losing her daughter to a gang member. “I don’t know why. I have no feelings. I don’t feel scared.”

“They don’t scare me. Hell, no. Excuse my language, but no, I am not going to be intimidated.”


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