Crocker House, MADD co-hosting vigil

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published June 26, 2019

 Kim Parr, director of the Crocker House Museum and the Macomb County Historical Society, left, is pictured on her wedding day with best friend Stacy Booth, who was killed in 1989.

Kim Parr, director of the Crocker House Museum and the Macomb County Historical Society, left, is pictured on her wedding day with best friend Stacy Booth, who was killed in 1989.

Photo provided by Kim Parr

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MOUNT CLEMENS — An evening of remembrance and healing will be held in Mount Clemens July 9 for those in Macomb County who share the enormous loss of having had a loved one whose life was violently taken from them.

The gathering, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. outside the Crocker House Museum, is being called Their Story is Our Story: Stacy Lynn Booth Community Memorial Vigil. The name honors the close friend of Crocker House Museum Director Kim Parr, who was murdered on July 9, 1989.

Parr, also the director of the Macomb County Historical Society, organized the vigil for her friend — and others — because she felt “too often, only the name of the perpetrator is remembered. We wish to document and remember those who have fallen victim to murder, and those whose lives were carelessly taken from them.”

Stacy Booth was 23 years old when she was shot and killed by her boyfriend.

The pair, who were living together in Harrison Township, got into an argument while out in the city of Warren. Booth left in her car and was followed by her boyfriend. When she stopped at a red light, her boyfriend exited his truck, walked up to Stacy’s car and shot her in the face through the driver’s side window. He drove from the scene and attempted to flee on his boat, but he was quickly caught and was arrested.

“We were best friends,” Parr said. “She was an absolutely beautiful girl inside and out. She radiated happiness. She was good-hearted, very kind, just an absolute joy to be around. To be honest, I never had a best friend like that again. No one could fill her shoes.”

Parr said Stacy’s death was a huge loss for so many, and since her friend’s death, she has experienced deep survivor’s guilt.

“It’s just so unfair,” she said. “She deserved to have a happy life. I do feel survivor’s guilt. I’ve gone on to travel and I’ve seen a lot and she should be experiencing this too. You feel this sadness, like how dare someone take her life away. It’s 30 years later, but it’s like it happened yesterday.”

Stacy’s story, and the stories of so many other victims and survivors, led Parr to organize the vigil, which is being co-hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving Michigan.

Allison LaPlatt, coordinator of Volunteer Resources for MADD, said Stacy and many others like her, just like all victims of drunk driving, were murdered by careless actions.  

“MADD is co-hosting the event because it provides a way for victims and survivors to come together to share the story of their loved one as well as to educate the audience about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving,” LaPlatt said. “Their story is our story.”

Also being remembered are:

• Emma Douglas, who was in her mid-80s in 1959 when she was killed by a man. Douglas was running a boarding house for men in Mount Clemens when the man came to her door asking for shelter for himself and his wife after their home in Roseville had burned down. Douglas was unable to help, which angered the man and led to him brutally murdering her in her office.

• Candice Dunn, 35, a state probation officer who was killed by a  drunken driver in Livingston County on May 9, 2017, along with her mother Linda Hurley, 69, and Hurley’s boyfriend Jerry Tortomasi.

• Julie Williamson, a 27-year-old mother of two young children, who was killed by her boyfriend after he drove over her outside her Mount Clemens home in 2016.

• Timothy Milo Witt, of Mount Clemens, who was killed during an altercation in 1976. Witt, who had graduated from Clintondale High School in Clinton Township the year prior, was killed by a man with a screwdriver. His death, which occurred on Thanksgiving morning, caused his mother to suffer a heart attack. She died a few days later.

“The effect of murder is just so huge,” Parr said. “We want to promote peace, not violence. To promote awareness of how one’s careless actions can needlessly destroy a life and honor the memory of those whose lives were stolen from them.”  

Parr and LaPlatt said the vigil is also meant to be a source of support for those left behind, as much will be shared about the plethora of resources available locally and across the state of Michigan.

The vigil will feature prayer, music by musician Paul Ritchie, a stroll in the garden of remembrance, a white dove release and refreshments.

The Crocker House Museum is located at 15 Union St. in Mount Clemens.

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