On March 28, 2023 UCanSpeakForMe’s local forum in association with the National Crime Victims Rights Week was an overwhelming success.
There were uplifting testimonials from longtime UCanSpeakForMe volunteers about their closed homicide cases. One being a riveting remembrance of her daughter, Cassandra Betts, by Ms. Barbaranne Hill-Irving now residing in Florida. Ms. Irving traveled back to her home State of Ohio to serve as one of the honorary hosts for this event
No parent should have to bury their child. Join us be a voice for families affected by senseless gun violence.
Unfortunately, another name and face has been added to the UCanSpeakForMe Cold Case Posters for Hamilton County.
Treshawn Smith was killed on October 22, 2022 on Elm and W. Wyoming Avenues. The Smith family, in coordination with UCanSpeakForMe, sponsored a “Peace March” in remembrance of this tragic loss of a valued family member, and another life lost to senseless violence. Thank you to everyone that attended.
There are daily shootings on our streets, and keeping focus could become a blur. To a few, it's only something that happens to someone else. Until they get police officers knocking on their door with news of a tragedy.
In the coming months UCanSpeakForMe will attempt to have candid conversations with professionals in the City and County communities explaining what they do, and how their services matter.
Please share these stories with family and friends.
See something.........say something.
The human species has spent more than a 100 generations plagued by violence.
We steal from one another. We concoct new ways to enslave and restrict the human rights of our neighbors. In our different communities there is poverty, drug addiction, mental health issues, and domestic violence. For far too long minor disputes have escalated into angry confrontations where death is the only solution.
Firearm sales have soared, resulting in the proliferation of tens of millions of new guns. A number of these same guns made their way into the possession of children. The diminished respect for life is being viewed like a video game that can be turned off then rebooted with no consequences. In Cincinnati, Ohio a total of 92 murders were reported in the city in 2020. Well above the national homicide rate of 6.5 murders per 100,000 according to the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report.
Not even the COVID-19 pandemic has been a deterrent to the violence. We all look forward to the promises of a new year with a fresh beginning. So far there have been two new homicides in Cincinnati. Two new pictures have been added to our Unsolved Murders Posters.
All is not lost.
Thanks to Cincinnati Detectives an arrest has been made in one of those homicides. Maybe it’s too much to ask why not try peace. What if we choose to show love and respect towards one another in 2023. If this is too high a hurdle to get over……try talking out any disagreements. At best, just try walking away from possible violent confrontations.
Not even the COVID-19 pandemic has been a deterrent to violence. New pictures are added to our Unsolved Murders Posters much too often.
UCanSpeakForMe Bookmarker, Inc. continues to use it’s tools to assist families searching for justice of a loved one loss to homicide. This time the Cold Case Posters of victims from the Montgomery County area will be distributed in cooperation with Dayton Homicide Detectives.
Ohio is one of only 4 states that utilize these uniquely designed cards as informational tools in prisons and local jails. The Ohio version of these cards are currently supported by UCanSpeakForMe. The Cold Case Playing Cards have brought awareness to Unsolved Homicides In Hamilton, Butler County, and other surrounding townships. The UCanSpeakForMe Cold Case Posters, Flyers, and Book Markers have become highly publicized testaments to the organization’s commitment to the families they serve, and local Law Enforcement.
Hope Dudley is the Founder and CEO of UCanSpeakForMe. Her son, Daniel “Chaz” Dudley, was the 55th homicide victim in the City of Cincinnati in September 2007. He was a passenger in a car riding with friends when he was violently and brutally murdered in a drive by shooting.
“We all know that the sensational headlines of a tragic homicide fades over time. Police will begin investigating the newest criminal activities. But we the families still remember. Every birthday that passes. Every holiday that is missed. There is always an empty chair at the table. Those that have committed these heinous crimes have altered the lives of many family members and friends. Wherever these criminals may be I am sure they feel they have gotten away their cowardice acts. UCanSpeakForMe will use whatever legal tools available to find these unconscionable offenders. Our mission is to discover closure and justice for families by working with local enforcement”, Ms. Dudley said.
UCanSpeakForMe is a non-profit charitable and educational organization located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The organization was formed to promote the concerns and issues related to the needs of parents whose children lives have been lost through violence. In addition, other activities include educating audiences by way of speaker’s services, and engaging victim’s families on how to work with local authorities and organizations who may provide additional information and support.
The purpose of the UCanSpeakForMe tools are to provide families with a way to remain proactive in their loved ones unsolved case. These tools were also designed to assist local law enforcement solicit information about cold cases in their districts.
Ms. Dudley recently commented, “Courage, strength, resiliency and perseverance. All of these are learned lessons in a life’s experience. With each of these characteristics you must walk the walk of pain and loss before you can talk lessons of life to lead others through their own periods of tragedy. In addition, you must remain dedicated and vigilant to the cause of helping families and the movement of Stop The Violence”.
Daniel "Chaz" Dudley would have celebrated his 40th birthday on February 17th. His life was cut short in 2007 by a still unknown gunman. This production was produced by DnA Productions giving Ms. Dudley the opportunity to ask anyone who has information about her son's murder to please come forth.
As the Founder of UCanSpeakForMe, Ms. Dudley has released a new Hamilton County Homicide Unsolved Murders poster which honors the memory her son on his birthdate.
It is always a good feeling when you do something that is tough and time consuming you do it simply because it’s the right thing to do.
It is an even better feeling to have those you are doing good things for acknowledge their appreciation by showing their support. The latest version of Ohio’s only Cold Case Playing Cards were unveiled to the families who lost children or family members to senseless homicides.
On February 8, 2020 family members gathered at the Higher Faith Ministry Church in Forest Park, Ohio for the official unveiling. The playing cards were unveiled to the public on February 9, 2020 during a press conference at the Hamilton County Justice Center. Dozens of family members, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil, Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth L. Parker, and CrimeStoppers Vice Chair Gene Bishop special guests in attendance.
I designed the Cold Case Playing Cards to bring awareness to Unsolved Homicides In Hamilton, Butler, and Montgomery Counties as well as other surrounding townships. These Cold Case Playing Cards have been used as learning tools in schools Church and community forums conducted by UCanSpeakForMe. The UCanSpeakForMe Cold Case Posters, Flyers, and Book Markers have become highly publicized testaments to our commitment to the families we serve, and local Law Enforcement.
In the latest playing card edition there are two different versions. Both include victims from multiple Ohio counties, but sponsored by different law enforcement agencies. UCanSpeakForMe would like to thank Sheriff Jim Neil of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky CrimeStoppers Board for lending their support and guidance to this monumental project.
Sometimes when you are faced with controversy it is difficult to find the joy whenever the task is completed. In the end when doing the right thing to help others the journey becomes its own reward. I believe testing of one’s faith only produces perseverance.
Thank you to all the volunteers, families, and the media that gave their support. A special thank you to Mr. Kenneth Parker, Assistant United States Attorney who took time for both unveiling ceremonies to attend and give words of encouragement.
Hope Dudley, CEO
Families are empowered by one another's strength to publicly remember their lost of a family member. Justice will be found by keeping their memories alive.
UCanSpeakForMe's latest Cold Case Poster asks the question: "Can you help find who killed me?". This newest poster highlights the lost lives of women in Hamilton and Butler counties.
UCanSpeakForMe CEO has been in high demand to address families in Ohio counties about the need to remain proactive with local law enforcement authorities using organizational products.
UCanSpeakForMe is reaching more families by expanding into additional Ohio counties. Sergeant Rob Whitlock accepts a shipment of UCan Cold Case Posters from Ms. Dudley.
CEO Hope Dudley works overtime to deliver a fresh patch of UCanSpeakForMe Cold Case Playing Cards to the Hamilton County Justice Center. This unique design is intended to provide authorities with tips to unsolved cases.
"Tis the season to be......." For most families the upcoming holiday celebrations will take on a minus one effect. UCan will again sponsor holiday gatherings for families. Continue to check this site for updates.
The WLWT-TV public affairs program ISSUES has received a first place award from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists for a program featuring UCanSpeakForMe CEO Hope Dudley.
The program won for Best Minority Issues Coverage. The award will be presented on August 25th in Cincinnati to the television station. The judges comments said: "A compelling portrait of a grieving mother who turned that grief into action and, more than 10 years after her son's unsolved murder, has created a community movement that seeks justice and heals for all.
We would like to extend our congratulations to one of our media partners for their continued support of our stop the violence message. The WLWT story can be viewed by going to our "What's New" page and clicking on the video called "The Tears You Don't See".
IN OTHER NEWS
UCanSpeakForMe has been contacted to extend it's family advocacy resources to the community of Trotwood, Ohio located in the Dayton area. A college student and a basketball player, Elmer Rucker was sitting in a car with his friend when they were both gunned down on April 18th.
"He was a good student. As far as I'm concerned, the perfect child. It's a big loss for me," Elmer Rucker Sr. said.
While the afternoon vigil in Trotwood was a time to be with loved ones, it was also a call for help with his son's murder investigation.
"It's taking some time and taking too long for me. So I needed to do something. I'm asking the public's for help," said Rucker Sr. He hopes keeping his son's name out in the public will help convince someone to come forward with information.
After the vigil, supporters like Hope Dudley, who also lost a son to gun violence, took to the streets to hand out flyers with Rucker's photograph.
"We want to keep his face out there so people would know that this young man was murdered in this location," Dudley said.
With 11 weeks since his Rucker's death and no suspects in custody, both Dudley and Rucker Sr. hope the public will speak up. "Somebody knows something and it can help," he said.
25-year-old Antonio Collins was also gunned down in the car with Rucker.
The WDTN-TV story can be viewed at https://www.wdtn.com/news/local-news/father-pleads-for-public-s-help-in-son-s-trotwood-shooting-death/1274637104
UCanSpeakForMe continues to receive requests from families throughout the southern counties of Ohio for assistance and resource information.
Are you passionate about what we're doing? Let us know! We are always looking for volunteers to help us make our vision a reality. We'll help you find a way to volunteer that best suits you. We're excited to have you join the team!
Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you. Click the "What's New" button for new and upcoming events.