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November 25, 2008

Elder Abuse in Spotlight (AZ. USA)

Elder abuse in spotlight
Arizonan's tragic death occurred same year Phoenix shelter opened
By Jana Bommersbach
Nov. 17, 2008

Nobody would look at beautiful, successful Loretta Bowersock, mother of Arizona's "domestic diva" and co-founder of Terri's Consign & Design, and think of her as a domestic-violence victim.

Yet in December 2004, Arizona was shocked at the tragedy of Loretta's "disappearance" and subsequent belief that she was buried somewhere in the vast Sonoran Desert around Phoenix.

This was not a typical murder story. Not from where it happened, to how it happened, to why it happened to someone you would never dream it could happen to. As the Arizona media covered the story with great attention and concern, nobody could know the story behind the headlines was just as horrifying as a dead 69-year-old woman who was feared to be a coyote's evening meal.

Terri Bowersock searched for 13 months to find her mother, helped by friends, strangers and winter visitors who were touched by the tragedy.
In the meantime, Terri discovered another heartbreak. Loretta - trim, fit, living in a lovely Tempe home, hands covered with diamonds, always dressed to kill - had been suffering from mental, financial and exploitive abuse from her boyfriend of 18 years, Taw Benderly.

The year Loretta died, more than 4,900 cases of suspected elder abuse were reported in Maricopa County, and experts already knew an awful secret: Senior citizens are the fastest growing category of domestic-abuse victims - and Arizona is in the vanguard.

However, Phoenix has the nation's first shelter for elder victims, called DOVES, which opened, ironically, the year Loretta died, in 2004. Its slogan is chilling: "The golden years should not be black and blue."

Abridged
SOURCE: AZ CENTRAL
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DISCLAIMER

Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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