Jan 06

Parole Opposition Signatures Needed!


The family of murder victims James and Essie Effron, has requested our help in keeping the murderer behind bars where he belongs.  They have prepared a petition at Change.org and would be most grateful for your support. This petition provides a section for personal comments and reasons for opposition.

View and sign the petition


By Their Son, Gary Effron

James Effron was born in Kentucky and moved with his family to San Diego.  He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and was on his way to becoming a doctor when he had to curtail his studies to help his parents run their store in San Diego, Effron’s Clothing Store.  

During World War II, James served in the Army and became a lieutenant.  After James’ discharge, he continued working at Effron’s.  No one could imagine then that, many years later, the store would be the place where James and his wife, Essie, would be murdered.

Essie was born in England and her family moved to Los Angeles when she was a teenager.  She and James got married when they were in their early twenties and they had two children, Gary (who is now an attorney) and Cheryl (a medical doctor).


“James and Essie were a devoted father and mother who dedicated their lives to the well-being of their children.”


Gary and Cheryl describe their years with their parents in glowing terms.  James and Essie were a devoted father and mother who dedicated their lives to the well-being of their children.  The family was close-knit and loving, with none of the violence or other problems that so often plague families today.

After Gary and Cheryl grew up and moved out of the house, Essie joined her husband working at the store.  By then, James’ father had died and James and Essie operated the business on their own.

In 1977, Essie was diagnosed with cancer and had to have abdominal surgery.  Not knowing what the future state of her health would be, she and James made a decision to close down the store so that they could spend all of their time together.  They then began a going-out-of-business sale.

To help with the sale, an individual named Jose Gonzalez was hired as a salesman.  After the store closed for the day on November 21, 1977, Gonzalez and some of his friends forced James and Essie to go down to the basement, where they were tied up and bludgeoned to death.

At that time, Effron’s had been in business for 54 years.  The store had become an institution in San Diego and so had James and Essie, where they were known for their kindness, their integrity and their concern for their customers as individuals.  In a matter of minutes, all of that came to an end, as did the dreams which James and Essie shared of spending their retirement years together.

The viciousness of Jose Gonzalez and his accomplices also deprived Gary and Cheryl of the love and support of their parents and prevented their own children from getting to know their grandparents.  For the oldest of those children, who were very young when their grandparents were killed, James and Essie are just distant memories.  For Gary and Cheryl’s youngest children, who were born after their grandparents were murdered, James and Essie can never be anything more than the photographs they see on the walls.

For all of this, Jose Gonzalez was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life imprisonment, however, he continues to pursue release at each of his parole hearings.  Gonzalez’s accomplices in this brutal and senseless crime were never brought to trial.

Gary Effron

Oct 05

Donation Request

donations“Words from Jan” (Jan Miller, President, CAH) addressed the need for CAH to explore change in the May 2013 Newsletter. All of us at CAH believe the time for change is now. CAH will continue providing the services victim’s families have come to expect. Additionally, a high priority will be placed on “Domestic Violence”, as it is too often a prelude to murder. We will also be developing presentations on “Law
Enforcement/Victim Relations and becoming more involved with other victim advocacy groups; occasionally attending meetings and making presentations when requested. The main focus here is “common goal”. Finally, we will be utilizing the social media for increased exposure of the many unsolved murders CAH is involved with.

In order to expand our services and activities, we need additional financial support. A longtime member of our CAH family has generously offered to match any donation (corporate or private) received during the months beginning September 15, 2013 through January 15, 2014.

In order to share the progress, we will be providing an update of total donations received in each newsletter.

Please help by sending your donation today. Any denomination will help.

Visit the CAH Store for donation options www.citizensagainsthomicide.org.

Oct 05

David was smart and wise, with a great sense of humor.

David Lewis, Jr.

April 1, 1977–June 11, 2011

By His Mother, Rachel Vargas

DavidLJune 11, 2011 was the saddest day of my life. My eldest son, David Lewis, Jr., was shot and killed in Stockton, California. Only 34 years old, David left his home to spend the night with me and his brother, Curtis. While walking to my home, he was shot by an unknown assailant(s). Bleeding, he made his way to a near-by home and the residents called for help. David had collapsed on the porch and passed away as emergency first responders were unable to keep him alive.

David was smart and wise, with a great sense of humor. Never was he judgmental, but was someone who enjoyed the simple things of life. He referred to himself as the “Golden One”, because his skin color had a golden hue. His friends called him, “Cutty”, but he was and will always be my “Mijo”… ”son” in Spanish. David was bilingual, English/Spanish and had a passion for fixing things. He taught himself to fix cars and would help others in need, especially the elderly. David loved fishing, jogging with his three (3) pitbull dogs (Cita, Cutty and Pappas). He played football, baseball and wrestled and won many trophies.

He leaves behind five (5) children… three daughters and two sons, who are the loves of his life. His younger brother, Curtis, who he loved dearly, continues to hurt since the senseless murder of David. We know he is somewhere special watching over us. Gone, but not forgotten, David took part of us with him. One day we will be with him once again… until then, we have pictures and videos that bring us happiness.

Someone knows what happened to David in the early hours of June 11, 2011.
Crime Stoppers of San Joaquin County/Stockton is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest of the person(s) responsible for the murder of David Lewis, Jr. on the corner of Park and California Streets.

The family is also offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.

The search continues for the responsible person(s) who chose to commit this cowardly act of murder
in front of the Cal-Park Liquor Store.Lead Detective Charles Harris—Stockton Police Department, requests anyone with information to please call at (209) 937-7202 (Stockton Police Department) or Crime Stoppers of San Joaquin County/Stockton— Anonymous Tip Line (209) 946-0600.

We are his voice and will continue our search for justice.

Rest in peace…

Love, Mom, Curtis and Aunty Tassy

Sep 21

Molly Marie Young – unique, compassionate, and talented.

Molly Marie Young - April 15, 1990–March 24, 2012

Molly Marie YoungThree words to describe Molly Marie Young would be unique, compassionate, and talented. Molly had a great passion for the arts. She loved photography, music, and films. She had a fun whimsical side to her personality. For her twenty-first birthday, she decided to play hide and seek in the park with a group of friends instead of doing the typical bar scene. Molly was the youngest in her family; however, she often gave her sisters advice because she was wise beyond her years. She had a fondness for rainbows and animals and she saw beauty in ordinary things. She was very interested in politics and current events. She was also interested in many different cultures and enjoyed traveling.

molly2She graduated from Marion High School in 2008. During her high school years, she won several art competitions and her artwork was featured on the cover of a local college’s magazine. During her junior year of high school, Scholastic chose Molly’s photographic art among 77,000 entries and she was flown to New York to receive her award on the stage of Carnegie Hall. The next year, Molly’s photograph,
which was titled “Time Out” and depicted a chair in the corner of a dilapidated room, was chosen alongside only thirty others nationwide to be displayed in the U.S. Department of Justice. Molly was given a private tour of the White House and received a personalized letter from Senator Barack Obama commending her for being the only student from Illinois chosen for this honor. Three weeks before her twenty-second birthday, Molly was killed in the Carbondale, Illinois apartment of her ex-boyfriend by a gunshot wound to the head. A coroner’s jury ruled the cause of death “Undetermined” due to lack of

evidence. If you have any information related to this case, please contact the lead
detective, Aaron Cooper of the Illinois State Police at (618) 542-2171.

Aug 05

Parole Denied for John Matthew Ray

Update on the parole hearing held on June 27th for John Matthew Ray, the murderer of my son, Chad Norris. Parole was DENIED!! We have another 5 years before the next hearing. I wish it could have been more, but this will do for now. With the letters that I received from my friends, Chad’s friends, my family and those of you who responded to the request in the CAH Newsletter and website, we received over 100 letters. The Parole Representatives said that was way more then they usually see. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who contributed a parole opposition letter against the release of murderer, John Matthew Ray. Score one for the good guys. Thank you, thank you…

—Rita Edmonds-Norris

CVAA/CA Legislative Update


Crime Victims Action Alliance (CVAA) – CA Legislative Agenda
The Crime Victims Action Alliance (CVAA) is a non-profit organization that promotes victims’ rights and public safety. CVAA was founded in 1992 to be a voice for victims in the California state capital. CVAA works with policy makers at every level of government – aggressively advocating for better laws, regulations and policies that enhance victims’ rights and services.

For a listing of new California bills affecting victims click here.