Twenty Years Ago Today

Today is Bruce day. On June 13, 1991 I saw my brother alive for the last time. He came down to visit me when I lived in Virginia and we went to VA Beach. We had some hamburgers on the boardwalk. Later in the early afternoon, he went back up to Maryland, then on to Connecticut, where he lived. Less than a month later, he and his girlfriend, Karen Vinnik, would be tragically murdered in Tuscon Arizona.
I think my memory is failing, because I can’t remember him arriving in Virginia, I can’t remember if he stayed at my apartment. I wrote soon after his funeral that I never wanted this memory to fade, that last day together, the funeral, and all the feelings. I never wanted them to fade, I wanted time to stop, and hope that it would go backwards. Now there’s bits of memory missing…

7 thoughts on “Twenty Years Ago Today

  1. I'm so, so sorry about your brother and his girlfriend. I think the memory is probably not missing. I think it must be there somewhere even if you just can't get to it right now. I don't know what to wish for you because I can't imagine missing my brother like that. But I do wish you good friends and missing him a little less and remembering him a little more; as well as you want to be able to.

  2. I have the same problem.My big brother died 27 years ago… I can hardly remember our last time together.And my little brother died 11 years ago and I have to struggle to remember our last visit too.Why is that?I loved them both sooooo very much, as I'm sure you loved your brother too. I can remember both of them and what they were like, how they laughed, talked, walked etc though!I hope you have a good day… and remember your brother with love.

  3. Mark, though I dont know you at all, I want to send my condolences – what a tragical and meaningless way to die..!! Only "comfort" (the way I see it) is, that now they are in a better place and the person who did it has to live with that fact for the rest of his/her life :-(I think it is natures way of healing that memories eventually "fade" away to some extend, and it says to me that your life is filled with lots of richness and therefore you are not stuck with living in the past. But the feelings and values for your brother will always be there, and I think that matters much more than a detailed memory. Wishing you strength a healing…

  4. Very strange to have come across this site some 20 years afer the tragic murder of these two young people. The relavance of my post is that I, in fact knew Karen Vinnick. I went to high school with her in Allendale, NJ. We graduated from Northern Highlands Regional HS in, wow…1989. We were not close friends, in so far as I shared a few classes with her. She always fancied herself a part of the rich girl crowd, granted we all grew up in the affluent suburbs of Northern NJ,however even among n affluent school she tried to be a part of the, "I'm rich and I know it", group. However, that is not the point at all. We had all recently graduated from HS and had all gone off to college, yet still were young enough to still be coming home to NJ for school breaks. I still remember as a 20 year old, now 40, reading in the local paper, as the town we grew up in was small the story of the tragic murder of Karen Vinnick and her boyfriend. I recall the circumstances accoording to the story. They were mixed up in buying large quantities of marijuana in AZ and selling it for large profit back in NJ. seems they got mixed up with the wrong crowd who clocked them for what they were…rich East Coast college kids using daddy's money for the wrong stuff, and in way over their heads. I recall the brutality of the murder in the news story. They were bludgoened with a baseball bat and a golf club. Horrible. I know when you play with fire, which Karen and her boyfriend were most definitely doing….these things, unfortunately can happen. Yet, having known Karen and seeing her in school daily in high school and class…we shared Marketing classes together…I remember her answering questions in class ans some marketing projects she participated in….the point being the knowledge of her murder, hit a bit closer, not because we were close friends, which we were not, but rather because I recall observing her as a fellow student, I recall seeing her alive as a young kid, 16 or 17, then coming back from college break and reading of her brutal death. It jolts you. You recall the innocence of childhood, even in high school and the reality of death to someone who you remember in the so called "security" of the confines of school. I do also recall the thoughts upon learning of her death as…."Play with fire and you get burned" which any rational person would recognize. Yet, it was a tragic death which punctured a hole in the insulated world we all thought we lived in, in Bergen County, NJ. I hope Karen and her boyfriend are at peace some 20 years after their death….RIP

  5. Blogger Tina Gonzalez said… (22 Jun 2103)

    I think about Karen all the time even to this day. She was a very close friend of mine at the U of Arizona and was supposed to live next door to me off campus. We even attended the same high school (Northern Highlands) but I was a few years ahead of her and did not know her at that time. I still remember speaking to her just a few days before she and Bruce were murdered. I had no idea about the crowd she was involved with in reference to the drug trafficking and I had to give my testimony to the Pima County Sheriff’s Dept about what little I did know. I will always remember Karen’s vibrant smile and good nature. She was one of the most beautiful, friendliest people I have even known.

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