Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Caravan "Catching a Killer" and DNA

Brutally raped and murdered, Brittany Phillips will never get the chance to experience her mother's warm embrace again. While away at Tulsa Community College, Brittany and her mother, Margaret Zingman, regularly talked every Monday and Thursday. These weekly phone calls would soon end the night a police officer knocked onDr. Margaret Zingman's door, to inform her that her daughter had been raped and murdered.

For Brittany's mother, such violence against her daughter is all too familiar. "All my work did not prepare me for the events of Sept. 30, 2004"
As a psychologist at Mabel Basset Correctional Center, and a trauma therapist for 17 years, Dr.Margaret Zingman could never imagine her personal experiences and work with other victims would run parallel with the death of her daughter. The stories she hears on a daily basis from the women she works with is now a harsh reality for her. With a donated van, Dr. Maggie Zingman prepared for her first road trip in 2007. Since then she has driven to countless states and cities in hopes of catching a killer. Now, thousands of miles, caravan trips, and over 2,000 ruled out DNA possible suspects later, she continues visiting homicide units, college campuses, and sporting events like the PGA tour, passing out the killer's information in hopes someone may provide a tip or a lead.

Her daughter, Brittany Phillips, was found raped and suffocated inside her Tulsa apartment in 2004. Britty, as she's called, was buried on her 19th birthday.

When she has saved up enough vacation days at work, using her own money she carefully plans the road trips driving in towns across America in her SUV, a moving billboard that literally tells the tragic details of a young woman's life abruptly taken away.

Dr. Zingman understands the new technologies that allow tiny bits of DNA found at crime scenes to be scooped up and tested. While on the road she spreads the word of new federal and state laws requiring law enforcement to collect DNA samples from people convicted of-- or simply arrested for -- nonviolent crimes, including shoplifting. She is advocating for every State to do a DNA test upon arrest.

Police have Brittany Phillip's murderer's DNA and because of this "Teflon mom" thousands of men have been tested, but no killer has been found, leaving Brittany's mother motivated to continue to ride in search of the man who brutally took her child's life. Some would argue that Maggie is looking for a needle in a haystack and the killer may be never be found. "Once chance in a million, is better than no chance at all."

Dr. Maggie Zingman plans to do another road in a few weeks. She will not stop until Brittany's killer is found.

You can hear her remarkable journey to "catch a killer" at 9:00 PM Eastern Time Tonight on Crime Wire.



Susan Murphy Milano is with the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is an expert on intimate partner violence and homicide crimes. For more information visithttp://www.saferelationshipsmagazine.com/ She is also in partnership with Pamela Chapman and iAscend Programs. http://pamelachapmanl.biz

Susan is the author of "Time's Up A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships," available for purchase at the Institute, Amazon.com and wherever books are sold. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" on Here Women Talkhttp://www.herewomentalk.com/and is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated The Roth Show with Dr Laurie Roth. Susan is a survivor- the daughter of a police officer family intimate partner homicide by her father who murdered her mother before committing suicide.

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