To read an excerpt from the book, please click on the following link:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Vistor To This Blog From Wroclaw, Poland

I noticed that I had a visitor today to this blog from Wroclaw, Poland, where Asha's parents and much of her family live.  I wanted to let them know that I am indeed working on a book about Asha (the search terms were under her birth name, Joanna Dragunowicz).  The intention of my book is to try as best I can to show Asha as she really was--a person I consider to have had enormous courage above all, preparing to raise her child as a single mother if necessary.

I knew Asha a little from the market where she worked (I am a local to this area and was deeply affected by her loss). As I talk to people who knew her, I gain more and more respect for who she was.  I have never heard one person say anything negative about her at all.  I want to show what a tragedy her loss was, and in a greater sense, show how her loss affected our community, and perhaps shed a greater light on these crimes.  I also resonate a great deal with Asha because I was a single mother for many, many years and my first and last pregnancies were under threat also.  I also lost a friend from my college, who was murdered in 1985 by a serial killer. 

 Also, I find that these crimes focus much more greatly on the criminal and not the victim.  Our local papers never published any sort of biography on Asha.  No one had much idea of her life because no newspapers here ever wrote anything of her beyond the circumstances around the crime.  I was astounded to learn that she had a music degree and was an accomplished musician.  Not one media source told this about her; I learned of it through the trial transcripts.

Above all, I do not want Asha and Anina to be lost to time, as happens so often with crime victims, and I want to show the effect on her family and friends in terms of loss and also survivorship.  I personally cannot imagine a grief of this magnitude and am in awe of the strength it must take to get through life after a loss like this.  Others who have been through this may find the strength to keep on life's journey despite unimaginable loss, if I write this book with all my heart.

I have frankly stalled at approaching Richard Veil and the Dragunowicz family because I cannot seem to find the right, gentle words to ask if they might talk to me about Asha.  I do not think the exact right words will ever come to me, though, and I have to find the courage to ask.  Please, if you are a relative or friend of Asha, know that my reticence has been because this crime was so devastating and I am afraid of causing any further hurt or sadness to the people who loved Asha. I do not intend to just plough through and write this book without input from her friends or family.  Right now, what I have written focuses on my inital experiences of Asha's disappearance.

As I learn more about Asha, she further touches my heart. I think that very thing keeps me trying to write the best book I can.  As I said, this book is to honor her life and, as best I can, help her to not be forgotten.

If you would like to contact me, you can email me at, or use the contact form on this blog.  Thank you for visiting here; I appreciate it very much.