Defining Dedication

On March 27, 2009, in Letters, The Families, by Jody Ewing
Angela Buck

Angela Buck

Today I received an uplifting, heartfelt e-mail from Korene Shelton, whose mother, Angela Renee Buck, was found near a creek below a short bridge in a wooded area south of Dunkerton, IA, on August 11, 1995. The 37-year-old mother of four had died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Korene, one month shy of her 17th birthday when two men setting turtle traps stumbled across her mother’s body, first contacted me in November 2008 about her mother’s unsolved homicide. The follow-up documents she sent me — complete with her own carefully researched and detailed notes with names, dates, law enforcement contacts and then-unanswered questions (perhaps now revisited with DNA advances) — painted a daughter’s dedicated landscape where the only brush stroke missing was a mother’s killer finally brought to justice.

Clearly, for this daughter, like Maureen Farley‘s nephew, like Sarah Link‘s son and Justin Hook‘s brother, like Alice Mae Van Alstine‘s nephew and Phil Terrell‘s daughter and Valerie Peterson‘s sister and Patricia Jauron‘s husband — all of whom have written — resignation is simply not an option. They, and so many more like them who’ve also written and wait patiently for their loved one’s page on the Iowa Cold Cases website, truly define dedication.

I’d written about those pages needing added in a February 26 blog post, and so it was that Korene’s e-mail today not only lifted my spirits, but made me view the letters I receive from a whole new perspective.

Her e-mail, which she entitled “your dedication,” is posted below with her permission:

I need you to know how much you are appreciated by so many. I know that family members of victims (victim’s themselves) can seem impatient and ungrateful, but it is because they want healing and some answers. They don’t want their loved one left out of this wonderful website and work that is being done. You have a life we understand, but sometimes our lives seem lost BECAUSE of those we’ve lost. But please know that I have read the blogs and know that you are doing above and beyond what most would and god bless u for it. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Yes. Exactly. None of us want our loved one forgotten. We want healing. We need answers. We demand justice. And yes, our lives can seem very lost because of those we’ve lost when there’s been no closure and those responsible still walk free. A page on the cold cases website may contain limited information and certainly can’t include all things great and small about every victim’s life, but it makes a very big statement: This Is a Life That Mattered.

It still does.

Thank you, Korene. Your words inspire and evoke countless stories. As long as others write, I’ll keep telling them. And this much I know is true: from a sheriff’s office in Black Hawk County to the FBI and DCI, more are working even harder to provide the endings.


3 Responses to Defining Dedication

  1. Jude Wyant says:

    I was (am) a friend of Ang’s and tho we didnt always agree and didnt see each other hardly at all when she was brutally taken, I do miss her and pray that who ever did this will be found and made to pay for their crime, I still think about you Ang !
    and thank you Jodi for not forgetting about her either ! x jude wyant hansel

  2. Jody Ewing says:


    Thanks so much for your comment! It is always so nice to hear from family members, and I truly believe that one day your sister's case will be solved.

    Angela was such a beautiful young woman, and no one ever deserves something like this. She had so much talent, and could very well have been a successful radio broadcaster today (or anything else she wanted to be) had she been given the time.

    I'll continue to do what I can to make sure people don't forget her, and will provide updates as they come in.

    Thank you again for writing, and please do keep in touch.


  3. Amanda Tix says:

    Hi Jody,
    I too appreciate the fact that I can at least now say Someone is helping to find answers. I am Angela's youngest sister Amanda. I have wondered every day for the last 15 years who did this to my sister. The media portrayed her as if she did not matter or almost as if she was deserving. Being as young as I was when it happened I didn't have the power to do much. I hope and I pray that someday very soon we can be at peace knowing that justice was served. Knowing the who and they why's. Although there is no accepted answers for why. The very same picture is hanging on the wall next to my mother. Just like they are laying side by side in the cemetery. I miss them both every single day. Thank you for all you do!

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