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My name is Kathy Monkman Higham.  In 1988, I experienced the worst thing I could ever imagine happening –the homicide of my sister and best friend Cindy. We lost our mother when we were 5 and 7, just 14 months apart and she was my entire world up until the time she was killed.  We also have a brother John, who fell in to mental illness (Schizophrenia) after her murder.   I am John’s primary support person now so you will get to know him through reading the blog as we pursue the adventure of our lives together.  I am blogging quite a bit about mental illness services in Arizona, good/bad/worse. He and my father are relocating to Pennsylvania where I now live to be three minutes away from us.

Cindy was murdered by a man who, with his brother, immigrated to the US from Germany with a plan to con American women.  Their various cons elevated to the plan to find women to marry, take out life insurance on them and kill them for money.  My sister Cindy was their first and last victim as both were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to death in 1990.   I was 29 and she was 30 at the time of her murder.

My family and I have navigated the waters of death penalty appeals all these years.  In 2008, one of Cindy’s killers was released from Death Row on a “mental retardation” claim that was argued for the both of them.  This hearing took 7 years to come to fruition interrupting our family’s life and requiring us to participate and testify.  I know the death penalty appeals process intimately, as well as the toll it takes on families.  The worst treatment our family ever received over these years was by death penalty appeals lawyers.

I also know that I have a life to live that is my own and that has never taken by this tragedy.  I strive to live that life at the highest level I can every day.  I endeavor to help others when I can and find inspiration wherever I can. I feel living this kind of quality life is the best tribute I can give my sister.  I also do my best to care for our dear brother and feel I pay homage to my mother and sister in this way as well.

This blog is the namesake for the photo you see of Cindy and I as young children hugging each other, before our mother died, which she blew up and gave me framed for my 25th birthday.   She jokingly referred to this photo as “The Innocents”.  A poignant foreshadowing of what was to come.

I have attended some other trials over the years including Scott Peterson, Michael Peterson, Jodi Arias and some local lesser known trials often reaching out to offer support to surviving victims (see links below).  I have live blogged from some of them and posted updates from others to bring other interested readers in to the trial experience.  I’ve raised funds, appeared on TV and radio, and in other ways supported victims dealing with the trial process.

I live in beautiful Lewisburg, Pennsylvania with my husband whom I married in May, 2015.  We also spend quite a bit of time in Sedona, Arizona at our family home there.  When I’m not adventuring around the globe with my husband, I enjoy cooking, crafting, dancing, writing, films, and all things creative.

I am currently writing a memoir about my journey through Cindy’s murder and that process can be followed at my other blog Middle Child.

Thank you for visiting my blog.  I plan to share experiences related to victims advocacy, mental illness/advocacy, miracles,  healing and living the fullest life I can create.

Please join me.

You can also reach me at katiecoolady@yahoo.com.

Here’s to Innocence!


Appearance on the Ricki Lake Show:

Advocacy for family of Travis Alexander:

Appearance on the Dr. Drew Show regarding Arias trial:

Dr. Drew’s Jury

Transcript of another appearance reporting on a witness violation

Print media:

Confessions of True Crime Junkies

An article containing my Victim Impact Statement for the Mental Retardation ReSentencing

Katie and Jordy’s Excellent Adventure – Scott Peterson trial

When Underwriters Become Undertakers

Published chapter in What’s in Your Web by Phil Tavolacci

12 thoughts on “About

  1. Antonio

    I have been searching for an article of yours where you spoke to Ann Christensen, sister of Michael Peterson. It seems impossible to find. Is it possible you still have this in your archives? Thank you so much for your time and your work.

    • Hi Antonio, I don’t think that article is online anywhere. It was on the Justice Magazine website and when it folded so did the site. I’m not sure if I have a hard copy of it but can poke around and see. Thanks for saying hello. Any updates on Peterson?

  2. Sharon

    KCL..check websleuths!! I read it here but I shouted out to everyone there that John is in the Choir! Congratulations to him! It old OJ would pray. God answers prayer!!
    Curious in Indiana

  3. Pingback: two innocents
  4. Katie, I discovered your blog via Websleuths. I am so glad I found you.
    I am so sorry you lost your beloved sister Cindy.
    Congrats on your wedding. Destination weddings are the best. I also had a distination wedding 12/12/08 in Maggie Valley, NC at MissCarolines.
    I have been enjoying your blog and I know I will be spending much time reading it.

  5. GregMiller

    My name is Greg Miller and I lived in Champaign until later I went into USAF after college. This tragic reality has never stopped me from remembering them. Everyone loved both Cindy and Kathy. I was just talking to Kristie Licocci formally
    Kriisti Weber Who lives near me now with her husband Tim well a cozy in the Woodlands Texas. Kathy not sure thy remember after all these year but I remember you and the great house your family had. I also remember a couple parties that were fantastic there. Well anyway my heart goes out to you and your family you’re always in my prayers and I think we know a lot of the same people Greg and Tom Larson and on and on and on.

    God Bless

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