‘The pain is deep.’ Family uses sorrow to help other crime victims in Lauderdale County

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. – It is something no one ever asks for, but it happens nonetheless. This is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week across the nation. Here at home, a family member of a crime victim is now helping others.

A mother and daughter; husband and wife; a grandmother; a son. Pictures are tacked to white crosses which represent individuals killed at the hands of someone else. Denny Kimbrel has worked for the last twenty years to make sure these people are not forgotten.

“It hits my heart every time I see a new one,” stated Kimbrel. “Knowing the families have got that notification. We went through that.”

Fourteen pictures and crosses were added this year to a memorial outside the Lauderdale County Courthouse. Each one has a direct tie to the county.

Kimbrel became a crime victims’ advocate after his son Darryl died in a wreck, one day shy of his 32nd birthday. He was hit by an intoxicated driver.

“We had watched Alabama and Auburn that night before. We never knew that that would be the last time we would see him,” said Kimbrel.

To help themselves cope, the Kimbrels got involved with the Shoals chapter of VOCAL. Each year, members of the Victims of Crime and Leniency stand side by side with the families of victims down a long path.

“The pain is deep,” Kimbrel explained. “Sometimes we hide it; sometimes you can’t.”

Behind each picture there is a family who continues to hurt, and people who are willing to help.

The Shoals chapter of VOCAL has a candlelight vigil planned for Tuesday night at Wilson Park in downtown Florence. Set to begin at 7, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.

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